Thursday , 25 July 2024

Thinking About Retirement? Here Are the World’s 25 Best Places To Do So

International Living magazine released its annual Retirement Index of the best retirement destination in the world in the September 2010 issue. The U.S. reached #15 (up from #22 in 2009). [You will never guess which country was #1!]. Words: 495

So reports Dan Prescher ( in a recent article* which Lorimer Wilson, editor of, has reformatted into edited […] excerpts below for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. (Please note that this paragraph must be included in any article reposting to avoid copyright infringement.) Prescher goes on to say:

The countries that came out on top of the U.S. as offering the best value in lifestyle, health care, culture, and cost of living with points out of a possible 100 are:

1. Ecuador – 81
2. Panama – 80
3. Mexico – 79 (see here for the 10 best places in Mexico)
4. France – 78
5. Italy – 78
6. Uruguay – 77
7. Malta – 76
8. Chile – 76
9. Spain – 75
10. Costa Rica – 75
11. Brazil – 74
12. Argentina – 74
13. Columbia – 73
14. New Zealand – 73

To determine the Annual Retirement Index, International Living managing editor Eoin Bassett says 25 countries are analyzed and ranked in categories including real estate costs, special benefits offered to retirees, culture, safety and stability, health care, climate, infrastructure, and cost of living saying, “We give top priority to those things that matter most to retirees, such as special retiree benefit programs that include tax breaks and discounts.”

Total score for the U.S. was hurt by relatively high cost of living and high carrying costs for real estate such as taxes and insurance. The United Kingdom comes in at #22 this year, and Thailand takes #25.

Bassett says that to determine the index rankings, data is analyzed in eight categories including real estate, special retiree benefits, cost of living, culture, health care, infrastructure, safety/stability, and climate, “Then we run the results past our in-country experts for their judgments based on their first-hand experience, so it’s not a purely by-the-numbers, scientific call… it’s more nuanced. We’ve crunched the numbers, but we’ve also made adjustments based on what we know to be the reality on the ground.”

“No place gets a perfect score,” says Bassett. “Every place has pros and cons, pockets where living is easier, or cheaper, than another but all of the countries in our Index have something to offer. Even if they score poorly in a specific category, they’re still the best places in the world to retire that we’ve found.”

* (This is the 18th year that, founded in 1981, has compiled its Annual Retirement Index.)

Editor’s Note: The above article consists of reformatted edited excerpts from the original for the sake of brevity, clarity and to ensure a fast and easy read. The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered.