Retirement: 4 more great places to retire overseas
--Malaysia. For the truly adventurous, Malaysia is a bargain destination. A retired U.S. couple can live well on as little as $1,500 a month in George Town, a city known for its rich history, architecture and food. Retirees seeking the company of other expats can find plenty of them in Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The climate is humid, and the average temperature in George Town is 80 degrees year-round. Health care costs are low enough that many retirees can afford to pay out-of-pocket. Premiums for national health insurance plans range from $400 to $1,000 a year.
--Mexico. For a city with a mild climate and old-world charm that is far from the drug violence that has plagued other parts of Mexico, consider Tlaxcala. Tlaxcala is popular with tourists but hasn't been overrun by expats. Retirees seeking a larger expat community may prefer Baja's Rosarito Beach area, which is just 30 minutes south of San Diego. A retired U.S. couple can live modestly in Mexico on $1,500 a month and quite comfortably on $2,500. Some retirees drive across the border for health care, but many Mexican hospitals are modern, well equipped and considerably less expensive than hospitals in the U.S.
--Panama. Panama is one of the most expat-friendly countries in the world. Residency is easy to get, English is widely spoken, and the U.S. dollar is accepted everywhere. Coronado, on the Pacific coast, is a sophisticated city that was once a playground for wealthy Panamanians. Now it's home to many Americans who take advantage of retiree discounts on everything from movies to medications. The climate is hot and dry, with an average temperature of 86 degrees. A retired couple can live comfortably on $1,200 to $1,300 a month. Panama City's major hospitals are affiliated with U.S. hospitals. A visit to a doctor costs about $17.50. Private health insurance is considerably less expensive than it is in the U.S.
--Spain. The economic downturn has made real estate more affordable, although Spain has a higher cost of living than most Latin American and Asian retirement destinations. Expect to spend about $3,500 a month to live comfortably. Bilbao, in the Basque region of northern Spain, has a moderate climate year-round -- with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to high 70s -- and is surrounded by forests and mountains. The city is known for its restaurants and world-class museums. Public transportation is efficient and cheap. Comprehensive private health insurance for retirees over age 60 ranges from $1,560 to about $3,000 a year.
(Sandra Block is a senior associate editor at Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to email@example.com. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit http://www.Kiplinger.com.)