Top 5 LGBT-Friendly Retirement Cities


Top 5 LGBT-Friendly Retirement Cities

by Elizabeth Gail © 2018 What's On Queer BC

When it comes to choosing the right retirement destinations the gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and transgender communities have a wider array of factors to consider than the general population. While many cities around the world lag behind in addressing LGBTQ needs, it is great to know that there are many other wonderful places that don't. The following are five top LGBT friendly retirement cities that offer a gracious haven for retirees.

Panama City

With year round sunny weather and a low cost of living, Panama City is an exotic retirement destination that possesses the natural propensity to charm your heart and at the be lenient to your bank account. With just around $1,300, retirees can live a fairly comfortable life here. Christened The Dubai of Latin America, the metropolis is widely accepting of LGBT couples. Same-sex sexual activity is legal, but same-sex marriages have not been legalized yet. While it lacks in a wide variety of exclusive LGBT social hotspots such as gay bars, beaches and hotels, quality medical care options are affordable and English is widely spoken. Time magazine gives Panama City a health care rating of 89/100 and notes: proof of $1,000 in monthly income earns you residency under the Pensionado program, as well as big discounts on everything from movies to doctor appointments.


Toronto is a melting pot of cultures, and is dotted with LGBT-friendly residential neighborhoods. The Gay Village in particular is the largest gay community in Canada. Its nightlife spots, gay-friendly shops, and restaurants make for a homely ambience. It also supports health care and housing programs for LGBT community seniors. That said, the cost of living in Toronto is high.


It’s hard to talk about LGBT-friendly cities and leave out Madrid. Consistently voted as a top LGBT destination, the city is remarkably tolerant and public displays of affection barely attract attention. It offers an all-round experience in terms of cultural events and exclusive social spots. Moreover, it is hard to pass up the all year round sunny weather. The cost of living is marginally lower than that of most Canadian cities. Anyone 60 years or older can get a Tarjeta Dorada card entitling you to 25%-40% off train travel. The biggest perk is that the country offers free public health coverage. Time magazine gives Spain an 87/100 health care rating.


A low cost of living, exotic culture, to-die-for sceneries, and a huge LGBT community best describes Bangkok. Nestled at the heart of South-East Asia, it’s the ultimate destination for LGBT party animals of all ages. With an unparalleled selection of exclusive bars, saunas, go-go boy shows and clubs, retirees who love the nightlife will definitely be spoilt for choice. One can live a fairly comfortable life for under $1500 a month (rent approx. $400). Moreover, its health care services are not only cheap but quick and professional. Time magazine gives Thailand an 89 out of 100 for quality of health care, and notes that travel and entertainment discounts up to 50% are available for anyone at least 60 years old.


Vancouver is widely known as an LGBT friendly city as well as one of the world's most beautiful cities. With its many restaurants, clubs, a friendly and diverse LGBT population and dozens of LGBTQ2S+ events, Vancouver is an enticing retirement destination. The city offers unique support services to its aging population which include transit discounts and retirement housing. It also boasts the annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Pride Parade and Queer Arts Festival. The cost of living in Vancouver is high but an upsell is that it’s one of the very few top LGBT destinations in the world where same sex marriages are allowed. With a constantly growing skytrain system, living outside the Vancouver area is a viable option. All provinces of Canada have a Medical Insurance Plan that makes health care essentially free.

In the USA

If you're looking for a retirement suggestion within the United States, Huffington Post has this great article and infograph!

Elizabeth Gail is a fashion enthusiast with an overwhelming affinity to binge watch sitcoms. Raised in New York, you will regularly find her unsuccessfully trying out the latest outfits at fashion stores in Europe, or partaking in humanitarian endeavors in Africa.