Retirement with a Tropical Twist

With summer’s end on the horizon, and cooler weather evoking thoughts of waving palms, and warm sand, escaping to the tropics becomes the ultimate daydream. If you’ve ever taken an island holiday, I’m willing to bet you’ve contemplated boycotting your return flight, and becoming a permanent beach dweller. Spending your retirement years lounging in a hammock, in an exotic paradise can be more than just a vacation, what if you could make it home? So let's pack our flip flops to discover four island destinations perfect for snowbirds, and retirees.

Caye Caulker, Belize

Surrounded by aquamarine waters west of the Belize Barrier Reef, this five-mile-long island is rich in wildlife, water recreation, and shoes are discouraged! Empty nesters and retirees will find shopping, dining, and an affordable lifestyle. Healthy living is a given considering you’ll make any excuse to soak in the outdoors. According to International Living, real estate is budget-friendly with home prices as low as $50K.

Roatan, Honduras

According to International Living, Roatan was named one of the top island destinations for retirees, and deservedly so. With stunning scenery and outdoor recreation, popular areas such as West Bay, and French Harbour are hot spots to find restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. 55+ golf enthusiasts can enjoy tee time with an island flair at the Pete Dye-designed championship golf course in Pristine Bay Golf Resort. This expat-friendly island has reasonable home prices depending on the location, and according to Remax boasts low property taxes.

Pearl Islands, Panama

Twenty minutes from Panama City, this archipelago of islands was named for the abundance of pearls discovered by the Spanish during the early 1500s and is famous for where the series “Survivor” was filmed. White sandy beaches, marine life, and clear aquamarine waters offer retirees a spectacular setting and a relaxed way of life. A contactor is known as the Resort Island and is the most populated with luxurious B&B’s, vacation rentals, and residential homes. Isla Del Rey is the largest of the Pearl Islands and is an exotic playground of lush forests, and remote beaches perfect for sport fishing, and scuba diving.

Palau, Micronesia

Southeast of the Philippines, Palau is made up of limestone “rock islands” that from an aerial view, are impossibly beautiful against the sharp contrast of teal waters. Expats and retirees who love to live by the sea, and are ready to leave the stress of everyday life behind will find this slice of heaven the ideal destination. Health minded active adults will find an array of activities from swimming with the dolphins, hiking, or mountain biking.