5 Amazing Places to Retire Outside of the U.S.

Robert Gentry |

Would you enjoy your retirement more in the U.S. or abroad?

That’s not an easy question to answer, and the right answer is different for everyone. 

After all, we don’t all want the same things in retirement, and we all retire with different resources, agendas, and expectations. 

That can make some places better (or worse) to call home in retirement — and it could mean that some overseas destinations offer an even better chance to enjoy the retirement of your dreams. 

Of course, you can’t know that if you don’t know what’s out there and what different locations offer. 

So, let’s explore some of the best options for retiring abroad, why each has become a hot spot for retirement, and what to consider about each location.

5 Amazing Places to Retire Outside of the U.S.

Whether or not you’re already retired, life could be better in retirement if you have more access to the things you need and want and if you can make your dollars stretch farther. 

Could that better retirement life be waiting for you in another country?


If it is, there are good chances it could be waiting for you in one of these international retirement hotspots.

1. Spain

The gorgeous coastline, affordable cost of living, and a temperate climate are just a few reasons why Spain is such a popular choice for retiring aboard. 

With chill beach towns and bustling big cities, Spain is as diverse as it is enchanting, giving retirees plenty of options for where to start the next chapter of life, with some old-world Latin charm in the background.

On top of that, Spain has a highly-rated healthcare system, and you shouldn’t have any problems collecting Social Security payments here.1

Cities to Check Out: Marbella, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Alicante, Costa de la Luz

What to Consider: Learn Spanish before relocating or consider moving near a touristy area where more locals speak English (if you don’t already speak Spanish).

2. Malta

With a thriving community of expats, Malta can be a welcoming place for retirees. This island country sits in the Mediterranean, between Sicily and North Africa. It has warm weather, glittering beaches, and easy access to the shores of several Mediterranean countries, including France, Italy, Greece, Spain, and more.

Beyond that, Malta is also affordable, safe, and family-friendly, with many modern amenities of the average American suburb (like malls, movie theaters, and restaurants). 

Plus, English is one of the official languages of Malta, so you won’t have to hit the books to learn a new language before retiring here.

Cities to Check Out: St. Julian’s, St. Paul’s Bay, Sliema, and Mellieha

What to Consider: Summer can bring lots of tourists, which could mean more traffic if you live in a trendier area of Malta.

3. Portugal

Portugal is another retirement hotspot just around the corner from the Mediterranean coast with a moderate climate, access to modern healthcare, and beautiful scenery. Its reasonable cost of living and favorable tax laws for expats also make Portugal an appealing place to retire. Portugal has one of the lowest costs of living in Western Europe.

From its historic towns to its sunny beaches and everything in between, Portugal has tranquil, breathtaking landscapes, natural hot springs, lush hiking trails, golf courses, and more, all surrounded by fantastic amenities.

Whether you want space, peace, and the opportunity to explore new areas — or you’re focused on enjoying your retirement in the lap of luxury — you can get both in Portugal.

Cities to Check Out: Lisbon, Porto, Cascais, Ponte de Lima, the Algarve, and Madeira

What to Consider: There’s a lot of red tape, paperwork, and waiting when you need to deal with government agencies for things like driver’s licenses, permits, business licenses, and property transactions. And different officials may require additional items, which can complicate matters.

4. Australia

Modern, gorgeous, and known for its lovely climate, Australia is a top destination for retirees who want access to first-world amenities in a safe, tropical setting. With many natural wonders, Australia offers some of the best beaches, vineyards, hiking, and national parks, making it easy to enjoy the outdoors and an active lifestyle in retirement. 

On top of that, retirees in Australia have access to quality healthcare and plenty of affordable housing, regardless of whether they plan to rent or buy a home. It is also worth mentioning that English is the dominant language spoken in Australia, which can make for a smoother transition for retired folks moving Down Under.

Cities to Check Out: Hobart, St. Helens, Echuca, Victor Harbor, Beechworth, and Hunter Valley

What to Consider: If you’re eyeing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or another big city in Australia, remember that the cost of living in these areas tends to be higher.

5. Switzerland

Clean, safe, and with a magnificent setting, Switzerland offers an exceptional quality of life, with plenty of opportunities to explore and enjoy the outdoors. In fact, from the slopes of Switzerland to its lakes, castles, and rich infrastructure, this retirement hotspot offers practically endless ways to connect with nature, discover something new, and live better in retirement. 

Additionally, retirees in Switzerland can take advantage of certain tax breaks to make their retirement dollars go further. Plus, retired folks in Switzerland have access to a modern healthcare system rated as one of the best worldwide.

Cities to Check Out: Zurich, Zug, Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, and Canton of Valais

What to Consider: If you retire in Switzerland, you can easily visit other European countries, making this hotspot a great option for those who want to travel Europe in retirement. The cost of living in Switzerland is generally higher than in the US, which is an important factor to consider

A Little Planning Can Make Retirement & Your Financial Life a Whole Lot Better 

When choosing the best place to live in retirement, it’s not all about what you want here and now. Looking 5 to 10 years ahead — and thinking about more than just healthcare, location, and money — can help you see the bigger picture and what may be better for you. 

Whether you’re doing that before or during retirement, walking through all options with a trusted partner can help. And revisiting the conversation as your life changes is prudent.

That’s when you can turn to a financial professional for advice, insight, and guidance. Remember, it’s never too late or too early to have these conversations, and you only get one chance to live your best life in retirement. Make it count.



This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us of a specific investment or the purchase or sale of any securities. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. This material was developed and produced by Advisor Websites to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. Copyright 2023 Advisor Websites.