Top 11 Overseas Retirement Havens

Top 11 For 2011 Compared

Our time in Medellin this past week has inspired me to revisit our list of world’s top retirement havens for 2011. More on this in a minute…

First, more on Medellin. I can’t say enough good things about this city, which I’m increasingly convinced offers the best quality of life of any city in the region. For this reason, I’m planning two things this week as soon as I’m back in the office in Panama City.

First, I’ll meet with Conference Director Sofia Hogan to discuss adding a Live & Invest In Medellin Conference to this year’s events calendar. We’ve expanded our conference schedule considerably this year already, but I’m keen to do everything I can to make sure you have a chance to discover all that Medellin has to offer with our help.

Second, I’m going to write a follow-up report on this City of Flowers and Eternal Springtime for Overseas Retirement Letter subscribers. If you’re an ORL subscriber, you received my initial report on retirement in Medellin last month. After this return visit this past week, I have much more to share with you. The beauty of electronic publishing is that…I can! I don’t have to wait for the next planned issue. Watch for your between-issues report “Medellin, Part 2,” with more on taxes, banking, cost of living, rentals, new retirement communities, and more, later this month.

Meantime, back to our top picks for this New Year. This week’s travels in Medellin have helped me to review our list with an eye toward making comparisons. For example…

#1: Panama. Panama remains top of our list because it remains the top choice, all things considered.

The path to comfortable retirement in Panama is well-worn by others just like you who’ve already taken the plunge and are already enjoying reinvented life adventures here in the hub of the Americas.

Panama is easily accessible, boasts top-notch infrastructure, offers many good choices for establishing foreign residency, and maintains the current Gold Standard pensionado program of special benefits for retirees.

In addition, it’s possible to retire here (to Panama City and certainly to Boquete, for example) without learning to speak Spanish. I don’t recommend moving someplace where the language isn’t English and making no effort to acquire a little of the local lingo, but the point is that language doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker in Panama, as it can be elsewhere.

In addition, Panama is a tax haven (you can live here tax free, and you can operate an international business with no local tax burden, too) and the best place in the world to start a business right now (thanks to the tax advantages, but also thanks to the educated, English-speaking, affordable labor pool and the entrepreneur-friendly climate).

Panama City is hot and humid, but elsewhere in this country (Boquete and, more affordable, Santa Fe) can be cool and far more comfortable.

Bottom line: Panama remains the most user-friendly overseas retirement option. It’s the best place to operate an international business in 2011. And it’s my top pick for a budget retirement on the ocean (Las Tablas).

I’ll pick up the conversation here tomorrow, when we’ll revisit our other top picks for 2011, including the best place to retire on the Caribbean…our top recommendation for affordable luxury living on the Pacific coast…the city that offers the best overall quality of life in the Americas (yes, Medellin takes this honor)…where to go for the best overall quality of life anywhere…plus our picks for most affordable…most exotic…top part-time choices…

And more.

Hasta mañana.

Kathleen Peddicord