The 17 Best Retirement Destinations If Money is No Object

The 17 Best Retirement Destinations If Money is No Object

So many retirement articles are about getting by with less: less money, lower cost of living, leaner infrastructure, etc. This time, we’re looking at countries that ask for more: higher income requirements, better healthcare, and overall high quality of life in your golden years. Since you can’t take it with you when you go, here are top-dollar retirement countries where you can move if you have enough retirement income or the ability to invest:

Australia

Sydney Opera House and downtown Sydney, Australia

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You can retire down under if you’ve got enough money for a sizable investment: AUD $1.5M, or about $950K in U.S. dollars.

Learn more about moving to Australia

Austria

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Getting a retirement visa in Austria requires $2,070 per month in retirement income. You’ll also need to buy into Austria’s universal health insurance scheme since you’re staying longer than six months. In return, you’re enjoying the country in the top 10% globally for healthcare, infrastructure, and safety.

Learn more about moving to Austria

Bahamas

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Although they don’t offer a retirement visa per se, the Bahamian government will be happy to share your retirement wealth. The Bahamas will let you apply for permanent residency once you’ve purchased a home that’s worth at least $500,000. Nearly all countries offer an investment visa that could be used for retirement; costs vary widely.

Infrastructure in the Bahamas places in the top 50% of all countries.

Barbados

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Barbados’ retirement plan requires a couple of investments from you to get going. First, you’ll need to purchase a home worth at least $150,000. You’re also going to need your own health insurance coverage. Finally, retirees 60-plus pay a one-time registration fee of $5,000.

Barbados ranks in the top 25% of countries for infrastructure, safety, and healthcare.

Germany

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Germany’s retirement visa expects you to have “sufficient funds” in order to retire here—a pretty nebulous figure, to be sure. However, a single person living in Berlin can expect to pay a minimum of $3,000/month for the privilege of German residency. Universal healthcare and its low out-of-pocket costs should sweeten the deal.

Germany places in the t0p 25% of countries for healthcare and safety. Its infrastructure ranks in the top 10% worldwide.

Learn more about moving to Germany

Greece

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To retire in this Mediterranean locale, expect to show about $2,100 per month on your visa application. Actual living costs could go much higher, of course, depending on your appetite for the good life. Greece’s safety, healthcare and infrastructure rank in the top 25% of countries.

Learn more about moving to Greece

Ireland

best countries to live

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Since you can’t retire to the UK anymore (thanks, Brexit), the Republic of Ireland offers you the next-best option. You’ll pay top dollar to retire in your ancestral homeland, though. You and your spouse must show at least $4,000 each in monthly retirement income in order to share a pint of Guinness with your mates.

Ireland’s healthcare ranks in the top 10% of all countries. The same goes for its safety rankings, while Irish infrastructure creeps into the top 25% worldwide.

Learn more about moving to Ireland

Italy

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If you’re planning on retiring to Italy, they’ll want you to bring more than the average U.S. social security payment. You’ll need to show at least $2,800 per month in regular retirement income to get that visa approved. Those wealthy enough to get in will find a country steeped in history and flowing with wine. Chianti, anyone?

Italy ranks in the top 25% worldwide for safety, healthcare, and infrastructure.

Learn more about moving to Italy

Luxembourg

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Perhaps your idea of living the good life involves escaping crowded streets and finding hidden gems. The monarchy of Luxembourg offers the charms of European life with a population smaller than Oklahoma City—about 650,ooo people. Those rich enough to show $2,450 in monthly retirement income can make it their home, too.

Luxembourg ranks in the top 10% of countries for it infrastructure, with healthcare and safety rankings to match.

Learn more about moving to Luxembourg

Malta

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Malta’s another European gem that more economical retirees haven’t gotten to consider. Come sail away to this Mediterranean island for the easy life; you’ll just need to buy a property worth at least $234,000 to do so. You can also qualify for retirement by renting a place for at least $9,300 a year. That’s not a bad deal for living in the European Union!

Malta’s got high marks for safety, placing in the top 25% of countries. It’s in the top quartile for its healthcare and infrastructure systems, too.

Learn more about moving to Malta

Mexico

best beaches in Mexico

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It’s remarkable how similar Mexico is to the U.S. for range of lifestyles. You can live in the lap of luxury in Lake Chapala, enjoy the party in Puerto Vallarta, or embrace the calm dignity of Mérida. Whatever locale you choose, that retirement visa is yours if you can show about $3,000 in monthly pension income. The same deal applies if you can show bank accounts, including investments, that carried an average monthly balance of $50,000 for the last 12 months.

Mexico’s infrastructure ranks in the top half of all countries.

Learn more about moving to Mexico

Monaco

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No list of expensive retirement countries would be complete without Monaco, the most expensive country in the world. Technically a principality, you’d apply for your long-stay visa through the French consulate first, then apply for Monaco residency afterward. From there, you’ll show evidence of rental or home ownership, along with deposit “sufficient funds to live” in a Monaco bank account—minimum €1M (about  $1.1M US). If you had to ask, then you probably can’t afford it.

With a total area of 0.76mi² and under 40,000 residents, rest assured that Monaco tops the charts in healthcare, infrastructure, and safety.

New Zealand

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If you’re 66 or older, you can apply for temporary retirement in New Zealand if you invest NZ $750,000 (about $450K U.S.), plus have NZ $500,000 to live on (about $300K U.S.), plus NZ $60,000/year in retirement income (about $35K U.S.). Your residency visa will last for two years, and then you can renew it if you still meet the qualifications.

Learn more about moving to New Zealand

Spain

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If beauty, healthcare and inclusivity are important to you, start packing your bags for Spain right now. Packed with stunning architecture, incredible food and wine, and gorgeous vistas, this country expects the most affluent expats to join its retirement ranks. The retirement visa is yours for the taking after you demonstrate $2,400 per month in retirement income, including investments, dividends, and social security deposits.

Spain’s got high marks, boasting top 10% infrastructure rankings and top 25% for safety and healthcare.

Learn more about moving to Spain

Switzerland

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Retiring to Switzerland is exactly like you think it is: those who can afford it aren’t concerned about the cost. The Swiss government coyly expects retirees to be “financially self-sufficient” when they apply. This equates to a bare minimum $4,000 per month in retirement income for each person. Moving into the chalet costs extra. Healthcare costs are also the second highest in the world, second only to the United States.

Switzerland is top of its class in healthcare, safety, and infrastructure—just as you’d expect.

Learn more about moving to Switzerland

United Arab Emirates

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Thinking of retiring to Dubai at the end of your working years? High-dollar retirees are welcome to join the party in the United Arab Emirates. You’ll want to show a minimum of $4,100 in monthly passive income to get in the door and find a humble apartment. Hoping to live the good life in one of those high-rise condos? You’d better start stacking those Benjamins now for the down payment.

Dubai and the rest of the UAE ranks in the top 50% of countries for safety and healthcare. Its infrastructure places in the top 25% worldwide.

U.S. Virgin Islands

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Maybe you’re looking to retire someplace sunny and tropical, but you really don’t want to bother with getting a retirement visa. Lucky for you, the U.S. Virgin Islands await—no government permission needed! The island you choose really comes down to preference: St. Thomas or St. Croix are great choices if you like cities, while St. John works best for getting closer to nature. Bon voyage!

Take the Expatsi Test to find out the best retirement country for you on any budget.

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Co-founder at Expatsi | + posts

Brett Andrews is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps expats discover how to leave the U.S. Brett and his partner Jen developed the Expatsi Test to recommend countries to move to, based on factors like budget, visa type, spoken languages, healthcare rankings, and more. In a former life, he worked as a software developer, IT support specialist, and college educator. When he's not working, Brett loves watching comic book movies and reading unusual books.

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bed49dc5d4263d6d37b46cb09574d411?s=150&d=mp&r=g
Co-founder at Expatsi | + posts

Brett Andrews is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps expats discover how to leave the U.S. Brett and his partner Jen developed the Expatsi Test to recommend countries to move to, based on factors like budget, visa type, spoken languages, healthcare rankings, and more. In a former life, he worked as a software developer, IT support specialist, and college educator. When he's not working, Brett loves watching comic book movies and reading unusual books.