Whether you’re dreaming about a distant future or planning for the long awaited retirement in a few years, it’s always useful to know your options. Retiring abroad is unlikely to be the cheapest option available, but it is an attractive one.
We’ve weighed up some of the pros and cons of the exciting and breathtakingly beautiful (yet economically viable) options available to you.
Dominica is known as the “nature island” of the Caribbean because of its expansive natural and unspoiled beauty. The climate is warm and rainy as many rainforested islands are, but the wonderful wind from the North East eradicates much of the humidity. The living costs are low and though things like petty theft do occur, the crime rate is low and the sense of community is high.
Dominica is also a country which offers one of the cheapest citizenship by investment programmes in the world at $100,000, whilst other Caribbean offers such as St Kitts take around double that. This makes for simple citizenship, if you have the money. This can be much easier than repetitively applying for visas every four years as you have to do in some countries, especially when Dominica has such a large population of people living to over 100.
It has also been listed as one of the happiest places in the world. One of the negatives of this happy and relaxed attitude is that things run on what is often referred to as ‘island time’, but if you’re wanting to slow down yourself, this may not be a bad thing.
Malaysia’s tax laws can be very friendly to expat retirees and the cost of living is delightfully low. Money really does go a lot further in Malaysia than it does in the UK. The only downside is that alcohol is on the pricier side, but with all the money you could be saving on everything else having a higher booze budget is not the end of the world.
The scenery of Malaysia is extraordinary, from the cosmopolitan wonderland of Kuala Lumpur to Malaka, rich with colonial architecture, to the serene beaches of Langkawi. There is such vibrancy and variance in the landscapes of Malaysia that it would surely suit almost anyone.
Let’s not forget the food. Malaysian cuisine is tasty and diverse due to the multiethnic nature of its population. It is mainly made up of the food traditions of Malay, Bornean, Chinese, Indian and Indonesian heritage with varying degrees of influence from that of Portugal, Britain, Thailand and the Netherlands. Quite the melting plot of flavours, great for any adventurous palate. For those with simpler tastes that crave home comforts these shouldn’t be too hard to come across in cities like Kuala Lumpur, especially as many major supermarket chains operate there such as Tesco.
Ecuador has some of the lowest living costs in the whole of Latin America and the currency is pegged to the US dollar (as is the currency of Dominica) adding to the financial comfort of a retiree. Much of Ecuador also provides quality and affordable health care, which cannot be said of the whole of Latin America.
The weather is temperate and often ‘Spring-like’ and many cities both some wonderful old architecture. Having said that, Ecuador is not known for it’s efficiency in maintenance for things like buildings and roads, so it may appeal more to those who are keen on the ‘shabby-chic’ aesthetic.
That being said there is much more wonderful scenery to see than shabby in Ecuador and beautiful beach houses costing around $70,000. For those prices many expats are more than happy to put up with the less than satisfactory roads. This is made all the sweeter by Ecuadors amazing natural wonders and locals that are famed for their friendliness.
There are many beauty spots the world over that do not cost the earth and all of your life savings to move to, these are just a few that appeal whilst being viable.