With the economy in North America lagging and the average age of retirement on the rise, 20 or 30-somethings might be fed up with going to work every day in dead end jobs that they are overqualified for and under-stimulated in.
If only it were possible to retire at 30, right? Well, it might be possible – if you are willing to relocate. There are some places in the world that encourage people to come and retire – and they aren’t necessarily concerned about your age. With plenty of research, an open mind, a few skills that are necessary to have on unfamiliar turf, it could be possible.
This plan becomes even more reasonable if you leave no debt in your home country behind. Having a comfortable savings account to draw upon is also a good idea. If you don’t mind holding a side job or two such as teaching English, owning a small business or working from a distance to supplement your savings, this makes it even more realistic to “retire” abroad at an early age.
Of course, knowing a foreign language and saying goodbye to a couple of comforts of home to live in a new culture is a must. You may also have to give up having a car, designer wardrobe and the latest electronic gadgets, because these luxuries aren’t always easily accessible in every country. On the flip side, many of these “retirement” locations have unspoiled natural beaches and landscapes, fascinating culture and all of the fresh food you can eat. And with no daily grind, you will have the time to enjoy it. Here are a few places in the world where the grass might actually be a little bit greener and “retirement” might come a little bit sooner.
The scenic country of Ecuador is home to a lot of natural beauties, charming cities and the perfect climate. It is on the equator and on the Pacific Ocean, so the beaches are tropical and worthy of a relaxing vacation. Yet, the country is also home to part of the Andes Mountain range, which keeps the climate mild year around. One of the reasons this is a great place to “retire” is the cost for quality services, such as doctors, is very reasonable even if paying out of pocket. Entertainment, such as dining out and nightlife, is also very affordable and rent is reasonable: in fact, many say that a couple can reasonably live on only $1,500-$2,000 a month. It’s no surprise that a lot of younger expats find this an ideal country to escape to, since there are many opportunities in the country to start a small business. More and more older generations are also choosing to retire in Ecuador because of the affordability, its natural beauty and the fact that locals are very respectful towards senior citizens.
Panama is a particularly easy country to retire to no matter your age. In fact, if expats qualify for Panama’s pensioner visa, it is easy to get residence in the country. To qualify, you only have to have a pension of $1,000/month regardless of your age. Aside from this benefit, Panama straddles the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, so needless to say there are a lot of beaches. If you get tired of the beaches, the country also has hills for hiking and beautiful rainforests to explore, and the fruits and vegetables are healthy, fresh, abundant and affordable. Panama City is cosmopolitan and there’s a large expat community to help with the transition to a more laid-back lifestyle in Panama.
Malaysian weather is warm and tropical and the country is home to beaches, islands and jungles. It also has great and affordable food. A particular draw of Malaysia is that English is spoken widely throughout the country, which helps ease a transition. The economy is currently stable. Health care is also affordable, and there are many expat groups to help newcomers get settled. Malaysia does not restrict foreigners from owning property. With a growing economy, it is also a good place to start a small business.
4. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has welcomed expats for several decades. Needless to say, if you escape to Costa Rica you won’t be alone: plenty of others have made the same transition and it will be easy to get involved with expat communities that can help you settle in to this Central American country. In addition, Costa Ricans are very welcoming and friendly. Their country is home to beaches, lakes, tropical jungles and modern cities and towns. The cost of living, including health care and housing (a beachfront condo in some areas can be purchased for under $100,000) is affordable in Costa Rica. Plus, the government and economy are stable.
A member of the European Union, there may be some obstacles for those wishing to relocate to Malta if they don’t have an EU member state passport. However, some individuals may qualify to “retire” if they can prove they have sufficient means to support themselves; so if you have significant savings, this may be the country for you. Located in the Mediterranean, Malta has landed on many “best places to retire” lists because of its beautiful views, temperate climate, rich culture and history, relaxed lifestyle and friendly people. The cost of living also makes this a more affordable option than many other European locations.
Uruguay is a small country but has many charming colonial cities, beaches and surfing and a warm, mild climate year around. There are several visa options for those looking to move to the country, including a retirement option (if you can prove you have enough income to support yourself while there). There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership in Uruguay, and property and housing prices are reasonable. Uruguay also has affordable public transportation, is relatively safe and has high quality, affordable health care.
Although it is a slightly costlier country to move to than some others in Latin America, Argentina also comes with more comforts of home: it is well developed, has fine dining, European-style cafes, lots of shopping, and many who can speak English in the larger cities. The quality and affordability of health care is a major perk of the country. Living expenses and transportation in cities is very affordable, with large, modern apartments with antique charm costing a fraction of what a comparable apartment in North America or Europe would cost. Argentina is a large country that offers diverse geography, with beaches on the Atlantic ocean, tropical climates and a desert in the north of the country and cool ski resorts and forested lake districts in the southern part of the country.