James' Blog about Property

Discussion, advice and philosophical points about all things property whether UK or International markets

Worlds best places to retire?

Posted by jamesdearsley on July 19, 2010

A recent article in the Sunday Times (Money Section, 18th July) reviewed the top five places to retire and fortunately three of the top five are countries that we deal with. They analysed the countries based on nine key indicators (a mark out of 10 was given to each):

  1. Income Tax
  2. Inheritance Tax
  3. Property Tax
  4. Property Costs
  5. Living Costs
  6. Ease of gaining residencey
  7. Healthcare
  8. Climate
  9. Culture

Let me just cover the three that we deal with quickly.


Voted the top country to retire to with a score of 66 out of 90. Key points were the tax that pensioners paid. They have a choice to either pay a flat rate of 5% on global income (there is a personal allowance – PA – of €3,420) or they can elect for a higher PA of €19,500 but you then pay income tax on a growing scale to a maximum of 30% on income over €36,300 – basically the lower incomes are more favourable on this scheme.

There is also no wealth tax and also no inheritance tax if you can prove that you have no links with the UK. Because it is a member of the EU Healthcare and residency is also a relatively easy affair.


Formally British Honduras interest has grown markedly due to its “Retired Persons Incentive Programme” and scored 60 out of 90. Because it is the only country in Latin America to have English as the first language it is also an easy move. However the Retired programme means that individuals can live in Belize tax free as long as they can prove their household income is more than £1,329 (€1,595)

If you qualify you then also have a whole year to move all personal belongings and means of transportation into the country free of any import duties and tax.


Though not as favourable for tax purposes from a property standpoint it isn’t bad and still scored 52 out of 90. If you hold on to a property for more than five years it is free from inheritance and capital gains tax and also inhertance tax can be between 4 and 8% depending on the beneficiaries.

Italy however, won out on the issues of culture. Everywhere you look there is the most fantastic culture and something to keep you entertained for years. There was also the fantastic healthcare system that is voted second globally in the world.

So there you have it, three of the top five countries to retire to in the world are being sold by us at Atlas International. Let us know if you would like any more information about this as sadly I couldn’t upload information about the article as the Times now charges for access to the webiste.


2 Responses to “Worlds best places to retire?”

  1. FourEd said

    This is a really useful article. So often people retire in a country that they think will suit them, but do not look into any the possible differences in taxations and property costs. There a many countries where you can get more for your money, so it’s worth well researching before you make the big move.

  2. Claude said

    I’ve been visiting potential retirement locations for a number of years. Just creating a list of possibilities is a real job. That’s why I created my own “Expatriate Index” to help with narrowing down choices. It’s completely free! Take a look at http://www.nationalcyberservices.com/expat.html and let me know what you think.

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