Best countries for expats to retire in 2021

Best countries for expats to retire in 2021  –  before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance, and mortgages, you can contact me here

The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country, especially if you are looking for enhanced income.


Moving to retire abroad is a decisive and responsible step. It opens up life prospects and opportunities for many people. The main thing is to plan everything correctly and take into account many nuances, so as not to accidentally take old problems with you to a new place. Today we will show you the best countries you can easily retire but first of all, we should make a to-do list before going abroad.

Best countries for expats to retire in 2021

Choose a country to live 

When a wealthy person says to himself: “I want to go abroad,” he still has a poor idea of how many cases he will have to face. One of the most important questions is “To which country I should go for permanent residence and retirement?”

Many people make a mistake already at this stage, drawing for themselves a house in a rich German village or a French chateau. And then they are surprised to learn that it is extremely difficult to move to Germany or France. While choosing a country for moving, first of all, consider how easily the country welcomes the immigrants and give them the official status there.

Countries such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, which are among the top states in Europe, are now not very willing to issue residence permits to former residents of the CIS countries for example.

Therefore, choose the country from those where you can get the status of a residence permit, or citizenship right away and after retirement. Without the presence of these statuses, you will have the right to legally stay in the country for 90-180 days, until the visa expires. Note that this applies to all members of the applicant’s family.

Get to know the country 

A fast choice of a country where you want to retire, only considering the ease of getting a residence permit and retiring will not be enough. You need to first obtain tourist visas for the family and travel to the selected country for face-to-face encounters. Remember that this is not a tourist trip, imagine as if you were living in a country. 

  • Spend there a few weeks and try to visit the country in different seasons: winter, summer, as it will give you more information
  • Compare the nature and climate with your current country, does it suits all family members, you should feel good in that climate conditions
  • Rent an apartment / house in the intended area of residence 
  • Check out the infrastructure, including transport 
  • How friendly are the locals and are they likable to you 
  • How safe is the area / city where you want to live

Standard of living

A number of programs require you to declare income in accordance with a certain subsistence level. For instance, in order to obtain a residence permit in Austria for a family of 4 members, you will have to show proof of your annual income of about 60 thousand euros. However, please note that these requirements may differ from the actual cost of living. However, when visiting the country, try to spend a lifestyle day, which means evaluate the level of prices in the stores, and how much will cost the life for you

  • Spend money on your usual household needs
  • Buy local produce, clothing, compare price levels
  • Find out how much utilities cost, what is included
  • How much will your family’s or partner’s entertainment cost


Whenever you’ll be sure that the chosen country is a good option for you, it is time for preparing your documents and pay some fees. Start by getting all your documents ready. The documents will be essential to obtain residence permits or citizenship and after form your retirement.

So that you don’t miss anything, we recommend seeking help from a company that professionally deals with immigration. Their experienced specialists will advice you on how to start your immigration, how to collect a package of documents, necessary extracts, certify them, and apostille them.

So what are the best countries to retire?

For a pensioner who decides to move abroad to live on a permanent basis, it is very important to know that the vast majority of countries are ready to accept him, provided that his financial condition is stable. If you are sure you can submit all the necessary documents, obtain property and support yourself, there will be no problems finding a place suitable for spending your senior years.

It should be borne in mind that many states provide for the possibility of obtaining a residence permit under special migration programs, which will allow them to legalize their presence in the country for a certain period. After that, the pensioner can use the procedure for applying for permanent residence, and in many states, a simplified scheme is provided for this.

The best countries where pensioners live comfortably are located in various parts of the world. Traditionally, these are the EU countries, where the standard of living is better than in other countries.

Note that the lack of funds for obtaining real estate and for making serious financial investments does not mean that the pensioner will not be able to move abroad.

There are quite a few countries where the quality of life is slightly higher, and living is much cheaper than in other countries.

If you are dreaming of warm sun and fuller life, in which concern for food recedes into the background, pensioners in developed Western countries increasingly began to meet the sunset of their days away from their homeland.

If you are looking for a quiet place with a warm climate, low cost of living, and a favorable tax regime without compromising the usual comfort and quality of medical care, then this article will definitely help you.

Whether it’s shady towns in southern France or the beaches of Central America, this guide is what you need.


It is cheaper to live there than in the capital of the Philippines, Manila, which is considered one of the least expensive capital cities in Southeast Asia.

If in your old age, you want to live where money will last for a long time, perhaps Panama, the southernmost country in Central America, will suit you. Its capital, also called Panama, ranks 124th in the cost of living out of 131 cities in the world, according to a study by the analytical department of the influential English-language magazine “The Economist”.

According to, which tracks prices for FMCG prices, a three-course meal for two at an average Panama restaurant costs 32.50 Panamanian balboas ($ 32.50) – more than half the price of New York. And since the local currency is pegged to the US dollar, American retirees need not fear price spikes as a result of exchange rate fluctuations.

The main condition for obtaining a visa is the availability of a stable guaranteed income. If you receive a pension of at least $ 1,000 a month (both private and government pension payments are counted), you are unlikely to have any problems obtaining a tourist visa for retirees, which is valid for life.

The healthcare system in Panama is considered good, with many doctors being educated in the United States and Europe. However, retirees should set aside at least $ 200 a month to pay for private health insurance.

But the purchase of real estate will not require a lot of money. According to some property websites, a three-room apartment in the popular mountain town of Boquete can be purchased for about $ 179,000. The rights of foreigners to own real estate are the same as those of local residents.

The main drawback is the poor road infrastructure outside the capital. Despite this, in 2015, Panama was ranked second after Ecuador among the best destinations for retirees, according to International Living magazine. Low prices, a wide range of leisure opportunities and proximity to the United States have played in its favor – a flight from Miami, located in the southeastern United States in Florida, takes only two and a half hours.

In addition, the US Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Board estimates that Panama is relatively safe compared to some Central American countries.


It is not without reason that France enjoys the greatest popularity among tourists – it attracts with beautiful cities and villages, exquisite cuisine, affordable wine and a warm climate in the south – these are just a few reasons why this country occupies almost the first place in the European Union in terms of the number of permanent residents territory of foreigners.

However, accessibility is not France’s greatest strength in the eyes of retirees. Taxes and social security contributions are quite high there, in addition, residents of France are taxed on the value of all your property if it exceeds 800 thousand euros, regardless of location.

However, not everything is as bad as it might seem at first glance. France has excellent public transport, including the high-speed rail network. From Paris to Montpellier, 600 kilometers south of the capital, the TGV takes just over three hours, with discounts for passengers aged 60 and over.

In addition, according to the World Health Organization, France boasts the best healthcare system in the world, which is heavily subsidized by the government. Thus, holders of a residence permit in France are likely to have lower health care costs than citizens of other Western countries.

In addition, life in France is not always more expensive than in other countries. There are inexpensive restaurants there, and property prices outside of Paris are relatively low.

So, according to the French notaries who oversee the sale and purchase of the real estate, a typical accommodation option in the Creuse department in the Limousin region, located in the Massif Central Mountains, will cost only 73 thousand euros, and a medium-sized house in the Alpes-Maritimes in the region Provence – Alpes – Côte d’Azur, where such famous resorts as Cannes are located, can be purchased for 415 thousand euros.


Do you want to enjoy the sun all year round? Then you are in Malaysia! This former British colony has everything your heart desires, from the bustling capital city of Kuala Lumpur dotted with skyscrapers to tropical beaches and deep jungles.

And living there is quite inexpensive – in the world index of the cost of living, prepared by International Living magazine, Malaysia is ranked third in terms of cost. As reported in the magazine, the two can comfortably live in a luxury apartment overlooking the ocean for $ 1,700 a month., which analyzes the costs of expats in different countries, states that prices for medical care and housing in Malaysia are “very low” compared to expensive options such as Hong Kong and Australia.

Malaysia is one of the most popular health tourism destinations; in 2013, according to the Malaysian Medical Tourism Board, 700,000 people came here to improve their health.

Foreigners are also attracted by tax breaks. Within the framework of the residency program in two countries, it is relatively easy for retirees to obtain a residence permit in Malaysia, and with it, exemption from inheritance taxes and the sale of real estate. In addition, they usually receive a pension or social assistance that is not subject to Malaysian taxes (although American retirees may have to pay US income tax on it).

In addition, many in the country speak English, restaurants are cheap, and foreigners have direct ownership of real estate; all in all, Malaysia is a great place!


Malta – one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in the world – covers an area of ​​just over 300 square kilometers with a population of 400 thousand people. For many of the inhabitants of this southern European island, English is their native language, and it is only three hours to fly to London from here, so it is not surprising that the British have chosen this place – more than five thousand British citizens live on the island.

Here British retirees feel at home (British shops are open everywhere) and even better (in Malta, unlike the UK, it is very sunny, and the average annual temperature is + 18 ° C). An additional benefit is the “Maltese Pension Plan”, under which the income tax for EU citizens who have received a residence permit in Malta is only 15%, compared to 30-40% in the US and Europe.

In the local dialect “malta” means “honey”, and retirees really flock here like bees. This is no coincidence: the country has an excellent healthcare system (according to the WTO, Malta ranks fifth in the world for this indicator), and all citizens of the country are provided with medical assistance free of charge. Moreover, under the Mutual Health Support Treaty between Malta and the UK, the British can count on the same conditions.

The rich history and beautiful architecture of this picturesque island is also available to everyone.

Renting a three-room apartment in the capital of Malta, Valletta, will cost 700 euros, while a three-course meal for two in an average restaurant costs only 50 euros.


landscapes of Falésia beach next to Albufeira Portugal

Portugal attracts tourists with its many charming fishing villages, medieval towns, beaches, and golf courses. Foreigners have settled here for a long time, so many speak English here.

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, famous for its wonderful Mediterranean climate. But retirees who come to Portugal settle mainly on the Atlantic coast in the Algarve with its azure waters, sunny weather throughout the year, and average air temperatures from + 12 ° C in January to + 24 ° C in July.

Whichever part of the country retirees choose, they are guaranteed a preferential tax regime. Under the non-indigenous system, income earned abroad may be tax-exempt for up to ten years.

Outside of the most luxurious resort towns in Portugal, such as Quinta do Lago or Vilamoura, the cost of housing is set within reasonable limits. Prices for one-room apartments in the popular resort of Albufeira, according to the real estate website, start at 60 thousand euros. In the world WHO ranking, the Portuguese health system is in 12th place.


Low cost of living, no taxes on retirement income earned abroad, tropical climate and a culture of respect for elders – what more could a retiree want from life in a state called the “Land of Smiles”?

Living there is really quite inexpensive. The magazine’s cost-of-living benchmark index ranks Thailand as the second cheapest, with a luxury two-room apartment with great views available for less than 40,000 baht ($ 1,200) a month, and traditional Thai rice noodles for as little as a dollar.

A one-year retirement visa is issued to those who receive a monthly pension of 65,000 Baht ($ 2,000) or deposit 800,000 Baht ($ 24,000) with a Thai bank.

The budget needs to include the cost of local health insurance. While the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office rates many private clinics as meeting Western standards, that local hospitals vary in the level of care they receive.


Belize is the only Latin American country with English as its official language, which is why more and more retirees are coming here, fascinated by swaying palm trees and white sandy beaches.

The population of the country is only 350 thousand people, but the number of ecotourists who are attracted by rainforests, traces of the Mayan civilization and the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere is constantly growing.

An additional benefit has been created for retirees in the form of a special retirement program that provides a number of tax benefits, in particular, exemption from import duties on certain household items, such as a car or yacht, as well as from taxes on income, including on investments, received outside Belize. The program applies to people over the age of 45 with a monthly income of at least two thousand dollars.

Property prices are lower than in the United States, but not as much as in other Central American countries. Rumor has it that Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio recently bought an islet west of the Belizean archipelago’s largest island, Ambergris Key, for $ 1.75 million. But it is still relatively easy to buy real estate in Belize – the contract is concluded in English, and local laws are built according to the British system, which protects the interests of buyers.

Belize has inexpensive private clinics that offer quality medical care, but many foreigners prefer to travel to the United States for complex procedures – insurance often covers the cost of the flight.


Sofia, Bulgaria, Europe

Bulgaria appears to be a visited and popular resort among tourists and immigrants. It is quite possible to move here on a permanent basis, since such a state boasts a number of advantages over most other areas:

  • excellent weather conditions;
  • affordable cost of groceries, everyday goods and real estate;
  • convenience in receiving a pension, due to the possibility of sending it directly to a Bulgarian bank;
  • no need to learn the language and the simplest legalization procedure in Bulgaria.

All these advantages make it possible to call this state ideal for permanent residence for a pensioner who has decided to leave his country. The main advantage, in comparison with other areas, is the low cost of housing. You can buy a dwelling for only 500 thousand rubles or less. When choosing which country to leave for, many opt for this particular option.


China is an extremely popular destination for traveling retirees who decide to move to other countries for permanent residence. The main factor explaining this situation is the cost of real estate in the northern regions of China, which is several times cheaper than domestic prices.

Given this popularity, it can be assumed that the traveler will surely meet many of his compatriots living in the territory of this state. The healthcare system of the Celestial Empire is developing, which provides a number of advantages for the elderly.

An additional dignity is a respect for the elderly, which seems to be the most important component of Chinese culture.

As you can see the variety is really rich, you have a wide range of options from where you can pick the best option for you. We hope this article helped you somehow to decide the country you want to retire in.

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