I personally wanted a warm, tropical place. Was not interested in “cheap.”
I have Been Retired for over 40 years in Monaco (South of France). Also, Campione (Italy/Switzerland) .
For rent and real estate prices, Monaco is expensive. IMO, Even crazy! But what you get there is safety, sophistication, non-stop cultural and popular entertainment… There is an abundance of Michelin Starred restaurants, —plus super medical facilities. The Nice International Airport is a few minutes away by regular helicopter flights. Thus, if money is no object, Monaco has to be 1st choice. For budget retirees, maybe Campione, or Andorra would be a lot cheaper and better for you!
Most retirees want a warm place that is also “affordable,” in other words cheap. Most would prefer to stay in their own country.
Thus for Americans, #1 choice is Florida Why? No estate tax, no state income tax & a very elderly friendly climate …
Other typical considerations are:
- Exceedingly important – what’s the cost & quality of MEDICAL & HOSPITALIZATION? Israel, Monaco, Campione & Panama are among the best outside of the USA. France & Italy have the best socialized medicine. The UK & Canada’s socialized med system does not prioritize elderly people. Also IMO, the cold long, winter climate keeps Canada from being a favorite retirement destination.
- Are there plenty of my countrymen speaking my language? For Americans many USA type suburbs in Mexico or Panama (Bouquete) for instance. For Spanish speakers, Central & South America offers an abundance of retirement communities.
- Is there a nearby international airport with cheap flights so my grandchildren can visit a few times a year? That of course depends on where the kids & grandchildren live.
- Low taxes, particularly income tax and estate taxes? For the very (Ultra High Net Worth) wealthy, Monaco is top choice. But it is moderately cold and rainy there during winters.
- What is the place of origin, or where do either husband or wife have their relatives? Many Americans come from Italian stock. Thus Italy is where they go to retire. Mexico is the #1 destination for Americans of foreign birth.
- I personally after 40 years of searching, settled on 2 places to get perfect weather (for me anyway) all year. Monaco & the Philippines. But my choices are not going to be the same as yours. I think you need 2 places to get the best of the seasons & stay warm!
The USA, particularly Florida (and maybe Southern California) are both very good for English speakers who have a tax free pension income &/or who have enough assets to warrant setting up offshore trusts not subject to estate taxes. Places like Sarasota (Florida) or Palm Desert (California) are safe, reasonably priced, and tick all the boxes above.