10 Years of Blog Archive

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

10 Best Places to Retire and Live in the World

No matter how many countries we have traveled to in the world, or how many countries we have lived in, or how much positive feedback we receive from others about a place to retire, how could we ever say any particular one is the best places to retire?

It would be like picking out clothes for a stranger, or telling someone what their favorite food is, or what their favorite color is…it’s impossible to please everyone with best “place to retire". 

Reality tells us that ALL PLACES have something for everyone, so it’s up to us. We have to travel to, and explore some of these areas on our own to find out if it is the “best place to retire” for us! No one can do that for us.

We could grab the globe, spin it real fast, and then stop it and put a blind finger on numerous, wonderful, neat destinations to retire to too, because reiterating what we said previously; all places have something for everyone.

Here’s our 10 Best Places to Retire. And just so you know, we’ve either lived in and or traveled to each country we list so we know these places all have their beauty and unique qualities that make them livable according to each person’s circumstances and personality. In a nutshell we tell you about each one. 
Cuenca Ecuador - /Tomebamba River
1. Ecuador - Diversity of atmosphere and climate with dry climates, oceans, mountains, and rain forest.  Ecuador retains a lot of its traditional culture, especially in the mountain regions. Quito and Cuenca are both charming, lovely cities to live and to raise families. Prices are on the rise in Ecuador, however, if you go local a person or family can still live comfortable and frugal.

2. Panama - Diversity of atmosphere and climate with oceans, mountains, and rain forest.  There are lots of pretty areas in Panama to live. The folks are friendly and sociable. Panama, with the exception of Panama city, reminds us of the old west, still developing and pretends to be urbanized.  Panama City is expensive and so are beach tourist zones.  
David, Panama
3. U.S.A - Diversity of atmosphere and climate with desert, oceans and mountains.  The southeast is our favorite area of the states; it has wonderful people and nice beaches. Some areas are still relatively inexpensive compared to living in other parts of the world.  Unfortunately, the U.S is going through moral depravity and you will want to make your own paradise wherever you live, far from the maddening chaos. There’s lots of beautiful country to choose from in the states.

4. Dominican Republic – The beaches are nice. The D.R is a cross between Latin panache and Caribbean flair rolled into one. Sort of the way Esmeraldas Province of Ecuador is like. The people are friendly and helpful. The D.R, like Ecuador can be expensive or inexpensive depending on your knowledge of going local. You will be gringo priced, so it's up to you.

5. Mexico – We’ve visited several of the tourist beach areas and off the beaten path areas. Unfortunately Mexico has gotten crime ridden and we’d only recommend living strictly in tourist enclaves where there is round the clock security that can be trusted! But that's no fun.

6. Turks and Caicos Islands – Beautiful white sandy beaches. There is not much out there, but for the person who enjoys peace and quiet, they’ll find it here, along with coral reefs, turquoise warm waters and lots of fishing.

7. Italy – Growing up in central Italy has taught me a lot about living in Ecuador. Italy still has some wonderful areas in the South that are still not that expensive. Italians are lovable, sociable people and are also excellent cooks. Italy is a family-oriented country and still has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world, amazingly so.

8.  Canada – All we can say is beautiful sunny skies every single day, We spent two weeks in the summertime in Banff Canada camping and it actually was almost perfect weather.  Did we really say, “Perfect weather”? Canada, even though it is in North America has some of the lowest crimes rates in the world. Canada is expensive.

9. Stay Where You Are Planted – It’s human nature to seek for greener pastures, taking where we live for granted. But for some people, and actually most people, staying put where they are rooted is probably the best place to be for them. 

Traveling and exploring other countries is a great way to get that boredom out of our system, but coming back home to our own comfortable and predictable surroundings makes many folks the happier.

10. Your turn. Let us know where you think the best place to retire/move to in the world is. Talk to us!

BTW, this list is not in any particular order.

Until we write again…

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We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!


  1. Cheers Frank and Angie
    I've always been drawn to New Zealand--like small-town U.S. in the 50's, friendly people ( a version of ) English-speaking, awe-inspiring scenery as yet largely unspoiled by 900 years of human habitation ( if you don't count the elimination of species such as moa, kauri, etc )...downsides are huge distances to USA and no year-round retiree encouragement--maximum stay is 9 months out of every 18 unless you have a desireable occupation ( doctor, auto-body repair, etc. it's pretty diverse ) It's a small population, they don't want the potential costs of an older-skewed migration to overwhelm social programs.
    Ireland is another amazing country with thousands of years of culture, glorious geography ( there are waaaay more than 40 shades of green...), access to UK and Europe, and the warmth of the Irish people, possibly the greatest story-tellers and musicians in the western world. Though the winters can be bleak and recent legislation has tightened up immigration requirements, anyone with Irish ancestry would do well to investigate dual citizenship to take advantage of extended stays on this enchanted isle.

    Loved the brief time spent in Calabria and Basilicata as well, lots of UK folks have 2nd homes in southern Italy.

  2. I have 2 comments, one, how is New Zealand on the pocket book then if you can get in?

    Do you ever plan to go to Uruguay since it really is only on the other side of the South American Continent and quite a magnet for US & South African Ex-Pats?(For Frank & Angie)

  3. Cheers Spartan

    If your lifestyle matches your e-name you will do ok in New Zealand. Folks ( non-professionals like teachers, farmers, mortgage brokers, store clerks,etc. ) who live there tend to have 2-3 different occupations in order to keep a somewhat regular income stream.
    If you have US-dollar based income, the costs will vary; I have been there when the dollar was worth $ 1.74 NZD and also when it was worth $ 1.28 NZD. The value varies not only with US dollar value, but mainly with the strength of the Aussie dollar, on which many of the Pacific economies rely for resources and funding in that part of the world. As with anywhere else, local food and services (and attitude!) cost less especially outside of the higher cost cities of Auckland and Wellington.
    I am hopeful of travelling a bit around SA once I get settled into my casita on the Ecuador coast...right now I'm just less than 4 weeks in, waiting for my cedula paperwork to be approved, and looking this week at improving my mobility with a set of four wheels...there is no CarMax here yet!



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