The Best Places To Retire In 2024

World’s Best Places To Retire In 2024

View of the sea from a height of Pope Luna's Castle in Valencia Spain. best places to retire
Adobe Stock/steftach

When looking for the best places to retire in 2024, you’ve come to the right place.

There’s no doubt that retirement is a big milestone in life – and it’s something that everyone should plan for.

Whether you’re craving for a warm climate or excellent health care, these destinations have it all. And, if you’re interested in starting your retirement early, you can also take advantage of retirement communities that are expanding rapidly all over the world.

So, whether you’re ready to call it quits or just want to plan for the future, these are the best places to retire.

In this article, we’ll look at factors such as cost of living, climate, healthcare quality, and activities available in each location. We’ll also discuss how each destination is adapting to meet the needs of retirees today and into the future.

With this information in hand, you can make an informed decision on where you would like to spend your retirement years.

Here is a snapshot of the results for best retirement destination…

Best Places To Retire In 2024

10. Colombia

Colombian flag in the Cartagena

Quick Facts About Colombia:

  • U.S.-dollar-holders have a currency advantage against the Colombian peso.
  • Belize taxes jurisdictionally, meaning it only taxes you on income earned in the country.
  • The Qualified Retired Person (QRP) visa is among the best retirement residency programs on Earth.

Why Should I Retire To Colombia?

Colombia is quietly becoming one of the world’s top overseas havens.

From capital Bogotá to Euro-chic Medellín to colonial Cartagena on the Caribbean, expats are drawn by the vibrant culture, low cost of living, and high quality of life.

Colombia today is one of the world’s easiest places to establish residency. No lawyer is required, and the process can be done in a couple of hours.

Infrastructure is strong across the country, and the standard of health care is high. Plus, eight of the top 35 hospitals in all Latin America are in Medellín. Other cities in Colombia have similarly top-standard facilities.

Santa Marta City Marina, Colombia. best places to retire 2024

Where Should I Retire In Colombia?

Santa Marta is more geographically diverse than Cartagena, with the Caribbean Sea to the north and west, Tayrona National Park to the east, and Colombia’s Sierra Nevada mountain range to the south.

It offers excellent beach- and water-based activities, like boating, snorkeling, and diving… but it also offers mountain-based activities, like mountain hiking, trekking, and biking. The Sierra Nevada even has snowy peaks at certain times of year.

While mostly unknown to international audiences, Santa Marta is the preferred vacation destination for locals, favored for its affordability, perpetually warm weather, soft golden sands, and warm Caribbean waters.

And now, Santa Marta. Colombia, is among the best places to retire in 2024.

9. Thailand

The most beautiful viewpoint of Pattaya Beach in Pattaya City, Thailand.

Quick Facts About Thailand:

  • Beautiful beaches and excellent outdoor recreation options, including golf.
  • Thailand does not impose a wealth tax, but it imposes an inheritance tax of 10%.
  • Thailand’s retirement visa is called the Non-Immigrant O-A Visa.

Why Should I Retire To Thailand?

Thailand is a top global medical tourism destination, which speaks to the high standards and affordability of its private medical facilities.

Also, one of the best aspects of living in Thailand for many expats is access to fresh, healthy, and delicious Thaicuisine.

No matter the lifestyle you’re after—luxury or laid-back, adventurous or relaxed—there’s something for you in Thailand. And, that’s why it is part of our best places to retire In 2024.

aerial view of people enjoying an isolated beach in phuket thailand

Where Should I Retire In Thailand?

Phuket is the biggest island in Thailand, floating off the west coast of the mainland. It’s ringed by pearly white sands, hemmed in by limestone cliffs, and lapped by the warm waters of the Andaman Sea.

Natural beauty in general helps explain Phuket’s popularity… The lifestyle is so appealing that it has attracted an expat community of more than 115,000.

Wellness is a big trend in Phuket, particularly massage and yoga, but also breathing, meditation, and mindfulness. Plus, golf is a beloved pastime here, with nine courses in the vicinity.

8. Belize

Paradise beach on island caye Carrie Bow Cay Field Station, Caribbean Sea, Belize

Quick Facts About Belize

  • English is the official language of Belize.
  • Belize taxes jurisdictionally, meaning it only taxes you on income earned in the country.
  • The Qualified Retired Program (QRP) visa is among the best retirement residency programs on Earth. This year the age limit to apply for QRP dropped to 40.

Why Should I Retire To Belize?

Belize is a safe, welcoming, unassuming little country where the population values personal privacy, self-determination, and freedom. That is why it’s among the best places to retire.

Once at the heart of the Maya Empire, Belize is today famous for its white-sand Caribbean beaches and clear, unpolluted waters.

Belize’s QRP visa is one of the most efficient routes to foreign residency anywhere in the Americas.

Also, it’s available to anyone over the age of 45, and it grants a host of incentives, like tax-free importation of household goods, automobiles, boats, or even airplanes.

life in Belize, life in Cayo, Cayo Belize

Where Should I Retire To In Belize?

The Cayo District is a rugged, sprawling region of the Belize mainland that’s full of rivers and rain forests, as well as rustic small towns and villages with strong community spirit.

The biggest of Belize’s six districts, the Cayo is paradise for nature lovers, containing some of the country’s best opportunities for exploring rivers, caves, mountains, tropical forests, and wide-open spaces, including several nature reserves.

Despite its small size, Cayo offers a nice variety of lifestyle options, including oceanfront, riverfront, lagoonfront, and inland farm-country living.

Lots and land are available in both private developments and on the open market.

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7. Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro. Best places to retire 2024

Quick Facts About Montenegro:

  • Stunning scenery—towering mountains with fjord-like Adriatic waters.
  • Montenegro has a burgeoning reputation as an extreme sports destination.
  • Plus, the country does not impose a net wealth or worth tax

Why Should I Retire To Montenegro?

Montenegro has broad appeal. But, not many in North America have even heard about this country.

It’s widely expected to join the European Union in the next few years. (Some say it will happen in 2025; some say 2030.) And, if you establish residency or citizenship before then, Montenegro could become the fastest backdoor to an EU passport.

Kotor Bay in Montenegro. best places to retire

Where Should I Retire In Montenegro?

Kotor Bay boasts 57 miles (107 kms) of sparkling coastline that features towering mountains and stunning fjords.

It offers a range of lifestyle opportunities… You can opt for the historical charm of Kotor Old Town or the highend, flashy modernity of a luxury private development, like Porto Montenegro in Tivat.

Costs of living are flexible in Kotor Bay, with standard to luxury-level lifestyles available. Also, you can get by in English alone in here.

There’s a mid-sized expat community in Kotor Bay, mostly made up of Europeans (Germans, Swiss, Dutch, Scandinavians, and so on), with some North Americans and Turkish people thrown in.

6. France

Best places to retire in 2024 Gascony France

Quick Facts About France:

  • According to the World Health Organization, France has the world’s best health care.
  • France’s infrastructure is second to none, with well-established transportation systems that include trains, metros, taxis, and buses.
  • The residency process is fairly simple and straightforward.

Why Should I Retire To France?

France is the good life defined. The food, the wine, the art, the shopping, the history…

This country boasts the most beautiful and romantic city on Earth, plus the best of country living and dramatic Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts.

On top of all this, France is home to the world’s best health care, the world’s best infrastructure, top international schools, and a relaxed way of life…

And, in some parts of the country, the very good life can be very affordable as well. In short, you could retire in style for less.

Cloisters of the Abbey at La Romieu, situated on one of the major Pilgrim routes in Gascony. move to france

Where Should I Retire In France?

Nestled in the sedate southwestern corner of France, between Bordeaux and the Pyrenees, this peaceful region is one of the least-known destinations in the country.

Gascony is one of the most affordable French lifestyles available

Some of our favorite towns here include Fourcès, known for its weekly produce market and annual flower fair… Lupiac, hometown of the legendary d’Artagnan of the Musketeers…

Gascony is yet another destination that proves that life in Europe is not financially out of reach for Americans…

5. Panama

Skyline with green grass and flag in Panama

Quick Facts About Panama:

  • Panama’s Pensionado Visa is the Gold Standard of retirement visas, with generous benefits for retirees.
  • It taxes jurisdictionally, meaning there is no local tax burden if your income comes from outside the country.
  • Excellent private health care.
  • Panama is stalwart and stable, with solid economic foundations.

Why Should I Retire In Panama?

Panama is blessed with ample coastlines, beautiful beaches, island getaways, mountain retreats, and colonial towns.

Largely as a result of its crossroads positioning, but also thanks to its reputation worldwide as a top retirement, offshore, and banking haven, Panama is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world and the fastest-growing market in the region.

Where Should I Retire In Panama?

Chitré is a small, safe, and community-minded town. It’s four hours from Panama City, located in the “interior” of the country (i.e., anywhere in Panama that isn’t Panama City).

Being anywhere other than Panama City in Panama usually means that you don’t have easy access to the types of things that expats appreciate—great health facilities, banks, American-style grocery stores, nice cafés and restaurants, entertainment options, and more…

Chitré is an exception to this rule. All the amenities offered in the metropolitan area of Panama City, not to mention the abundance of casinos, banks, grocery stores, and hardware stores, can be found in this hidden paradise—a remarkable accomplishment considering its small size.

In short, Chitré is perfect for a comfortable, well-appointed lifestyle. It’s largely undiscovered, with limited tourism and a small expat community. For now, it’s one of the most affordable places to live in Panama, including the cost of beachfront property.

4. Greece

Crete is in Greece. Best Places To retire 2024

Quick Facts About Greece:

  • Rich history, fascinating culture, beautiful landscapes, and delicious cuisine.
  • Greece’s health care system is a combination of the National Healthcare Service, compulsory social.
  • The residency process encourages foreign investment in real estate through its golden visa program.

Why Should I Retire In Greece?

Greece has the highest number of physicians relative to population size in the EU. However, many Greece expats prefer to maintain international private insurance to ensure access to care and shorter wait times for procedures.

Violent crime is extremely rare here, and even petty crime is uncommon.

Greece’s retirement visa is technically a self-sufficiency visa. This is how most retirees gain the ability to live here long-term. It offers a golden visa program, as well as a digital nomad visa.

Kalyves village in Crete, Greece. best places to retire 2024

Where Should I Retire In Greece?

Crete has the highest number of sunshine hours per year in all of Greece. And, it’s the fifth-biggest island in the Mediterranean—and it’s home to everything from cities to mountain villages, beaches to snow-capped mountains, and untouched inland wilderness to ancient olive groves and vineyards.

Much of Crete falls under a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters.

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3. Mexico

Mazatlan Cathedral, or Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in the historic center of Mazatlan. best places to retire 2024

Quick Facts About Mexico:

  • Familiarity and proximity to the States and Canada.
  • The Mexican Permanent Resident Card is also known as the Mexico retirement visa, although it’s more like a self-sufficiency visa.
  • Mexico isn’t a tax haven. But, it’s an easy place to legally avoid becoming tax resident.

Why Should I Retire To Mexico?

Mexico offers lots of options and opportunity for the expat. This is a big, extraordinarily diverse country that offers two long coasts, mountains, and colonial cities… not to mention Mayan ruins, jungle, rain forest, rivers, and lakes.

Medical tourism is a fast-growing industry, with more Americans choosing to cross the border to seek quality, affordable health care in Mexico every year. As a result, many Mexican doctors are trained in the United States, Europe, or Canada and speak English fluently.

Night view of Mazatlan, Mexico. best places to retire 2024

Where Should I Retire In Mexico?

Mazatlán offers Mexico’s best beach lifestyle. Located about midway along Mexico’s Pacific coast, it boasts over 10 miles of sandy beaches. For instance, Mazatlán is warm to hot year-round. It doesn’t get much rainfall—perfect for sunseekers.

One of the biggest benefits of living in Mazatlán is the low cost of living.This Mexican city is an expat haven for a sizeable international community.

Mazatlán has its own international airport. So, there a direct flights to the States and Canada.

2. Portugal

Historic Church of Bom Jesus do Monte and her public garden in Braga Portugal. best places to retire 2024

Quick Facts About Portugal:

  • Portugal offers several paths to residency, including the fast-track Portuguese Golden Visa (although there’s no real estate investment option).
  • It’s the third-safest country in the world.
  • Has rich history, culture, and natural beauty.

Why Should I Retire To Portugal?

Portugal is our all-around favorite retire-overseas destination. It has a low cost of living, easy residency, and tax incentives for foreign residents. It also has great food, more sunshine than anywhere else in Europe, some of the best beaches and golf in Europe, excellent infrastructure, and a large English-speaking population. Access is easy and cheap, making this a great base from which to explore the whole of the Continent.

Braga in Portugal. best places to retire

Where Should I Retire In Portugal?

Braga is the culturally vibrant capital of Portugal’s northern Minho Province, famous for its lush, green landscapes that produce vinho verde wine.

It’s an off-the-radar retirement choice in Portugal… especially compared to the Algarve, Lisbon, and Porto…

Braga is a small city with a population of under 200,000 people. This city is affordable not only relative to the costs of living in the United States and Canada; it’s also affordable relative to other places in Portugal.

Most importantly, Braga is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a peaceful, beautiful place to retire in style for less.

1. Best Place To Retire In 2024: Spain

Coastal Retirement In Valencia, Spain. best place to retire

Best Places To Retire – Quick Facts About Spain:

  • The cost of living in Spain is low, especially considering the high standard of living and excellent health care.
  • It’s rich in history and culture, renowned for its music, cuisine, viticulture, art, architecture and design, festivals, and more.
  • Spain is geographically diverse, with mountains, plateaus, rivers, beaches, and islands.

Why Should I Retire To Spain?

The best place to retire in 2024 is in Spain…

For North Americans who perceive Western Europe as too expensive, Spain will come as a pleasant surprise. Everything from health care to rent to meals out comes at a discount here.

Most importantly, Spain is the second-most mountainous country in Europe after Switzerland. This geography has created pockets of distinct cultures across the country, meaning there is much to explore and experience.

Two beaches in Peniscola, Valencia Spain. best places to retire

Where Should I Retire In Spain?

Valencia is both an appealing coastal city retirement option in Europe and a top option for making a euro-denominated property investment.

Most importantly, Valencia is world-famous for its architecture, and exotic embellishments like mosaics and tiling in styles from across the Mediterranean in fascinating ways.

As a relatively large Spanish city, the English ability of Valencia’s locals is decent. You could get by on English alone… things like ordering at a restaurant or buying groceries shouldn’t be a problem.

Best Places To Retire - FAQs

Where Is The Best Place In The World For You To Retire?

We don’t know, but, after more than three decades of experience considering the whole world in this context, we have some good ideas about where makes sense generally for a high quality of retirement life… where probably doesn’t… and why.

It is in that spirit that, each year, that we publish the Overseas Retirement Index. A concise guide to the best places to retire…

Where Can I Retire In 2024?

Here are some of the top locations to consider when searching for the best places to retire in 2024.

1. Spain
2. Portugal
3. Mexico
4. Greece
5. Panama
6. France
7. Montenegro
8. Belize
9. Thailand
10. Colombia

What’s The Safest Country In The World?

In the category of crime and safety, it’s no surprise that Portugal is at the top of nearly everyone’s list.

Most of the index havens are safer than the United States…

  • 1 out of 12 index countries ranked higher than Canada (#11) in the 2023 Global Peace Index.
  • Almost every haven (9 out of 12) ranked higher than the United States.

Best Places To Retire: How Much Money Do I Need To Retire?

This is the probably the most frequently asked question we get, year-in and year-out.

As ever, the answer is “it depends on you”. To find out, imagine your ideal lifestyle and make a list of what you want from your new life.

Then look at the numbers in that context. Where will your budget allow you to buy the lifestyle you’re looking for?

The important thing to remember when thinking about your retirement is, don’t compromise.

Don’t tell yourself you can live without the things you love. And, if the place you had in mind doesn’t fit with your ideal lifestyle, keep looking.

Be honest with yourself and move for the right reasons to a place where you will be happy.

Where Is The Cheapest Place To Retire?

Both Spain and Greece are excellent choices when looking for a safe and affordable place to retire.

Spain offers a high standard of living and, of course, it’s also a safe country. We recommend Valencia, where the average cost of living is 49% cheaper than the cost of living in the United States.

Portugal is also a good option – it has a low cost of living and a high standard of living. It’s also a safe country, and it has a variety of cultural attractions to offer retirees.

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