Everyone dreams of retiring in the Caribbean. And the ultimate dream is retiring to a small, far-off island away from the hustle and bustle of the world. Retirement in the Caribbean certainly has its share of sacrifices and challenges, and that’s particularly true on a small island. But what you get in return is total independence, umatched relaxation, island charm and a completely different rhythm to your days. Another unheralded benefit is you really become part of a community, something that isn’t necessarily true in many larger “retirement” destinations. These are the small islands we think are the best starting points to make a decision like this — they’re small, they’re beautiful and they’re not really like anywhere else.
Bocas del Toro, Panama
Panama has become one of the world’s hottest destinations for retirees, especially from the US. That’s in large part due two factors: the country’s pensionado programme, which offers retirees a series of discounts on everything from medical exams to entertainment, and a cost of living that’s among the lowest of any destination in the region. And Bocas del Toro is full of tiny islands to choose from, from the “main” island of Isla Colon to the popular Red Frog Beach development on the island of Isla Bastimentos. (Above: a villa at Red Frog Beach)