Locate your local immigration and city offices for guidance in obtaining the following:
Named the best place in the world to retire by International Living. The ratio of women to men is about 2 to 1. Charming old world time charm. Ecuador’s third largest city.
Average monthly living expense is $1,141, including rent for a luxury 2-bedroom apartment, maid service, food, auto maintenance and fuel, clothing, entertainment and healthcare for two. Gas is about $1.48 a gallon. Mandatory car insurance (SOAT) ranges from $50 to $100 a year, but can vary based on year and size. If you want to buy property, the price for a 1,400-square-foot, three-bedroom/two-bath apartment in a new high rise is $110,000.
Renaissance and Colonial-style architecture, ancient churches, cobblestone streets. Terracotta roof tiles, and cathedral-like archways everywhere. Lot of cafes, parks and modern stores and malls. Very walkable town.
High elevation, (about 8,000 feet). Lush greens, mountains, luminous flowers and babbling rivers. Countryside living at its best.
Near perfect 60-degree year round temperature, according to EcuadorExplorer.com. Rainy season is January to May. Average daytime temperatures range in the 70s.
94 percent of Ecuadorian residents speak Spanish as native language. Most taxi cab drivers can speak English. Many locals can understand basic English. A private tutor can teach you Spanish for about $4-5 per hour.
Very friendly, respectful and patient. Women are said to outnumber men 2 to 1. Ecuador is progressive when it comes to women’s rights.
You can stay six months out of each year. To move permanently, there are seven different types of resident visas, including those specifically for retirees who receive a pension from their countries of origin. ($8,000/year). Resident visa fees are about $500 per person, plus the cost of an attorney. You can become a resident but not a citizen. Approval may take between 1 to 2 months.
Coastal city and resort, less than 60 miles from the bustling Panama City. Has a wide array of amenities such as supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, bistros, clinics, hardware stores, banks, shopping malls etc.
Affordable real estate. Cost of a home in a quiet neighborhood is around $185,000. Doctor’s visit is about $35. Tax-free for foreign-earned income. Opportunities for not-quite-retired residents who want to run a restaurant, spa or services. Groceries run about $100 to $125 per week for a family of two. U.S. imported items available. Gas comparable to U.S. rates.
Peaceful neighborhoods, senior-friendly culture, quiet small-town feel. Plenty of activities, including Mahjong clubs, karaoke bars, art classes, yoga classes, golf tournaments, country clubs. Well-trained and qualified physicians. Great public transportation. Internet service and direct TV.
Miles of pristine beach, rain forests, diverse ecosystem, fertile farmland, pine trees, waterfalls and hiking trails.
Diverse—a mix of African, European, Arab, American, Chinese and Indian. A large middle class who use modern amenities similar to U.S. citizens, such as cell phones and drive SUVs. Unemployment is high, ranging from 13 percent to 20 percent.
People avoid disagreeing in public. They may say “yes” when they really mean “no.” It is important to understand and appreciate the native culture. At social gatherings, no one is expected to arrive on time. Men shake hands, while women may pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder. At parties, shake hands with everyone.
Native dishes include empanadas, tamales, coconut rice, beans, yucca, squash, mango and plantains. U.S. imported items available.
For a Pensionado visa, you must prove that you have good health, no criminal record and an income of $1,000 per month. This visa entitles you to a wide range of discounts, including 30 percent off public transportation. If you are not retirement age, the “person of means” visa may be an option. You must show you have $300,000 worth of either deposit for three years in a local bank and/or an investment of that amount in Panama property.
The 2011 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards Best Destination in the World. Metropolitan city, the second largest in South Africa. It also has received a 5-star rating as a great place to retire. Boasts one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world.
Reasonable. One rand is worth about 12 cents. Rental of a property for two can range from about $800 to $1,000 monthly in a gated community; $70 monthly for electricity; $50 for gas, $450 per month groceries
Historic city with modern amenities and cosmopolitan destinations like first-class museums and theaters. Foreigners are allowed to buy real estate. Most couples can live on less than $3,000 a month. Popular tourist destination. Offers great spots for hiking, walking and surfing. First class health care. Golf, croquet, theatre.
Scenic area with a world-famous harbor, mountains, sandy beaches, the Cape Floristic Region, natural setting.
Mild, moderately wet winters and dry, warm summers. Temps average 80 degrees during the summer (early December to March), and average a high of 64 degrees during the winter.
Diverse; melting pot culture. People are considered warm and welcoming. Most South Africans shake hands while maintaining eye contact and smiling. Some women do not shake hands and merely nod their head. Do not interrupt a South African while they are speaking
Sosaties (type of kebab); bobotie (curried mince), crayfish, biltong (season dried meat), and potjiekos (a casserole); and local beers, brandies and liquers.
No age restrictions and both temporary and permanent residency can be applied for. Also, there is no specific amount that a retired person must bring to South Africa when immigrating.
Capitol city. Coastal city. Rich architectural heritage, including chalet-style homes and high-rise living. Boasts a large number of writers, artists and musicians. Artistic and literary community that is considered the center of cinema in the country of Uruguay.
Expect to pay $200 per square foot for an already renovated apartment. Example, one-bedroom unit, 645-square-feet, fully furnished, with garage is $123,000. Rentals for one-bedrooms in the Pocitos neighborhood range from $800 to $1,500
Rich array of music, including the three main styles of tango, candombe and murga. Features great theater and museums and other cultural destinations. Also home to several major annual festivals, including the Montevideo Carnaval. Residents enjoy professional sports, including football and track. Old-world European style city with fine restaurants, colorful markets, sycamore-lined streets and a cultural scene second to none.
Beautiful scenery. Beaches, seven-mile coastline along Rio de la Plata, which flows out to the Atlantic, historic colonial architecture.
Cool and wet overcast winters, warm summers and volatile springs. The city’s annual average temperature is 61 degrees. Highest temperatures are 109 degrees; lowest 21.9.
Spanish is the national language. English is frequently understood at tourist destinations, such as hotels and resorts. The literacy rate is 96 percent, one of the highest in South America.
Torta frita (a pan-fried cake), beef, pizza, pasta, chivitos (like a Philly cheesesteak)
Fairly easy process that includes filing for residency (which is typically granted after a year); birth certificate, a clean police record, and proof that you can support yourself through the residency process.
Your dollar stretches on this island in Southwest Thailand. Exchange rate allows those with modest retirement means to live the lavish life. One Thai Baht is equal to about 3 cents. The area is fast-growing with many people from Europe moving to live there permanently.
Rental properties can be found for between 3,000 to 10,000 Baht per month, which translates to about $90 to $300 a month. Some imports and services that are readily available in larger cities may cost more here. However, you can get by on $500 a month total living expenses by renting a small house and eating local cuisine. More luxurious rentals also are available.
Beautiful golf courses with palm trees are plentiful. More Western amenities are popping up, including new shopping and entertainment centers. The island’s only cinema theater was built recently. Scub diving.
Beaches with crystal water, in most cases, within walking distance of your property. Beautiful coral reefs for scuba diving fans.
Ranges from around 80 to 90 degrees in the winter and 90 to 100 during the summer.
Thai. Its simplified grammar and basic word use can make it easier to get started. Although most Thai speak basic English, they will appreciate you if you learn their language. Need to learn five basic tones.
Welcoming and friendly. Dominantly Asian culture. Respect anything to do with the King, the Royal Family and Buddha, smile a lot, always remove your shoes before entering a temple, someone’s home and, in some cases, shops. Greet others by using the hand gesture called the wai…put your hands together (similar to praying) in front of your chest and bow your head slightly.
You will need a Samui visa. Tourists visas are available for up to six months, while year-long visas are available for those who want to work, study or retire here. If you wish to retire here you must be over the age of 50, have a clean criminal record and a good bill of health. You also must prove you have a regular monthly income of at least $2,100 a month or show that they have $26,000 or the equivalent in the bank for at least three months.
Classic building designs, fine wine and delicious food. About an hour drive from the city of Naples, without the high costs of living in that city. Steeped in Medieval history with castles and palazzos dotting the landscape.
Affordable, you can buy a small unrestored apartment for $15,000 or an unrestored classic home for $42,000. A restored home will run around $64,000. Eating out $11 per person, public transportation $1.30.
Walking, local artisan shops (ceramics), and sports like skiing, paragliding, horseback riding, fishing and hunting, great restaurants.
Lush green hills and mountains, ruins of castles and cathedrals, the river Ofanto which flows along the valleys, beautiful streams, brooks and waterfalls.
Year-round sunshine. Average year-round daily high is 69 degrees, the average year-round daily low is 50 degrees.
93 percent of population are native Italian speakers
Handmade pasta, including cingul, lahan, hot tomato sauce, pecorino cheese and sciliend (pasta), chili pepper, lamb, stockfish.
Citizens of the U.S. and Canada do not need a visa to enter Italy for up to 90 day. If you are moving to Italy and can afford to live there without working, apply for an elective residency visa. This visa also is used by foreigners who are retired and can collect income from a retirement or pension plan.
Ranked as one of the best places worldwide to relocate. Austria’s capital features majestic architecture and plenty of tranquil green places. Beautiful scenery, especially in winter.
Housing can be hard to find. Expect to pay commission fees to rental agents. A two- to three-bedroom apartment is about $2,000 a month. A two- to three-bedroom home is about $3,200 a month. Your utility bills may run about $325 a month. A fresh loaf of bread runs about $3.50, a liter of milk $1.07, a movie ticket is about $10, a three-course meal in a restaurant about $25.
Slower and more traditional Austrian culture. Plenty of opportunities to walk trails, fishing, skiing and enjoying other outdoor activities. Art galleries, bike paths, cafes, quaint streets, interesting neighborhoods and the State Opera House. Excellent healthcare system. Active expat community. Bike-friendly city. Excellent healthcare.
Pristine wilderness, endless trails of the Alps, countless lakes and rivers and mountainsides.
Winters can be long, with temperatures dropping as low as 10 degrees. Summer highs can reach 90 degrees.
German. Although many Viennese speak some English, they may not speak it unless they find it necessary to communicate with you.
Known for its pastries like apfelstrudel (an apple-filled pastry), and palatschinken (crepes), Liptauer cheese, beuschel (a ragout containing veal lungs and heart). Pre-packaged foods are not typically available at grocery stores, you will not likely find your favorite brands.
Residence permits are issued in Austria, often taking two to three months, and can be indefinite. No visa is required for up to three months.
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Retirement is looming, and the whole “gone fishing” thing just isn’t your style. Instead of cold fish, you’re dreaming of brilliant bazaars teeming with rich spices and hand crafted pottery glistening under city lights. This helpful infographic lays out the best places for across-the-ocean travel as well as expatriate tips to ensure that your journeys are well prepared. The less exciting details like expatriate insurance, as well as legal considerations, are covered so you can check off the list of essentials and get to the more important stuff – like white sand beaches and breathtaking mountain vistas.
Once you’ve clicked through cultural and economic factors, you’ll be ready to start exploring those “anywhere but here” spots that are calling you far away from your cornfield-covered corner of the world. Three spots you might consider: Dubai, Switzerland, and Tokyo. There are plenty of reasons why these destinations are desirable. Keep reading to see if one of the three may be a good pick for you.
Striking architecture and a diverse population make Dubai a great place for expatriates to land. While you enjoy the view of curious building designs, you can nosh on a variety of cuisine – from flavorful greens to spicy curry. Dubai’s impressive array of restaurants offers menus for every appetite and budget so you can spend and eat as you please. As you navigate the city you can interact with locals fairly easily, as functional English is a second language for most merchants and other professionals. After you enjoy the dazzling array of delectable foods, you can work off your meal (or meals) with the city’s recreational pursuits. The Mall of the Empirates features an indoor ski slope – a fun way to escape the desert heat. And the Dubai Fountains feature over 1000 fountains to peruse, an excellent way to meander through an afternoon.
Tokyo is in a state of constant innovation, with the latest in fashion and technology. But while all things new are on the city’s surface, you’ll also find that it’s steeped in tradition and offers a rich history of architecture and religion. An abundant culinary selection is available for exploration as well. You’ll find an exceptional array of seafood, with fresh sushi and soba choices. Securing a sense of community in Tokyo is attainable for expatriates: the city offers several ways to connect including clubs specifically marketed to expats and American offerings like The Pink Cow, for an easy Western fix.
If you’re looking for sweeping landscapes and breathtaking mountain views, Switzerland is an excellent expatriate choice. Situated between the Swiss Alps and the Jura mountains, the Swiss plateau offers a good balance of fresh air and city life. Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland, is home to the Kunsthaus and the Rietberg Museum, which house some of the world’s best art. Niederdorf provides ample opportunity for serious shopping, while Zurich’s club and bar scene gives you a great way to cap off your nights out on the town. Another Swiss point of appeal is its health care program, which is one of the best in the world. It’s also one of the safest places to live, with a low crime rate that makes it a great choice for expatriates.
Whether you choose to land in an exotic Asian city or a cozy European village, life as an expatriate can certainly be fulfilling. When you’re ready to make the move from one continent to the next, pack your bags with the right essentials to ensure the maximum international experience.