Whether you choose to stay on a boat in the local harbour, or buy or rent a property close by, there are many retirement locations which are excellent places for sailing. Here are six of the best sailing destinations for retirees.
Guatemala is to the South of the Gulf of Mexico, and Lake Atitlan, an inland volcanic lake, is hugely popular with retirees, sailors, backpackers and expatriates, is surrounded by small towns and mountains, and exudes a relaxed atmosphere whilst still providing access to modern amenities. The cost of living in Guatemala is very low, and some people can quite easily get by on US$500 a month. Renting houses can cost as little as $200 dollars a month, and many people also live out on their boats on the lake, where sailing can be enjoyed as a recreational pastime. Crime rates can be quite high in parts of Guatemala, however, therefore you should check the particular area you have in mind before making any final move.
The countries and islands that make up the Caribbean, stretching from the Southern tip of Florida to the Northern edge of Venezuala, have long attracted people looking to live out their retirement somewhere warm and sunny. Not all of them offer great value for money, but if one was chosen, then it could be Dominica. Renowned for its natural beauty, the cost of living is relatively low, and importantly for anyone with a retirement income, no income tax is taken from money earned outside the country. The price of property is quite reasonable, although there is still of course the option to simply rent a house there instead of buying. Other potential Caribbean sailing destinations for you to ponder over include Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and the island which is especially popular with Americans – Aruba.
Panama, the link between North and South America, offers governmental incentives to help retirees from the USA, in the form of tax relief on construction materials and real estate to encourage settlement. For sailors, it is ideal, as the coast makes for superb sailing, and the tiny San Blas islands are certainly worth visiting at least once. This is a firm favorite with retirees from the USA and Canada, who are attracted to the stunning beaches and warm climate. The country uses the US dollar, but prices are lower than in the US for many goods and services.
The low cost of living in Colombia, one of the northernmost countries of South America, makes it attractive for those looking to maximize their retirement income, and in terms of sailing, there are hundreds of miles of wonderful coastline to be explored. The country is managing to shake off its somewhat dark image, to an extent, and is emerging as a country that many people are choosing to retire to. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most outstanding is the plain friendliness of the people. Colombians are always eager to talk to people from other countries, and will quickly make retirees feel at home.
New Zealand, off the Eastern seaboard of Australia, boasts a modern infrastructure and friendly people, and although the cost of living may not be as low as some other countries in the world, its “back in time” feel appeals to many who crave safety and security as they get older. Sailors often end up in New Zealand at some point or another, and, almost without exception, stay for longer than they had planned. Broadly split between the two main islands of North Island and South Island, the landscape offers amazing diversity such as rainforest, snow-capped mountains, thermal areas, and lakes. New Zealand is the size of the UK and has less than a tenth of the population, most of whom live in the main cities of Auckland and Christchurch.
Bali, a province of Indonesia, is one of a group of islands above North West Australia, and is a favorite holiday and retirement destination for mainly Australians, but also other people from around the world, largely due to its picture-postcard beauty. The cost of living is extremely competitive and houses with swimming pools can be rented for less than a one bedroomed flat in a Western city. With a fun, relaxed atmosphere, it has long been a stopover for sailors making their way through the waters of this part of the world, and is a great place from which to sail to the other Indonesian islands.