Retiring abroad has never been more attractive. But finding the right location among the myriad options available can be daunting. Even though only 25 countries feature on the list of International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index, all of them are worth your attention. The ones selected by us, from among all the countries in the world, were based on retirement-friendly qualities, so even the lowest-ranked nation is an option worth considering.
(1) EQUADOR : Equador wins overall this year as the best place in the world to retire. From the quaint town of Cotacachi to the vibrant capital, Quito, from Salinas by the sea to the peaks of the Andes, Equador’s diversity is a key part of the massive appeal that sees it regain the coveted top spot on this year’s retirement index. Although prices have risen slightly in recent years, Equador’s real estate has the best value you’ll find anywhere. This is bolstered by the generous array of benefits that the Government has accorded to retires. You’ll find world-class medical facilities in big cities throughout the country. Public transportation is so efficient that many expats report that people are not even buying a car. As many expats note, Equador delivers fresh experiences every day, making it the perfect location for someone in search of happily fulfilling life overseas.
(2) PANAMA : The best retirement destination in Central America —— Panama offers retiree expats and the advantages of the world’s best retirement programme : The Pensionado visa, available to anyone with a lifetime pension of over $1,000 a month. Add all of these to the country’s already low cost of living, and Panama is the definition of an affordable expat haven. For under $2,000, a couple can live comfortably in a country with a well-earned reputation for being expat-friendly. Thriving expat communities in towns such as Boquete, Coronado and Pedasi attest to the ease of integration and provide you plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded people.
(3) MALAYSIA : It comes in as the best place in Asia to retire to. Every year, more and more expats are waking up to the amazing opportunities Malaysia has to offer. The country has robust economics in Asia, and this is reflected in the consistently high standard of living available to locals and expats alike. Quality of life in Malaysia is cost-efficient as well as excellent. In typical expat locations such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang, high-quality real estate is available for rent at a low cost.
(4) SPAIN : For those seeking the sun and affordable living in Europe, Spain remains by far the best option available, evidenced by its standing as the top European nation in this year’s index. Although not as cheap as in most of Latin America, property in Spain is often of a high standard and far better value than in many other European countries. For years, Spain’s famously warm climate has been attracting expats from colder climes. All the First-World amenities you would expect of a European country are abundant in Spain. Spain’s health-care system is routinely recognised by the World Health Organization as one of the best in the world.