Top 10 Best Countries to Retire In for 2012

Here are the best countries to retire in and a bit about each one. If you are looking to retire abroad, it helps to see what countries are the most popular destinations for expat retirees and why.

Each country has its pros and cons; some have a low cost of living but you have to learn a new language, in some countries it may be difficult to obtain residency and in yet other countries, the weather may not be to your liking.



Panama get high marks as being one of the best, and it is not hard to see why. The country welcomes retirees by making it very easy for a retiree to obtain permanent residency, you can ship up to $10,000 worth of personal goods into the country, and you can buy a house at a cheap price and do not have to pay property tax.

Other benefits of retiring in Panama are: the country uses the US dollar as its currency so you do not have to exchange your money, many people speak English, the infrastructure is US built and top of the line and the country has high quality, affordable medical care.


Costa Rica

Costa Rica is another country that is a popular destination for retirees. Residency visas are obtainable, although it does take a bit of work and you have to meet specific requirements.

The country has a low cost of living, and while the medical care is not quite the same standard as that of the US, it is pretty close and doctor’s fees are quite affordable.

Costa Rica is known the world over for its beautiful beaches and the friendly, laid back atmosphere that is why it is included on this list as one of the best countries to retire in.



Ecuador is another country that is included on the best countries to retire to simply because it offers resident visas to those who wish to retire in the country.

Ecuador is a scenic country that has beautiful forests, gorgeous beaches, awe-inspiring mountains and beautiful colonial cities. The country has a very good infrastructure, low cost of living, top of the line medical care at a very cheap price, and beautiful weather.

The only downside to retiring in Ecuador is that you would most likely need to learn Spanish.



Argentina is a great place to retire if you enjoy good weather, want to purchase a beautiful home or apartment at a cheap price, and enjoy living in a country with a friendly and warm atmosphere.

Argentina has a good infrastructure and you can come into the country without a visa, although if you want to stay you will need to obtain a residency visa, which is easily obtainable in the country.



Australia can be a great place to retire if you are not the adventurous type.

This first world country speaks English and is similar in many ways to the U.S., except that the cost of living is lower, first rate medical care is cheaper, and the country is less crowded and less polluted.

Obtaining a retirement visa is doable but it is a bit difficult as the country has strict rules regarding who can qualify.



If you want to live in a scenic, beautiful country that has high quality medical care at a low price, low cost of living, exquisite food and great wine, and was considered as a best countries to retire in, then France is the place for you.

Retirement visas are very easy to obtain and the people are friendly and interesting.



Italy is another fascinating country to retire in. Many retirees are drawn here by the country’s year round mild weather that makes it much easier to stay in good health and free from pain. Italy has gorgeous beaches, wonderful food and wine, and many fascinating tourist attractions.

It is not overly difficult to obtain a visa and stay permit for Italy, and this visa and stay permit will also permit you to travel throughout Europe without needing to hassle with further visa work.


Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean, not far from the US. The national language is Spanish, but it is not hard to find other retirees and expats to befriend.

It is not overly hard to obtain a resident visa, the weather is ideal, the beaches and cities are beautiful and the people are friendly. Good quality medical care is available and affordable.


The Philippines

The Philippines is a good place to retire for a number of reasons. Not only is the cost of living very low, but everyone speaks English, the country has great weather and beautiful beaches.

The Philippines has made it quite easy to obtain an retirement visa, this is the reason why it is listed as best countries to retire in.



If you an adventurous type of person, then why not consider retiring in Thailand? You can obtain permanent residency quite easily, although the process is a bit time consuming.

The cost of living is very low, medical care is top of the line and affordable, and the country is fascinating. So many reasons why this place was included here on the best countries you can possibly retire in.

There are many expats already in the country, so it should not be too hard to find people who speak English. The food is truly unique and the country is simply beautiful and enchanting.


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