Top 10 Countries to Visit When You Retire

Ask anyone who's near retirement what they want to do when they finally retire and you'll hear "travel overseas" more often than not.

In retirement, you'll finally have all the time to go visit exotic and beautiful places in other countries, and immerse yourself in different cultures while taking in the sights, sounds and smells in new locales.

But if you don't already have a destination in mind, where to go? Here are the top ten countries you need to visit when you retire:

1. Panama

panama 1 - panama canal

The country is packed with rain forests, beaches, indigenous people, and colonial history. Panama perhaps more than any Latin American country encapsulates the fluid mix of culture, nature and future - in a land where it's always summer.

panama 2 - gatun

Cities to visit: Panama City, Portobelo, Colon, Santiago, and David

Must-visit locations: Panama Viejo, Panama Canal, Coiba

Best time to travel: December to April when the weather is dry and you could easily go around and enjoy touring the country.

2. Belize

belize 1 - the great blue hole

Belize is known for its extreme biodiversity and distinctive ecosystems from swampy coastal plains to hills and low mountains, jungles and caves. The youngest country in Central America is a very attractive destination if you're looking to discover tropical ecosystems and marine life.

belize 2 - lamanai

Cities to visit: Corozal, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Hopkins, San Ignacio Town

Must-visit locations: Lamanai, Great Blue Hole, Belize Barrier Reef

Best time to travel: late November to mid-April during the dry season for warm temperatures, clear skies, and easy access to the country’s top attractions.

3. Nicaragua

nicaragua 1 - granada

This country has a rich culture, an abundance of flora and fauna, and a land of great nature reserves. Nicaragua is a great place where you can relax and enjoy. It's easy to understand the locals' passion for poetry, given the elemental intensity of the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.

nicaragua 2 - ruins of leon viejo

Cities to visit: Granada, Managua, San Juan del Sur, Leon, Leon Viejo

Must-visit locations: Islets of Granada, Leon Cathedral, Corn islands

Best time to travel: November to May for good weather in going around the country, though April and May have the tendency tend to be extremely hot.

4. Italy

italy 1 - trevi fountain

A country best defined by its stunning beaches, art treasure, trendy fashion, striking landscapes, and traditional food. Art lovers flock to Italy for good reason - many of the greatest works during the Renaissance can be found in Italy's great cities.

italy 2 - rialto bridge, venice

Cities to visit: Verona, Rome, Capri, Florence, Venice

Must-visit locations: Sea cave in Capri, Padua’s Scrovegni Chapel, Ruins in Pompeii, La Scala

Best time to travel: April to June and mid-September to October are months when the weather is perfect for touring the country.

5. Spain

spain 1 - madrid

Spain is known for its characteristic of a mix of old and new, modern and traditional, its many celebrations, and world-class art and architectures. Relax in the wondrous atmosphere of Spain's culture-heavy cities.

spain 2 - barcelona park guell stairs

Cities to visit: Barcelona, Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Valencia

Must-visit locations: Prado, Baelo Claudia, La Sagrada Familia

Best time to travel: April to June and September to October due to good weather conditions and resorts are less crowded.

6. Ecuador

ecuador 1 - quito

Ecuador has unmatched diversity, endless array of adventures, and authentic cultural experiences. Perhaps most famous for inspiring Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, Ecuador is also proud to be located at the exact center of the globe.

ecuador 2 - galapagos island

Cities to visit: Quito, Cuenca, Guayaqui, Baños, Otavalo

Must-visit locations: Galapagos Islands, Equator line, Banos de Agua Santa

Best time to travel: February to April and September to November for off season and lower prices on goods and services.

7. Croatia

croatia 1 - zagorje

One of Europe’s most fashionable places to visit has a growing reputation for niche festivals and boasts of wealth of natural riches. Croatia is the Mediterranean's hidden gem - especially if you're after spectacular beaches.

croatia 2 - galesnjak

Cities to visit: Dubrovnik, Istria, Zagreb, Rijeka, Split

Must-visit locations: Slavonia, Mount Medvednica, Kvarner Gulf

Best time to travel: Spring, mid-March to May, for warm, dry weather which makes it a great time to tour around the country or go for a swim.

8. Chile

chile 1 - moai

One of the safest countries to visit in South America, Chile has beautiful and diverse sites to offer. If you're looking to commune with nature, you'll find it hard to do better than travel to Chile's various natural scenery.

chile 2 - santiago

Cities to visit: Santiago, Valparaiso, La Serena, Coplapo, Iquique

Must-visit locations: Valparaiso’s finniculars, Colchagua Valley, Isla Robinson Crusoe

Best time to travel: Late September until early December for spring bloom, or March to June when trees change colors and pleasant weather, plus, tourist destinations are less crowded.

9. Colombia

colombia 1 - cartagena

Colombia is known for its rich biodiversity and lower cost of living than other countries. Columbia has diverse exotic locations - from clear waters on its Caribbean shores to dense flora in its Amazon jungles and even to quaint rustic towns and communities.

colombia 2 - ciudad perdida

Cities to visit: Medellin, Cartagena, San Gil, Bogota, Santa Marta

Must-visit locations: Ciudad Perdida, Tayrona National Park, Taganga

Best time to travel: Dry seasons during December until March and July until August which allows people to go around places without worrying about rain, although the weather is generally good throughout the year.

10. France

france 1 - arc de triomphe

France is best known for its rich culture, scenery, history, and diversity in different regions in terms of style, architecture, cuisine, and dialects. Undoubtedly, its capital city Paris is one of the most preferred traveling destinations for couples anywhere in the world.

france 2 - eiffel tower

Cities to visit: Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille

Must-visit locations: Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles, Mont Saint Michel

Best time to travel: Mid-July until the end of August to avoid the crowds during holidays.

Traveling in retirement?

Here's a friendly reminder: traveling is expensive. Being financially ready for retirement lets you enjoy visits to these wonderful places. Take the time to review your retirement plans today.