Personal Finance

Hate winter? Ditch that snow shovel and retire in one of these 7 places where the sun always shines 

Key Points
  • Winter can be a challenge for people who love warmth — storms in the U.S. are growing more frequent and less predictable.
  • “In plenty of great-value retirement destinations around the world, the weather stays warm and sunny year-round,” says Jennifer Stevens, executive editor of International Living.
  • You can say goodbye to winter if you hate snow and cold. These seven overseas spots offer the perfect escape for a break or a permanent move.
Jennifer Sharp | Getty Images

Winters in the U.S. seem to be growing more unpredictable.

Those wanting an escape from the cold should check out these destinations around the world, where the sun shines year round.

Seven idyllic spots are detailed in a report from These winter havens offer perfect weather and good value for the money.

"These are perfect places to escape to for a break from the cold — or to move to if you want to say goodbye to the winter weather for good," said Jennifer Stevens, executive editor of International Living.

1. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The hidden beach in Marietas Islands, Puerto Vallarta. Mexico.
Ferrantraite | Getty Images

It's never cold in Puerto Vallarta.

High temperatures are in the 80s, and low temperatures mean the mid-60s. That makes this Pacific Coast resort city a longstanding Mexico favorite for winter escapes. "Leave your boots and parkas up north and enjoy sunny days and romantic nights in this seaside hot spot," said correspondent Don Murray, who also covers the Riviera Maya on Mexico's Caribbean coast for International Living.

A typical retired couple can live well here for under $3,000 a month, including all expenses.

2. Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay
ElOjoTorpe | Moment Open | Getty Images

In Uruguay's climate, cold weather is practically unheard of. Its location in a temperate zone is responsible for year-round mild temperatures.

"Springtime comes to Montevideo from November on, with daytime temperatures in the low 70s [Fahrenheit]," said Jim Santos, a correspondent for International Living.

Most expats are attracted to Uruguay for its "tranquilo" lifestyle — a healthy, stress-free approach to living. Two people can live in Montevideo on $3,200 a month.

3. Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica
Kryssia Campos | Moment | Getty Images

Kathleen Evans, the coastal Costa Rica correspondent for International Living, recommends visiting Tamarindo in December for the best weather. "The seasonal rains are finished in November, so everything is lush and green," Evans said. "The chance of rain is nearly zero."

The days are warm but not hot, and the evenings cool off for a sunset walk on the beach and open-air dinner. Temperatures range from highs in the mid-80s to a low of 73.

A couple can thrive on $2,500 a month in this coastal town, including housing. Costa Rica offers high-quality, low-cost medical care, good-value real estate, established expat communities and welcoming locals.

4. Huanchaco, Peru

Huanchaco, Trujillo, Peru
Jesus Arana | Getty Images

For most of the year, temperatures hover around the low-to-mid 70s and rainfall is virtually nonexistent.

"Pretty much the whole coast of Peru is sunny at that time," says Steve LePoidevin, International Living's Peru correspondent. "Springtime starts in late September, early October, so there's plenty of time to start planning to avoid the severe North American winters."

The prices are also mild. A couple could easily live on a monthly budget of $2,000 or less, according to LePoidevin.

5. Coronado, Panama

Lynn Armstrong | 500px Prime | Getty Images

Nearly every morning, the sun shines bright in a cornflower blue sky, according to Jessica Ramesch, International Living's Panama editor. "When it does rain, it's usually just for an hour or two in the afternoon," Ramesch said.

"Temperatures rarely climb above 88 F during the day, and it's usually about 10 degrees cooler at night," Ramesch said. "With ocean breezes and plenty of sun, we're talking mild, happiness-inducing weather."

Depending on how you choose to live — many retirees hire maids and landscape gardeners — a monthly budget for a couple in Coronado could run $1,750 to $2,975.

6. Placencia, Belize

Stann Creek District, Placencia, Belize
 John & Lisa Merrill | Getty Images

The official start of high season is November, when the weather in southern Belize is usually perfect, says Laura Diffendal, International Living's Belize correspondent. During the day, expect temperatures in the low 80s. Evening temperatures in the 70s, and combined with sea breezes, means you won't need anything more than a long-sleeved T-shirt.

Placencia is one of the more expensive places to live in Belize because of its popularity with tourists and expats, but the cost of living is still much lower than in the U.S. A couple can live comfortably for $2,500 a month.

7. Algarve, Portugal

Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal.
Jacek Sopotnicki | Getty Images

"It's hard to find fault with the climate in the Algarve," said Tricia Pimental, Portugal correspondent for International Living. "You can count on sun most of the time." During the "rainy season" of October through April, it's still sunny around two-thirds of the time.

"December is the wettest month, during which you can expect about 4 inches of rain to fall over the course of the month," Pimental added. "But on any given day, the precipitation is more likely to come in a heavy, brief shower, and then the warm Algarve sun reappears."

A monthly budget of $2,000 to $2,400, depending on housing, provides for a comfortable life for a couple.