“I am a 72 year old female, and I’m by myself. Where could I go and not worry being alone?”
–Louise C., United States
Paris is an ideal choice if your budget allows. You’ll find many retired Americans and plenty of English speaking groups to hook up with.
Avoiding the tourist areas can make Paris affordable, but, if your budget still doesn’t allow it, there are plenty of places in France that fit the bill. I recommend Languedoc. You can also read more here and here.
A popular place for expat retirees, Languedoc also happens to be the home of The American Women’s Group of Languedoc-Roussillon…likely a great place to meet friends.
If Europe is too far, and assuming you’re looking for plenty of fellow expats, you could also check out Boquete in Panama, or Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. Both places are teeming with North Americans, and you’d have no problem finding friends. Plus, you wouldn’t even need to learn Spanish.
“I am looking to retire soon and my wife in about two years. At that point, we are considering moving overseas. I would like to spend time traveling to various countries, meeting with local expats and picking their brains. Is there a source for finding these expat groups? I thoroughly enjoy your insights in these matters and look forward to hearing from you.”
— Mark D., United States (November 25, 2008)
A good place to start is the local American Chamber of Commerce in the larger cities in the country where you’re considering settling.
Another good source are local English-language newspapers. These are often available free in the country and distributed at the better hotels (and, here in Panama, for example, in the big American-style grocery stores). You can also search online for “English-language publications in FILL IN COUNTRY OR CITY HERE.”