Best Places For Military Retirees To Live Overseas


Italy The Art Of Slow Living

Best States for Military Retirees

Italys place at number 4 primarily comes from its cultural appeal something its known for around the world.

However, this isnt to discredit it for everything else it can offer, such as an amazing climate, diverse locations to settle down, and everything you need to live a long and healthy life .

One thing youll need to be wary of is the cost of living in Italy.

Aside from the countrys high expectations for visa income requirements , property can cost a bomb, too. But that depends on the location.

You could be looking at a mere $170,000 for a 2-bed apartment on the Adriatic Coast or a cool $1.5 million for a 2-bed apartment on Lake Como!

You can avoid this by getting involved in the 1 property scheme the country currently runs. Obviously, youll need some capital for renovation, but it can be a fun Escape to the Chateau-style retirement project.

Alternatively, you could have a good look at what the south of Italy has to offer there are plenty of inexpensive options with breathtaking views.

Overall, Italy has everything you think it could offer for a perfect retirement, and more.


  • Pensioners with a foreign-sourced income are taxed at a flat rate of 7% for the first 9 years of residency if they move to Southern Italy.
  • The elective residency visa income requires a minimum of 31,000 a year for a single person.
  • Adecent international health plan for a couple starts from $805 per month.

Costa Rica The Switzerland Of Central America

Costa Rica roared ahead of other American countries, even beating better-known European hotspots in terms of popularity. Plus, Costa Rica holds its own in terms of stunning natural beauty, beaches, and healthy lifestyles.

Although its the most expensive South or Central American country, its noticeably cheaper than the European countries that surround it on our list.

You could find a lovely detached house in Jaco for around $98,000 or a secluded villa for around $500,000.

Retirement visa income requirements are considerably lower than in Spain and Italy and, better still, you dont have to pay income tax!

If all this sounds too good to be true, it nearly is.

The only thing Costa Rica really falls down on is its national infrastructure. There are plenty of unmade roads across the country, but this isnt a massive deal, and the amazing scenery certainly compensates for the extra time you might spend on the road!


  • Pensionado Visa requires an income of just $1000 a month.
  • No taxes on pension or investment income.
  • Live green more than 98% of its energy is renewable.

Read more about retirement in Costa Rica, the pros and cons, the cost of living, residency options and more in our Living In Costa Rica guide.

Best Places To Live For Military Retirees: Texas

No surprise here: Texas is the #1 overall best state for military retirees.

The benefits offered to retired military in Texas are simply unmatched by any other state.

For example, Texas is one of just two states with full property tax exemptions for 100% scheduler or TDIU disabled veterans .

Texas also offers generous property tax reductions for disabled veterans with a VA rating between 10% and 90%.

Also, Texas is one of 9 states with no state income tax, so you get more bang for your buck.

Texas also exempts military retiree pay, Survivor Benefit Plan payments, and VA disability compensation payments from any taxation.

Texas also has the #1 most robust veteran benefits programs in the nation, which offers incredible state benefits to retired military.

For example, the Hazelwood Act is one of the best veteran education benefits in the country it provides military retirees, veterans, disabled veterans, spouses, and dependent children with up to 150 hours of tuition free college at state schools.

The state of Texas benefits from large federal VA expenditures as well, with over $21 billion directly benefiting military retirees, veterans, and disabled veterans .



  • Compensation & Pension: $12.2 billion
  • General Operating Expenses: $94.3 million
  • Insurance & Indemnities: $86.9 million
  • Medical Care: $7.1 billion

All these factors make Texas the #1 best state to retire for military in 2023.

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Being A Military Veteran And Retiring Abroad

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I think one of the largest groups of Americans who decide to retire overseas are military veterans. It makes perfect sense on many levels. Many military veterans have spent considerable parts of their career living abroad, they may speak two or more languages and have grown accustomed to life overseas, particularly in the developing world. Living back home in America may seem boring and slow, or you may just decide you want to try something new.

Regardless of your reasons for considering overseas retirement, you should take some time to make the decision before jumping in with both feet. Here are some pros and cons. Keep in mind this is just a top-level overview just enough to get your thinking about it. If you think overseas retirement might be for you, then I recommend doing further research.

Downfalls And Risks Of Retiring Overseas

This is the best place to retire abroad in 2017

Drawbacks to retiring overseas. As any experienced expat knows, while there are many benefits to living overseas, there are drawbacks. You cannot export an American lifestyle overseas without substantial expenses. You will deal with inefficient businesses and bureaucracies, far worse than in America. You may deal with a lot of crime. You may see a lot of poverty. Healthcare may be cheap, but it might not be as high of quality. You may be far away from your loved ones and friends.

Risks of retiring abroad. While retiring abroad is being portrayed in the media as a way to garner a wealthy lifestyle for pennies on the dollar, it is still fraught with risk. The cheaper the country you move to, the poorer and potentially dangerous the country. A poor country is at best financially unstable, and at worst politically unstable. Do research on the history and the government of the country you decide to move to before moving.

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Malta A Mediterranean Island With A Unique Character

Rounding out the top 10 is Malta, a tiny island between Italy and Africa.

Many expats say that from the start you either fall in love with Malta or dont get it at all. Yes, Malta can be somewhat expensive, noisy and dusty but if you love what it offers, the drawbacks arent that important, right?

Malta is sunny, rich in history and heritage, laid-back and safe.

Despite being the tenth-smallest country in the world, property prices are still affordable, roughly the same as in Turkey.

Of course, premium locations with great sea views can be quite pricey, but if you venture off the coast, there are bargains to have. For example, you can find a 2-bed apartment located between Bugibba and St Pauls Bay, close to all amenities, with no sea views but not far from the coast, for around 155,000 .

Mata has a special retirement programme. To qualify, you must purchase or rent a property of a certain value and meet a few other conditions. You can find more details on this in our Living In Malta guide.

As a retirement destination, Malta has plenty to offer. The weather is great, its very safe, and life expectancy matches countries like Portugal, Greece, and France.

Tip: looking for a peaceful retreat? Go to Gozo, you wont regret it.

Its not for everyone, though, as its a pretty small island. But if you are up to it, life in Malta can be very enjoyable.


Benefits Of Overseas Retirement For Military Members

Retiring abroad is a great option for military veterans. Unlike most Americans, they will have usually have a guaranteed pension on top of their social security benefits. This can mean a retired military veteran faces retirement in relative wealth compared to most Americans, and extraordinary wealth compared to other people if the veteran decides to live in a poorer, developing country.

Benefits of formal visa programs. Many countries, particularly poorer ones in Southeast Asia and Latin America have formal retirement visa programs under various names and guises. These visa programs have reduced or no taxation for retirees on a pension, allowing you to save considerable money over many parts of the United States. The requirements of these can vary substantially from country to country, but in general, you must not have a criminal record, you must show signed proof of your pension, you must show proof that you have private healthcare, and you must be over a certain age. You will typically apply for the visa stateside and apply through the nearest consulate or embassy of the country you wish to move to.

Service and Benefits for Veterans Living Abroad: The Department of Veterans Affairs has a portal dedicated to providing information for military retirees who choose to live overseas during retirement. Visit the VA site for more info.

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Things To Do In Seattle

Stroll through the famous Pike Place Market, where you can grab fresh produce from local farmers and find one-of-a-kind art. Indulge in chicken and waffles or biscuits and sage gravy at Skillet in Capitol Hill. Participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at Seattle Japanese Garden. Head over to the Olympic Sculpture Park for the best view of the Space Needle! Utilize your military discount with tickets to a game. Or get out of the city and spend a weekend camping at Mount Rainier National Park.

Where To Retire Cheaply Abroad And How Much You Could Save In Each Destination

15 Best Countries to Live or Retire Inexpensively in 2022

Retirement plans are as unique as the individuals who are looking forward to the day when work, at least as they know it, comes to an end. For some, retirement can mean a career change to a long wished for profession or more time to devote to a hobby or passion. For many retirees, whether for adventure, change of scenery, or reduction in living expenses, moving to another country is a goal.

It’s well-known that moving outside the U.S. can help reduce living costs particularly if the retiree is leaving a large city. Just as at home, though, costs vary depending on location, lifestyle, and personal needs. However, if the goal is to reduce expenses, most retirees can accomplish that and live quite well in a variety of countries.

From Latin America to Asia and Europe, retirees are finding homes and plenty of expat communities where living is more affordable. Weather, location, health care access, language, visa qualifications, and income requirements are among the many considerations that go into deciding on a retirement home. Financial advisors, experienced travelers, and expat retirees can help with advice, and the Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and State Department also have important information to offer. Data from Numbeo, updated as of June 2022, is used here for cost of living comparisons.

These are some of the countries that offer retirees an opportunity to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and lower cost of living.

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Joint Base San Antonio San Antonio Texas

The military community in San Antonio is a large and welcoming one. What was once three separate military bases was consolidated under the Joint Base concept.

These bases provide many services for retirees and there are plenty of BX/PX/Commissary options in this area. But San Antonio has also been home to an affordable cost of living, reasonable housing markets, and a fair amount of expansion over the years.

This area is strategically located, with the Mexico border only a few hours away, plus easy access to Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Waco.

There is plenty of outdoor recreation in the Lone Star State, and this is definitely an RV-friendly area. Texas also features liberal benefits for Texas military people including reduced interest rate loans via the Texas Land Board.

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Can You Retire Overseas

Did you know that as a military retiree you are eligible to live anywhere in the world? In fact, the government may even pay you to travel overseas to retire!

Retirees generally have no restrictions on what country they can retire in when they leave the military. Travel restrictions are generally the same as for all civilians, and are subject to State Department regulations.

Retirees can travel anywhere in the world and receive travel pay for it, as long as the cost of travel doesn’t exceed the cost to travel to either your home of record or the location where you entered the service from.

You should be aware that many countries have restrictions on who can set up residency. You may be required to have a job, be married to a local national, or have a lot of money in the bank and a stable income before you will be allowed to get a visa or foreign residency.

If you decide to apply for foreign residency it usually makes no difference in your retirement benefits. You will still be eligible for your military retirement, VA benefits and Tricare as a foreign national.

You can’t get a VA home loan overseas, but if you are severely disabled you may be able to get a Specially Adaptive Housing grant overseas.

You can communicate the VA online through the eBenefits website just like if you were in the states, and you can use MyPay to do all your communicating with DFAS regarding your retired pay and Survivor Benefit Plan questions.

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Best Places To Retire For Military Members:

Having said all that, let us start looking at some of the best places to retire for Military members. Two of the best states to retire happen to be Texas and Oklahoma. Some of the best cities to retire in Texas include: Austin/Round Rock, Bryan/College Station, Waco, and San Angelo.

In Oklahoma, you can discover what attracts military retirees to Oklahoma City. Nearby you could give Wichita Kansas a try as one of the best large military cities to retire.

If you prefer to live in the Northeast region of the United States, you can check out Harrisburg/Carlisle, Pittsburgh, Madison, Syracuse, and Dayton as some of the best places for military retirement.

To round out this brief listing, you could also check out two metropolitan areas including New Orleans/Metairie/Kenner and Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater.

This is not an exhaustive listing by any means. It just serves as a starting point to consider your military retirement options. You ultimately have to decide what is most important to you.

More resources to help with military retirement:

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Mexico Living Simply And Affordably

The Best Places To Retire Without A Car

Rounding out our top 20 is Mexico, famed for its cultural appeal, simpler lifestyle and fantastic weather.

It makes a great choice for retirees who want close proximity to the USA but also a country with a fierce cultural heritage and lower cost of living.

Simplifying your lifestyle is the best way to distress and live longer and happier. Add to this inexpensive property, a lower cost of living, good quality healthcare, amazing outdoors and a good dose of sunshine, and what you get is a perfect recipe for a happy retirement. All of these are on offer in Mexico.

Besides, the cost of living is about a third of that in the USA. Your US or Canadian dollar, British pound or Euro go a long way when converted to pesos mexicanos.

The choice of locations is so big, it can be a problem just to decide where in Mexico you want to live. There are quite a few expat hotspots, of course, but the popularity pushes up the prices.

A 2-bed house with breathtaking ocean views in Ensenada, Baja California, can be found for around $300,000.

Be prepared to pay around $179,000 for a decent 2-bed apartment somewhere like Quintana Roo or a bit more to get a nice villa in a more rural area.


  • International healthcare starts from around $1,500 a month and gets you services often on par with the USA.
  • The quality of Mexican food and culture pretty much speaks for itself.
  • Temporary residence income requirements $2,400-$2700 a month.

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Where Should I Retire In Belize

-The Cayo District

The Cayo District is a beautiful, welcoming, and quirky little corner of the world. Located on the mainland in western Belize, Cayo is a frontier land of rivers and rain forest. Here, the burdens and concerns of the rest of the world feel far away and unimportant.

The region as long held a kind of mystique Its rich history dates back thousands of years. Maya relics are embedded throughout the vast natural landscape and are an intrinsic part of what is today a burgeoning bohemian community.

Over the past few years, this unique area has created an open-minded identity that celebrates healthy living, art, agriculture, environmental preservation, and diversity.

Whats The Best Country For Us Expats To Retire To

According to various studies, including International Living, Portugal is ranked as the best country for US expats to retire to. Its friendly population, welcoming community of American expats, excellent weather, safety records, and affordable cost of living are all big draws for retirees. You can move to Portugal for retirement by either applying for the D7 retirement visa program or a Golden Visa.

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