Which country is ideal for your retirement plan?

This question and answer originally appeared at Quora.

I would pick based on the following factors:

  1. Climate – in older age joints tend to ache in colder weather, so not surprisingly people favour warmer climates.
  2. Good healthcare – You would want healthcare that is to a high standard and accessible.
  3. Safe – Not exactly going to be in a position to defend your home and will become more vulnerable, so you want a country with low levels of crime.
  4. Community – You would want a support network – or perhaps even retirment homes and villages nearby etc. – this is for social reasons as well as more practical ones.
  5. Family proximity – Many wouldn’t wish to be too far away from their family.
  6. Low cost – many people will be spending their capital as well as their income, and most don’t have enough savings to fund a full retirement in expensive countries.

Your country of choice will depend a lot on where you are from, but from people in the UK, France/Spain/Italy etc., are all favoured places because they incorporate some or all of the above factors.

It depends on what stage of retirement you are at as well – early years are more mobile and leisurely, later years you need more support and healthcare etc.

Also, you don’t have to just pick one country – maybe have a base and then spend part of each year in a different location (that’s what I will do anyway). I would also favour going wherever my money stretches the furthest (at least for half the year) – so if I retired today I would spend a lot of time in south east asia – you can live in a hotel and eat out everyday for the cost of living in some boring part of the UK. Seems like a far more interesting, enjoyable and comfortable way to spend retirement.

Hope that helps

This answer first appeared here.

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Mark Underdown

Financial Planner, Small Acorn Money

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