The 2 Best Places to Retire Overseas in 2020

a retiree abroad
Photo by Phovoir /

If your retirement dreams include living better for less while enjoying the adventure of a lifetime, you might want to check out Algarve, Portugal, and Mazatlan, Mexico.

These two places tied for No. 1 in the 2020 Retire Overseas Index by the publication Live and Invest Overseas.

The annual ranking takes into account an array of factors, including health care, taxes, real estate affordability, crime and safety, and access to North America.

“These aren’t simply the world’s top retirement havens right now, these are simply the best places to be, regardless of your age or any other circumstances,” says Kathleen Peddicord, publisher of Live and Invest Overseas.

Algarve, Portugal

You could live nicely in this southwest corner of Europe featuring beautiful beaches and plenty of sunshine on a monthly budget of $2,128, Peddicord says.

Protected from winter by the movement of the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream, this region has the best climate in Europe, with 3,300 hours of sunshine every year. The region is also home to great golf courses — more per capita than anywhere else.

You can get by with English only, thanks to the region’s strong historic and cultural links with England. Health care here is top-notch, and expats who become legal residents can access the public health system for free.

Mazatlan, Mexico

Located about midway along Mexico’s Pacific coast, this resort town stands out as a popular expat choice for its beautiful beaches, walkable colonial center and affordable lifestyle, Peddicord says.

In fact, Live and Invest Overseas estimates that a retiree could live in Mazatlan on a budget of $1,133 a month — less than the average Social Security benefit among retired workers, which was $1,509 as of March.

While Mexico’s health care is highly rated, retirees also can travel back to the United States relatively easily for medical care covered by their Medicare health insurance benefits, Peddicord says.

Summer weather, she cautions, runs hot and humid in Mazatlan, making it an ideal choice for snowbirds who prefer to migrate north at that time.

Here’s the rest of Live and Invest Overseas’ top 10 overseas retirement destinations for 2020 and the monthly budget to live there:

  • Cuenca, Ecuador: $1,230
  • Valletta, Malta: $2,044
  • Città Sant’Angelo, Italy: $1,533
  • Ambergris Caye, Belize: $2,170
  • San Ignacio, Belize: $1,693
  • Bled, Slovenia: $1,857
  • Medellín, Colombia: $1,605
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand: $1,061

If you’re still unsure whether you could afford to retire overseas, though, check out “12 Ways to Fund a Dream Retirement Abroad.”

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