Are you looking to retire abroad in the near future?

Whether you’re after sun and sand, fantastic landscapes, or just a quiet villa away from the hustle and bustle of city life, there are plenty of countries out there that are ideal for new retirees.

But which country in the world is best suited on a financial front for those about to wrap up their working life?

To find out, the team at Reassured put their heads together and came up with six key factors most people consider when they’re thinking about moving abroad. These included:

  1. The annual level of sunshine recorded by the country
  2. The average life expectancy
  3. The associated country’s cost of living index
  4. The average cost of accommodation
  5. The average cost of transport
  6. The percentage of the total population aged over 65

From these six key factors, we determined a score for each, combined them together, and then ranked all countries from highest to lowest - those with the higher scores being best suited for an economic retirement.

So, without further ado, Reassured can now reveal the top 10 most affordable countries to retire to.

Retirement countries research 2023

1. Greece

Taking our number one spot is the birthplace of democracy. Greece is already a popular retirement destination, so it’s no surprise that it came very high on our list.

With 2,773 annual hours of sunshine and the third largest global population percentage over the age of 65, you’ll be relaxing in good company in no time.

Greece is also home to snow-capped mountains, great food, and ancient history, giving you more than enough to explore now that you’re living a life of leisure.

What’s more, with the average cost of public transport being £26.68 per month, you’ll be doing it on the cheap as well.

2. Portugal

A classic destination for expats and retirees alike, Portugal is home to a wealth of retirement-friendly activities that can be enjoyed all year round.

Whether that’s taking your time practicing on the golf course or unwinding with a glass of the Algarve’s best red, there’s always something to do on a sunny day.

And speaking of sun, Portugal is ranked 9th for annual sunshine hours, getting 2,806 overall, which makes it one of the sunniest countries in Europe behind Cyprus and Malta.

Combine this with an excellent life expectancy of 81 and 23% of the population being over the age of 65 and you won’t be lacking for friendly neighbours.

3. Malta

Blessed with spectacular panoramas of the Mediterranean, Malta is rich in history, culture, and wine production.

Widely considered the jewel of the Med, it’s medieval streets are home to some of the world’s oldest temples, all of which you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy while soaking up the Maltese sun.

As an added benefit, public transport in Malta is relatively cheap at just £23.12 per month, which makes getting around to do everything you want a breeze - though there’s no reason not to walk if you truly want to appreciate the architecture.

With all that being said, accommodation on the island is on the expensive side, costing an average of £618 per month, and with a cost-of-living index sitting at 61.4, it’s certainly not cheap to live here.

4. Italy

The home of some of the finest cuisine in Europe alongside incredible ancient buildings that date back almost two thousand years, Italy is often picked as the main retirement destination for many senior citizens.

You can pick both rural and city-scape destinations in Italy, enjoying excellent wine in country villas one day and dining on the finest pastas beneath glorious Roman vistas the next, all for a reasonable average accommodation cost of £450.98 per month.

Italy also has the third highest life expectancy on our list at 82 and the second highest population factor over 65. In fact, its only drawback is its high cost of living index, which ranks at 4th on our list with a score of 61.3.

5. Spain

When you think of expat destinations, Spain is often the country that first springs to mind - and for good reason.

A favourite of UK retirees, you won’t be short of recognizable faces after a few weeks of dining on fragrant Spanish tapas or hiking along Spain’s golden coasts.

Spain is the destination of choice if you’re looking to live well into your twilight years.

Their life expectancy matches that of Italy at a spectacular 82, though much like other Mediterranean countries it also suffers from high monthly accommodation costs and a steep cost of living index.

6. Cuba

Perhaps not the most obvious country you might think of when considering your retirement, Cuba is one of the most dazzling in the world. Its crystal-clear Caribbean waters can be enjoyed at any time of the year thanks its sizzling 2,842 hours of yearly sun.

Cuba has a very cheap monthly accommodation cost too at an average of just £179.57, and it’s cost of public transport is only £18.16!

But with all that being said, moving to Cuba is a much more laborious process than other countries, so be sure to do your research beforehand.

7. Cyprus

If sun is what you’re after in your retirement, then Cyprus is the destination for you.

With a whopping 3,314.1 hours of sun annually, it’s practically summer all year round. Combine this with a reasonable cost of living index at 55.9 and Cyprus is certainly cheaper than other Mediterranean locations.

However, Cyprus has a relatively low population percentage over 65, being just 14%, and has a high accommodation cost of £598.78 on average per month, but with a good life expectancy, these are small prices to pay for such a brilliant destination.

8. Japan

The home of technological innovation and modern city-skylines, Japan is the number one country in the world for life expectancy.

Residents here can live well past 85, and well over 30% of the population are 65% or older.

However, Japan is certainly a niche retirement option. Not only is their cost-of-living index very high at 64.4, but transport costs can also set you back by £57.11 per month.

Then there is the substantial language barrier. Japanese is not the easiest language to learn, so you need to be sure of your fluency before moving there.

9. Albania

Another less familiar retirement location is Albania, which offers wonderfully rural settings with some historic city options that you can enjoy with their 2,544 annual hours of sunshine.

Albania is an excellent choice for those seeking value for money. Their cost-of-living index sits at a low 37.4, with accommodation costing as little as £181.83 per month, and public transport costs averaging out at just £12.08.

10. Puerto Rico

Finally, our 10th country is another one of the popular Caribbean islands. Puerto Rico offers much the same as Cuba, with good sun and sand, but has the added bonus of being an American territory.

Puerto Rico is definitely a tourist hotspot, so if you want to do exciting and adventurous activities now that you have the time, then this island is an excellent option.

Just be aware that their cost-of-living index is the highest on our list at 67, so expect to pay a lot on a monthly basis.


There you have it; those are the top 10 most cost-effective countries to retire to based on our research.

Of course, you should definitely do your own research before moving anywhere abroad, giving you the chance to find your favourite destination as well as a location that best fits other aspects of your retirement needs.

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