The World’s Best Countries to Retire to in 2019

September 18, 2019


If you’re thinking of somewhere to retire to, there lots to take into account. Despite the fact that many retirees may choose to remain closer to home, the more adventurous ones prefer to travel far and wide! Warm countries are very tempting and are a common cause for people leaving their homes and exploring new destinations, and often choosing to settle somewhere completely new. Several factors should be considered when picking your dream retirement location. Along with Curved Stair Lifts Alberta, we take a look at the most important considerations and the top five countries to retire to in 2019.

Considerations to make when retiring overseas

There are many enticing countries around the globe, and they all have something unique to offer. But before you jet off, be sure to consider all the factors:

The local lingo

Language is also a big consideration. If you are a native English speaker who only speaks their mother tongue, then it might be best to choose a country in which English is widely spoken. If you are keen to learn another language however, the world is your oyster!

Those who speak more than one language have a few more options. France, for example, is a popular retirement location for French speaking Canadians. As well as the lack of language barrier, France is one of the countries that offers a retirement visa for Canadian citizens.


The climate in your country of choice is a major consideration. Do you want to spend your later years somewhere hot and sunny? Somewhere cold? Humid? Or with diverse, changing seasons? Canadian retirees in particular may look forward to the prospect of getting away from the frosty weather for their later years.

Living costs

Countries with low living costs are often a top choice for foreign retirees. Why not make your hard-earned money go a bit further? Depending on how much you have saved up, you definitely need to consider the pros and cons of choosing to spend your retirement in a high-cost country.

Health services

It is of paramount importance to know the healthcare options available before committing to a retirement location. For Canadians who have access to Medicare at home, it may feel risky to embark on new adventures in countries where the healthcare system isn’t quite as reliable.

Now we’ve thought about what we need to consider, let’s take a look at the top retirement countries of 2019:


Costa Rica

Voted one of the happiest places on earth, it is easy to see why Costa Rica is a popular choice for retirees from around the world. Expats are encouraged to retire there (after showing that they have the minimum pension required) and the low cost of living and high-quality health care attract many.

One reason why the 4,992,208 people in Costa Rica are considered relatively happier than people elsewhere in the world is the country’s avoidance of technology and other tropes of modern living. If you are looking for a slow-paced, simple way of life for your retirement, then Cost Rica is a great choice.


Malaysia offers a diverse way of life for retirees, with various different landscapes and a vibrant mix of cultures. Whether you opt for the modern metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, the quirky city of George Town, or the rolling tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia has something to offer for all. The cost of living is very low, so the funds you have saved up will go far.

If you need more convincing, the ‘My Second Home’ programme set up by the Malaysia Tourism Authority and the Immigration Department of Malaysia is an initiative designed to encourage expats to stay in Malaysia for a period of ten years, so you’ll know you are welcome!

New Zealand

If the year-round heat isn’t for you, but you’re still looking for a new adventure, then New Zealand is a great option. With its breath-taking mountains and stunning beaches, it offers a bit of everything and you’ll never get bored. Queenstown and Auckland are both favourite cities for foreign retirees, boasting a strong expat community as well as plenty to do and see.

The downside of New Zealand is the cost. The living expenses are much higher than anywhere else on the list and to retire to New Zealand you will need to prove you have a lot saved up. The entrance requirements include a business investment of roughly 710,370 CAD and proof of another 473,580 CAD in the bank. But, if you can afford it, then New Zealand could be a fantastic option for your later years.


Panama’s warm and sunny weather makes this country a magnet for retirees. Central and South American countries tend to attract a great number of retirees from Canada and the United States. This could be because of short, low-cost flights — you can nip back and visit family and friends whenever!

Panama has low crime rates, and affordable, high-quality health care. This country actively encourages foreign retirees and doesn’t tax any foreign sources of income. What’s more, English is quite widely spoken so you should get by quite comfortably.


Portugal is Europe’s top retirement destination for 2019. Famed for its dramatic coastlines and turquoise seas, it’s a beach-lovers paradise. The Algarve, in Portugal’s south, is a particularly popular region, as is its capital, Lisbon, which is perfect if you are wanting to retire in a city full of culture.

Portugal has a low crime rate, and a commendable healthcare system. One drawback, however, is that Portugal is a highly populated country and very touristic. They must be doing something right over there, as roughly 12.7 million people visit the sunny destination each year. But if you are looking for a more remote retirement, with a bit of peace and quiet, then Portugal might not be for you.

Whether you want to spend your retirement lounging on a beach, taking in awe-inspiring mountains, or leading a simple way of life, a foreign retirement could be perfectly catered towards your needs. It is an exciting time of life — the world is your oyster, and adventure is out there waiting for you!