Best Countries To Retire On Social Security Alone

Countries To Retire On Social Security

If you are living just on social security, what’s the best way to have a comfortable life? For a long time, many Americans have chosen to go live in other countries after retirement. However, COVID-19 has changed things. Are there still countries to retire on social security alone?

How Coronavirus Has Changed Retiring Abroad

The coronavirus pandemic has caused retirees living in other countries to second guess that decision. Some have moved back to the states. People who had been looking at countries to retire on social security in the next few years are putting those plans on hold.

According to The Washington Post, there’s been a slow-down – and might even be a reversal – in what had been a growing trend to retire abroad. This is due in part to fear: “what happens if I get sick with COVID-19 in another country?” Additionally, older people may have a desire to live closer to their kids, having reorganized their priorities in the wake of coronavirus.

2020: Best Countries to Retire on Social Security

Of course, some people are still interested in retiring to another country. America is expensive. If you’re living on social security alone, then moving to another country might give you the most comfortable life. So where are the best countries to retire on social security given the current state of things?

The Annual Global Retirement Index

Every January, International Living offers the Annual Global Retirement Index. They rank the best countries to retire on social security. It’s one of the best resources for figuring out where you might want to move. As of January 2020, the top ten choices were:

  1. Portugal
  2. Panama
  3. Costa Rica
  4. Mexico
  5. Colombia
  6. Ecuador
  7. Malaysia
  8. Spain
  9. France
  10. Vietnam

But is that still accurate in the face of COVID-19? People who are concerned about the quality of health care, particularly for expats, may be wary of some of retiring to some of these countries. CNBC strongly recommends that older Americans learn about a country’s health care system before moving there.

Expat Explorer Survey

HSBC recently released its annual Expat Explorer Survey. This isn’t just for retirees but it’s a good starting point for figuring out where to move. The top ten countries on this list were:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Singapore
  3. Canada
  4. Spain
  5. New Zealand
  6. Australia
  7. Turkey
  8. Germany
  9. UAE
  10. Vietnam

Where Americans Are Moving Since COVID-19 Began

According to The Travel, Americans who wanted to leave the country since the start of coronavirus are mostly moving to:

  1. Japan
  2. Italy
  3. China
  4. New Zealand
  5. Australia
  6. Germany
  7. France
  8. UK
  9. Panama
  10. Ecuador
  11. Mexico
  12. Canada

The Top Countries to Retire on Social Security in 2020

Obviously, not all of these are among the best countries to retire on social security alone. However, when you look at the overlap between all of these lists, you get some good options.

  1. Panama is listed as a top choice for retirees. It’s also on the list of places expats are moving since COVID-19 began. The number one reason was cited as its good infrastructure. This bodes well for people seeking to retire well.
  2. Mexico and Ecuador also on both of those lists. France makes both of those lists as well.
  3. Countries that made the lists for both best retiree countries and best expat countries in general were Spain and Vietnam.

So, if you’re looking to retire soon to another country on social security alone, then you might want to research the healthcare and quality of life options in Panama, Mexico, Ecuador, France, Spain, and Vietnam.

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