When it comes to thinking about having an amazing retirement, we look forward to long days of leisure and the opportunity to spend more time doing what we love. One of those opportunities is to pack your bags and travel to exotic destinations. But why just have a vacation? Why not retire to the many premier travel destinations the world has to offer?
Whether it’s just for a change of scenery, more affordable healthcare or to minimize your overall cost of living, many Americans choose to spend their golden years in international locations where the weather is better and life moves at a slower pace.
So, if you’re considering relocating to another country for your retirement, we have 11 of the best destinations that will not only provide you with the relaxation you need but with a few more extra dollars in your pocket.
Here Are the Best Locations for Your Retirement!
1. St. Andrews, Scotland
If you are a fan of golf, then why not settle down in the place where the game was invented, St Andrews. It might at first glance seem like just a tiny town on the east coast of Fife in Scotland, but it has so much more to offer after you’ve played 18 rounds at the Old Course or one of 10 other courses in the town.
Take a stroll through the tranquility of Craigtoun Country Park or St. Andrews Botanic Garden to enjoy the town’s natural beauty. Or perhaps take off your shoes and walk along the town’s three beaches. Once you’ve paid a visit to the museums or the aquarium, you can sit back and enjoy a pint of Scottish ale at one of the twenty bars dotted across the town.
2. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Located along the Caribbean Sea in the municipality of Solidaridad, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, Playa del Carmen is not only a popular and affordable vacation spot. It has the best of both worlds by being modern yet quaint. There are many beach clubs to relax at, or you can just go to the beach, put down your towel, and enjoy the enticing turquoise waters.
You can bask in temperatures in the 80s and 90s year-round as you walk to the town’s public square or feast on the many culinary delights the eateries on La Quinta Avenida have to offer. If you’re looking for a bit more excitement, you can go snorkeling in the Caribbean or head out to explore the enigmatic Mayan ruins in Tulum.
3. Santorini, Greece
Located between Ios and Anafi islands, Santorini is a volcanic island in the Cyclades group of the Greek islands and one of the country’s most popular destinations. Renowned for its dramatic views and stunning sunsets from Oia town with its whitewashed houses perched on the cliffs above a blue Grecian sea. You can really live life at a slower pace in this iconic place.
Once you’ve laid on beaches awash in black, red and white lava pebbles, why not spoil yourself with spa treatments, wine tasting, vineyards tours, shopping in luxurious fashion boutiques and romantic dinners with a view to the endless Aegean Sea. If you’re feeling a little dangerous then you can visit the volcano’s crater in Nea Kameni.
4. Killarney, Ireland
Many American’s can trace their ancestry back to the Emerald Isle, so it remains a popular destination. In Ireland, one such place is located on emerald hills overlooking the lake Lough Leane, Killarney. It has been named Ireland’s tidiest town and the cleanest town in the country. If you’re a history buff, this town is the place for you as it’s home to St Mary’s Cathedral, Ross Castle, Muckross House, and Abbey. Or you can explore the ruins of the Innisfallen Abbey on Innisfallen Island.
If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, then the area has the Lakes of Killarney, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Purple Mountain, Mangerton Mountain, Paps Mountain, the Gap of Dunloe, and Torc Waterfall. If you pay a visit to Killarney National Park, the first national park in Ireland, you can boat, bike, ride horses, or fish.
5. Marrakech, Morocco
When it comes to a city that mixes history with modern amenities, Marrakech is the place for you. World-famous for its ‘souks’ (markets), with Souk Semmarine being the biggest, this former imperial city in western Morocco is a major economic center and home to mosques, palaces, and gardens. If you really want to delve into the city’s history, you’ll want to visit the 11th-century Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
If you’re looking to relax, you can pay a visit to a hammam, a traditional Moroccan bathhouse, or sit sipping a green tea with mint, Morocco’s most popular drink, along the wide boulevards of the Villa Nouvelle as the world passes by. Breath in a diverse mix of several architectural and artistic features such as the Bahia Palace, Kotoubia Mosque, and Saadian Tombs.
6. Istanbul, Turkey
Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, and formerly known as Constantinople, Istanbul was the former seat of the mighty Ottoman and Byzantine empires and the bridge between Asia and Europe both physically and culturally. It’s full of outstanding monuments and historic architecture as the modern city grew up amid the remains of the past, so it’s rich history and culture.
Although the modern city has shopping malls, the authentic shopping experience comes from visiting the open-air markets where you can enjoy your day tucking into Turkish treats from street vendors, bartering for folk art, or just taking in the smells of the variety of spices for sale.
7. Honolulu, Hawaii
Boasting perfect weather almost year-round, Honolulu, on the island of Oahu’s south shore, is the capital of Hawaii and gateway to the U.S. island chain. The city is consistently ranked in the U.S. News and World Report’s 100 Best Places to Live. Overall, it is a senior-friendly state, with many benefits like reliable public transport and good medical care.
This location does come with some drawbacks, the main one being the cost of living. However, there are plenty of low-cost deals you can take advantage of. You’ll soon forget your troubles as you walk barefoot along Waikiki Beach or take in the most spectacular sunsets from Sunset Beach. American’s who retire here have only one complaint, why didn’t they move here sooner?
8. Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you’re looking for a ‘happy’ country to retire to, then according to Global Finance Magazine, the Netherlands is number 5 on the list of the happiest countries in Europe to live in. And its capital city Amsterdam is the jewel in its crown. Retirees have no chance to get bored in the city as it’s rich in art, culture, and entertainment, with over 50 museums to explore. The Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum are the most famous.
If you’re looking to have an active retirement, the city is easily explored by bicycle. You could take a walk along the picturesque canals, stopping to enjoy the tasty cuisine offered by the many cafes and restaurants. If you’re really feeling active, then maybe you could try your hand at some kitesurfing at the beach.
9. Bangkok, Thailand
In the vibrant and exotic Southeast Asian megacity of Bangkok, you’ll never run out of things to do as you travel between the ornate spires of the city’s ancient architecture. Boasting world-famous cuisine, open-air markets with streets filled with towering Buddha statues, Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world.
If you’re looking for a more exciting retirement destination, Bangkok offers lively nightlife populated by ex-pats from across the globe. Many people are drawn to the city for its very low cost of living, affordable public transport, and excellent climate. Another thing that draws American’s to this location is that Bangkok has a lot of Western conveniences, and the Thai people are very welcoming of Westerners.
10. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Boasting breathtaking natural landscapes, a surprisingly European feel, and a cost of living that can be up to 75% lower than the U.S., Buenos Aires offers a perfect blend of mix of the old and new with its quaint old neighborhoods, towering colonial buildings, gastronomic delights, bustling outdoor markets, and all-hours nightlife.
Many people take advantage of the city’s many free attractions, like exploring the colorful Palermo neighborhoods to the National Museum of Fine Arts. If you prefer a more botanical experience, then you can take a stroll down Paseo del Rosedal to enjoy the fragrance of more than 1,000 species of roses.
11. Sliema, Malta
If you’re looking for a social retirement, then you might want to consider retiring to Malta, one of the smallest and most densely packed countries in the world and consistently ranks in the top 10 of the safest countries in Europe. Once home to the nation’s aristocracy, Sliema is a resort town located in the very heart of the Mediterranean Sea that is rich in history and culture as charming Victorian buildings, forts and churches dot the once-quiet fishing village.
The island boasts a high standard of hospital and medical services, both private and public, but its perfect climate is one of the main draws to Sliema. The country as a whole gets around 300 days of sunshine a year, so as you stroll along the long promenade and head for the beach, you can dip your toes in warm waters.
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