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Discover the best places to live out your golden years, with affordable healthcare, stunning scenery, and a vibrant culture. 

Retirement is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labour and live your life to the fullest. If you’re considering retiring abroad, there are a number of factors to consider, including cost of living, climate, healthcare, and lifestyle. 

Here are a few of the best countries to retire to from South Africa: 

  • Portugal 
  • Spain 
  • Thailand  
  • Bali 

 

Portugal  

Portugal is a popular retirement destination for South Africans, thanks to its mild climate, affordable cost of living, and high-quality healthcare. 

  

Mild Climate 

Its mild Mediterranean climate ensures comfortable living year-round, making it especially appealing to those seeking a temperate climate.

 

Affordable Cost of Living 

The cost of living in Portugal is relatively affordable compared to many other European countries, which allows retirees to stretch their retirement savings further. Additionally, the country boasts a rich cultural heritage, offering retirees the opportunity to explore historic cities, beautiful beaches, and picturesque landscapes. 

 

High-quality Healthcare 

Portugal also excels in healthcare services, with accessible medical facilities and English-speaking healthcare professionals, providing peace of mind to retirees. 

 

Portugal’s Healthcare System  

Portugal has a universal healthcare system, meaning that all residents have access to healthcare services, regardless of their income or employment status. The system is funded through a combination of taxes and social security contributions.  Portugal

 

The Portuguese healthcare system is divided into two main sectors: 

  • The public sector is the largest and most widely used part of the system. It provides a wide range of services, including primary care, hospital care, and long-term care.  

 

  • The private sector is smaller, but it plays an important role in the Portuguese healthcare system. Private providers offer a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, and specialty care.  

 

Accessing Portugal’s Healthcare System 

To access the Portuguese healthcare system, you must register with a local health centre (centro de saúde). You can do this by visiting the health centre and presenting your Portuguese ID card or residence permit.  

Once you are registered, you will be assigned a family doctor (médico de família). Your family doctor will be your first point of contact for all healthcare needs. They will provide you with routine care, such as check-ups and vaccinations, and they can also refer you to specialists if necessary.  

Cost of healthcare in Portugal 

The cost of healthcare in Portugal is relatively low. Most services are provided free of charge to residents, or for a small co-payment. However, there are some exceptions, such as prescription medications and dental care. 

Quality of healthcare in Portugal 

The quality of healthcare in Portugal is generally good. The country has a high number of doctors and nurses per capita, and the healthcare system is well-funded. However, there have been some reports of long waiting times for certain services, particularly in the public sector.  

 

Overall, Portugal’s healthcare system is a good one. It provides universal access to a wide range of services at a relatively low cost.  

 

Spain 

Spain is another great option for retirees, with its beautiful beaches, Mediterranean climate, and delicious food. 

Beautiful Beaches 

Offering a mix of stunning coastal areas, diverse landscapes, and a rich cultural tapestry. 

 

Mediterranean Climate 

Its Mediterranean climate ensures plenty of sunshine and pleasant temperatures, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Delicious Cuisine 

 

Spain is renowned for its delicious cuisine, from paella in Valencia to tapas in Barcelona, providing retirees with a gastronomic delight. 

 

The cost of living is reasonable 

 

Allowing retirees to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. Additionally, Spain’s healthcare system is of high quality, making it accessible to retirees, and many healthcare professionals speak English, ensuring effective communication.  

 

Spain’s Healthcare System 

Spain has a universal healthcare system known as the Sistema Nacional de Salud (SNS). The SNS is funded through a combination of taxes and social security contributions, and it provides a wide range of healthcare services to all Spanish residents, regardless of their income or employment status.  Spain

 

The SNS is divided into two main sectors: 

  • The public sector is the largest and most widely used part of the system. It provides a wide range of services, including primary care, hospital care, and long-term care.  
  • The private sector is smaller, but it plays an important role in the Spanish healthcare system. Private providers offer a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, and specialty care.  

 

Accessing Spain’s Healthcare System 

To access the Spanish healthcare system, you must register with a local health centre (centro de salud). You can do this by visiting the health centre and presenting your Spanish ID card or residence permit.  

Once you are registered, you will be assigned a family doctor (médico de familia). Your family doctor will be your first point of contact for all healthcare needs. They will provide you with routine care, such as check-ups and vaccinations, and they can also refer you to specialists if necessary.  

 

Cost of Healthcare in Spain 

The cost of healthcare in Spain is relatively low. Most services are provided free of charge to residents, or for a small co-payment. However, there are some exceptions, such as prescription medications and dental care. 

Quality of Healthcare in Spain 

The quality of healthcare in Spain is generally good. The country has a high number of doctors and nurses per capita, and the healthcare system is well-funded. However, there have been some reports of long waiting times for certain services, particularly in the public sector.  

Overall, Spain’s healthcare system is a good one. It provides universal access to a wide range of services at a relatively low cost.  

If you are considering retiring to Spain, it is important to purchase international health insurance to cover any gaps in the SNS. International health insurance can also give you peace of mind knowing that you are covered if you need medical care while traveling abroad. 

 

Thailand  

Thailand is a popular retirement destination for South Africans seeking an exotic and affordable retirement experience. The country’s tropical climate, stunning beaches, and lush landscapes create an idyllic setting for retirees.

Thailand

 

Low Cost of Living 

Thailand’s cost of living is relatively low, with affordable housing, food, and transportation options. The Thai culture is rich and vibrant, offering retirees a chance to explore ancient temples, traditional festivals, and delicious street food. 

World-class Healthcare 

The availability of world-class healthcare facilities and medical professionals, particularly in major cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, ensures retirees have access to quality healthcare services. 

 

Retirement Visas 

Thailand also offers retirement visas that make it easier for retirees to live in the country. 

Thailand’s Healthcare System 

Thailand has a universal healthcare system known as the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS). The UCS provides comprehensive healthcare coverage to all Thai citizens and legal residents, including preventive care, curative care, and palliative care. The UCS is funded through a combination of taxes and social security contributions. 

Accessing Thailand’s Healthcare System  

To access the UCS, Thai citizens and legal residents must register with the National Health Security Office (NHSO). Registration is free and can be done online or at any NHSO office.  

Once registered, you will be assigned a primary care unit (PCU). Your PCU will be your first point of contact for all healthcare needs. They will provide you with routine care, such as check-ups and vaccinations, and they can also refer you to specialists if necessary.  

For specialized care, you will need to be referred to a hospital by your PCU. There are both public and private hospitals in Thailand. Public hospitals are free for UCS beneficiaries, while private hospitals charge a fee.  

 

Cost of Healthcare in Thailand 

The cost of healthcare in Thailand is relatively low, especially compared to the United States. Most services are provided free of charge to UCS beneficiaries. However, there are some exceptions, such as prescription medications and dental care. Thailand

 

Quality of Healthcare in Thailand 

The quality of healthcare in Thailand is generally good. The country has a high number of doctors and nurses per capita, and the healthcare system is well-funded. However, there have been some reports of long waiting times for certain services in the public sector.  

Overall, Thailand’s healthcare system is a good one. It provides universal access to affordable healthcare services, and the quality of care is generally good.  

If you are considering retiring to Thailand, it is important to purchase international health insurance to cover any gaps in the UCS. International health insurance can also give you peace of mind knowing that you are covered if you need medical care while traveling abroad. \

 

 

Bali 

Bali is a unique and exotic option for South African retirees seeking a tropical paradise. Known for its stunning beaches, lush rice terraces, and vibrant culture, Bali offers a tranquil and picturesque retirement setting. 

 

The cost of living is low 

Allowing retirees to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle on a fixed budget. 

 

Friendly Locals 

Bali’s warm and welcoming atmosphere, as well as its friendly locals, make it an inviting destination for retirees. 

Modern Healthcare Facilities 

While Bali may not have the same level of healthcare infrastructure as some other countries on this list, it does have modern healthcare facilities in popular expat areas, ensuring that retirees can access medical care when needed. Bali

 

Bali’s Healthcare System 

 Bali’s healthcare system is a mix of public and private facilities: 

  • The public healthcare system is run by the government and is free to use for Indonesian citizens. However, the quality of care in public hospitals can vary, and there may be long wait times for certain services.  
  • Private healthcare in Bali is more expensive than public healthcare, but it is also of a higher quality. Private hospitals typically have shorter wait times and offer a wider range of services.  

There are a number of international hospitals in Bali that cater to tourists and expats. These hospitals offer high-quality care and have English-speaking staff. 

Here are Some Tips for Accessing Healthcare in Bali: 

  • If you are an Indonesian citizen, you can access public healthcare services free of charge by presenting your Kartu Keluarga (family card).  
  • If you are not an Indonesian citizen, you will need to pay for healthcare services, unless you have travel insurance or international health insurance.  
  • If you have travel insurance or international health insurance, be sure to check with your insurer to see which hospitals and clinics are in their network.  
  • If you are unsure of where to go for healthcare, you can ask your hotel concierge or a local resident for recommendations.  

 

Here are Some of the Best Hospitals in Bali: 

  • Sanglah Hospital (public).
  • BIMC Hospital Nusa Dua (private). 
  • Siloam Hospital Bali (private).  
  • Prima Medika Hospital (private).
  • Kasih Ibu Hospital (private). 

 

If you are planning to retire in Bali, it is important to purchase international health insurance to cover any gaps in the public healthcare system. International health insurance can also give you peace of mind knowing that you are covered if you need medical care while traveling abroad.  Bali

Get an International Health Insurance Quote 

 

 No matter where you choose to retire, it’s important to have international health insurance coverage. This will protect you from the high cost of medical care in the event of an illness or injury. 

When choosing an international health insurance plan, be sure to consider the following factors:  

  • Coverage: Make sure the plan covers the types of medical care you’re most likely to need, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription medications.  
  • Cost: Compare the cost of different plans to find one that fits your budget.  
  • Network: Look for a plan with a large network of providers in the country where you’ll be living. 

 

Importance of International Health Insurance 

International health insurance is important for retirees because it can protect them from the high cost of medical care in the event of an illness or injury. In many countries, medical care can be very expensive, even for basic procedures.  

International health insurance can also give retirees peace of mind knowing that they’re covered if they need medical care while traveling abroad.  

Retiring abroad can be a great way to enjoy your golden years. By choosing the right country and international health insurance plan, you can ensure that your retirement is happy, healthy, and affordable. 

Clarity Insurance Broker is an authorized Financial Services Provider – FSP No. 51007 .Contact us today to learn more the best international health insurance plan for your needs. 

 Get an International Health Insurance Quote