Best countries to retire to in 2014

If you're ready to retire and looking to live an expat's life, these are your best options this year.

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166Comments
Jan 17, 2014 9:27AM
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I also have traveled the world doing volunteer work, been in 54 countries and if I were to choose a country out side the US, it would be Costa Rica. Why? - In 1948, the country abolished it's military and concentrated on tourism.  Costa Rica is the richest of the southern countries and there are a lot of Americans living there. The best reason is because they have excellent medical. And if you are old and move to some exotic  island... what would you do if you got sick? The biggest problem Americans have is to adjust to the snail pace life style there.  But if your life style is nothing but chilling.... it;s nice. 
Jan 17, 2014 11:08AM
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All of Central and South America is very dangerous due to one little bug, the assassin bug.    It is commonly called the kissing bug "chinche assassino".    It carries a very bad disease by the name of Chagas disease and it is common throughout Southern Mexico to Argentina.   Also, all Latin countries are subject to terrible corruption.   I know, sorry I live part of the year in Mexico and the country is totally corrupt.   There is a civil war going on in the state of Michoacan.  The cost of living has risen dramatically since the election of Pena Nieto as President.  The economy is in a tailspin.  Banamex is closing many of its branches because of the bad economy.   The Mexican government recently sent in Marines to confiscate about 70 American owned boats with no prior advise or anything.    If you visit Mexico, visit Cabo and arrive by air. DO NOT bring in your boat to Mexico.   Only bring in what you can put in a bag and nothing more.   I do not recommend anyone move to Mexico unless you have family living there.   Petty theft is rampant and the police will do absolutely nothing.  In some cases, it is the police doing the thefts.   DO NOT even think about buying a little MJ.   Your run the risk of being kidnapped or murdered.   States not to visit.   Michoacan, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Durango, Guerrero.   My advise is to visit Cabo San Lucas or Cancun.   Do not listen to anything the Mexican government tells you about safety or anything else.  
Jan 17, 2014 11:29AM
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There is no best place to retire to suit all, It's what location meets your standards.
Jan 17, 2014 2:21AM
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I have been literally all over this world except for the south pole : my place is America.  It's where it's at.  Bitch, gripe or complain....fine.  You go, I'll stay, amigo.  Heads up, RETIRED IN MESA.





Jan 18, 2014 8:24PM
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I have been all over Europe and many places in Mexico..Finally, I bought a lovely condo deep in the heart of Harlem..The jungle like atmosphere is quite exotic..The tribes there can barely speak English but they have TV's and love to watch the Maury Povich show. The tribal music is exhilarating with its ebonics language and heart pounding thumping beats. Travel is fabulous although the filth and urine smelling subway stations may cause some nausea. Taking a trip over to Brooklyn is a fabulous adventure. The tribes of Brooklyn are quite similar to the tribes of Manhattan and the Bronx jungles..But, they all have one thing in common - They detest the white man..Be careful or you may get a "knockout special"..Yes friends, Harlem is gentrified and the pace to be,, Also, your Medicare will cover all your hospital expenses..And, living in Harlem is going to bring you some physical damages you won't walk away from..Viva Harlem !
Jan 16, 2014 8:41PM
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Lived in Panama for the last 4 years.  Do not believe the hype.  Lots of problems, corruption, and the prices are going up.  I am back in the US and it is actually cheaper to live here.
Jan 16, 2014 10:34PM
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Cuba should be on the list for all those here in the US who love socialism.
Jan 17, 2014 11:22AM
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In Laos last fall I ate for as little as 38 cents a meal (rice noodle soup with veggies).  I then spent 10 weeks traveling across China (bus surfing) and in one 4 week period I spent $150 on housing (small apartment - cold water only) and $62 on food from street vendors.  It was wonderful.  The Chinese people are the most kind, most generous and the most friendly people of any country I have visited over the last 30 years (18 countries).  


Mexico is nice but pricy (10 trips there). In Panama, despite plenty of Americans living there for 75 years, it was hard to find anyone (retail, taxi drivers, etc) that spoke English and saw a lot of areas forgotten by their government.  I was stupid, and visited Guatemala City in January without reading about it before I left  and nearly froze.  Its elevation is a 1000 feet higher than Denver and surrounded by mountains so its cool, about 60 degrees but sunny.


I visited Malaysia 20 years ago and (at that time) found hotels with breakfast or guest houses for $4 a night and fresh 1/4 pound shrimp for about $1.50 a pound from fishermen. Asia is a long flight however so if you go plan to stay a few months.


Just go.  Head for Central/South America r Asia and try 2-3 different countries spending a month or more in each.  Then decide.

Jan 18, 2014 5:03PM
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Malta is my dream retirement place.  Great weather, English spoken, safe to walk alone or at night, and excellent new medical center.  Many have never heard of Malta, so it will be my little secret.


Jan 17, 2014 3:39PM
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I just renewed my Costa Rican residency recently and will apply for Permanent Residency next year. Most of the married men I know who moved down here have since had their wives leave and go back to the States due to infidelities.  My medical care and drugs run less than my old part B cost me. The ED drugs are available in the pharmacies without a prescription and are reasonable in price. This is one of the reasons for marital break ups. Gossip is never tolerated among the expats here, but we "share" a lot.
Jan 17, 2014 11:04AM
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Many countries on the list are third world dumps.
Jan 18, 2014 6:08PM
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I have been retired for 17 yrs..I live in Fresno California, have lived here for almost 30 yrs. Before here I lived all over California, LA, SF, SD, Manhattan Beach and many beach cities..I have been to many asian countries, and also Hawaii...I love Washington, especially the Port Angeles and Sequim areas. I spent four months about five years ago traveling all over the USA in my older Motor Home with my two Dogs...I really enjoyed  the trip, would stop at most truck/rest stops..Sometimes I would drive only 50-100 miles a day...In the 50's while in the USAF I  was stationed in Guam and the Phillipines and Osaka Japan...I have never been to Europe..no interest...Would love to move to Washington as noted, but as I get older my tolerance for cold weather diminishes...We all dream of retiring to a paradise, but for me the USA is the best..Living in the USA allows one access to everything, medical and variation of where to live..Maybe in a year or so I may go North??  I'll talk to my dogs first......
Jan 18, 2014 4:36PM
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This list is only good if you speak Spanish.  Why overlook the  British-speaking islands of the  Caribbean?  They are peaceful, English-speaking, have modern amenities and not nearly as prone to violence and revolution at the Latin nations.
Jan 18, 2014 7:19PM
Jan 17, 2014 2:59PM
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I swear ....

International Living must have pictures of MSN's President cavorting with llamas in Ecuador ...

This is the same old, same old drivel that leads the reader to SPAM Central ...
Jan 18, 2014 8:46PM
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Somewhat accurate piece, I have been living in Colombia for 15 years, my wife and I are both retired pensioners and we live entirely on our retirement income.  8 Years ago we bought a lot in a private comdominium and built our retirement home.  Our house and lot (2 acres) would cost over 1 million bucks in my home state of Calif., we bult it completely for 150K.  All brick home with modern ammenities.  300 days a year of sunshine, never cold,100 fruit tres, bananas, oranges, tanngerines, avacodos, mangos etc. and never one dangerous incident.  Our combined SS puts us in the top 10% of wage earners here.
Jan 17, 2014 12:59AM
Jan 18, 2014 4:35PM
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If I had my choice it would be Australia.  Lived there years ago and have regretted leaving ever since.  


Jan 18, 2014 5:03PM
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Didn't they have the same article about a month ago.  They still forget that Medicare (if you're retired, you probably get it), does not cover out of the country care, for the most part.
Jan 18, 2014 5:07PM
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I was just in Panama a while back and can't believe this site believes it is a good place to retire, Gas was almost $4.00 a gallon and every thing was expensive.   I guess if your rich it would be good?  Spain isn't too bad and wouldn't live in Mexico if they paid me.  Tailand is pretty cheap along with Malaysia is pretty cheap in most places.
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