Warm and Sunny Places to Retire Abroad
Retirees seeking an outdoor lifestyle and the weather to match should consider these destinations.

Retirees move to a new country or acquire a second home abroad for many different reasons, and the search for a better quality of life is often one of the biggest, according to a survey by Internations, a network of expats living in 420 cities around the world.

Others move for love, some are looking for a less-expensive retirement home. But at least three-quarters of expats considered the climate and weather to be a potential benefit prior to moving.

The majority of expats in the top 10 destinations with the best weather are happy with their life in general, compared to 78% globally, the survey said.

Folks seeking an outdoor lifestyle and the weather to match should consider Portugal, Spain, Costa Rica, Uganda, South Africa, Malta, Mexico, Cyprus, or Kenya. In any of these top 10 destinations, the positive ratings for climate and weather amounted to at least 91%.

Based on the Internations February-March 2017 survey of about 13,000 expats from 188 countries and territories, these are the 30 best countries for a sunny lifestyle.

Greece. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Greece. (Photo: Shutterstock)


Almost all expats (96%) rate the climate and weather in Greece positively. Fifteen percent said that the main reason why they moved to Greece was for a better quality of life. 


Expats move to Portugal primarily in search of a better quality of life -- 28% give this as their main reason, and 97% rated the local climate positively.


In Spain, 96% of expats rating the climate and weather positively, and 89% are also happy with their life overall.

Costa Rica

Expats flock to Costa Rica in search of a better quality of life, with 31% choosing this as their main reason for relocating. The climate and weather were rated positively by 98%.


Despite only 2% of expats moving to Uganda for a better quality of life, over three-quarters actually living there (76%) are satisfied with their life in general. Expats are extremely happy with the weather, too, as 93% rate it positively.

South Africa. (Photo: Shutterstock)
South Africa. (Photo: Shutterstock)

South Africa

Expats in South Africa rate the climate and weather positively (93%) and 89% of respondents appreciate the variety in leisure options. 


Almost six in 10 expats (59%) thought that moving to this Mediterranean island would be good for their personal health, and 93% rated the local climate and weather positively.

Mexico. (Photo: Francisco J Ramos Gallego / Shutterstock)
Mexico. (Photo: Francisco J Ramos Gallego / Shutterstock)


With its low cost of living and nearly continuous sunshine, many expats moved to Mexico to improve their quality of life. According to an American expat, "Mexico is full of culture and amazing people. There is so much to explore and so much to learn." 

Cyprus. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Cyprus. (Photo: Shutterstock)


91% rate the climate and weather in Cyprus positively. 


Kenya makes it into the top ten for best weather, with 91% of expats rating it positively.


Ranking No. 11 for weather and climate, Colombia ranked No. 26 out of 65 countries for quality of life. (The U.S. was No. 47.) It also got high praise for leisure options and personal happiness.


With its sunny weather, Ecuador was also in the top 10 for leisure options.


Expats like the weather in Turkey. It ranked No. 39 for quality of life.


Sunny Israel was also high on the list in health and well-being category, but ranked No. 55 for safety and security.


Over three-quarters rate the climate and weather positively, or as one British expat in Australia said in the survey, "I wake up happy when the sun is shining." Low pollution levels also make it easier and more enjoyable to spend time outdoors.


According to International Living, some of the best places for expats to live in Thailand include Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Bangkok and Hua Hin.


The ongoing economic recession and political turmoil continue to take their toll on Brazil: despite a friendly local population and great weather, the country was in the bottom five overall in 2017.


The Philippines also ranked No. 8 for personal happiness.

Italy. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Italy. (Photo: Shutterstock)


Italy is No. 19 for sunny weather. Despite ongoing economic setbacks, Italy attracts expats with its rich history, luxury industry, and delicious food. 


The South American country was also in the top 20 for leisure options.


Chile was ranked No. 43 overall for quality of life by expats surveyed.

New Zealand

New Zealand has good healthcare and quality of life, but it's expensive. New Zealand has the second most expensive property prices in the world.


Following a year of volatile politics and continued policy changes, the U.S. seems to have become less appealing to expats, according to Internations. It slid 17 places in the overall country ranking to 43 out of 65 countries from the previous year.


One in four expats finds it very easy to make new friends in Malaysia, and 78% generally find it easy to settle down in Malaysia.


Panama ranked No. 36 overall for quality of life.


Despite the favorable weather, expats put Cambodia in the bottom 10 for safety and security.


In an Internations survey of expats best cities, Budapest ranked 13 out of 51 cities.

France. (Photo: Shutterstock)
France. (Photo: Shutterstock)


With sunny weather in many parts of France, the country also ranks high (15th out of 65 countries) in the health and well-being subcategory. 


Romania was No. 44 out of 65 countries for quality of life.


Singapore is in the top four of Internations 2017 Quality of Life Index, and 90% of expats were happy with their personal safety.