With spiraling costs compelling more and more North Americans to retire overseas, retiring abroad has never been more attractive. But finding the right location among the myriad options available can be daunting.
That’s what our Annual Global Retirement Index does. Using input from our team of correspondents on the ground all over the world, we combine real-world insights about climate, health care, cost of living, and much more to draw up a comprehensive list of the best bang-for-your buck retirement destinations on the planet.
Keep in mind that, even though only 25 countries feature on our list, all of them are worth your attention. We selected them from among all the countries in the world for their qualities as retirement hot-spots, so even the lowest-ranked nation on our index is still very much an option worth considering.
Take into account, too, that ultimately no list or formula can automatically deliver the best destination for you. Only you can decide that. Only you can assess your personal preferences, needs, budget, and desires, and look at the options available to see which nation best suits your needs.
Are you an urbanite or do you prefer the wide-open spaces? Would you prefer a tropical climate with year-round sun or more temperate weather that reminds you of home? Would you rather live by the sea or on a mountainside? Sample the exotic delights of Asia or explore the rich cultural heritage of Latin America? Only you can make these calls. In assembling this index, we aim to deliver an in-depth guide to the best countries available to you today. It’s been compiled using the solid judgment and on-the-ground intelligence of our correspondents around the world. All of them are expats who have become experts on their adopted countries. Through their insight, we hope to give you an indication of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each locale and a flavor of the life that could await you in each. That way you can focus your own search in a well-informed way.
We’re constantly looking to improve and refine our annual Retirement Index. On top of having access to a larger network of correspondents than ever before, this year we required more (and more detailed) input from the field to make this year’s results the most comprehensive to date. As a result, for instance, Vietnam is included this year for the first time, in recognition of the opportunities we’ve uncovered there for North American expats within the last year.
You can see the full table of results below, but here for your inspection are details of the best in each region…
Ecuador—The World’s Number 1 Retirement Haven
From the quaint town of Cotacachi to the vibrant capital, Quito, from Salinas by the sea to the peaks of the Andes, Ecuador’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, Ecuador’s real estate is still the best value you’ll find anywhere.
This is bolstered by the generous array of benefits the government has afforded to retirees. Over-65s get discounts on flights originating in Ecuador, as well as up to 50% off entry to movies and sporting events. Discounts are also available on public transport (50%) and utilities, with the option of a free landline if you purchase a property.
And the cost of living is low. “You can get a lot more here for your dollar than you could in the U.S. or Canada,” says IL Ecuador Highlands Correspondent Wendy DeChambeau. “A doctor’s visit will set you back around $10, while a main course in a restaurant can be had for as little as $2.50. The bus trip from Cotacachi to Otavalo will cost you 25 cents. For big-ticket items like real estate, you can get a lot more for your dollar here than in the U.S. A couple can live well here on $1,400 a month, including rent.”
To read the full story: http://internationalliving.com/2015/01/the-best-places-to-retire-2015/