2018’s Best places to retire abroad - Britannia Movers International
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2018’s Best places to retire abroad

If you are considering retiring abroad in 2018 or just curious where the best places might be then according to a report by The International Living Annual Global Retirement Index, the number 1 location is Costa Rica (up from No.4 in 2017).

The International Living Annual Global Retirement Index collects data for 24 countries, ranking them for 12 categories ranging from health care to climate to entertainment and amenities. They also rank each country on its stability and its political environment.

Top 10 destinations for 2018:

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Mexico
  3. Panama
  4. Ecuador
  5. Malaysia
  6. Colombia
  7. Portugal
  8. Nicaragua
  9. Spain
  10. Peru


Costa Rica

This popular tourist and expat destination was ranked No.1 due to its year-round tropical climate, low cost of living, high quality and affordable medical care, bargain property prices and its natural beauty. A retired couple can live comfortably on $2,500 (£1,800) a month in Costa Rica, and if you want a relaxed lifestyle with beautiful tropical scenery there’s no place better especially when their unofficial motto is Pura Vida (literally translates to “pure life” but really it’s more along the lines of “life is good”), and its used in everyday conversation.

According to a United Nations report in 2014 there were 524 British citizens living in Costa Rica and is also a popular destination for retiring Americans.  Costa Rica has one of the highest standards of living in Central America. The economy caters to a growing middle class and tourists from around the world, enabling you to easily find theatres, galleries and fine dining of virtually any cuisine.

High-speed internet (even in seemingly remote areas) is available to keep you in contact with friends and family, reliable electrical service, clean water you can drink from the tap, and all your mod cons are readily available that you are used to back home in the UK.

Best retirement locations in Costa Rica

Many retirees choose to live in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, which is the region surrounding the capital city of San Jose. The services and amenities here are the best in the country; and if you like the hustle and bustle of city life while being far enough outside of the central city, then Grecia in Alajuela is a good place to consider with its large expat community and wonderful microclimate.

Nosara in Guanacastle (also known as the Gold Coast) is probably the closest you could get to that postcard perfect image of your dream retirement lounging in a hammock with the sound of waves crashing onto the shore in the background while drinking an ice-cold beer or in my case a luscious cocktail. Nosara is home to a large expat community, where you will receive all the modern amenities and luxuries while still enjoying incredible nature. Fine restaurants, yoga studios, supermarkets and everything else you could wish for are close by for your convenience.

Dominical which runs along the South Pacific coast has all the services you could wish for at a close distance, the beach has great conditions for surfing and water sports and is considered more “down to earth” when compared to Nosara.  There are some amazing developments in the area catering to expats nested in the mountains overlooking the ocean, and the area has a long-established expat community living here.

Costa Rica sounds like a fabulous place to live and while Britannia have no plans to open an overseas office there at the moment, we’re working on it! Regardless of us not having a Britannia office located in Costa Rica though, our international relocation experts are on hand and ready to help with your dream move to Costa Rica.