Malta is the smallest country in the European Union (just 122 square miles), but it has long been a vacation spot for sun-starved northern Europeans and a tax haven for the wealthy. Multi-million-dollar yachts fill Malta’s marinas. Yet you’ll find great bang for your buck here. A couple could live well on a budget of $2,000 a month.
You ain’t nothin but a hound dog...cryin’ all the time... Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit... And you ain't no friend of mine... Elvis was in the house last night. Young Elvis. Dressed in a nicely tailored black suit with a white, open-collared shirt, he serenaded our VIP readers over cocktails in the 20th-floor penthouse here at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas. As I wandered through the crowd yesterday evening, I was pleased to hear that—the occasional Elvis recollection aside—the conversations had turned to the details shared thus far about the world’s best retirement destinations.
"From curried kale chips to soy milk...every time I say, 'I wish we could get that here,' the person I'm talking to tells me we can and where I can go to pick it up...or I stumble on the item myself at the store two weeks later," said Jessica Ramesch this morning to a packed house of 800 International Living readers. "Panama just keeps getting better and better."
"You may have sunglasses on right now, but I’d say you wear rose-colored ones more often." That was the first thing a reader—I’ll call him Joe—told me this afternoon. I braced myself. He continued, "I like what you guys at International Living do, but sometimes I get the sense you omit the blemishes when you write about a place. So I was a little skeptical when I got here. I have to say, though—everything we’ve heard so far has felt like the unvarnished truth. And that’s what I came for—the benefits and the drawbacks—so I can compare my options in a realistic way."
The average U.S. Social Security check is $1,230 a month for a retired worker. That may not seem like a lot--but when you retire overseas you can cut your cost of living. Below are stories from expats who did just that.
Islands are places where the stars shine bright at night. Out in the ocean, a profound quiet exists (no traffic jams, hassled commuters, sirens). And because not everything is always so easy to get on an island, one tends to care less about “getting” at all. Life really does become simpler. That stretch of water that separates an island from the mainland is nature’s moat. It keeps these places special…apart.
First-World cities packed with ultra-modern amenities, and ancient vineyard-shrouded hill towns close to tropical beaches and mountain valleys. Among the top retirement spots in the world this year, you’ll find great variety in the cultural offerings, climates and lifestyles. Each destination is desirable in its own way, but they all offer something increasingly hard to come by at home: A good quality of life for a reasonable price.
Mi dispiace, France. I’m sorry. It’s no contest. Even in your rainy-day Brittany region, you can’t come up with a two-story house that a buyer could move into for 18,000 euro ($24,000). We can. It’s not a doll’s house either—there’s 1,290 square feet of living space.
For the last three years, I’ve lived in Cuenca, Ecuador. During that period I’ve experienced a profound transformation in the way I approach life. This beautiful mid-sized colonial city has a special magic to it. Shy vendors in our open mercados...
Out of all the countries International Living writes about, one in particular shines. It’s topped our Global Retirement Index—our pick of the 22 best countries to retire in the world—five years in a row...has a temperate climate year-round...offers a higher quality of life at an affordable price (cost of living can be as low as $900 a month)...and has a city, town or village to suit every taste or budget.