I recently spent time with a younger friend who had never seen the 2011 movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and it seemed like as good a time as any to watch Maggie Smith and Judi Dench flex their acting muscles.
If you haven’t seen it — I really hope you have — the main plot has to do with a group of retired British subjects who, lured by the idea of spending their golden years in an affordable but upscale environment, travel to India.
In the end, everyone benefits. But they do in unexpected ways.
Have you thought of spending your retirement years in another country? Most of us, of course, want to be close to family members, especially our adorable grandchildren.
But there are plenty of innovative ways to retain those all-important family ties. And with assistance from today’s technology and social media (Skype, Facebook, etc.), we can all feel close to family and friends no matter how far apart we may be.
In 2016, Natixis Investment Managers published a list of the best countries for retirement, having calculated factors like health-care availability, pensions and quality of life.
The top five places to retire were Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden; the bottom five were Turkey, Russia, Brazil, Greece and India.
For my money, however, a better source of overseas destinations for seniors is International Living Magazine. For more than 20 years, this publication has named, ranked and rated what it has found to be the best retirement locales in its Annual Global Retirement Index.
This year, it listed 24 retirement destinations, which were evaluated by taking into consideration a variety of factors including climate, cost of living, cultural activities, health care and retiree benefits. In addition, staff members met with local ex-pats to get their personalized input.
Here is a condensed look at their recommendations:
10: SPAIN. This country combines the best of healthy Mediterranean living with lots of culture and history. Most couples could live comfortably on about $2,000 a month. And the rest of Europe is right next door.
9: THAILAND. A tropical humid climate and a rich cultural heritage are all pluses for Thailand, where rentals can be as little as $400 per month for a modern studio apartment. A thriving expat community is a bonus.
8: PERU. Great food and majestic sights to see are hallmarks of Peru. Plus, a couple can easily live on a budget of less than $2,000 a month in most regions of the country.
7: PORTUGAL. Both property and cost of living are easily affordable in this historic country. The population tends to be friendly and laid-back, and most people speak at least some English. There are plenty of beaches, the weather is mild, and the country is known for its delicious cuisine.
6: COLUMBIA. Perfect spring-like weather year-round and easy-to-acquire retirement visas make Colombia an attractive destination.
Next week, we’ll look at the magazine’s top five recommended overseas retirement destinations.
— Marilyn Murray Willison is a columnist, motivational speaker and journalist, and author of The Self-Empowered Woman blog and the award-winning memoir One Woman, Four Decades, Eight Wishes. Click here to contact her, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.