8 Great Places to Retire Abroad

Retiring abroad can offer a host of advantages over buying a condo in Florida.

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Retiring abroad can offer a host of advantages over buying a condo in Florida. Living expenses can be cheaper, cultural experiences richer and the lifestyle more satisfying. But picking the right place to retire for you can be tricky: Climate, cost of living, ease of traveling to the U.S. and access to adequate health care all need to be weighed.

We took those factors and others into account in making these picks. As part of our research, we consulted three experts on overseas retirement: Betsy Burlingame of ExpatExchange.com, Kathleen Peddicord of Liveandinvestoverseas.com and Jennifer Stevens of InternationalLiving.com. We also looked at International Living's Global Retirement Index, which ranks the 22 countries most popular with American retirees on eight categories ranging from entertainment options to infrastructure. Ecuador ranked highest overall on the index; the Dominican Republic came in 22nd. We focused primarily on the cost-of-living component of the index.

The hypothetical monthly budgets we provide for a retired American couple include the cost of housing in a desirable neighborhood and monthly living expenses such as food, entertainment, utilities and local transportation. Actual costs will vary widely. Buying a sprawling villa vs. renting a small apartment will affect living expenses significantly, for example, as will eating out nightly vs. preparing most meals at home. We hope the hypothetical monthly budgets are useful as a starting point for your planning.

Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com