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Top Places Around the World to Retire on a $2,500-A-Month Budget Or Less

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As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the U.S. and other parts of world, the idea of retiring abroad may just be a pipe dream for now. But with Covid vaccines being distributed around the world, many experts are optimistic that life could return to some semblance of normalcy by the end of the year.

So if you are thinking about retiring abroad, these are the world's best places to retire in 2021, according to a new report from International Living, a website about living and retiring overseas.

To conduct it's annual Global Retirement Index, International Living ranks the world's top 25 retirement destinations across 10 categories, including cost of living, governance, retiree benefits, climate and health care.

Here is InternationLiving.com's annual list of the world's best places to retire in 2021.

1. Costa Rica

Costa Rica tops this year's list for its low cost of living (around $2,000 a month for a couple, according to the report), affordable medical care, vast real estate options and tropical climate.

Since March, Costa Rica has had more than 170,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Currently, U.S. citizens are permitted to enter the country for tourism if they meet certain requirements, and Costa Rica also has residency requirements.

2. Panama

Panama ranked high this year due to its warm weather, ocean views, big-city amenities and affordable costs. Another selling point is the country's hurricane-free environment.

Since March, Panama has had more than 259,000 confirmed Covd-19 cases. U.S. citizens are permitted to enter Panama with a negative Covid test and other requirements for tourism, and it has separate residency and citizenship requirements.

3. Mexico

Mexico has been a top haven for decades, as affordable rents (and low real estate prices), affordable food, cheap transportation and low-cost medical care attract many retirees.

Since March, Mexico has had more than 1.4 million confirmed Covid-19 cases. U.S. citizens are permitted to enter Mexico for tourism if they meet certain requirements, and it has separate residency requirements.

4. Colombia

Colombia is just a three hour flight from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, which is attractive to retirees. A couple can live in many cities around Colombia for around $2,000 a month or less, according to International Living's report.

Since March, Colombia has had more than 1.6 million confirmed Covid-19 cases. U.S. citizens can enter Colombia for tourism if they meet certain requirements, and it has separate residency requirements.

5. Portugal

Portugal is known for its beaches, fishing villages, golf resorts and waterparks. While it is more expensive to live in metros like Lisbon, Porto or Cascais (at around $3,000, according to the report), there are more budget-friendly locations outside its cities for less than $2,000 a month.

Since March, Portugal has had more than 436,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases.. U.S. citizens are currently prohibited from entering Portugal for non-essential travel. When travel resumes, Portugal has separate residency requirements.

6. Ecuador

Climate, culture and affordability make Ecuador an attractive place for retirees. A couple can also live in Ecuador for about $1,650 to $1,825 a month, according to the International living report.

Since March, Ecuador has had more than 215,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases. U.S. citizens are permitted to enter Ecuador for tourism if they meet certain requirements, and it has separate residency requirements.

7. Malaysia

Low rent, affordable healthcare and cheaper prescriptions draw a lot of retirees to Malaysia, according to International Living. It is also known as an easier place to assimilate for Americans, as English is the unofficial first language, according to International Living.

Since March, Malaysia has had more than 120,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases. U.S. citizens are currently prohibited from entering Malaysia with very limited exceptions. When travel resumes, Malaysia has separate residency requirements.

8. France

While retiring in Paris would be costly, France's countryside has affordable regions where a couple can live comfortably for $2,083 to $2,483 a month, according to International Living. Low health care costs are also a big draw to the country.

Since March, France has had more than 2.7 million confirmed Covid-19 cases. U.S. citizens are currently prohibited from entering France. When travel resumes, the country has separate residency requirements.

9. Malta

While this island state in the Mediterranean Sea is small, Malta's selling point is the weather. According to International Living, the average temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit. A couple can live well in Malta for $2,331 a month, according to the report.

Since March, Malta has had 13,612 confirmed Covid-19 cases. U.S. citizens are currently prohibited from entering Malta. When travel resumes, Malta has separate residency requirements.

10. Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the least expensive countries to live in. Even in the costliest cities like Hanoi and Dan Nang, a couple cab live comfortably on less than $1,500 a month, according to International Living.

What's more, Vietnam has developed dramatically over the last few decades with new high-rise condos and gated communities with private yacht clubs and international clubs, according to the report.

Since March, Vietnam has had 1,505confirmed Covid-19 cases. U.S. citizens are currently prohibited from entering Vietnam. When travel resumes, Vietnam has separate residency requirements.

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