Retiring to an affordable foreign country is an increasingly popular way for Americans to stretch their nest eggs. But in researching my book You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think, I discovered that the happiest retirees have lots of friends. And the fact is, some countries are friendlier to expats than others.
The easiest place for newcomers to make friends is Taiwan, according to a recent survey by Expat Insider. Uganda (!) is second, followed by Costa Rica, Mexico and Columbia. The three toughest places to make a new pal: Czech Republic, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The US, by the way, was ranked 25th.
Expat Insider’s rankings are based on interviews with expatriates around the world, who were asked simply whether they found it easy to make friends among the locals. The ease of making friends question was part of the publication’s assessment of “ease of settling in” to various countries. One lesson from this section: It’s a good idea to learn the local language if you plan to live long-term in a foreign country.
I think retiring overseas is a great option for those with an adventurous spirit. Life abroad can challenge your mind and save you money. But this isn’t a decision to take lightly. You will need to do lots of research and spend serious time in your potential new homeland.
The Expat Insider report is a great starting point for your inquires. Read it for free here.