Learn Spanish for Retirement Abroad
According to recent articles on the best places for North Americans to retire abroad, six of the eight are countries where Spanish is the local language. Another is Portugal, whose language bears some similarity to Spanish, and the final one is Malaysia, where English is widely spoken.
An article from International Living http://www.internationalliving.com that I read excerpted in http://www.escapehere.com lists their favourite countries in terms of low cost of living, good health care, warm climate and the existence of an expat community. Their choices are Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Portugal and Malaysia.
Of course, your criteria could be different--you might prefer a cooler climate, high culture and not mind relatively high costs, in which case virtually any city in Northern Europe would qualify. Or you might prefer to limit your choice to English-speaking countries only. It is all a matter of taste.
However, if you do intend to spend retirement years in a country where the local language is not English, you are likely to enjoy your stay a lot more if you can at least understand that language and communciate in it at a basic level.
There are many drawbacks to retirement abroad, primarily the distance from family, friends and community groups, as well as possible tax hassles. But you will never know whether it is for you unless you try.
Remember, there is no shame in moving abroad and then returning home if it doesn't work out.