Retiring abroad can be an attractive option for those wishing to experience a change of scenery and a lower cost of living. Here are our top 5 overseas places to retire in 2018!
1. Arequipa, Peru
According to the Consumer Price Plus Rent Index, life in Peru will cost you around 30% of what it costs to live in New York City. And aside from being a financially feasible place to lay down the digs, Peru is one of the most culturally and geographically diverse nations in the world.
Arequipa, Peru’s second-largest city, in particular, is on the radar of in-the-know expats. It’s a tenth of the size of the capital Lima but just as impressive. It’s got history, proudly producing one of Latin America’s most influential novelists, Mario Vargas Llosa. It’s got culture, with a heavy influence of Spanish and Andean traditions contributing to an unrivaled culinary scene. You’ll enjoy dishes such as ocopa (boiled potato in a creamy, spicy sauce) and Camarones (prawn chowder). And it’s affordable, with a week’s worth of groceries for a family of two setting you back only $20. Not to mention, you’re smack dab in the middle of a wide array of natural wonders, including the mountaintop Inca citadel of Macchu Picchu and the jungle regions of the Amazon.
2. Budapest, Hungary
Divided into two merged towns — Buda and Pest — by the scenic Danube River, Budapest is the only Eastern European spot in the Top 10 Best Places to Retire Abroad from Live and Invest Overseas.
One of the most historic cities in Europe, this bustling metropolis enjoys a high level of stability that foreigners often search for when moving to another country. The living is (relatively) cheap, crime is low, and the country is well-connected by train. There’s plenty of history, entertainment, and culture.
On the elegant Buda side, you’ll find the Buda Castle, crumbling Citadella, and the Hungarian president’s residence Sandor Palace. On the more vibrant Pest side, you’ll enjoy a wealth of eateries, museums, and culture. Budapest is routinely noted by expats for its hospitable residents, stunning architecture, and central geographical location. Don’t let the language barrier get you down: many Hungarians speak English, as well.
3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia, a Southeast Asian country located just off the tip of Thailand, is known for its gorgeous beaches, untouched rainforest, and unique mix of developed and modern cities. In recent years, Malaysia has experienced a rapid bout of economic growth, but the cost of living (excluding rent) is still 43% lower than in the United States. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, has experienced an influx in expats for this very reason, making it an up-and-coming global destination, especially for those looking to retire in 2018. The weather is another reason to move – with temperatures averaging around 80 degrees fahrenheit year-round.
Expats are welcomed in by the warm, kind nature of Malaysians, and because many Malays speak good English, there’s no need to feel isolated. As for activities, there is a wealth of culture and entertainment in this Southeast Asian country. From the iconic Petronas Twin Towers to shopping in the local markets, it won’t take long before you’re feeling like a local.
4. Ticino, Switzerland
Switzerland continuously ranks number one or two on the list of “happiest countries in the world,” and we’re not surprised. Our European friend shares its borders with five other European countries, giving any person living or visiting the country complete and easy access to some of the top destinations in the world (Italy, France, Germany, hello!). Ticino in particular is popular for its proximity to Italy, not to mention its great weather year-round. Ticino has a vibe very similar to its southern counterpart, with many expats and tourists describing it as having an Italian flair, with piazzas and trees dominating the skyline. For those interested in winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding (or drinking a glass of local Ticinese wine with a view) the snow-capped peaks of the Alps are always close by. And though the cost of living is quite a bit higher than most places, we’re willing to bet that bar of Swiss chocolate will have you forgiving the price tag.
5. Abruzzo, Italy
Just a few (thousand) miles south of Ticino is Abruzzo, an area known by some as "the most overlooked and undervalued" region in Central Italy. Abruzzo has it all — lakes, coastline, skyscraping mountain ranges, and UNESCO heritage sites. The natural beauty, and prime placement along the Adriatic Sea, makes Abruzzo a remarkable place to retire to. The region is home to idyllic beaches and seven picturesque lakes, with options for water sports such as rafting and canoeing. It’s the perfect setting in which to get lost — though we do recommend bringing a map should you choose to hike through any of the numerous trails spanning the region. Whether you’re a fan of the great outdoors or a culinary delights, Abruzzo is definitely the place to be. Come for the nature, stay for the food. Abruzzo’s location, just along the border of the Adriatic Sea, contributes to its varied and wonderfully delicious cuisine (even offering a variety of culinary courses for those interested in trying their hand at pasta or pizza-making).
Looking to learn more about Italy? Check out 14 Less Well-Known Italian Attractions.
If you’re looking to retire somewhere exciting, consider these destinations. Why not turn every day into a vacation?