If sun and sand are calling your name for retirement, the Central American region is sure to be high on your list. Benefits such as year-round sun and its beautiful tropical scenery, as well as a low cost of living haven, Central America has become one of the most highly desirable countries to retire. Read about the top 5 recommended countries to retire in Central America:

1. Belize

Expat locations in Central America to Retire

Belize has recently been on the rise as a desirable country to retire. It not only offers expats a comfortable lifestyle with reliable phone service, internet, housing, power and water, but also all of the above at a relatively low cost of living. On average, a retired couple living in Belize can live comfortably off of $3,000/month USD. Belize healthcare system is also one of the most robust in Caribbean.

Located on the Western edge of the Caribbean sea, one of the many benefits of living in Belize is the diverse and active community that you are able to engage in. With the ability to sit on a beach and have some well deserved R&R, or if you prefer an active lifestyle of scuba diving and adventure – Belize has something to offer for everyone’s desires.

2. Honduras

Honduras is a beautiful country on the East coast of the Caribbean sea. With a variation of hilly, green mountaintops, a rich coral reef environment, and tropical white sand beaches, Honduras is a highly sought out retirement destination.  Honduras is a relatively quiet and laidback lifestyle in comparison to other Central American countries. Naturally, the cost of living is on the lower end for many expatriates,  which drives a high number of retirees to Honduras every year. To know about healthcare system in Honduras check out our healthcare region page.

countries in Central America to retire

3. Mexico

Mexico’s proximity to the United States is a highly popular factor that leads Mexico into the top 5 countries to retire. If access to health care in Mexico is a high priority for you or your spouse, Mexico is definitely a country you should consider for retirement. Once residency is granted, Mexico allows for expatriates to obtain a national health care plan coverage, although it is highly recommended that you seek out international health care coverage as well.

Apart from its health care advantages, Mexico also offers a vast variety of scenery for any desires. Whether you are wanting to live in Mexico City and maintain a relatively active lifestyle, or if you prefer the quiet and laidback lifestyle of Sayulita, both are easily achievable.

4. Costa Rica

Costa Rica has been deemed to have it all: beautiful weather, modernized cities, white sand beaches, Pacific coastlines, mountain tops and an option for quiet or upbeat towns. Costa Rica is home to thousands of expatriates choosing to spend their retirement abroad. It has one of the highest standards of living for Central America, in comparison to its neighbouring countries. As much as Costa Rica has to offer, it is not recommended for those wanting to retire on a stricter budget. It has the highest cost of living for any central American country, but those high costs of living come with its perks – quality health care, proper infrastructure, safety, and a large expat community. To know about healthcare system in Costa Rica check out our healthcare region page.

countries in Central America to retire

5. Panama

According to the 2019 Annual Global Retirement Index, Panama has placed in the top 5 countries in Central America to retire. Panama has all the benefits of beautiful weather and stunning beaches, it also has the added benefit of being completely outside of the hurricane belt. The hustle and bustle of Panama city allow for an upbeat and lively lifestyle or a mellow beach town of Las Tablas, retirees have the options to choose how they would like to live their retirement years.

The government in Panama also offers retirees a program names “Pensionado” which allows for discounted prices for a wide array of purchases at significant price saving costs.  How the program is designed is by allowing any pension-holding retiree to register for the discounts, and then utilize them at their easiest convenience. The discounts range from medical care, flight savings, hotel savings & discounts for monthly utility bills.


Choosing one of these 5 countries in Central America to retire is an exciting experience. An important element to remember as an expatriate moving abroad for retirement is that it is crucial to remember to obtain Global Health Insurance before departure. Global health insurance is the safest and most reliable option for long-term global medical care. International health insurance has the ability to travel with you from country to country. This is extremely important for expat retirees who plan on visiting family back home for holiday seasons. Contact Expat Financial for expert advice and to discuss your international insurance needs and requirements.