The Best Places to Retire Overseas and Get Discounted Airfare

When moving overseas you may be worried about seeing your family back home or saving your money to get to the U.S. when you need to. However some countries offer discounted airfare to retirees—which will lower your travel costs.

International Living’s just released Annual Global Retirement Index takes discounted airfare into consideration when ranking the top retirement havens of 2014. Here are some of the best countries where you can get a discount on airline tickets if you’re classed as a retiree.

Panama

As part of the Pensionado program you are entitled to 25% off airline tickets of national airlines. The government-backed program subsidizes your travel to make your retirement more affordable. To qualify for this program you must draw a pension of at least $1,000 per month. You can opt to pool your pension with your spouse’s pension to meet the minimum requirement, provided you’ll be applying together.

Panama offers a very comfortable retirement solution, in part because the nation is much more developed than most visitors expect. Many are surprised by the modernity of Panama and the clusters of skyscrapers that define Panama City’s skyline. All of the amenities you could wish for are readily available. You can easily see the influence of the many different nationalities that co-exist so peacefully in Panama today. Walk the city streets and you will hear English and dozens of other languages, you’ll see temples and synagogues near churches, and gourmet Panamanian restaurants alongside ethnic eateries.

Beyond the famous city skyline, you’ll find a country that is steeped in folklore, proud of its roots and history, and enriched by cloud forests, Caribbean islands, highland hamlets, miles of coastline, and massive indigenous reservations.

Panama’s Copa Airlines has turned this nation into a true hub, expanding the airport and adding new direct flights every year.

Ecuador

If you’re 65 or older in Ecuador, you qualify for the same retiree benefits that its own citizens enjoy. The best of these benefits are the half-price rates on international and domestic airline tickets. For foreign residents living in the U.K., Canada or the west coast of the U.S., annual savings can be in the thousands of dollars. To take advantage of this discount, international flights must originate in, and return to, Ecuador.

Ecuador is one of the world’s most affordable places to live. Here, you can settle into the lap of luxury on a pensioner’s budget. And there is something for everyone–from beaches and rural highlands to jungle escapes and colonial cities. You’ll enjoy a quality of life that’s hard to beat, and an experience in living that you won’t get anywhere else.

Ecuador’s small size (about the size of Nevada) belies its incredible diversity. The Andes Mountains form Ecuador’s backbone, to the east lie dense tropical rainforests and to the west balmy Pacific beaches. In between, you’ll find more climates, cultures, and natural wonders than almost any place on earth. Ecuador’s compact size makes it possible to experience the many different environments in a single day: modern cities, jungle river towns, coastal fishing villages, isolated cattle ranches, and ancient haciendas.

Discounts on airfare will not only allow you to visit your family and friends back home, but also allow you to frequent the surrounding area of your new country easily and affordably. This benefit can both save you money and enrich your cultural experience.

International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2014 analyzes lots of data across eight categories, and we also interview expats to get the “ground truth” from each country in the Index .We only rank the top havens so even the last on the list is still a great place to retire.

To read the full articles on the World’s Best Retirement Havens in 2014, see here.

Editor’s Note: Learn more about destinations where health care is affordable and good, living costs are lower, property is a bargain and the retirement benefits are top-notch. Sign up for IL‘s free daily postcards below and receive a FREE report on the world’s top 10 Retirement Havens.

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