10 Countries Where Retirees Live Large
When retirees' nest eggs are a finite and dwindling resource, rising local and federal taxes can put even the staunchest, flag-draped patriotism to the test. If retirees are willing to leave the states behind, the savings can be substantial.
The folks at International Living crunched the numbers and looked at the price of simple staples, assimilation and staying in touch with family left behind. The following countries scored high marks not only for their inexpensive living, but for overall friendliness toward American retirees:
A retiree has it pretty sweet in Panama, where a program commonly known as pensionado help retirees settle in quickly. International Living says retirees can live like kings here for $1,500 to $2,000 a month and score apartments for less than $500 a month or buy waterfront condos for less than $200,000. Pensionado, meanwhile, gives users 15% off fast food, 15% off at hospitals and clinics, 20% off professional services used in Panama, 25% off the price of food eaten in a sit-down restaurant; 25% off domestic flights on Copa Airlines, a 30% discount on public transport and 50% off movies, theater tickets and sporting events. There's no age limit for the service, either, so help yourself.
Considering the tensions over the state of Mexico/U.S. immigration law, it's at the very least amusing to consider American workers streaming south to chase their retirement dreams. But great homes on Mexico's Caribbean coast go for less than $170,000 while places such as Lake Chapala are home to dozens of expat communities. It's not such a bad place for snowbirds, either. It's the only retirement destination on this list withing driving distance, and retirees can rent out their properties in the off months to cover costs.