Best Country to Retire?

Best country to retire? If money were no object, this would be a very simple question... United States of America would be most everyone's first choice...but if money is an object it is nice to know what your alternatives are. 

Our remarks for the best country to retire will be resticted to countries that are close to the United States and countries that the author and his bride has visited.

This in no way is an exclusive list. I am sure there are countries in Asia and some in Europe where it is possible to experience frugal living.

All of the countries discussed are a short plane ride back to the US, an advantage from many aspects.

The best country to retire from a frugal retirement living standpoint could be anyone of five:

  • The United States of America
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Ecuador
  • Uruguay

Let's take a look at each on and discuss the pros and cons of each.

Best country to Retire, why not the good old USA?

There is no place like home for most of US. You name the criteria for living well and it is hard to beat America, my home. Let's not belabor the obvious.

The number one drawback is it can come at a high price. Real high unless you change your thinking.

High costs especially if you are talking health care. It is great but it is expensive. Health insurance is through the roof, and not likely to get any cheaper.  

The US can be the cheapest and the finest country to retire if you want it bad enough to expand your thinking.

However, if you must have a big house in an expensive will not be frugal retirement living at all.

But if you wanted the big house you would not be reading this...would you?

Don't say you can't afford the US, the above tells you how to have your cake and eat it too.

Best country to retire? My next choice would be Mexico

The reason this is such a popular alternative to US retirement is the closeness to the US and the low cost of living.

Yes folks, living in Mexico, in a house, can be done on your Social Security check and have enough left over for a full time maid.

Ladies does that sound like heaven? more windows but lots of time for visiting with like minded gringos like yourself. 

The living in Mexico can be great. The number one objection to the US is health care. Health insurance in Mexico costs around $300 a year, what I pay here per month, and I have much less coverage.

The weather can be spring like year round, it is your choice. Go take a look at the globe or map  (you know the one in the living room that nobody notices). Mexico is close to the Equator. Combine that with mountainous terrain and you can have a spring like climate year round.

Like the beach, Mexico has got them in spades. Can you say Cancun.

For more on retiring to Mexico, look here.

For how to retire in Mexico

Best country to retire? Panama makes you feel the most welcome

Panama has what they call a pensionado program. The program offers a world of benefits to Americans that meet modest, $500 per month, income requirements.

For more information on retiring to Panama

The Panamanian economy is a very healthy one. It is a banking center along with the most obvious...the Panama Canal.

When the Canal reverted back to Panama in 1999, there were 50,000 Zonies. They liked the living in Panama so much that a large portion stayed. You will not feel isolated if you choose Panama as your personal best country to retire.

Beaches, mountain living, good reasonable health care, 3 hours to Miami, what is not to like.

Best country to retire? Don't count out Ecuador, it's the cheapest

This is Quito, very frugal retirement living at 9,000 feet. Of the four countries we are looking at...Ecuador is the cheapest.

It is possible, many Americans are doing it right now, to live for less than $1000 per month.

Because it is on the Equator, you have a lot of climates to choose from. Beaches like Manta or Bahia, or living in the mountains Otavalo or Quito, if you need the big city feel and culture.

The currency is the US dollar, at least for right now.

For more information on retiring to Ecuador.

Because of the very low real estate prices and a healthy economy, retiring to Ecuador may make you look like a clairvoyant genius in time.

Come on down, and while you are here get a Panama hat...that's right the Panama hats are all made in Ecuador.

The best country to retire...Uruguay is European living in South America

Uruguay has lots going for it as a place to retire. The cost of living is much like Mexico's. a $1,000 to $2,500 a month will give you a very high standard of living.

Uruguay is a very stable country with very little corruption. The roads are great, phones work and high speed internet connections are easily to acquire.

In a country of only 3.3 million people, 88% are of Eurpoean descent. 97% literacy rate in a friendly country will make Uruguay much more popular as a retirement destination in the future. 

For more on retiring to Uruguay.


It is your choice where you live...but don't tell me you don't have enough money to retire, the countries above would beg to show you otherwise.

How about retiring on $25,000 a year?

Return from best country to retire to living overseas

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