Last week we launched our annual Overseas Retirement Index, which reveals our selection of the world’s best places to retire this 2024.
This must-have dispatch features 13 beautiful, welcoming, and safe havens scattered across Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
These are outstanding places to live, and relocating to any one of them could provide you with a big lifestyle upgrade.
All 13 locales have a cheaper cost of living than the United States… Half of them are better-rated for health care… and almost all of them rank higher than the United States in terms of safety.
What are these 13 destinations?
If you’re an Overseas Living Letter subscriber, turn to your Jan. issue to find out. If you’re not yet an Overseas Living Letter subscriber, sign up today for access to the 2024 Overseas Retirement Index.
Meantime, I want to give you a sneak preview of some of the index findings. I can’t get into specifics, but I can highlight a few of the ways this year’s havens shine, especially in relation to overseas property investment…
Index Haven #1
Included for the first time in our Overseas Retirement Index series, this haven falls under our “up-and-comers” category—a shortlist of places that we’re keeping a close eye on this year and beyond.
What about it grabbed our attention? A jaw-droppingly beautiful stretch of Mediterranean coastline to start with, plus a favorable climate, rich culture, affordable costs of living, and high-quality health care.
Real estate in Index Haven #1 is a screaming bargain, priced well below the cost of comparable buys in more established Mediterranean retirement destinations. In fact, real estate in this market is the most affordable in Europe, priced at just $1,310 per square meter.
This country is also investor-friendly, offering a citizenship-by-investment program with attractive terms… part of the reason why it’s at the top of Lief Simon’s list of new emerging markets in 2024.
Index Haven #1 Property Pick
This one-bedroom, 65-square-meter apartment is situated in a comfortable, well-maintained complex that boasts a pool, lounge area, and manicured gardens.
The apartment has an open-plan kitchen-living room area and a spacious bedroom with rustic stone walls.
The property is only 300 meters from the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
It’s listed at $195,754.
Start Your New Life Today, Overseas
Index Haven #2
This haven offers all the perks that Portugal used to offer retirees—namely, a golden visa program with a real estate investment option and an enticing tax abatement program.
After Portugal changed the rules of its golden visa program (eliminating real estate from the list of qualifying investment classes), Index Haven #2’s golden visa program became the most popular in Europe.
Here, you can invest as little as 250,000 euros and gain residency, including visa-free travel in the Schengen area. This also puts you on the path to citizenship in as little as seven years.
In Index Haven #2, the property market is red hot, with the biggest price increases seen in 20 years during the first half of 2023…
But in the area of the country we highlight in the index, property remains affordable—about 23% cheaper relative to the U.S. property market.
Plus, this haven boasts deep historical roots as the ancient crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as unique landscapes, Mediterranean beaches, and some of the sunniest weather on the Continent.
This location can also be a low-tax environment for retirees, allowing residents with pension or passive income from abroad to pay a flat tax of 7% for 15 fiscal years.
Index Haven #2 Property Pick
This two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 80-square-meter detached house with a shared pool is only a five-minute walk to the nearest Mediterranean beach and a seven-minute walk to the local village.
The house features two floors, with an open-plan living area on the first floor that includes a fully fitted kitchen and patio doors that lead onto a balcony with partial sea views.
The house is set in a peaceful nine-property development that’s surrounded by olive groves.
It’s listed at $218,450.
Index Haven #3
Index Haven #3 is the most underrated beach escape in the Caribbean, with property available for a fraction of comparable beachfront locales. I estimate its property market to be 34% more affordable relative to the U.S. market.
The reason why it’s so affordable is that it’s primarily a domestic tourism destination. It has a much more famous counterpart 150 miles down the coastline, which draws heavy international tourism that drives up property and living costs.
Index Haven #3, however, offers the exact same Spanish-colonial-meets-colorful-Caribbean flair as that counterpart. It has all of the same appeal, except it’s more affordable and more culturally authentic.
The U.S. dollar remains strong against the local currency in this haven, sweetening the deal for prospective property buyers. Plus, a property purchase above a certain threshold in this country can get you a residency permit.
Index Haven #3 Property Pick
This two-bedroom, two-bedroom, 84-square-meter apartment is situated on the eighth floor of a high-rise building.
It features Caribbean Sea views from its spacious balcony and is only a stone’s throw from this haven’s most popular beach, as well as being close to restaurants, supermarkets, and public transport.
It has tourist rental permission in place, making it ideal for a buy-to-let investment.
It’s listed at $192,465.