The World’s Top 10 Destinations for 2020: Here's Where You Need to Travel or Retire This Year by Kathleen Peddicord

4 years ago

The World’s Top 10 Destinations for 2020: Here's Where You Need to Travel or Retire This Year

Live and Invest Overseas has announced the 10 best places in the world for you to retire, live better, reinvent your life and have a grand adventure in 2020.

“These aren’t simply the world’s top retirement havens right now, these are simply the best places to be, regardless of your age or any other circumstances,” said Kathleen Peddicord, author and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas.

The Index concentrates on cities (and a couple of regions), rather than whole countries. That’s because a big, diverse country can offer vastly different lifestyles. By concentrating on cities, the Index provides the more specific information needed to make informed decisions. And unlike some other publications, the Index doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to mentioning the potential downsides. If pollution is bad, health care substandard or cost of living expensive, it’s detailed in the Index.

“Many of the new destinations are not well-known and not yet on the mainstream radar,” said Peddicord. “This means we’ve had to pass on some old favorites and although most remain great options, the rapid rise of some of our new destinations left us with no choice but to leave them out.”

And, for the first time in history, there was a tie. For 2020, there are two best places to retire overseas: Algarve, Portugal and Mazatlán, Mexico. 

1. Algarve, Portugal

Cost of Living: B (Monthly Budget: $2,127.77)
Health Care: A+
Affordability of Real Estate: B
Taxes: B
Final Grade: A+

For the fifth year running, Algarve, Portugal, remains at the top of the list of world’s best places to retire thanks to its low cost of living, low cost of real estate, great weather, established expat community, user-friendly and low-cost retiree residency program and endless options for how to meaningfully fill your days and evenings. In addition, you can get by speaking only English (thanks to the region’s strong historic and cultural links with England), and, notably, the stunningly beautiful country is one of the safest places on earth right now.

Photo: Carvoeiro Beach, Algarve, Portugal

The country’s Algarve is a unique bit of European geography at the southwestern corner of the continent, at the longitude of Great Britain and the latitude of Delaware. It is protected from winter by the movement of the ocean in the Gulf Stream and, as a result, has the best climate in Europe, with 3,300 hours of sunshine every year, more than any other country in this part of the world. Portugal checks all the boxes and qualifies as a top choice for anyone considering making a move overseas in 2020. Its Algarve coast is certainly your best option on the continent.

Photo: São Vicente cape lighthouse at sunset in Algarve, Portugal

2. Mazatlán, Mexico

Cost of Living: A- (Monthly budget: $1,132.63)
Health Care: B+
Affordability of Real Estate: B+
Taxes: B
Final Grade: A+

Tied with Algarve, Portugal, the second pick for the best place to live overseas in the New Year is Mazatlan, Mexico. Over the past four decades, Americans have voted Mexico the world’s No. 1 place to live or retire in the way that really counts: they’ve packed up and moved there. This country is home to more American expats and retirees than any other, at least one million and as many as two million, depending on the survey. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s easier for an American to get to Mexico than to any other country other than Canada.

Photo: The letters of MAZATLAN and art work welcome tourists to the area sponsored by the Mazatlan Business Association.

Why do Americans choose to go south of the Rio Grande rather than to the Great White North? The weather! Americans looking to start a new life in a new country primarily seek three things: warm weather, beautiful beaches and a low cost of living. Mexico competes handily in all three categories. Moving to Mexico is as hassle-free as any international move can get. Nothing’s as easy as loading up a truck and driving south. Your entire moving budget could be just gas and tolls.

Photo: Overlooking the city of Mazatlan, Mexico.

3. Cuenca, Ecuador

Cost of Living: A+ (Monthly Budget: $1,230.00)
Health Care: A-
Affordability of Real Estate: A
Taxes: B-
Final Grade: A+

Photo: Cathedral in center of Cuenca, Ecuador that opened in 1975. It was large enough to house 90 percent of the popular on Cuenca when it was designed and it took 90 years to complete. 

4. Valletta, Malta

Cost of Living: B (Monthly Budget: $2,043.80)
Health Care: A+
Affordability of Real Estate: C-
Taxes: A
Final Grade: A

Photo: Valletta, Malta, skyline at sunset.

5. Citta Sant’ Angelo, Italy

Cost of Living: B+ (Monthly Budget: $1,533.33)
Health Care: A+
Affordability of Real Estate: B
Taxes: C
Final Grade: A

Photo: The charming town of Citta Sant' Angelo, Italy. 

6. Ambergris Caye, Belize

Cost of Living: B- (Monthly Budget: $2,170.00)
Health Care: D
Affordability of Real Estate: C
Taxes: A+
Final Grade: A

Photo: Palm tree and ocean dock in Ambergris Caye, Belize. 

7. San Ignacio, Belize

Cost of Living: B (Monthly Budget: $1,692.50)
Health Care: D
Affordability of Real Estate: A-
Taxes: A+
Final Grade: A-

Photo: Burn's Avenue with restaurants, souvenir shops and tours in the city of San Ignacio, Belize.

8. Bled, Slovenia

Cost of Living: B- (Monthly Budget: $1,856.88)
Health Care: A-
Affordability of Real Estate: C+
Taxes: C
Final Grade: A-

Photo: Picturesque autumn scenery of Lake Bled, Slovenia.

9. Medellin, Colombia

Cost of Living: B (Monthly Budget: $1,605.09)
Health Care: A+
Affordability of Real Estate: B-
Taxes: B
Final Grade: A-

Photo: The Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture in Medellin, Colombia. 

10. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cost of Living: A (Monthly Budget: $1,061.19)
Health Care: A+
Affordability of Real Estate: B
Taxes: A-
Final Grade: A-

Photo: Royal Flora Ratchaphruek Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Photo (main): Woman sitting on promontory of Ponta da Piedade in Algarve, Portugal.

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Elisa Schmitz
This is fascinating. I love being exposed to different areas of the world I don't know much about, thank you!
David Mosley
Great article. Portugal is my love! ))
Gwen Johnson
Sign me up for Italy. #dreamvacation

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