International Living

International Living

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25 Countries Compared, Contrasted, Ranked, and Rated

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Dear Reader,

“When we saw that we could get a [water] view for less than a quarter of a million dollars, we said right away, ‘We’re in!’ It was like a dream come true.”

That’s what Judy, a retiree happily settled in the country that grabs the # 1 spot in our 2022 Global Retirement Index, says about her new home.

A native Californian, she recalls a time when regular folks could afford to live within easy reach of the beach and enjoy it as part of their day-to-day lives. But no more.

“I couldn’t afford a view in Southern California… not even for the weekend,” she says.

So she and her husband left—and upgraded their lifestyle in the process.

“Now, here I am in [the # 1 retirement haven for 2022], looking out my bedroom window, and I see miles of shoreline, and mountains, too. This is gold to us…we struck gold.”

You could, too.

And the best part is, you won’t need millions in the bank to do it.

In this good-value escape, you could live a lifestyle that would easily cost you six figures at home...only do it comfortably on a retired teacher’s budget.

The country I’m talking about—International Living’s #1 retirement haven for 2022—has broad appeal.

Many Lifestyle and Climate Options—All Low-Cost

Like Judy, you could live there on a palm-fringed coast with your own view out over the Pacific.

Or you might choose, instead, a spot tucked into a lush green valley along a stream.

Then again, maybe you’d prefer a fast-paced, eclectic city with all the cosmopolitan offerings of a thriving urban center—jazz festivals, great ethnic restaurants, museums.

Your options are varied—which is one reason we like this country so much.

And whatever might appeal to you, rest assured: It’s a place where your dollars will stretch.

“We live a life we couldn’t have had back home,” says Connie, who has happily settled in our #1 pick with her husband.

“If we were in the U.S., we’d both be working, at least part-time, and constantly worrying.”

Instead, they report, “Our stress level is 10% of what it used to be.”

In part that’s because the cost of living is remarkably low.

“For trash collection we used to pay $17 a month...here we pay $14 a year...our rent is about half what our house payment was in the U.S....a cleaning woman charges about $15 for a day’s work...

“We chose [this country] for many reasons, but primarily because we love the ocean.

“The beaches here tend to be un-crowded—unlike those in Southern California, where I grew up. The water is warm and usually clear. Hearing and seeing the endless ocean always revitalizes me,” Connie says.

In this safe, welcoming, good-value escape, a couple can live very comfortably—even lavishly—on between $1,765 and $2,890 a month, depending on where you’re based.

We’ll Point You to Where Your Dollars Buy You More...So You Can Live Better

The average retiree household in the US spends about $50,000 a year. Yet that doesn’t bankroll a particularly fancy lifestyle. Most folks live carefully—even frugally. 

But if you carried that pot of $50,000 to the right spot abroad, you could watch it expand—like rice on a stove.

All of a sudden, you’d have more to play with. You could afford to live better: eat out a few times a week, travel, have a housekeeper to clean and even cook for you. You could, in fact, have all those luxuries—and still keep half of that money in your bank account.

Because in the best-value places, a couple can live quite well on as little as $24,000 a year.  

Sure, the US is easy and convenient. But you can find the same niceties elsewhere—and spend much less for them.

Most folks don’t realize it, but life in the States is relatively expensive when you compare it to other places around the world.

Elsewhere, you can enjoy a much higher quality of life—but spend less for it.

Let me show you what I mean...

In the US, the average 60-year-old spends $543 a month on a health-insurance premium. Yet you could go to Panama and get an international plan for $90 to $250 a month. You pocket the difference.

In the US, housing costs are high and rising. If you want to live a few minutes’ stroll from the beach, you’ll need deep pockets.

In California—plan on spending $1 million, at least. Even in a small town like Seaside, Oregon, a ho-hum house three blocks from the shore will set you back $800,000.

Yet in Tamarindo, Costa Rica you could own a beautiful, well-furnished, 3-bed, 3.5-bath home with a private pool in a big yard and have expansive ocean views—all for $529,000.

But you needn’t spend anywhere near that much to upgrade your life.

In Javea, Spain, for instance—you could own a skillfully renovated 2-story, 2-bedroom village home with a balcony right in the heart of town and be an easy stroll to the ocean—for just $137,000.

In Playa del Carmen—on Mexico’s Riviera Maya along the Caribbean coast—you could own a chic, fully furnished apartment three blocks from the beach, right in the heart of the tourist action, for just $157,500. Rent it out when you’re not there, and it could quickly pay for itself. 

         You simply get more bang for your buck in the right spots overseas. And that means you could afford to live a richer, more interesting life. You could afford to relax and enjoy yourself.

Our Global Retirement Index points you to the best places in the world to do it in 2022. 

Slash Your Tax Bill

As expat Roberto puts it, “What I pay for taxes in one year [here] is what I paid in one month in Florida.

“That right there was a good enough reason for me to move.”

His tax bill? $1,100 a year.

Roberto and his wife retired to this country that takes the #1 spot on our Index this year, and he says their four-bedroom home, with a swimming pool and outdoor kitchen in a quiet, gated community, suits them perfectly.

“We’re 10 minutes by car from the beach,” says Roberto.

“There are five grocery stores, there’s a private health clinic, a movie house, banks, good restaurants. We have all the comforts of home.”

But it’s not just the low cost of day-to-day living and small tax bill that are attractive.

The weather is, too.

Never Shovel Snow Again

From the warmth of the coast to the cooler climate in the hills, it’s easy to find a spot that suits you in our # 1 pick for 2022—unless you like snow. There isn’t any snow.

“I’m a Canadian,” says Larke, a part-time transplant to our # 1 haven. “I’m used to long, cold winters. But a few years back, my husband Gary and I had had enough.

“I refuse to spend my precious retirement years shoveling snow and huddled in front of my fireplace…not to mention donning layers of clothing from top to toe just to venture outside.

“And so each and every fall, we say goodbye to block heaters…snow shovels…hats, scarves, and outrageous heating bills…and head to warmer climes. We’re now a ‘perpetual summer’ couple and love it.”

Situated outside the hurricane belt, here you’re protected from vicious storms and could have your own warm-weather getaway to enjoy year-round or rent out when you’re not there to cover your costs.

Stretch Your Real Estate Dollars at the Beach

In our #1 finisher on this Global Retirement Index, you get a lot of bang for your buck on the real estate front.

At the beach—less than an hour from the capital—you could own a 1-bedroom condo on the 30th floor of a luxury tower on a golf resort for $179,000.

The views are splashy—from the mountains to the ocean—and a generous balcony lets you enjoy the fresh ocean air.

You’d have use of indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna, jacuzzi, game room, and gym. You’d have golf right outside your door, and you’d be just a few minutes’ walk to the beach, too.

Highlands for Low-Costs and Cooler Weather

Up in the mountains, the values are just as good.

In one spot where expats have been settling comfortably for decades—they call it the Valley of Flowers—you’ll find it easy to make friends and enjoy a slow pace of life.

The high temperature averages in the 70s year-round—not too hot, not too cold. And this lush, green region is a tourism mecca with lots of hiking, cycling, birding, coffee-farm tours, and the like.

If you like the idea of a retirement lived outdoors year-round, you’ll like this spot.

And, like elsewhere in this # 1 retirement haven, the real estate prices offer excellent value.

Here you can own a new, 3-bed, 2-bath home with massive windows in a community about ten minutes outside of a tidy little town for $159,000. 

Big-City Living—True Bang for Your Buck

If the vibrancy of big-city living is what you’re after, in the heart of the capital, you can own a nice 3-bedroom, 2-bath apartment in a swank neighborhood for just $185,000.

This is a truly cosmopolitan city—bustling and booming. But also full of green spaces and built along a coast so you can enjoy water views for miles.

In the historic center, a palate of pastels lends a tidy vibrancy to restored colonial homes.

And this is a city where you could be out every night if you wanted to be—eating at excellent restaurants, enjoying concerts, going to the cinema.

The point is: You have options in our # 1 pick this year—great options—and they won’t break the bank.

Because this is a small country. Even if you live outside the capital, you’re always within easy access of it—which means you can enjoy the best of both worlds...beach or highland living plus the cosmopolitan conveniences of an accessible big city, too.

This Nation Wants You to Come—and Makes It Easy

But perhaps the most compelling reason to consider this top-place finisher in the 2022 Global Retirement Index is because this is a nation that’s actively courting folks just like you.

This country wants retirees to come—and they’re making it worth your while.

A special incentive program designed to woo retirees offers qualified folks discounts like 50% off on entertainment like movies, concerts, and theater.

You get 30% off on bus, boat, and train fares, and 25% off on airfares (including international ones).

You save 15% on hospital bills and that much or more on dental and medical visits...and the list goes on.

Plus, you’re offered tax incentives as well—yet another way to save on top of the already-low cost of living.

And the bar is pretty low to qualify for all these benefits.

You need to show you have at least $1,000 a month to support yourself, but that’s just about it.

“When my wife, Abbe, and I looked to retire overseas a few years ago, I found that [this incentive program] was a great way to stretch my Social Security pension,” says Jim.

“Naturally, the perks sounded like a perfect way to save some money, and they have proven to be just that—providing substantial discounts on many goods and services we regularly use.” 

Excellent-Quality, Low-Cost Healthcare

Healthcare is another place where our #1 finisher shines.

Many doctors speak English and are U.S.-trained.

Plus the standard of care—particularly in the capital—is excellent. In fact, people travel from elsewhere to be treated there.

And the low costs will blow your mind.

As Linda, an expat there, explains, “When my husband was being discharged from the hospital after a stay last year, I went to the business office to settle the bill.

“Since we have medical insurance through the hospital, the insurance manager came to the office (even though it was a Saturday), reviewed the bill in detail to verify all the insurance would cover (70%), and I paid the balance of 30%.

“This came to $3,263, including the doctors, all medications, a CT scan, and an MRI. I expect it would have been 10 times that much in the U.S.”

Retirees Bill and Lynn tell a similar story.

After Bill had heart bypass surgery and was diagnosed with diabetes, retirement in the States was looking grim for him and his wife Lynn.

“Even though Bill was on disability, Medicare, and we had supplement insurance, the medical expenses were outrageous,” says Lynn.

“We could afford our meds but little else. We felt this was no way to spend our final years, as we had both worked all our lives.”

Fortunately, they escaped to this year’s #1 finisher in the Global Retirement Index.

And today, they can afford all the medical care they need—and a whole lot more.

“Life is better here because our money stretches a lot further. Bill’s diabetes pens cost $400 a month in the U.S. (for a package of five). Here, five pens cost us $144.

“Bill sees the doctor regularly and his visits are only $25. He gets blood work every three months, and that costs $8.60.”

Accessible, Close-to-Home, Easy, Familiar, Safe

It’s easy to retire in our # 1 pick.

While no place is just like home, here you’ll find all sorts of ways that life is familiar.

All over you can enjoy high-speed internet, cable television, and reliable electricity. You’ll find grocery stores well-stocked with familiar items. And big box stores you know.

In fact, you’re not actually that far from home.

This sunny escape sits just under three hours by plane from Miami, and you can fly direct from Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, and a host of other destinations.

One happy expat sums up the appeal of our #1 pick this way: “It’s a democracy, the water is drinkable, the locals are used to expats…the electrical systems are the same, the driving is on the same side of the street, many doctors are U.S.-educated.

Is Going Overseas Right for You?
Well, Consider Where You Are Today: Is This Really What You
Want Your Life to Look Like?

(If You’re Ready for a Change, Keep Reading. We Can Help.)

For decades, Americans didn’t much question our work-life setup. We let the 8-to-late grind dictate our schedules, endured long commutes, put up with sub-par pay, suffered paltry benefits. It’s just the way it all worked. It’s what we did—part of the fabric.

But the pandemic upended everything.

It pushed more than 3 million Baby Boomers into premature retirement.

Millions of additional workers were fired or furloughed.

It spawned The Great Resignation. More than 24 million people quit their jobs in the six months between April and September 2021. (Compared to 36.3 million in all of 2020.)

And it seems to have spurred a “national existential crisis of sorts,” as one reporter put it.

We’re re-considering what’s important. We’re asking questions like, “What am I doing with my life?”

All of a sudden, we find ourselves looking long and hard at our goals, our values, the way we’re spending our days.

And millions of us have decided: This can’t go on.

We want more flexibility, control, more balance.

If that sounds like you, you’re in very good company.

And you’ve come to the right place. Because here at International Living, we can help.

Things may seem uncertain at home—but in the right places overseas, you’ll find great opportunity today.

Had It with the Pace, the Politics, the Prices? You Have Better Options Abroad

An early retirement is not only within your reach, it could be lived in style.

You could have a luxury home with a water view, afford to travel, to eat out three or four times a week, to spend your days doing what you want with people whose company you enjoy.

You could live life on your terms. And do it on a budget of as little as $24,000 a year.

Maybe you’re not ready to retire, but you crave a change.

If you’ve got the flexibility of a laptop job—what’s stopping you from taking your work-from-home income to a place where the sun shines year-round, the pace of life is slow and civil, and the cost of living is half—or even less—what you pay today?

We’ll show you the best places to go.

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of heading overseas in retirement—but you’ve been waiting for the timing to be just right.

Stop.

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life is short.

I’d like to show you how you can embrace a more interesting, more international life starting right now. A life where you can meet new people, explore new cultures, try on new places for size.

And I assure you: That jet-set life doesn’t have to break the bank. Not when you know where to go.

For example, in one of the places we introduce you to in our 2022 Global Retirement Index you could rent a luxurious Italian-style, 2-bed, 2-bath villa with a private pool and ocean views out over a national marine park for just $750 a month.

Your dollars are strong today. A window of opportunity is open and now is the time to act.

You don’t even have to go overseas full-time to reap the benefits of a more fun, more relaxing, more balanced life.

What if I told you that you could own a condo on a beach or in a historic city that you could visit a few weeks or months a year (and that it could generate income when you’re not using it and pay for itself).

In the right spots abroad—the places we point you to in our 2022 Global Retirement Index—you can secure your own getaway like that for as little as $140,000.

If you have had it at home today with the pace, the priorities, the politics, the prices...the weather...

You should know: In the right spots around the world, you can afford to make the change you dream about.

You can afford to create the life you imagine in your mind's eye.

In fact, we conceived our 2022 Global Retirement Index to help you do exactly that.

Our #2 Finisher Offers a Simpler, Easier Life

In the country that takes the #2 spot on our Index this year, it’s easy to find corners that feel as pristine and unspoiled as they were a half century ago.

You find long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches, dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife, towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and crystal-clear rivers and lakes.

Yet for all the rich natural offerings, it’s hardly a backwater.

As expats will tell you: It’s a pleasure to live here.

Transplants often say they appreciate the slow pace—and the fact that it’s possible to simply relax.

As Cathy  says, “Life here is easy.

“We no longer have the need to fit any particular identity and we’ve been able to shed that guilt we often felt in the States for just enjoying our time, relaxing, and going about each day exactly how we want.

“And if we need to get something done, we don’t have that sort of ‘stranded on an island’ feeling…we do have access to the conveniences we need.”

Conveniences that don’t cost the moon.

In this sunny haven, a retired couple can live very comfortably on about $2,500 a month, or even less—housing included.

As Paul puts it, “Our life is much simpler here, and we spend less than at home...  

“It feels good to know that we can live comfortably in this beautiful beach setting...and still have the resources to travel and spend time with family back home.”

He’s not the only expat thrilled with the low cost of living and high quality of life it buys.

“We wanted escape from northern winters, a slower-paced lifestyle, good healthcare, a tropical climate, beach access, and a sense of adventure, as well as ways to stretch our retirement dollars,” Mary says. “We found it all [in our #2 pick for 2022].”

A High-End Condo an Easy Stroll to
the Beach for $148,000

It’s not difficult to see how your dollars can stretch when you take a look at the good values in real estate there.

In a Pacific beach town an easy 90 minutes from the airport, you can own a luxury condo for just $148,000.

And that’s in a development right in the heart of things, with pool, gym, mini-mart, and a bistro on site. It’s a short walk to the beach and restaurants.

But if beaches aren’t your vibe, this country has you covered.

Up in the hills, temperatures year-round rarely reach much higher than the low 80s F and they might dip down into the 60s F at night.

It means you may want a light jacket in the evenings or a blanket on the bed.

Lots of folks who live here don’t have heat or a/c in their homes as neither is needed. (And that helps keep costs down.)

A beautiful 3-bedroom home with a generous yard and open plan living room and kitchen with granite countertops costs just $158,000.

Rents in these cool-weather hills typically cost $700-$1,200.

Though I spotted a 1-bedroom cabin on the outskirts of one town, tucked into a beautifully manicured garden on the grounds of a larger house, listing for just $550.

A high-end, 2-bedroom home with a private infinity pool that looks out over stunning valley vistas rents for $1,500 a month. 

As in our #1 retirement pick, taxes in this country are low.

You pay between 0.25% and 0.55% on the appraised, registered value of a property.

Practically speaking, that means you might pay $375 a year on a home valued at $150,000.

What’s more, in addition to low property taxes, you’ll pay zero income tax locally on income you earn outside this country—like your Social Security, investment income, or any funds you might earn working remotely.

Long a Choice for Expats, It’s Steady, Proven, Easy

The #2 finisher on the 2022 Global Retirement Index is low-key and steady—long a stable democracy.

If you’re looking for a place that’s quiet, easy, proven—it should be on your short list.

As expat Bob explains, “I moved to [this] paradise because I wanted to get back to a greater sense of natural beauty and wanted to live a simpler, less harried lifestyle as a retiree.

“Although the beaches where I lived in Sarasota were beautiful, rapid Florida development had led to the beach being completely surrounded by condos and other developments.

“Here I can hop on a bus and 15 minutes later I’m on one of the most beautiful beaches…and when I look around, all I see is pristine jungle and soft white sand.”

The excellent healthcare contributes to the high quality of life—and costs 30% to 70% less than in the US...

The average cost of an international insurance policy is between $200 and $500 a month.

Though you could pay even less.

Lou says, “Here, our monthly premium is $99.85 for both of us, and it covers everything from medical care to dentistry, eyecare, and prescriptions.”

Accessible, Close-to-Home, a Natural Wonderland

This #2 country on our Index is conveniently close to home, which makes it an ideal retreat for a part-time life overseas as it’s quick, easy, and low-cost to get back and forth to the States or Canada.

With modern shopping malls, world-class hospitals, and reliable high-speed internet available just about everywhere, you won’t lack the comforts of home.

Plus, you should know: This country has quietly, but systematically, worked toward creating an environment that’s sustainably healthy.

With lots of clean water and fresh air, about 28% of this nation’s land mass is protected in national parks and reserves.

It’s one of the only countries in the world to reverse deforestation.

And today it’s home to a whopping 10,000 species of plants and trees and over 850 types of indigenous and migrant birds.

A staggering 99% of its energy comes from renewable sources (compared to just 21% in the U.S.).

One satisfied expat there put it this way: “As U.S. natives who left the hectic, frantic, and often frustrating daily grind in search of more comfort and less pressure, we feel we have found what we’re looking for.”

Of course, it won’t suit everybody. No place will.

And that’s ok.

You’ve got lots of excellent options to consider in the 2022 Global Retirement Index, including our third-place pick for this year...

In Our #3 Choice, You Can Afford to Spoil Yourself

The country that takes the #3 spot in our Index this year is a place that offers what is arguably the easiest transition to expat life around.

Low-cost, conveniently close, and full of friendly locals and plenty of expats—it hands you an appealing balance of exotic foreign culture and familiar, First World lifestyle.

And right now, the strong dollar makes it a particular bargain.

“You can be on vacation every day—or at least feel like it—when you live in this country’s west-coast beach towns,” says one expat there.

It’s a place where you can live large—but do it on as little as a Social Security budget.

That’s what Rip does. He lives in the heart of a historic town on the water where he rents a 1-bedroom apartment three blocks from the beach for $800 a month. His monthly electric bill? About $19. 

With prices like that, you can see how your nest egg could stretch.

Dwight, who left Santa Fe, New Mexico for an arts-rich town in this colorful, good-value country reports that, “It’s probably 35%-40% cheaper here. And our needs are fewer here, especially since we don’t need a car. Taxis are $2.50 to $3 anywhere in the city, when it’s too far to walk.

“The climate is nearly perfect, so utilities are a fraction. Taxes are a fraction.

“We have full-time housekeeping/gardening help and have become very spoiled.”

This #3 finisher in the 2022 Global Retirement Index is a place where you can trim your costs but watch your lifestyle expand.

A couple can live well—all in—for about $1,890 a month. That’s less than $23,000 a year.

Here you can employ a maid for $3 a hour.

Pamper yourself with a manicure, pedicure, and haircut...and pay less than $60.

You can eat out at a nice restaurant for $15 a person or grab a quick lunch for $5.

Accessible, Easy, and Friendly

Expat Louisa says, “We love our simple, economical lifestyle, but the low cost wasn’t what motivated us to live here.

“The vitality and beauty of the streets, the thrill of learning another language and making [local] friends, the challenge of understanding a culture so different from our own...the list of reasons goes on and on.

“Every time I re-enter after time away, I see the bright colors, and I shiver with anticipation.”

Paula says it’s easy, even as a single person, to find friends and have an active social life. There are dinners out, community groups, get-togethers, and parties.

“Almost every time you go out, you meet people,” she says. “It’s really easy. People give out cards with their name, email, and phone number. I spend a lot of time with people born here, and it’s great. They’re wonderful.”

This #3 pick for 2022, close by and easy to get to, is already home to thousands of Americans.

It provides potential expats with a lot of choice—from vibrant Colonial cites to laid-back beach towns, Pacific-coast resort communities to chilled out Caribbean retreats.

And it’s an excellent option for snow birds who want to spend part of the year someplace warm.

When you’re out and about in the most tourist-friendly communities, you’ll find many of the same brands you’re used to back home—Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, Ruth’s Chris, Bubba Gump, and others.

If you can’t live without your peanut butter cups or your turkey bacon... don’t worry, you can find them both.

You can shop at Costco, and you can get U.S. television programs.

It’s easy, in other words.

And, as I mentioned, it’s a place where you really do get bang for your buck. 

An Oceanview Apartment for Under $700 a Month

In a colonial-era town where Americans have been settling since the 1940s, you’ll find lots of expats in renovated homes that line cobblestone streets.

This tidy city is full of art galleries, restaurants, and shops. Here a fully furnished 1-bedroom condo three blocks from the main square lists for $193,000.

It’s one of the pricier spots in the country—yet it illustrates the good values you can find.

If you prefer an ocean breeze, palm trees, white-sand beaches, and quiet turquoise waters...you can have that, too.

In one town popular with expats, Bob and Nancy rent a fully furnished, multi-level, modern townhouse.

It has three bedrooms, a maid’s quarters, four-and-a-half bathrooms, and comes complete with beautiful landscaping, three swimming pools, and 24-hour security. Their rent comes to just under $700 a month.

“We’re about 200 yards from one of the main public beach entries. It’s beautiful,” says Bob. “Rent on a house like this in the States, so close to the beach, would be four times more than what we pay here. Our overall cost of living is about a third of what our cost of living was in the States.”

If you’re a culture-vulture, you should know: This is a land of riches.

Take advantage of the local arts scene, and you could enjoy a cultural event every night. There’s lots to do—from concerts and gallery exhibits to film series and plays—and they rarely cost more than $5 or $10 each.

Great values, comfortable climates, plenty to do... these are all part of the reason day-to-day living is remarkably easy and convenient in this country.

Often people assume they’ll have to endure huge tradeoffs when they go overseas. But in the right places—that’s just not the case.

Naturally, we’re really excited about our #1, #2, and #3 picks this year.

But, in fact, they are just three of the 25 top overseas retirement havens we compare, contrast, rank, and rate in our 2022 Global Retirement Index—our 31st annual index.

“Spend less, live better” is a philosophy you can embrace all around the globe—when you know where to go. And our Index will show you.

Simplify, Relax...You Can Do It Affordably in Europe

If it’s a European retreat you’ve always dreamed of…you’ve got excellent options on our list of top picks...

Consider, for instance, our top-rated country in Europe this year. Its central coast is one of the continent’s sleeping beauties, with rugged cliffs and coves, and whitewashed windmills, the beaches along here resemble broad golden ribbons.

Slumbering inland are historic castle towns, abbeys, and pilgrim shrines. Small villages come surrounded by terraced olive groves, citrus orchards, and vineyards.

Completing the picture are salt lagoons, gurgling rivers, and pine forests. White storks build straggly nests on top of church towers…wild herbs scent the springy-turf cliff-tops…stone walls trail clouds of blue-mauve morning glory blossoms…wisteria drapes over village houses.

Yet for all its beauty, it’s not uncommon around here to find cute village properties close to the sea listing for $89,000 to $150,000.

In this European pick—one of seven you might want to consider—cultural offerings are rich and varied, with hilltop castles that date to the 12th century and chapels, cathedrals, and museums chock full of artwork.

It’s home to the best-preserved European Knights of the Templar settlement, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Renowned for its inexpensive, high-quality, and fortified wines, this country is a culinary treasure.

The locals love their breads and desserts—the custard tarts are unforgettable.

And with such a long coastline, fish is ubiquitous. You’ll find wonderful and varied fresh vegetables and a real appreciation for good ingredients prepared simply.

But for all its appeal—the cost of living is quite reasonable. A couple could live comfortably for around $2,200 a month on average—less in a small town, more in the capital.

Southeast Asia’s Low-Cost, Luxury Paradise

Southeast Asia may surprise you with the options you have there for high-end living at remarkably low prices.

It’s the world’s hidden lap of luxury.

“It’s like Hawaii, only easier,” says Sam, who’s originally from California.

Or, as another resident expat put it, “You can get away from it all…find a quiet beach and enjoy the surf or sunset…or you can join any form of entertainment or adventure, from zip-lining to chartering your own sailboat.”

In the top Southeast Asian country on our 2022 Global Retirement Index, lots of new and interesting developments are underway—making this pick even more attractive than ever.

In one spot there that’s particularly compelling, expats rave about the low costs and high quality of life.

As Michelle puts it, “[This town] combines the best of everything—beautiful beaches, fantastic food…the seafood is the freshest I’ve ever eaten.

“Best of all? the cheap cost of living... cocktails for $2.28 and mouth-watering dishes for as little as $1.63.

“Everything you need is here, including coffee shops, shopping malls, and all the other necessary Western conveniences.”

Yet it’s an incredibly good-value place to live or spend time. On a monthly budget of between $1,596 and $1,914 (housing included) a couple can live very well.

In fact, prices are so low, you may do a double-take.

I know I did when I saw a gorgeous, Italian-style, 2-bed, 2-bath villa with a private pool and ocean views over a national marine park rents for $750 a month.

High-speed internet costs about $30 a month. You can employ a housekeeper to clean for you once a week and pay $64 at the end of the month, total.

And, as I said before, this spot makes more sense today than ever.

For starters, a new visa on the horizon will make it MUCH easier to go and stay—for as long as a decade at a time.

This nation is taking a decidedly friendly stance toward expats—rolling out the welcome mat.

And it’s hard to beat the benefits once you step across that border.

In big cities you’ll find everything you could want or need—a wonderful mix of old Asia and super-modern Asia.

This country’s medical system ranks among the best in the world.

Plus this nation’s geography offers everything from quiet, secluded island beaches in the south... to mountainous, jungle zones up north... to hilly, central highlands where you can trade summer heat for cooler days.

As one happy expat puts it, “The lifestyle here is vibrant, friendly, and rewarding. There is no way I could afford to get out so much if I didn’t live [here]. I can afford to go out every day, enjoy golf, lunches with other expats, and enjoy many local events. You can’t help but feel very alive here.

So Many Places—and Ways—to Enjoy a More International Life

This year’s Global Retirement Index reveals a tremendous variety of retirement solutions for somebody looking to live better for less overseas. We rank, rate, compare, and contrast a full 25 countries worth your consideration today.

Maybe you’re in the market for a part-time escape…or maybe you’re looking for a full-time adventure…perhaps you dream about a day when you can see the ocean out your window… or live within sight of the mountains in a place where the sun shines and the weather is cool… 

Whatever you dream about…in the destinations profiled in our 2022 Global Retirement Index…you could find a new reality. A lot sooner—and a lot more affordably—than you may imagine.

To that end, let me give you a little assignment...

The decision about where you live is not always readily subject to logical analysis. Ultimately, it’s about where you feel good. It’s about finding the place that’s just, well, a good fit.

So here’s a little task for you. You start imagining your ideal retreat.

And while you’re busy musing…we’ll sort out for you the “logical” concerns. Like where your dollars buy you most…where the weather is best…where the locals are friendliest…where it’s most comfortable and safe…where the healthcare is both excellent and affordable…and more.

In fact, we’ve just spent the past few months concentrating on exactly this task.

Our staff has been crunching statistics, and talking with our contacts and correspondents around the world…all in the interest of compiling our annual picks for the world’s top retirement havens.  

In an era when most news outlets have slashed their budgets and cut their overseas bureaus...and at a time when it’s harder than ever to ferret out the truth...we put our 2022 Global Retirement Index together “the old fashioned way.”

That is to say: We put boots on the ground...just as we have each of the last 31 years we’ve published this country comparison.

We spend, in fact, more than $1 million a year to keep our people in place overseas, reporting back with real-world, up-to-date recommendations and guidance.

At a time when it’s all the rage to wave the “fake news” flag around, I want to assure you: What we do is real. We take it seriously. We don’t make this stuff up.

Is Global Retirement Index subjective? You bet. We rely on the informed judgment and real-world experience of in-country expats…folks just like you who have made the move and learned all their lessons the hard way.

They live in the countries they’re an expert in. And they’ve been there long enough to get under the skin of their host nation and provide us with real understanding about what it’s like to live there.

When it comes right down to it, only you can decide what will make you happy.

But we can point you to the places that are likely to suit you best and save you the trouble, time, frustration, and expense of trying to figure that out on your own.

Here at International Living, we’ve been showing readers where to go for more than 40 years now.

And we’d like to show you, too.

We’ve got a special offer on the table that gives you full access to our 2022 Global Retirement Index—FREE—when you join me as a member of International Living.

One big idea drives everything we do at IL, our belief that you don’t need to be rich to enjoy a pampered retirement…you just need to know where to go.

In our 2022 Global Retirement Index, we show you.

The Best—and Easiest—Way to Target Your Search for the Perfect Paradise

(FREE Today with This Special Offer)

In the 2022 Global Retirement Index, we consider each of the top 25 retirement destinations in a series of categories: housing, benefits, visas and residence, fitting in and entertainment, climate, healthcare, cost of living, and more.

And we include a full report on the top picks.

This resource gives you a detailed, well-rounded view of each place.

And we don’t give you just the facts. We share on-the-ground insights, perspective, and context—so you understand what it all means.

And that’s what’s so important. Because everybody is different. And what’s a priority for you might not be for somebody else.

Say you’re of “retirement” age and looking for a place to stretch your savings. The cost of living and the availability of good-quality, affordable healthcare might be your top concerns. Our #1 pick this year might well be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you’re in your thirties or forties with school-aged children, their education and the ease with which you can do business locally might be more important to you. Our #3 pick might make more sense.

Or maybe you’re in the market today for a place you could visit regularly for now and perhaps retire to eventually...so you’re looking for a spot that’s easy to get in and out of, where the weather is good, and a place where you could easily rent your place out when you’re not there. Our #4 finisher might be just right.

No matter what your own personal priorities are, you can use our 2022 Global Retirement Index to easily home in on the places that make sense for you and your situation.

It is a powerful tool.

And it’s yours, FREE today, when you join me as a member of International Living through this special offer.

Guidance and Hand-Holding from Expats and Experts

But our 2022 Global Retirement Index is just the start.

When you accept my invitation to join International Living today, you also become part of a community of like-minded people.

You’ll be plugged in alongside me and my colleagues to a network of expats and experts based all over the world.

They’re on the ground in places like Portugal, France, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Belize, Thailand, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, Uruguay, and beyond...

And they’re on a mission to help you explore your best options overseas.

I think of International Living as a sort of “underground network” for people like you who are intrigued by the idea of living a more international life and who are ready to explore the opportunities that are waiting in the right places overseas.

For more than four decades now, folks like you have relied on International Living’s guidance and strategies to save money, make money, travel better, retire sooner, live richer, and enjoy life more overseas.

Timely and Informative

“I started [with] International Living in the late 80's as my husband and I started talking about moving to the Caribbean. I've been a faithful reader since that time and many of the articles had a direct impact on our thoughts and plans.

“We now live in Grenada, West Indies and I still rely on International Living to provide timely and informative articles that are important to me as an expat. I highly recommend International Living to anyone who travels, wants to live or is living overseas.” – C.L.

IL Is the Reason I’m Living My Best Life

International Living is the reason that I am on a wonderful journey overseas, living my best life. It all started when I was laid off at the age of 61 and couldn't find another job. I had no idea what to do, until I read about IL. ... I am so glad I made the move. The information from IL was invaluable in making this happen.” – D.L.

IL Changed My Life


“International Living actually changed my life. Thanks to their publications and information, I am happily living in France realizing my dream. I have attended conferences and met amazing people who are quite enthusiastic about their experiences living abroad...this all thanks to IL!” – A.L.

You Deserve a Better, Earlier Retirement
We’ll Show You How to Get It

You deserve to retire with confidence. Yet that’s something very few folks can do in the States these days.

In the right spots abroad, though, you could.

You could enjoy the peace of mind and comforts that are hard to come by at home today…

You could join the ranks of our members who have taken advantage of the overseas opportunities we’ve shared and, today, have their nest eggs tucked away in a beachfront home or in a cosmopolitan escape in a booming market...

...people retired like royalty on a Social Security income...

...people living comfortably in a beautiful, safe, slow-paced retreat where they’re earning a portable income in the mornings and enjoying a relaxed lifestyle in the afternoons...

I’d like to help you follow in their footsteps.

When you join International Living today, you’ll receive our 2022 Global Retirement Index, FREE.

But that’s just for starters.

I’ll also send you a whole collection of valuable extras, including our monthly publication, International Living.

It’s the tool we’ve used for the last 42 years to keep in touch with our family of like-minded folks and to share all the great ideas the experts and expats in our network are finding all around the world.

You see, I want you to understand all the possibilities you have for improving your lifestyle overseas—for spending less but getting more.

In the newspapers and on TV, you get lots of political posturing...and lots of discussion about the woes we face…but what you rarely learn is what to do about any of it. I don’t mean “macro” fixes.

I’m talking about what you, personally, can do to improve your life, retire better, retire earlier, save on taxes, gain freedom and control, and travel more…even if you have only a modest nest egg (or no nest egg at all).   

Opportunities You Won’t Find Out About Anywhere Else

Each month, in the pages of International Living, we keep you up-to-date on the latest opportunities and we share solutions like...

  • Tax-saving tips for the seasonal U.S. expat… How do U.S. taxes work for people who spend part of the year abroad? We explain what you need to know…
  • How—and where—to get settled as a single overseas and why it’s a lot easier than you might think…
  • Where to get a second passport—and gain the security of greater travel flexibility—without having a pile of money or a parent who can pass citizenship down to you.
  • Property bargains in secret spots and underrated escapes all around the world, like a medieval country village home in Sulmona, Italy (40 minutes from Rome) for $140,000... a renovated colonial gem in the UN World Heritage City of Cuenca, Ecuador for $139,000... or a cute cottage on the Caribbean island of Roatan for just $133,000.
  • An easy way to slash your travel costs by half—or even more. One of our writers used this secret to get seven days in Mexico at a swank resort—for $1! YES, a dollar!
  • Smart escapes for troubled times—safe spots where you can ride out disasters, crises, and pandemics...spots where you can afford to unwind and tune out the real world for a while.
  • How to stay for free overseas—and live the expat lifestyle without ever buying or even renting a home if you don't want to. This is a powerful strategy for lowering your costs and a great way to travel for weeks and months at a time on the cheap.   
  • Big trends and real estate opportunities for 2022—how and where you could own (on the cheap) in a place poised to boom and have a property you can enjoy that pays for itself.

... and lots, lots more.  

The Authority on Global Retirement

When it comes to overseas guidance like this, you won't find a more well-respected source than International Living.

Forbes said, “International Living (IL) is the go-to source for anyone looking for solid information on retirement relocation in other countries. ... For people who are intrigued by the idea of settling outside the U.S. borders, it is a treasure trove of information.”

The Miami Herald called International Living “the authority on global retirement.”

When you join me as an International Living member today, we’ll give you immediate access to our 2022 Global Retirement Index—FREE—and make sure we keep you up-to-date with the best opportunities from around the world in our monthly magazine.

But that’s not all...

Bonus # 2
IL's Global Work-from-Home Index
World's Best Places for "Digital Nomads" Over 50

We’ll also give you our brand-new Global Work from Home Index, which explores the world’s best places for “digital nomads” over 50.

If you can work from anywhere, what’s stopping you from taking your laptop to a low-cost escape where you could slow down, spend less, and enjoy life more?

You see, “home” could be in a laid-back surf town on the Pacific in Costa Rica.

Or maybe you’d like the idea of a sophisticated royal outpost in Thailand.

Or how about an Old World port city on the Mediterranean in Spain?

All of these are among the spots that make our International Living Global Work-from-Home Index.

It’s our list of the world’s best places to go if you’ve got the flexibility of a laptop job and you’re ready to relax, take it easy, and start earning from a beautiful, interesting, lower-cost spot overseas.

Inside we give you our picks for the top 10 places in the world to earn a portable income. We compare them across a list of categories that includes cost of living, ease of access, visas, and more.

That way you can understand the ways in which they’re similar and different and where their strengths lie relative to one another.

It’s a useful tool to help you sort out the spots that would make the most sense for you, given your interests, preferences, budget, and more.

In one top European contender on our Global Work-from-Home Index, you can rent a furnished one-bedroom apartment in the heart of a cosmopolitan capital we like for les than $700 a month.

If art-filled museums, music-filled streets, and café-lined squares appeal to you, then this could be the perfect work-from-home getaway.

Another makes an ideal winter escape if you’re interested in spending a month (or two or three or more) in the sun. In this Pacific-coast beach town, you could take a stroll on the sand every morning...snorkel, sail, or fish a couple afternoons a week.

There’s a well-developed tourist trade here, and with that comes lots of restaurants and an active international community you can tap into. A budget of $2,840 to $2,915 would be plenty to bankroll a very comfortable life for a couple, housing and weekly housekeeper included.

All of the communities in this first-ever Global Work-from-Home Index offer strong infrastructure and are easy places to find housing, get settled, and set up a virtual office or source co-working space if you prefer that.

We created this resource to help you focus on specific towns, villages, and cities that should be on your radar if you’re still earning an income—but want to go abroad and embrace a work adventure that’s also comfortable, easy, and offers great value. 

Right now is an excellent time to break away from the grind—even with kids in tow—and try out a new life someplace where you could slow down, play first, and work second.

Our Global Work-for-Home Index, geared to folks 50 and over, is designed to help you focus on the places around the world most worth your attention today.

Beach town... big city... Europe... Latin America... Southeast Asia...

Our top picks offer you lots of variety to choose from.

And inside we’ll help you match up what you’re looking for in a work-from-home getaway with a real-world spot on the map where you could carry that laptop and embrace a life that lets you put what’s important to you first.

In the States, we’re so unendingly focused on work. Our lives tend to revolve around it.

But in the best spots overseas, you can embrace a slower pace—take a long lunch at a café, go to a museum exhibit in the evening, spend the afternoons surfing.

You can reprioritize. You can afford to start thinking “life first, work second” and arrange your days the way you want to.

In our Global Work-for-Home Index, we’ll show you the best places to do it in 2022.

When you take me up on this special offer today, this second Index is yours FREE, too.

Plus that’s not all...

Bonus # 3
Springboard to Your Dream Retirement: Tools and Strategies for the Good Life Overseas

I’m including a third special bonus for you, too.

It’s a unique report called Springboard to Your Dream Retirement: Tools and Strategies for the Good Life Overseas.

When you know the right shortcuts, you can live large…slashing your cost of living while you enjoy a higher quality of life.

Inside, our International Living experts share practical guidance like a little-known tax secret that could save you thousands.

It’s a way to pay zero U.S. income tax on the first $108,700 you earn. For a couple, the exclusion is $217,400.

Find out how you could go overseas rent- and mortgage-free, and enjoy months on end of adventure, living like a local—without ever paying for your accommodation.

Tuscan farmhouses…English heritage homes…luxury Costa Rican villas…Caribbean Ocean retreats…when you know how, you can spend a few weeks or a few months at a time in interesting places—and stay for free.

Plus lots more, too—including details about the good-value Caribbean country that’s making it easy for folks like you to “retire at 45.” Here you don’t have to wait until you’re 65 to gain “retiree” status, lower your cost of living, and trade cold northern winters for sunny days on palm-lined beaches where turquoise waters lap up on talcum-fine sand.  

Springboard to Your Dream Retirement is yours FREE and delivered immediately via email with this special offer.

Save More than 60% When You Join
International Living Now

A one-year membership in International Living comes at a regular price of $129.

But when you join right now, I’ll shave off more than 60%, bringing your membership to just $129 $49.

I want to help you take advantage of the opportunities out there in places like Portugal, Costa Rica, Spain, Panama, Thailand, Uruguay, Italy, and well beyond...

And I want to make it easy for you to live a richer, fuller life—while you spend less.

With This Special Offer Today You’ll Receive All of This

So let me recap.

You’ll receive our Global Retirement Index 2022—and more—FREE with your International Living membership today...

Bonus # 1: Global Retirement Index (value: $99, yours FREE)
Bonus # 2: Global Work-from-Home Index (value: $79, yours FREE)
Bonus # 3: Springboard to Your Dream Retirement (value: $29, yours FREE)

This Retirement Index Bonus Package is valued at $207.

But it’s yours for $207 FREE—with your deeply discounted International Living membership today.

Plus, you’ll also get...

International Living magazine delivered to your door for 1 year, 12 monthly issues (value with membership: $129, included)
Digital subscription to the magazine (included)
Full access to the members-only website and magazine archive (included)
 Premium IL Postcards e-letter (included)
Overseas Dream Home e-letter (included)

If you’re ready to know the shortcuts and make the connections that can help you enjoy a richer, fuller life...while you spend less—we’re here to show you exactly how it’s done.

Our Good-Will, Good-Value Guarantee

Now, what happens if you sign up today and then decide an overseas retirement isn’t for you, after all?

No problem. We offer a generous guarantee.

I feel confident you'll agree that International Living delivers you a world each month that you just can't find anywhere else.

I know you'll be impressed by the wealth of guidance and helpful connections you’ll gain once you’re plugged into our network of experts.

And I feel sure you’ll appreciate the research and on-the-ground insights we include in all our International Living resources.

But, once you’ve had a chance to look through everything, if you decide the recommendations and solutions we share about how to move out of the US, live better for less overseas, make money, save money, and travel better aren’t for you after all—no problem.

Let us know, and we'll immediately take your name off our member list and send you a pro-rated refund on your subscription. No questions, no fuss.

No matter what you decide, the full 2022 Global Retirement Index and the rest of your special bonuses are yours to keep.

Before 2022 Is Out, You Could Be Living Large

An international lifestyle isn’t just for the rich and famous.

It’s for anybody willing to take advantage of the best-value opportunities in welcoming communities around the globe.

And it’s our mission at International Living to help you do just that.

With our brand new 2022 Global Retirement Index in hand, we can help you find the place that makes the most sense for you…

Whether you’re looking for a friendly, good-value city…a beach town…a highland retreat…an historic colonial community…or a lakeside getaway…we can point you to your best options on the planet today.

If you rely on the internet for intelligence about retiring, investing, or living in any number of good-value escapes around the world—you’re going to find a lot of information out there. But much of it is outdated, incomplete, or just plain wrong.

That’s why we asked our experts based around the world to help us put our 2022 Global Retirement Index together.

Because what you really need is the full, reliable story. Not just facts and figures, but advice about what to do with them.

And that’s what we deliver.

Click "Add to Cart" today with this special, limited-time offer that includes the 2022 Global Retirement Index and your additional bonuses.

Sincerely,

Dan Prescher

Jennifer Stevens

Executive Editor, International Living
December 2021

P.S. Seeking out your own dream life overseas in a place where you can live comfortably for little…investing ahead of the crowds and potentially profiting from the upswing…

What those ideas have in common is good value.

Nobody wants to pay more than they have to—for anything.

I know I don’t.

And that’s why we’ve created this specially discounted welcome offer for International Living that includes the 2022 Global Retirement Index—and lots more.

Click "Add to Cart" now to take advantage of it, and we’ll help put you on the path toward a place abroad that’s just right for you.

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