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  • Writer's pictureGreg Weeks

3 Of The World's Best Places To Live In Your 60s

Where we live shapes most every aspect of our lives. Many of us simply grew where we

were planted. That is to say, home was where your parents made it, and likely their parents before them. But as travel options expanded and opportunity-rich destinations beckoned, many young people flocked to cities in search of their fortunes. It’s a trend that continues today. High-paying jobs, new social connections, and exciting entertainment options lure 20- and 30-somethings from small towns and villages, but naturally over time priorities shift. For those a few decades on, no longer tied to a location by work and family obligations, there’s a lot of great options out there… but where’s best to live when you’re in your 60s? I have covered the live, retire, and do business overseas beat for more than 30 years and as the founder of Live And Invest Overseas I know just how many great options are out there for those looking for a new adventure outside home borders. So, to determine the top three destinations for those in their 60s, I’ve considered the following key criteria: the availability and affordability of real estate (both to buy and rent), culture and entertainment options, health care, safety, climate, the ability to walk or make use of public transport, and being able to get by day-to-day in English. Here are three top destinations in Latin America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

Boquete, Panama Home to one of the world’s largest expat retiree communities, in the mountain town of Boquete you can enjoy a soft landing into expat life. Boquete district is made up of six townships or corregimientos : Bajo Boquete (Lower Boquete), Alto Boquete (Upper Boquete), Caldera, Jaramillo, Los Naranjos, and Palmira. Sitting at the lowest point in the valley is the district’s center, Bajo Boquete. When people refer to the town of Boquete, Bajo Boquete is where they mean. Daytime temperatures here typically linger in the low- to mid-70s. March is the hottest month here. October, the coldest. There’s a rainy season and a dry season but the weather is typically predictable and ideal for those who enjoy a mild climate. Panama sits outside the hurricane belt meaning worries about weather extremes aren’t a part of daily life here. Bajo Boquete is also the most walkable destination in Panama. It’s reasonably pedestrian-friendly and you can reach most all essential services on foot within the town itself. Drivers yield to pedestrians and drive slower and more courteously than in other areas. For big city conveniences, David is a 45-minute bus ride away. There, you’ll find shopping malls, movie theatres showing films in English, a hospital, and an airport. The journey from Boquete to David takes around 45 minutes, costs around $2, and buses run every half hour. Take a taxi and you’ll pay around $20 one-way. Boquete has both public and private health clinics. A general appointment at a private clinic costs between $20 and $50. When it comes to culture and entertainment options you’ll find an abundance of events, festivals, meet-ups, and social clubs to cater to most every taste. Plus, nearly everyone speaks English, making it one of the few places in Panama where you won’t need Spanish to get by. Safety is another huge draw for expats. Boquete is a peaceful town and violent crime is practically unheard of here. Offenses that do occur are mainly limited to opportunistic petty thefts. Boquete’s real estate market is booming due to national and international popularity but you can still find a home to suit your budget and needs. The real estate offerings here are diverse. From cabins to villas, duplexes, vacant lots, family homes, coffee and fruit farms, mansions in gated communities, the list goes on. Monthly rentals start around $800, but get connected in the local community and you can find long-term, furnished units for as little as $450 a month. If you’re looking to buy, houses start around $170,000. Units in a new country club development are available from a shade over $300,000, and golf course villas are on the market for $350,000.

Malaga, Spain In Europe, the vibrant coastal city of Malaga has much to recommend it. Located on Spain’s Costa del Sol, meaning Sun Coast, it won’t surprise you to learn its climate is chief among its charms offering as it does some 300 days of sunshine a year. Getting around is easy and affordable in this well-connected city. It’s compact and almost totally flat so getting around on foot is easy. Plus, many streets here are pedestrianized, including the main shopping street, Calle Larios. There’s a good public transport system in place with around 50 bus lines operating. A one-way trip will cost around $1 or you can buy a monthly pass for around $40. Malaga is extremely bike-friendly, with designated cycle tracks running throughout the city. Private companies offer e-bikes for hire via mobile phone apps at a cost of around $5 a day. Trains run direct from Malaga Airport to the city center. The journey takes 11 minutes and a one-way ticket costs $2. Malaga is a very safe city with low levels of crimes. As in any destination, watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas, but that aside, personal safety isn’t something you’ll need to worry about here. Thanks to the sizeable expat community and its status as a tourist hotspot, you won’t have too many problems getting by in English for your everyday needs. As the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, the artist is celebrated here each October with a series of special events. The city is also home to the Museo Picasso Málaga which houses over 200 of his artworks in a permanent collection. You’ll also find no shortage of festivals, carnivals, exhibitions, historic landmarks, music, dancing, and sporting events in this culture lover’s paradise. Spain’s healthcare is regularly ranked among the best in the world and Malaga is home to both private and public hospitals of an excellent standard. Primary health care is delivered at health centers ( centros de salud ) across Spain. Upon joining the national health system and paying social security contributions, you can register with a GP. One expat we know quotes about $60 for her monthly contributions. For long-term, furnished rentals, expect to pay between $700 to $1,200 a month. If you want to put down roots here, apartments, some in need of renovation, can be found for under $50,000. Studio apartments in expat preferred areas start around $150,000.

Hua Hin, Thailand Hua Hin is a royal resort town located on the Gulf of Thailand just a few hours’ drive from bustling Bangkok. This beautiful stretch of coast, once a quiet fishing village, was put on the tourist trail back in the 1920s when the Thai royal family built a palace here as a summer retreat. With year-round temperatures in the mid-80s F and refreshing sea breezes it soon became a popular getaway for wealthy locals looking to escape the sizzling heat of the big cities. In more recent years, it’s become an expat favorite too and for good reason… For starters, it’s a very safe spot. In fact, you’ll likely feel safer here than in your own home town. It’s a laidback place, with welcoming locals, friendly expats, and a very low crime rate. There’s much to keep you entertained here too. From golf, watersports, yoga, and fishing, to regular cultural events, festivals, and religious celebrations. There’s a vibrant arts scene too with galleries, exhibitions, and locally made arts and crafts on sale at the town’s popular night market. The town runs parallel to the four-mile stretch of beach. Here you’ll find upscale hotels, restaurants, apartment complexes, markets, low-key-eateries, cafés, and shopping malls. It’s easy to get around on foot but, if you’re feeling the heat, hopping into a tuk-tuk will cost just a dollar or two for trips around town. Hua Hin has both public and private hospitals including the JCI-accredited Bangkok International Hospital, a popular choice among expats thanks to its excellent standard of care and English-speaking staff. Indeed, getting by in English is easy here. As a popular tourist spot, many of the locals speak English, so you’ll find everyday tasks like shopping and dining out pose no language barrier. The town is also home to English-speaking real estate professionals who can help you find a rental or home to buy here. And the value is impressive. A three-bedroom villa with a pool rents for around $1,200 a month. A centrally-located, furnished, one-bedroom, sea-view condo rents for $690 a month. To buy a similar unit would cost in the region of $150,000.

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