Top 10 destinations for retirement

Published: 22/05/2019

Looking to retire abroad? Here we highlight the top 10 countries around the world that are recognised as the best places to retire in 2017. However, we believe home is certainly where the heart is, and it's usually where you've lived all your life....  

Everybody has the desire to retire at some point in their life. Although there is no age restriction on retirement, in the UK men qualify for the state pension at 65 and women at 64. Many of us will benefit from a workplace or other private pension arrangement which may allow us to retire earlier, but most people retire when they start receiving their state or private pension. Those who are lucky enough to retire earlier than that are usually found driving aimlessly in bright yellow Lamborghinis….
The ‘golden age’ of retirement – 21st century style
Many of us look forward to retirement as the chance to sit back and enjoy our grandchildren, spend time with friends, do a bit of gardening, sort out the attic, catch up on reading novels and the occasional round of golf at the weekends.  On the other hand, some of us want to be more adventurous and think of retirement as an age of discovery, adventure, “me-time” and new beginnings… And what do these people do? They seem to follow a growing number who pack their bags and move abroad – at least for a few years. This is a trend that’s developed in recent years, as our life expectancy has increased. The opportunities to move abroad have encouraged lots of us to start saving for future adventures, to enjoy a ‘golden age’ of retirement.    
Interesting fact:
Did you know, Germany was the first country to introduce retirement in 1889!  In 1881 Otto von Bismarck, the Conservative minister president of Prussia, presented a radical idea to the Reichstag: government-run financial support for older members of society. In other words, retirement. The idea was radical because until then, people simply did not retire. If you were alive, you worked—probably on a farm—or, if you were wealthier, managed a farm or larger estate.  It took eight years, but finally, the German government created the retirement system which provided for citizens over the age of 70—if they lived that long.
And the top 10 countries are....

So, if you’re looking to pack your bags and move away the moment you’ve left your retirement party, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 countries to retire to, all of which have been scrutinized, put under the microscope and examined for their cost of living, retiree benefits, climate, lifestyle and healthcare, thanks to and Living International.
10. Malta
Glorious pink and gold sunsets, sapphire blue waters, centuries-old cities made of honey-hued stone, vertiginous white cliffs rising from the sea. Here you can expect 300 days of sun, 7000 years of history, excellent healthcare, fantastic food and a large, international, English-speaking community with a welcoming approach to new residents.
9. Portugal
Portugal’s low cost of living and affordable property are just some of the reasons for its growing popularity among retirees. It has sunny beaches, a laidback atmosphere and an emphasis on friends and family. You’ll find good food, lots of culture and on average a couple can live well on as little as £1700 a month!

8: Nicaragua
Nicaragua has certainly become a great place to retire. Everywhere you look, there is progress, and the expat lifestyle gets easier and easier every year.
Nicaragua’s infrastructure improves year on year, their chocolate and coffee win global awards and their healthcare is great.  Add these together with wonderful people, less stress, no traffic jams, and the fact that a couple on a budget can live here for £1,500 a month and you can see why it’s a winner!
7: Spain
Spain’s miles of beaches, beautiful, historic cities, warm climate along its coasts, low cost of living and property all help to make it a top retirement destination.
For many expats enjoying retirement, Spain’s biggest attraction is its friendly, laidback lifestyle.  Stroll Spain’s parks and cities, sip a coffee or an aperitif at an outdoor cafĂ©, enjoy a long, leisurely meal with friends until the wee hours…it’s all part of the Spanish way of life.
6: Malaysia
Malaysian cities are clean and modern, the country’s public transport is unrivaled, and the people reputedly the friendliest in Asia. The idyllic islands—all 878 of them—the stunning beaches, its untouched rainforests and UNESCO world heritage sites are why Malaysia is the place to be. Add to that the low cost of living and excellent healthcare, and you have a great retirement haven if Southeast Asia is on your shortlist.
5: Columbia
Colombia, once an overlooked place for retirement, is now just grabbing the attention of expats looking for a low cost haven that has excellent healthcare and a diverse and temperate climate.
This beautiful country has something for everyone, including lush green coffee plantations, sparkling crystal beaches, quaint colonial towns and most importantly its warm, accepting people.
4: Costa Rica
Costa Rica has been hosting retirees and other expats for more than 30 years, and all the reasons why this Central American gem first attracted those seeking a better life abroad back then, still hold true today.
A safe and stable country with no army, Costa Rica welcomes foreigners with open arms. People are friendly and happy. The unofficial national motto, Pura Vida, means “life is good.”
One of the major benefits of Costa Rica is the lower cost of living and highly-rated healthcare.
3: Ecuador
For anyone who has excellent weather at the top of their list of personal requirements for a retirement destination, Ecuador can’t be beaten. Thanks to its mountainous terrain and its position directly on the equator, you can choose almost any climate you like simply by moving up or down in altitude.  Healthcare in Ecuador’s major cities is reputed to be the equal to anything available, anywhere, and at amazingly low prices.
2: Panama
Panama can be described in three words: Modern, comfortable, and tolerant.  It’s the ease of living that draws retirees here. You can live by a pristine beach ringed by clear blue waters…or on a mountain in the cool, verdant highlands. 
Add welcoming people and policies, a rock-solid infrastructure and Panama’s appeal is easy to see.  In terms of retiree benefits, Panama’s Pensionado program is one of the best in the world.
Drum rolls…….  And the country that takes top position is….

1: Mexico
Mexico has always offered arguably the easiest transition to expat life around: Low-cost, conveniently close, friendly locals and plenty of expats—Mexico offers an appealing balance of exotic foreign culture and familiar First-World lifestyle.
You can get healthcare that rivals our NHS, English is widely spoken in popular expat spots such as Lake Chapala and the Riviera Maya, making it easy for you to fit right in.
Whether you’re looking at the mighty ruins of Teotihuacan, the face of a local Maya vendor, or the cool patio of a Spanish colonial hacienda, you sense a depth of history and tradition around you.
But there’s no place like home
Even if you dream of the expat life, there may be many reasons why you choose, in the end to stay at home to enjoy your retirement surrounded by friends and family. It’s a time to really relish, in the home that you’ve spent years creating. Should ill health or infirmity creep in, we at Bluebird Care are here to step in and help. Our range of Live in and home care services are designed to help you stay in the home you love for as long as possible.
If you or someone close to you could do with some assistance to stay at home and enjoy retirement as fully as possible, please get in touch today!