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11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

Do you know what are the easiest countries to retire to?

After working for many years in the same city or in a country, people often get bored and wish to change their place of residence once they are retired. Boredom is, however, just one of the reasons. Others are the lower cost of living, better quality of life or even climate. Moreover, some people are just in love with other countries and want to spend there the rest of their leisure time.

If you think about it, retirement is the perfect time to fulfill your long desired wishes and to yield to another life adventure. However, for a retired US citizen, it is not the easiest thing just to move to another country outside of the States. A person who is planning to settle down in another foreign country needs to get introduced with two possible solutions. One is to choose to go for dual citizenship, which means to obtain a second passport, or another option is to apply for the citizenship of the new country they chose to reside while giving up the American one. Of course, there is always an option to just move to another country and be there illegally, and even though we don’t advise you to do that, on the other hand, we can recommend you to check our list of 11 easiest countries to live and work illegally. Let’s look more thoroughly through first two mentioned options.

11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

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If you choose to apply for the dual citizenship, the pros are that dual citizens can receive the benefits and privileges of both countries. Moreover, you can own property in both of the countries. But, nothing is so perfect as it sounds. The US government imposes taxes on its citizens for the earned income outside of the States. So, that means you would have to pay double taxation. Another point is that it can take many years to acquire dual citizenship, which is not suitable for retired seniors.

Another more appropriate option is to simply apply for the citizenship of the country that you want to reside in and give up on your US citizenship. Of course, it is not easy to give up your American passport, but if you are certain that you want to spend the rest of your life in another place, then this is the best choice for you. Many countries, especially the ones inside the European Union offer you with their passports, possibility to enter and reside in many other countries. So, basically, you are not stuck in one place the whole time.

In order to obtain citizenship, there are different ways. Depending on in which country you want to apply for, you either have to live on the territory of that country for some period of time, or to invest in it, which is called citizenship by investment. Furthermore, if you don’t feel like giving up your American passport, there is one last option. Have you heard about residency by investment? You invest in one country where you want to live without losing your citizenship. This is maybe one of the best solutions, as for example, you choose the country with lower income taxes, and therefore you manage your own wealth. Some of the best countries to start a program of residency by investment, ranked by Global Passport Index, are Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the USA, in the fourth place. However, as the process is long and more expensive than citizenship by investment, we didn’t find it the most suitable for our topic.

As the easiest way for getting a citizenship in a foreign country as a retired person, we chose for the above-mentioned reasons, citizenship by investment. For that purpose, we checked 2nd Passports site and ranked our countries by the minimum time needed to get citizenship. Of course, we excluded the states, as the article is dedicated primarily to the citizens of the USA. The list of easiest countries to retire to goes from the biggest number of months acquired for the citizenship to the smallest one. However, as some of the countries had the same amount of months, we gave priority to the cheaper program in the list. Are you ready for the results? By a simple click on Next, you can start reading! 

11. Greece

Estimated time to get citizenship: 3 months

One of the most beautiful destinations for traveling is definitely Greece. However, have you ever thought of retiring there? Have you ever wished to live on the seaside, among olive trees and good food all around the country? If you have, citizenship by investment program in Greece is one of the cheapest ones for European countries – 95,000 euros.

11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

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10. Hungary

Estimated time to get citizenship: 3 months

Hungary that ranked 10th on our list of easiest countries to retire to is definitely one of the most beautiful European countries. In order to become its citizen by investment, the amount of money you have to pay is 75,000 euros. With it you also get the freedom to travel in every other country of the EU, no residency requirements and with low taxation; individual tax is 16%.

11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

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9. Antigua & Barbuda

Estimated time to get citizenship: 2-4 months

Another easy option for retirement is if you invest in the national fund of Antigua & Barbuda $250,000. The passport which is then issued has a 5-year validity. This island in the Eastern Caribbean is known for its beauty and popular tourist attractions. The biggest benefit of gaining this country’s citizenship is that you will be a holder of visa-free access to 133 countries! Are there any more doubts?

8. United Kingdom

Estimated time to get citizenship: 2 months

The applicant for investment by citizenship program, or how as it’s called in the UK – Investor Immigration Program is 1 million pounds. However, out of that million 750,000 pounds has to be invested in governments bonds or shared capital in 5 years’ time. Even though it is expensive, the positive sides are that no interview is required, no medical examination and processing time is around 1 to 6 weeks, which is really fast.

11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

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7. Turkey

Estimated time to get citizenship: 2 months

You can get Turkish passport in just two months, by paying 65,000 euros without any minimum residency. In this investment program, pension program and full medical are included. Moreover, as from June 2016, Turkey has unlimited visa-free access to every country in the EU. So, if you are a fan of traveling, with Turkish passport you can easily do that!

11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

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6. Nicaragua

Estimated time to get citizenship: 2 months

The Latin American country which is suitable for retirement is Nicaragua that ranked 6th on our list of easiest countries to retire to. An investment which is acquired is $100,000 and living in this country is quite affordable. For the rental of small apartment, the price goes around $300, whereas you pay around $1.25 for a beer in a restaurant, according to International Living. On the other hand, what is not cheap are imported goods. They are even more expensive than in the US! However, if you decide to buy Nicaraguan products, the prices will be very low.

11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

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5. Guatemala

Estimated time to get citizenship: 2 months

On the place in our list of the easiest countries to retire to, according to investment programs, is Guatemala! Guatemalan citizenship requires only 21 days of physical presence during the first year and a minimum investment of $60,000. After fulfilling the application form, which also includes the proof of legal entry to the country and proof of health insurance, you can get the citizenship in just two months!

11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

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4. Dominican Republic

Estimated time to get citizenship: 1-3 months

The Dominican Republic, next on our list of easiest countries to retire to is one of the most beautiful coast countries. Moreover, it has very affordable living costs. The investment program is a bit different here as it makes a difference between single applicant and family applicants. For a single applicant, the amount of money that should be invested is $90,000, while for the family package (applicant and the applicant’s spouse) is $175,000. Furthermore, an additional interview is required before getting the citizenship.

11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

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3. Russia

Estimated time to get citizenship: 1 month and a half

The third place on our list of easiest countries to retire to goes to Russia that has been one of the first World Powers to create citizenship by investment program in 2015. You can choose either to donate money to the charity which is specified by the Russian government or by an investment purchase. The minimum investment is $100,000 donation to National fund, $200,000 investment in a real estate or $470,000 if you choose to make a business investment. This program requires 90 days of physical presence in a country.

11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

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2. Austria

Estimated time to get citizenship: 1 month

Austrian citizenship and passport can be granted immediately after completing one of the two specific investments. You can either choose to make a charitable donation to the Austrian government of 2-3 million euros or to make a recoverable minimum investment of 10 million euros to the Austrian economy. What is specific about Austrian investment program is that there are no additional residency requirements. Even though it is among the most expensive ones, it is by far the fastest way to the citizenship in the EU.

11 Easiest Countries to Retire To

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1. Georgia

Estimated time to get citizenship: 15 days

Finally, on the absolute top of our list of the easiest countries to retire to is Georgia! This Eastern European country is offering the permanent residency for the 40,000 euros. Besides the affordable price of the program, this country is also very cheap if we look at the living expenses. Monthly utilities can be even around $55 for an 85m2 flat. So, what are you waiting for?