Where do expat retirees want to go in 2019?

Published 2019-06-07 13:05

Expat.com and Kantar, a global research agency, set out to find out the reasons why people want to settle abroad and where they want to go in 2019. Portugal, unsurprisingly, is a top choice for retirees.

Retirees made up 31% of the participants to this Expat.com and Kantar survey. Expat retirees were mainly found in Portugal, Spain and Thailand.

The attractiveness of Portugal, Spain and Thailand did not seem to change for retirees who were looking to settle abroad.

Overall, retired expats-to-be listed the urge to find a more pleasant climate and a change of landscape as the main reason why they wanted to settle abroad. Reasons were slightly different according to the expat destination, however. Here are the top five countries where retirees want to move in 2019 and the respective reason they have been chosen.


Overall, 13% of the retired expats-to-be who participated in our survey have listed Portugal as their first choice. Expats who have already retired in Portugal reveal they have chosen Portugal mainly because of the quality of life. Retirees in Portugal and expats-to-be also reveal the country is a prime expat destination for retirement because of the pleasant climate.


Spain is the second favorite destination for retirement as per the Expat.com and Kantar survey. If it only comes second to Portugal for quality of life, Spain is considered as the country with the most pleasant climate for retirement by both expats and expats-to-be.


Thailand is the third preferred country for expats-to-be in 2019. Indeed, the country is systematically in the top three for both expatriates who have already chosen their retirement country as well as expats-to-be who are planning their retirement. The country also comes third for countries with the most pleasant climate as well as countries with the best quality of life.


While our survey shows that a significant amount of expatriates have not yet decided on a country for their retirement, Mexico comes in fourth amongst expats who already have their heart set on a country. The country seems to be gaining in popularity amongst retirees as it comes in at the 9th place amongst retirees who have already settled to their dream destination. Why is Mexico popular amongst retirees? Mexico came in at fifth place for countries with a pleasant climate. The country appeared to be popular with expatriates wanting to learn a foreign language too.


Closing the top 5 is Vietnam. This country also seems to be gaining popularity amongst expatriates who want to retire abroad. Indeed, it comes in fifth amongst expats-to-be but only 3% of retired expatriates who participated in this study currently lives in Vietnam which made it the seventh most popular country. The country ranks fifth for quality of life and 10th for pleasant climate.