For just over a quarter of a century, International Living has ranked, rated, and named the best retirement destinations in the world. Each year we’ve refined and improved the process, bringing new categories and considerations into play.
The Cayo District in western Belize, is known for its winding rivers, honeycomb caves, dense rainforest jungle, colorful birds, elusive jaguars, and rich Mennonite farmland. It is also the Mundo Maya, the center of the Maya World.
Advances in technology have opened up the world. Planes, trains and the Internet are all getting faster and—if you know where to look—you can embrace these changes and make your dream of exploring dozens of overseas destinations come true. Right now, living internationally...
Boca Chica is a slow-paced fishing village of only 300 inhabitants, right on the Pacific Ocean. Here you won’t find any grocery stores, gas stations, or services—but that’s the beauty of it. Boca Chica is where you come to experience nature and the beauty of Panama.
For decades Costa Rica has been among the world’s premier retirement destinations. It still is. Chuck and his wife Anna launched their Pura Vida lifestyle in 2012. They sought a mild climate, better healthcare, amazing views, and lots to do…and all at a lower cost of living. You’ll find established and welcoming expat communities all across the country. It’s easy to make friends to explore the jungle with, or to share an ice-cold, two-buck Pilsen beer while watching the sun set from a beach.
Turns out one of the best places to find small-town America… is in Costa Rica. I’m talking about Atenas, a village of 5,000 in the Central Valley region in the interior of the country. Expats that have made their home here—mostly retirees—say the warm and friendly locals and a very welcoming expat community remind them of where they grew up.
Not surprisingly, Europe delivers strongly on healthcare; in each of our five picks, you’ll find healthcare professionals and facilities of a world-class standard. But perhaps more surprisingly, the care on offer in these countries won’t leave you counting pennies.
Panama is a diverse country with differing climates and geography. In Chiriquí, many expats seem to settle in David, Boquete, and Bocas del Toro. These three locations are uniquely different from each other in climate, location, and the size of their expat communities.
Several years ago, I found the dream car I’d always wanted, sitting on a lot in Phoenix, Arizona. It was a 1988 Mercedes 560SL—a two-seater with a removable hardtop—with only 40,000 miles, for just $15,000. And for just another $800, the guy even delivered it to my driveway in Vermont. It was the perfect car for going on a Sunday drive…when it wasn’t raining or snowing that is, and when there was no salt on the road.
Playa del Carmen lies about midway between the all-inclusive resort hub of Cancún and the up-and-coming, low-key, and still somewhat bohemian destination of Tulúm. It’s a happy medium between those two extremes and a favorite for those seeking to live an active retirement in an atmosphere that is sophisticated, yet laidback at the same time.