Brexit: British expat discusses difficulty of living in Spain
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British expats who choose to retire overseas may do so for a change of scenery, better weather or investment opportunities. However, making the decision of exactly which country to relocate to can be a difficult one. Now one list has defined the best countries for expats to head to when they retire.
A new 2022 ranking, from International Living, may make the decision a lot easier for some.
The new ranking aims to “help you with the exciting business of choosing where in the world will best suit your needs”.
By analysing factors such as cost of living, health and happiness, the experts have been able to conclude which destinations best suit a range of expat needs.
International Living states: “Our index is informed by hundreds of opinions and real-life experiences—information compiled by our trusted sources in the best retirement destinations across the globe.”
The top 10 “best” countries for expats to retire in 2022
Panama, in Central America, scores number one on the International Living ranking.
According to Jessica Ramesch, who has lived in Panama for 15 years, its location, weather and connectivity make it a desirable place to live.
Ms Ramesch said: “The most popular destination for expat retirees is the lush highland haven of Boquete.”
Another Central American country, Costa Rica, took the second-place spot for retirement destinations.
Kathleen Evans, an expat resident of Costa Rica, hails the nation’s “laid-back lifestyle” and reasonably “comfortable” cost of living.
She said: “One of the things you hear often from expats is how warm and welcoming the ticos (Costa Ricans) are.
“You will also find engaging international communities of expats who will help you through the process of acclimation.
“The vast majority of new arrivals say it is very easy to make friends and fit in here.”
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The US neighbouring nation Mexico came in third place based on its connectivity, as well as its variety of climates, cultures, landscapes and lifestyles.
Expats from the US and Canada are most prevalent, according to Jason Holland who lives in the country.
He said: “In many ways, Mexico is the original retirement haven for Americans and Canadians, with expats coming here for going on 50, 60 years.”
Cost of living is reasonable, based on lifestyle habits.
Mr Holland added: “On average, a retired couple could live well in Mexico for right around $2,000 (£1,480) a month.
“That covers housing, transportation, healthcare, utilities, food… everything.
“Some people get by on much less because they live very much like locals, others spend a whole lot more; if you want luxury and high-end, Mexico certainly has it.”
Portugal has “topped the charts” for best places to retire throughout the years.
According to expat Terry Coles, the people of Portugal are among one of its finest assets.
She said: “The Portuguese people are warm, friendly, and greet everyone with double-cheeked kisses.”
Ms Cole says the wide use of the English language makes it easy for English speaking expats to settle here.
She added that the cost of living is “comfortable”.
According to the International Living survey, Colombia placed fifth in the world for its quality of life during retirement.
However, this is once again more tailored towards US and Canadian expats due to its close proximity to both nations.
Colombia is also recommended for its “lower cost of living” and “excellent healthcare”, according to Nancy Kiernan who has lived there since 2012.
Though it may not be your first thought when it comes to retirement, Ecuador offers an affordable lifestyle for expats.
Local expat Donna Stiteler said: “Instead of living paycheck to paycheck or having to work well into your retirement, Ecuador will provide a safe, joyful, tranquilo lifestyle, with money left over to travel the world.”
Malta is a popular holiday destination among Britons, but it is also ranked the sixth “best” place for retiring expats.
This is thanks to its southern Mediterranean landscape and expat-friendly way of life.
In fact, around 15 percent of the population are expats.
Among them is Jeff D Opdyke, who says the widespread use of the English language makes it easy to fit in.
France is an increasingly popular destination for British expats.
Though the cost of living varies depending on location, International Living recommends looking inland for property savings.
Tuula Rampont, who lives in Toulon, said: “The Var department, just adjacent to the Alpes-Maritimes region (home to Nice and Cannes), is full of cost-friendly destinations.”
Spain is hailed for its 300-plus days of sunshine and 3,000 miles of coastline.
Marsha Scabrough, an expat currently living in Spain, said: “The low cost of living, excellent healthcare, first-world infrastructure, and superb personal safety seal the deal.
“Spain has long been a favourite retirement destination for the Brits, Germans, Dutch, and other Northern Europeans.”
Uruguay completes the Intentional Living retirement ranking for 2022, though once again this is most appropriate for Canadian and US expats due to its proximity to North America.
The weather makes it a great destination for those who lead an outdoorsy lifestyle, with plenty of opportunities for water sports, golf and tennis.
Cost of living is also noted as a bonus, with “most expat couples in Uruguay live well on a budget of between $2,500 (Approximately £1,850) and $3,500 (approximately £2,591) per month including rent”, according to expat David Hammond.
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