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Better weather, lower cost of living, or just getting away from it all. Everyone interested in becoming an expat has their own reasons, but if you’re one of those thinking along those lines, you might be pleasantly surprised to find out how interested some nations are in having you join them.

Along with all the lifestyle attractions, the incentives they offer those considering retiring abroad can include liberal visa policies, discounted healthcare, tax breaks, and even discounted airfare. (We’re looking at you, Panama.)

The offerings vary widely and from place to place. Here’s a quick look at three countries whose incentives show a strong willingness to invest in you if you decide to retire there.

The many charms of the Panama Pensionado

Panama isn’t shy about what has made this most central of Central American nations a hot spot for American expats. It begins with the Pensionado Visa, the official welcome mat for retirees who can prove they have at least $1,000 a month in Social Security or some other lifetime pension.

But that’s just for starters. “Considered to be among the best retirement programs in the world,” in the words of the Embassy of Panama, the Panama Pensionado includes a long list of discounts on utility bills and mortgages, transportation, dental and eye exams, and even 50% off on movies, cultural events, and hotel rooms.

Plus, the U.S. dollar is the official currency, making what you’re gaining even easier to calculate.

Image source: Getty Images.

Greece: A Golden Visa and fleece-free taxes

If you’re into history with a view, it’s hard to beat Greece. Epic scenery, legendary cuisine, and being a cradle of Western Civilization are just a start. There’s also a 7% flat tax rate program for foreigners who transfer their official residence for taxation to Greece, a significant break for those who feel fleeced by the government levy in their current homeland.

There’s also Greece’s version of the Golden Visa program, which grants five-year permanent residency in exchange for a $300,000 investment in local real estate there. Plus, you can renew the visa after five years of permanent residency and after seven years you can apply for Greek citizenship.

But, it should be noted that permanent citizenship requires fluency in Greek, so be prepared to bone up on that classic tongue if that’s your ultimate goal of this odyssey.

Malaysia’s tax-free social visit pass

This Southeast Asian nation has granted more than 48,000 of what it calls long-term social visit passes since launching its Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program in 2002. One of the reasons for such popularity: no taxation on pensions or other offshore income. There are financial requirements including at least $125,000 in assets and a monthly income of at least $2,500 but you can also buy your own property there.

You can apply to renew your social visit pass every 10 years and you’re required to physically be in Malaysia for at least 90 days a year. But with affordable living, robust health-care services, beaches, rain forests, bustling cities, and traditional villages, that doesn’t sound like it should be too much of a burden.

Image source: Getty Images.

Don’t find your paradise lost: Know before you go

These are only three of the myriad options American retirees can consider if moving overseas is in your cards. Keep in mind the financial implications of such a move, and be aware that the immigration rules and regulations for each destination are different and can be complex and ever-changing.

Do your homework and ideally pay them a visit so you can see what you might be getting into. You might just find the right place to add a special shine to those golden years.

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