When looking for the best places in the world to retire, there are many factors to consider. Of course, this will vary somewhat between individuals but there are some common denominators that affect us all as we get older. For example, easy access to high quality health care is a factor that all retirees need to consider. A low crime rate and clean air are two more examples of factors that affect everyone. You may also want to consider factors like recreational opportunities, remembering that as you get older, you may not be as physically capable as you are currently. For this reason, areas that have nice parks with well-maintained level walking trails may be ranked higher on your list than places that do not have such amenities. If you are rejuvenated by nature, you may want to find a place that has beautiful vistas, including some that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car and/or with very little walking.
Below, you find the top 10 best places to retire in the world, in reverse order, and some of the reasons they are popular with retirees.
10. Iowa City, Iowa
You may not think of the middle part of the country as the best place to retire but if you are a writer and/or you would like to matriculate at a large college, this may be an ideal choice. The University of Iowa, located here, caters to retirees. There are numerous writer’s workshops and enrichment classes on a large variety of subjects. Iowa City also has a relatively low cost of living, outdoor music concerts to enjoy, and above average medical care.
If you are a retiree on a tight budget in the United States, you may want to consider living abroad. For the same monthly income that you currently have, you can enjoy a much higher quality of life and have an adventure too by living abroad. Nicaragua has breathtaking beauty with the wild Pacific Ocean on the west coast and the calm tranquil waters of the Caribbean Sea on the east coast. Cities such as Managua offer a wide range of international restaurants, modern supermarkets, fresh organically grown food, and a variety of opportunities for performing arts.
Malaysia is another wonderful international destination in which to retire. It is a very cosmopolitan place famous for being a melting pot of the world’s best cuisines. Malaysia also has high quality modern medical care for less than one-third the cost that you find in the United States. The nation has a very reliable internet network and all the other modern conveniences.
Also in the Indo-Pacific region of the world, Thailand has a very low cost of living, especially with the high quality of life its citizens enjoy. For a thousand dollars a month, you can live like a king or queen. The hospitals in Thailand are so highly rated, Thailand has become one of the top destinations for medical tourism.
6. Albuquerque, New Mexico
This big southwestern city has become a haven for retirees with its warm year-round climate and amazing amenities. The median home price is still only $174,000 which is lower than the national average. Therefore, many retirees from places like Southern California find that they can sell their current home and buy a nice home in Albuquerque with lots of money left over for travel and other interests. The Rio Grande River and the Sandia Mountains make the Albuquerque area a beautiful landscape. Of course, the colorful hot air balloons against the beautiful blue Albuquerque sky are always a treat to see.
5. Sevierville, Tennessee
Located right at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this small tourist town can be a nature lover’s dream place to retire. Even if you are no longer able to take long hikes, you can enjoy scenic drives through the park, with each season offering a totally different scene. There are many older homes and historical buildings in this area. The fishing in this area is phenomenal. If you need advanced medical care or want to enjoy big city culture, Knoxville is only forty miles away.
4. Boone, North Carolina
If you have always dreamed of living in a mountain retreat community like Aspen or Vail but can’t afford these prices, you may want to consider Boone, North Carolina. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the winter hiking in this area affords some of the most spectacular scenery on this Earth. Snow shoeing and cross country skiing are also very popular activities in this area. Of course, you can also choose to snuggle up next to a warm fire with your sweetheart and enjoy the mountain view from your window!
3. St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine has been dubbed the oldest city in the country since it was a Spanish settlement before the birth of the United States. St. Augustine has an interesting mix of historical architecture and wild ocean beaches and parks to explore. It is also close enough to Jacksonville to the north to give retirees easy access to world class medical facilities without actually having to live in a big city. Retirees may also enjoy St. Augustine’s legend of Juan Ponce de León discovering the fountain of youth in the area. St. Augustine does seem to keep its retirees young at heart.
2. Sequim, Washington
Located in the Dungeness Valley between the majestic Olympic Mountains and the beautiful marine waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, this area offers spectacular scenery and has become very popular with retirees. Just north of town, the landscape is dotted with small idyllic organic farms. This of course leads to a wonderful farmer’s market more than six months out of the year. The parks in this area are top notch and the Olympic National Park is located only thirty to fourty-five minutes away. The community is just big enough to offer major supermarkets and other shopping opportunities with a good mix between the big box stores like Walmart and Costco and the small independent stores selling unique items. The access to medical care has improved dramatically in the last decade due to the very high volume of retirees moving into the area. The cost of living is about average here.
1. Green Valley, Arizona
Green Valley, about thirty miles south of Tucson, is known to cater to the needs and wants of the retirement community. For example, there are thirteen recreation centers with beautiful golf courses, heated swimming pools, spa pools, and fitness centers. In fact, this area is so well-known for golfing that golfers often choose to vacation here. There are also many age restricted communities in Green Valley that cater to their retiree residents. The only negative is that Green Valley does lie in the drug trafficking corridor from Mexico. However, there are helicopter patrols to keep this under control and most communities do provide a great deal of security.
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