For many Australians considering retirement, escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city is top of their priority list.
The churn and burn of the ‘go go go’ lifestyle can be utterly exhausting so it comes as no surprise that many retirees are now seeking long-term getaways that also provide new experiences and a taste of adventure.
In doing so, they’re also considering options that exist beyond their own back door. Choosing to retire overseas has become easier than ever before thanks in large part to the internet and our ability to live and work – or not work as it were – from anywhere in the world.
Here are some of the best countries to consider when you’re ready to pull up the professional stumps and start the next chapter.
1. Costa Rica
From the first-rate healthcare to the tropical climate that encourages enjoyment of sun and sand on a daily basis, Costa Rica looks like the perfect spot to kick back and relax because well, it is. It’s also one of the first countries to ever offer a benefits package aimed specifically at retirees.
There’s plenty of outdoor activities to keep your energy levels up, excellent farm to table cuisine and a distinct lack of tourists compared to what we’re used to in beach areas back home. Wondering if it’s the right spot for you? Why not aim for a visit during the dry season from November through to May.
For those who’d like to stay for the long term, you simply need to apply for a ‘Pensionado visa’. You know you’re onto a winner when even the name of the visa is fun to say.
If you’re looking for somewhere safe, friendly and affordable to call home – look no further than the stunning landscape and aqua-blue coastlines of Portugal.
The weather is sunny and warm almost all-year-round making outdoor activities like hiking, boating and alfresco dining an everyday occurrence. From amazing beaches to green golf courses, Portugal is a retiree’s dream.
Recreational and cultural activities aside, the most important elements are all covered in this beautiful country. The health care is second-to-none, the infrastructure is first-rate (pay attention Sydney), the majority of people can speak English and it’s cheap to rent a property or buy one to call your own.
Most importantly, your retirement income won’t be taxed and whenever you need a break, you’re only a hop, skip and jump from Europe. Applying for a permanent residency visa is also easy relatively easy assuming you can prove you’re financially self-sufficient.
The hills are alive with the sound of relaxation. Imagine calling the alps ‘home’ on a daily basis. Considered by many as the best (and cheapest) alternative to Switzerland, Austria isn’t just postcard beautiful, it also has great infrastructure and an excellent standard of living for both tourists and residents.
For anyone looking to stay longer than six months, you can apply for a residence permit. This will also require you to prove you have the financial means to support yourself.
For somewhere much more affordable and a little closer to home, you can’t go passed this pocket of Southeast Asia. Nicknamed ‘paradise on a budget’, Malaysia isn’t just easy on the ol’ hip pocket, it’s a tropical escape that will truly make you feel like you’re on a holiday every day.
As a multicultural island nation, Malaysia has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches as well as two national parks both registered as World Heritage Sites. If you’re thinking of making the move, look into the MM2H program – the Malaysia My Second Home program, which provides visas for up to 10 years assuming you can prove you have sufficient finances to see you through. Head to George Town (the capital of the island of Penang) for great food and culture, or head to Kuala Lumpur for a more modern and city-esque experience.