Top 10 Retirement Havens

Live and Invest Overseas publisher Kathleen Peddicord has named the Top 10 Retirement Havens for 2010, and the list includes some surprises.

Panama occupies the top spot, and Peddicord comments that “this country manages to become more appealing all the time.”



Her Top 10 picks include:

  1. Panama
  2. France “World’s best quality of life, world’s best health care, world’s best infrastructure, world’s most romantic city”
  3. Uruguay for “The banking, residency, and tax advantages of Panama without the chaos or the construction dust.”
  4. Dominican Republic. “Easy foreign residency, favorable approach to foreign taxation, and, right now, a down real estate market that has created great crisis buy opps”

  5. Argentina, which has “the most cosmopolitan city in Central or South America. . . . If you want to live a life filled with art and history, culture and interesting company, but you can’t afford Paris and its euro, look to Buenos Aires.”
  6. Malaysia, specifically Kuala Lumpur
  7. Chile, a new addition, for beachfront, First World services, and lowest violent crime rate coupled with the highest GDP per capital in Latin America.
  8. Belize, “safe stable and English speaking.”
  9. Croatia, where “both nature and man have worked together over many centuries to create something very special, almost magical”
  10. Vietnam, for its “temptingly low cost of living” and youthful population and energy.

Panama’s placement is no surprise, nor is France’s in the no. 2 spot. Uruguay, Malaysia, Belize, Croatia and Argentina have been in the forefront of expat retirement destinations for several years. Surprise additions — at least to me! — to the list were Chile and Vietnam. While I’ve been aware for several years that Vietnam’s economy was growing, and I’ve had a personal interest in the country, I was surprised to see it emerge on a “Top Ten” list. And, I have to admit, I’m not at all knowledgeable about Chile, although I feel as though I know a reasonable amount about most of the other South American countries.

I will watch the forthcoming information about those two countries with great interest.

photo by jameskhoo on flickr


  1. Great to hear that the Dominican Republic is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Thank you Kathleen!

  2. Fritz Kaktus says:

    Malaysia is a great choice – first world services at third world rates. A great government program called “Malaysia – My Second Home”, mostly english speaking, great food, colourful life, great location to explore ASia from.

  3. Want to explore the D.R. Anybody out there know the acceptance factor of dogs? Ie: do they view them as pets or as dinner–and do they require a quarantine period ?

  4. “Malaysia is a great choice – first world services at third world rates”

    I live here now and I would say the reverse is true, especially with respect to internet and electricity service!

  5. Sophia Wilson says:

    as for my retirement, i plan to retire on an asian country and live a quiet and simple life.:-.

  6. I’ve been living and working in Vietnam for the last 3 years doing consulting and some relocation. It’s not yet flooded with Western retirees but the potential for a retirement hotspot is certainly shines through. Great weather, friendly people, still really good value in everything, maybe even the ability to buy some land soon. Looking good over here.

  7. Metallic Sandals : says:

    when i get a retirement, i would like to spend it on a tropical island with a very relaxing atmosphere;`*

  8. I would say rubbish about Malaysia. It might look good on paper but the current government is quickly destroying a country that had such great potential.

    As for Vietnam. Good place to visit but not for everyone.

    I would say whoever wrote this list hasnt been to half the countries mentioned.

    • FutureExpat says:

      Hi Paul,

      Can you explain why you think the current government of Malaysia is destroying a good thing? What are they doing that will negatively affect expats living there?


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