Many Americans are making plans to retire overseas. With housing less expensive and with expanding ex-pat communities around the world, doing so seems less foreign for many retirees with an adventuresome open mind.
Here are five top foreign retirement destinations.
1. Costa Rica
While Costa Rica has been a fun vacation destination for those who love a vibrant ecosystem — with stunning beaches to tan on and lush rain forests to explore — it has emerged as a popular retirement spot. The lower cost of living there along with the small Latin American country's beautiful landscape has made it a welcoming spot for those who enjoy a warm climate and nature. "Costa Rica is a hugely popular retirement haven for the climate, neighborly atmosphere, low cost of living, excellent health care, stable democracy and countless ways to have fun," Forbes said.
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Those heading to Mexico for retirement can enjoy cheap housing as well as a burgeoning retiree network. From vacation areas like Tulum to destinations on the country's western coast, there are many spots that offer a resort environment with sun, beaches, and slow living.
Noted International Living
: "Expat havens in communities such as Puerto Vallarta and San Miguel de Allende ease the integration process, while excellent property can still be found for far less than you’d pay in the States. … In communities where expats flock, health care is as good as what you’d expect at home, but delivered at a much lower cost, leaving you with plenty of money in your wallet to enjoy the innumerable activities and cultural treasures this large and diverse country has to offer."
Tiny Belize is not just for honeymooners. Many are seeking it out as a beach destination worthy of retirement — and one where they can't keep grandchildren and children away. English is the official language. The nation also allows retirees to have a fast track to residency, the AARP noted
4. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands — St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John — are a somewhat pricey but alluring draw for those who seek beaches, mountains and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. A boater’s paradise, the islands offer new retirees an international community and a resort right outside their door. Easy flights out of St. Thomas — a ferry ride away — make getting back stateside a breeze. Islands noted "cheap real estate
and few legal hurdles," too.
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While it might not be on most people's travel radar, Forbes named the South American nation of Ecuador as its No. 1 pick for retirement abroad in 2015.
The magazine, citing a ranking from International Living, called Ecuador “the perfect location for someone in search of a happy and fulfilling life overseas.”
Added Forbes: "Retirees can pick their climate and lifestyle — from being a Pacific beach bum to an Andes mountaineer." A retired couple there pays an average monthly rent of $450. A doctor's visit in the country costs about $10.
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