Best International Retirement Spots

Laura Joszt

Some people view retirement as the next adventure in their lives. Here are some international retirement spots depending on what you're looking to get out of your Golden Years.

Images from Wikipedia

Some people view retirement as the next adventure in their lives. They have tons of free time for new hobbies, fewer obligations stressing them out and, even, the opportunity to make a big location change.

For those who can’t bear to separate from family and friends, there are plenty of great retirement spots in America — although there are also some poor choices to avoid. But if you’re looking for a big cultural change to go along with your new life, then you might consider a move abroad.

While it’s true that there is no such thing as the “best” place to retire to, there are best choices based on what’s more important to you. U.S. News and World Report recently released its list of best overseas retirement options for 2013.

(In no particular order)

Most affordable to retire well

Cuenca, Ecuador

Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion

Lost cost of living and low real estate prices will be enviable qualities for some Americans. Ecuador is a great retirement location on a budget and Cuenca has a diverse expat community.

Affordable and exotic

Cebu, Philippines

Shopping center in Cebu City

An island with a mild winter, the majority of expats on Cebu are American, English and Australian.

Mild weather year-round

Medellin, Colombia

Botanical garden

Medellin used to be one of the most violent cities in the world, but U.S. News says it’s safe now. The city has a lot of cultural opportunities with festivals and museums. Medellin has moderate temperatures and low humidity throughout the entire year.

Best place to escape

New Zealand

Mount Cook in the Tasman Valley

Full-time legal residency isn’t easy to arrange, but New Zealand is remote, safe and a great escape. Plus, the country is English speaking.

Beach luxury on a budget

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Conchas Chinas beach

Puerto Vallarta isn’t exactly cheap since this Pacific coast city is developed. Retirees can live a southern California-lifestyle — with beaches, shopping and golf — that affordable.

Caribbean lifestyle bargain

Samana, Dominican Republic

One of the main roads

The country is already popular with tourists as an inexpensive, all-inclusive resort destination. The Dominican Republic was hit hard by the last global economic downturn, so real estate, even right by the beach, is a bargain.

Budget is no option

France

Sidewalk on the Champs-Elysées in Paris

France has just about everything, from history to culture to luxury, but it doesn’t come cheap. This retirement spot “isn’t about cost of living; it’s about quality of life.”

Pursuing a self-sufficient retirement

Belize

The Great Blue Hole part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System

The country is small with only a few hundred thousand people, few highways and a “back-to-basics” lifestyle. In addition to beaches and relaxation, the inland offers Mayan ruins and other sights for the outdoorsy type.

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Best Overseas Retirement Options for 2013 - U.S. News