The pound initially opened last week’s session on stable footing as GBP investors welcomed Scotland’s lifting of its remaining coronavirus restrictions.
After over a year of the pandemic, many of us have a different perspective on life and perhaps where we might think about retiring once travel restrictions ease more.
So, we’ve explored some of the most affordable and best hotspots post pandemic for expats.
Malta: Stable climate in the heart of the MediterraneanOften overlooked by many expats, Malta is at the heart of the Mediterranean and has one of the best climates in this list.
Stable weather – the average temperature is 22°C – is just one of its standout features, with architecture and brilliant first-world standards making Malta a gem of southern Europe.
Malta also boasts high-quality affordable local food that fills markets. Prices are also shockingly less than those in larger European nations.
Living expenses are also low in Malta, although cities are more expensive.
However, you can live from around €1,600 per month, with plenty more bargains to be found in Gozo for those looking for a longer-term rent. Public transport is also inexpensive, and the healthcare system is modern and at a high standard.
Malta is also well-connected for the more adventurous spirit, allowing you to easily travel throughout Europe, Africa, and even the Middle East. But you will most likely want to stay put, because Malta is a shining example of a country suited to both relaxing and exploring the different cultures of its own native lands.
Costa Rica: Progressive, resilient, and ready for a post-pandemic worldCosta Rica has been called the “Switzerland of Central America”, and with good reason – it’s a shining beacon of democracy in a region often affected by civil unrest and political upheaval.
Renowned internationally for its safety and pro-environment policies, Costa Rica is also one of the most progressive in Latin America.
Nicole Rangel, an expat living in Costa Rica, said many who move there “find the best version of themselves – they embrace a new appreciation on life. It is just a bonus that it is in such a beautiful setting.”
Costa Rica is also noted for its longevity, with the region consisting of an unusually high number of centenarians (100+ year olds), so there must be something about its tolerant atmosphere, focus on healthcare, and natural beauty.
Covid-19 has affected the Costa Rican economy, as it has nearly everywhere, but the country remains a good long-term bet post-pandemic with its progressive attitude and a wide range of climates to suit everyone.
On top of all this, Costa Rica is affordable. A couple can live comfortably for $2000 per month including rent, food, healthcare, and entertainment.
France: An expat favourite with world-class cuisineFrance will always be a favourite for British expats. The nation combines excellent retirement options for nearly every budget and taste.
Whether it’s the expansive, rural, and Mediterranean stretches of Southern France, the traditional fishing villages and rocky coves of the Brittany coast, or the more urbanised North and Parisian cafes, there’s something for everyone.
A nation known for its vineyards and long lunches, France is ideal for those wishing to retire to a life of culture, relaxation, and artisanal food.
Retiring to France doesn’t need to be expensive either, as it can be in Paris and Lyon, for instance.
France has many affordable regions, where a couple could live on €1,600 to €2,000 a month, with many retirees living on less than €2,000.
Despite the recent surges of Covid-19 in France over the past few months, the nation still stands as one of the best examples of healthcare systems throughout the world. And if you’ve lived there for three months, you’re eligible for universal coverage.
Portugal: Old-world ambience and culturally diverse citiesPortugal, like Spain, will always be popular because of its warm Mediterranean climate and wide range of mouth-watering cuisine.
Time and time again, Portugal tops the best places to retire. Chocked full of cities with an old-world ambience and architecture, and beaches that rival anywhere in the world, there’s something magical and relaxing about Portugal’s urban and rural landscape.
Portugal’s capital Lisbon is also one of the most colourful and culturally diverse cities in Europe, and really comes to life at night. And with its extensive tram system, you can happily live without a car.
Porto, the second-largest city, is well known for river cruises along the Douro River as well as port wine.
Again, like other regions in France, you can live comfortably in Portugal from as little as around €2,100 per month. If you want to live in the cities, such as Lisbon, Porto, or Cascais, you’ll be looking at around €2,600 and above, which, on balance is not at all bad for what you get.
The Covid-19 pandemic hit Portugal early, but the nation is a resilient one, and as 2021 progresses, we’re likely to see it benefit from a flurry of activity and quickly rebuild its reputation as an expat paradise.
As more destinations for travel open up, so will the possibilities for retiring abroad. But if you’re looking to make plans sooner rather than later, the options on this list could be the place to start exploring.
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