Best retirement havens for newly arrived expats

Best retirement havens for newly arrived expats

Best retirement havens for newly arrived expats

For those wishing to emigrate to a faraway land and live a totally different lifestyle, it’s important to choose a destination where settling in is easy.

One of the most attractive options as regards becoming an expat in a strange land is the discovery of a fascinating new culture with unfamiliar customs, foods and lifestyles. However, the majority of would-be expats will find the settling in process takes time and is somewhat of a challenge, especially where connecting with an established community is involved.

The easiest way is to choose a location with an established expatriate community and all that goes with it, such as familiar foods and, hopefully, bilingual acquaintances who know the local ropes. However, it’s still up to the new arrivals themselves to make their mark on their chosen location without making waves at the same time!

Mexico is one destination which ticks all the above boxes for retired US citizens bent on emigrating, although European expats aren’t all that common. In general, the expat community is welcoming, no matter your nationality, and there’s much to enjoy including social gatherings, festivals and traditional celebrations. Costa Rica tells the same story, and is increasingly popular as a result.

Portugal is still a low-cost haven, although how long that will last is anyone’s guess. It’s a favourite with British expat retirees for its scenery, beaches, friendly locals and even friendlier expat communities, and settling in is straightforward. Music is a mainstay of local culture, with the many festivals always featuring bands, singers and other traditional musical performances. Outdoor activity groups are popular with established expats who keep healthy via running, boating, surfing and biking.

The Mediterranean island of Malta and its large, mostly British, expat community is another destination which welcomes retirees fleeing the cold and political complications of their homelands. The lifestyle fits British expats like a glove, as everyone speaks English, newcomers are made welcome and long-stayers are more than willing to show new arrivals how to live as the locals do. For classical music buffs, there’s opera and classical music, and the island’s café culture is Italian in origin.

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