The Retirement Index gathers information from hundreds of editors and correspondents around the world. The countries are judged across 10 categories: Housing, Benefits & Discounts, Visas & Residence, Entertainment, Development, Climate, Healthcare, Governance, Opportunity, and Cost of Living. The goal is to find locations where retirees can spend less money, live happily and healthily, and experience a new country without straying too far from all that is familiar. Here are the best.
10. Uruguay – Uruguay is relaxed, easy to navigate, and offers a great mix of vibrant cities and natural beauty—in other words, it’s an excellent place to retire.
9. Spain – It’s never too late to improve your quality of life, and that’s pretty much a guarantee if you retire in Spain. The country offers a wonderful climate, high mental and physical wellbeing among citizens, and a way of life that values good food and leisure.
8. Malta – About 50 miles south of Sicily, Malta is the tenth smallest country in the entire world—but don’t let its lack of square milage deter you. The archipelago nation compares to the best of other countries: the beaches and ancient cities of Italy, the aromatic spices and seafood-focused cuisine of North Africa, the language and tea culture of England. It’s no wonder that 15 percent of the residents here are expats.
7. France – You’ve probably dreamt of living in France at some point in your life, and retirement is as good an opportunity as any. There is captivating culture and nature at every turn, from the glitzy beach towns of the Côte d’Azur to the sunflower fields of the Dordogne. And while living in the center of Paris may not be a cost-efficient option, there are surprisingly affordable (and just as charming) locations elsewhere in the country.
6. Ecuador – Ecuador offers a perfect combination of climate, culture, and affordability—and because it’s not as overrun with expats as some other South American countries, you can really experience the local culture pretty much anywhere you go. It still has the makings of a comfortable retired life, however, with high-speed internet, good transportation, and the American dollar as currency.
5. Colombia – Colombia is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, encompassing beaches, the Amazon, and the Andes within its borders. Anyone can find a comfortable place to call home here. The country also welcomes non-stop flights from the U.S. into all its major cities, with flights from Florida clocking in at under three hours.
4. Portugal – Whether you prefer rugged Atlantic beaches or cobblestoned cities, Portugal has something for everyone. The European country benefits from a glorious Mediterranean climate, with local seafood, olive oil, and wine to match. Residents get to enjoy a laid-back environment with all the first-world amenities, like high-speed internet and reliable airports and public transportation.
3. Mexico – Mexico is a convenient choice for American retirees, but the country offers far more perks than its geographic proximity. You can easily find high-speed internet and cell service, good highways, reliable electricity, and familiar stores and restaurants alongside local gems. And thanks to a huge expat community (more than one million Americans live there at least part of the year), you don’t have to be fluent in Spanish to get around easily.
2. Costa Rica – The natural beauty of Costa Rica is no secret, with beaches, cloud forests, and coffee plantations filling its relatively small area. The country has been extremely popular with expats for the past 40 years, so you can easily find established communities of English-speaking peers (though you should definitely learn Spanish if you’re considering a permanent move).
1. Panama – This is the 11th year that Panama has earned the top spot on the Retirement Index, and it’s easy to see why. The country is perfectly perched between North and South America, just a three-hour flight away from Miami. It offers both Pacific and Caribbean beaches, and coastal towns like Coronado have established expat communities that are thriving and welcoming.
Source: Conde Nast Traveler