Retiring in Europe is both a glamorous and realistic option for Americans.
After working several decades in a cubicle, who wouldn't want to retire to a warm European seaside town?
Luckily, it's not as overwhelming as it might seem to figure out the best places to retire in a foreign country.
Live and Invest Overseas, a resource for people who want to live, retire, and invest overseas, put together a list of the best retirement destinations in Europe for American retirees.
They based their list on 13 criteria, including cost of living, crime and safety, whether English was spoken there, entertainment, environmental conditions, the expat community, health care, infrastructure, recreation, residency options, taxes, and the affordability and restrictions on real estate.
"Retiring in Europe is about launching a new life in a new country, starting over in a unique place with Old World culture," said Kathleen Peddicord, author and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas. "But there’s no one way to determine the best place to retire for every person. That’s why we have identified the best destinations in Europe that are each special for their own reasons."
We also included the costs of rent, transportation, and groceries in each destination, based on figures cited by Live and Invest Overseas. All amounts are in US dollars and are current as of December.
Here are the best European destinations for American retirees in 2017.
Paris is a multicultural and international hotspot that would make a perfect retirement spot for anyone who can't part with city life. Of course, on the downside, the cost of living is more expensive there than other locations on the list.
Monthly cost in Le Marais neighborhood of Paris, France:
Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment: $1978
Monthly metro/bus pas for 2: $160
Groceries for 2: $684
Bled is a resort town on Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia. The area has turned into a major tourist attraction for its beauty and abundance of outdoorsy activities.
Monthly cost in Bled, Slovenia:
Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment or house near lake: $708
Taxi, train, bus for 2: $89
Groceries for 2: $236
Crete is one of the most beautiful locations in Greece. Most of the tourist spots and cities on the island, including Chania, have a significant number of people who speak English, making it easier for expats to get around. Plus, the cost of living is relatively low.
Monthly cost in Chania, Crete, Greece:
Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment: $472
Bus/metro pass for 2, occasional taxi: $83
Groceries for 2: $295
Citta Sant'Angelo, about an hour's drive from Rome, is a small town in the province of Pescara of Abruzzo Italy with a population of 15,000. It has beautiful historic churches, and the surrounding area has olive trees and vineyards.
Monthly cost in Abruzzo, Italy:
Groceries for 2: $443
Budapest has some of the most beautiful architecture in Europe, and world famous thermal spas. The city is also not that far from other European cities like Vienna, for those who like to travel around.
Monthly cost in Budapest, Hungary:
Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment in 5th or 6th district: $846
Cost of monthly metro pass: $36
Groceries for 2: $301
Lisbon is home to one of Europe's lowest crime rates, and has a high quality of life. Plus, it's relatively cheap compared to other capitals on the continent like Paris and London — but has much better weather.
Monthly cost in Lisbon, Portugal:
Monthly pass and taxi rides: $59
Groceries for 2: $325
Saint Chinian, now a well known region for its wines, is made up of 20 communes. The region is calm and is perfect for outdoorsy activities like hiking and cycling. Plus, Mediterranean beaches are just 20 minutes away.
Monthly cost in Saint Chinian, France:
Groceries for 2: $413
Malta may be one of Europe's smallest countries, but it does not lack in beauty, culture, and history. Valletta, the capital, is getting a makeover right now because it's set to be the European Capital of Culture for 2018. The city has a rich history with beautiful old buildings and coastlines.
Monthly cost in Valletta, Malta:
Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment: $915
Bus/metro pass for 2, occasional taxi: $71
Groceries for 2: $354
Portugal's Algarve region is the best place in Europe to retire to today, according to Live and Invest Overseas.
The area has an established expat community; good medical facilities and health care; and an affordable cost of living for the quality of life. The region also has a new retiree residency program for foreign pensioners, and English is widely spoken.
Monthly cost in the Algarve region of Portugal:
Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment: $1005
Bus/metro pass for two, occasional taxi: $89
Groceries for 2: $295