International Living Magazine Best Places To Retire


Find Your Dream Retirement In Thailand

International Living’s list of best places to retire

With its warm climate, inexpensive cost of living, and beautiful scenery, its easy to see why Thailand attracts retirees from across the globe.

In fact, Thailand remains one of the top-10 countries to retire abroad, receiving high scores over the past few years in International Livings Annual Global Retirement Indexmost notably for its top-notch healthcare, inexpensive housing, and friendly residents. These all combine to make it a great choice for retiring overseas.

In the northern part of the country, Chiang Mai beckons with its surrounding, scenic mountains and winding country roadsoffering a new adventure around every bend. Here you can enjoy all the amenities of modern city life at a fraction of the cost of what youd pay back home. With easy access to healthy outdoor markets, affordable real estate, and a large established expat community, its obvious why Chiang Mai remains so popular. For those who prefer a more rural lifestyle, there are many affordable properties just outside the city limits.

For true urban living, Bangkok is still high on the list for many retirees. As a regional center for the arts, fashion, and entertainment, its hard to beatand with easy access to the beaches in the south and the mountains to the north, this modern metropolis has something for everyone. Although more expensive than the rest of the country, its still possible to find affordable real estate in many parts of the city.

Panama Tops Intl Livings 2022 Global Retirement Index As Latam Again Claims Five Of Six Best Places

For the eleventh time since International Living magazine began publishing its annual Global Retirement Index 31 years ago, the Central American country of Panama has come in at the top of the list, after having come in second for the last two years, and in first place in 2019.

“We’ve been here before…and with good reason,” International Living’s Panama Editor, Jessica Ramesch, said, in a press release announcing the unveiling of the magazine’s latest annual ranking.

“That’s because, when it comes to overall benefits and value, Panama is very tough to beat. All any doubter has to do is make a list.”

Ramesch went on to tick off the items on her list of reasons, which she said included “Panamas geographical position and climate” the fact that although “warm and tropical” it also manages to be “completely outside the treacherous hurricane belt” and such sometimes unexpected benefits as the fact that in Panama, “all legal residents are entitled to 20% off prescription medications if theyre of ‘pensioner’ age”, which is 55 years old for women and 60 for men.

“Panama may not be perfect no country is but I wouldnt trade it for anything,” Ramesch added.

“Services include operating the Panama Canal, logistics, banking, the Colon Free Trade Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry, and tourism.

“Panama is a center for offshore banking.

“The U.S. and China are the top users of the canal.”

Where Should I Retire In Mexico

-Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is located on Mexicos Pacific Coast in the scenic Banderas Bay, surrounded by the Sierra Madre mountains. A long-time favorite destination of retirees and spring-breakers, Puerto Vallarta now attracts expats and digital nomads as well. Theres just something about this place that draws people in

With the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other, theres a wealth of activities at your fingertips here. Real estate, although more expensive than in years past, remains a good bargain.

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Live An Active Retirement In The Hub Of The Americas

You can find any type of organized recreational activity you can think of in Panama Citysports leagues, running groups, yoga and pilates, boxing, MMA, and Muay Thai, Zumba and aerobics dance, running groups, cycling clubs, marathons, competitions, and more. Youll also find full-service modern gyms with personal trainers and facilities like saunas and pools.

Many people prefer outdoor recreation and get their exercise at one of the citys many parks. Parque Omar, just behind the San Francisco neighborhood, is the biggest park in the city. Its full of people jogging, walking their dogs, playing with their kids, doing sports, and occasionally doing outdoor salsa lessons.

Panama City is known as the Hub of the Americas, and looking at the list of destinations its international airport serves across the globe, its not hard to see why. It offers direct flights to key U.S. cities, making travel to Panama super convenient.

Looking For The Good Life: Retiring Abroad

Best Places to Retire in 2020: The Annual Global Retirement Index

The American dream increasingly includes the desire to retire abroad. Whether its driven by a sense of adventure to be somewhere new in an idyllic setting, a lower cost of living, especially affordable health care, or to be near family, spending the golden years outside of the U.S. is a burgeoning trend. Its especially tempting for those who need to work part-time in retirement and may be able to easily do so remotely anywhere in the world, depending on their profession.

According to a 2018 study by the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement, 13 percent of U.S. workers and retirees want to live abroad in retirement. More than 431,883 retired U.S. workers living overseas received Social Security benefits as of December 2019.

Only you can decide what makes a place ideal for retirement because its about as personal as it gets. But consider the findings of International Livings Annual Global Retirement Index, which examines criteria such as affordable housing, climate, safety, visa/residency requirements, and cost of living, among others. This no doubt is a helpful start. Fill in the blanks with what is most important to you.

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It Just Topped International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index For The 11th Time

Great weather. Strong economy. Excellent healthcare.

Oh, and special benefits and savings if youre 55 and 60 .

Thats why Panama has once again topped InternationalLiving.coms The Worlds Best Places to Retire, now on its 31st edition. The 2022 list puts the Central American country on top for the 11th time.

Aimed at North American expats, the annual rankings are crafted via a network of on-the-ground editors and global correspondents, who utilize their own experiences and a series of statistics to compile the list. Cost of living, housing, healthcare, retiree benefits and climate are all taken into account. These stats are then used to profile 25 safe, good-value destinations beyond the U.S. or Canada, with a focus on places where a retired couple can live a comfortable life on as little as $2,000 a month.

And yes, the ongoing pandemic has changed the list a bit, but also changed the perception of retirement. Three million baby boomers retired early in the pandemic, notes Jennifer Stevens, International Livings Executive Editor. Some of whom have enough to retire comfortably and so took that early retirement voluntarily. But others of whom werent prepared to stop working so soon and now are worried about their nest eggs holding out. millions more people lost their jobs or were furloughed. And then you bring the Great Resignation into the mix. The upshot is that peoplein huge numbersare finding themselves at a crossroads.

A deeper look at this years list:

One Of Europes Most Affordable Capitals

Budapest represents one of the best options for retiring to a European capital on a tight budget. The city is exceptionally well-connected through its diverse and accessible public transport network, meaning youd never need to worry about car insurance or gas prices again. Plus, its completely walkable, which is the most enjoyable way to get around and take in the ambiance.

Health care in Budapest is excellent and affordable. Its starting to attract medical tourists from around the world, especially for its cheap, high-quality dental care. As an expat and even as a tourist in Hungary, youre automatically covered for accidents, including first aid and emergency treatment.

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The Best Places To Retire Abroad

If you ask travel and financial gurus for the best place overseas for a late-life reboot, youll get a lot of different opinions. But certain countries keep popping up, be they on International Livings list or from talking to other experts. Using that information, we made a list of the top five countries to retire abroad: Portugal, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, and Colombia. Well tell you why they should be considered, share a tale from retirees abroad, and include some advice about what to consider if youre thinking that you, too, want to say adios to America.


This is the one country that almost everyone agrees should be on your shortlist. It was the 5th best place to retire on International Livings 2021 Annual Global Retirement Index, with high scores for health care, housing, climate, and fitting in/entertainment. The country also has plenty of art, culture, and history, and the cuisine is to die for. Popular spots for retirees include Algarve, Lisbon, Porto, Madeira, and Azores.

According to Numbeo, a provider of research on cities and countries, the average cost of living in Portugal is 30 percent lower than in the U.S. while rent is nearly 50% lower. New North American residents in Portugal grew by 12 percent year-on-year , and 2019 was up 20 percent from 2018, according to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service.

Costa Rica




Quality Healthcare In Thailand

Best Places to Retire in Costa Rica

Thailand has world-class, inexpensive healthcare. Prices are about 30% to 50% of what you might pay in your home country for similar procedures. And in the majority, there are no waiting times. A visit to a medical clinic including medication is around $14. A dental clean, check, and x-ray would set you back about $33. When it comes to quality, it is as good as or better than what youll find in many western countries. More than 50 hospitals have Joint Commission International accreditation, the gold standard for hospital care. Most doctors and specialists speak English and have often completed additional qualifications in the U.S. or other first world countries.

Expats are not able to access the free Thai public hospital system. Therefore, most take out medical insurance, usually for inpatient and emergency only cover. Importantly, the insurance cost is affordable and comprehensive. For example, one company offers inpatient only cover for a 55 to 59-year-old, with $2.5 million coverage for $1,075 per year.

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Where To Retire Cheaply Abroad And How Much You Could Save In Each Destination

Retirement plans are as unique as the individuals who are looking forward to the day when work, at least as they know it, comes to an end. For some, retirement can mean a career change to a long wished for profession or more time to devote to a hobby or passion. For many retirees, whether for adventure, change of scenery, or reduction in living expenses, moving to another country is a goal.

It’s well-known that moving outside the U.S. can help reduce living costs particularly if the retiree is leaving a large city. Just as at home, though, costs vary depending on location, lifestyle, and personal needs. However, if the goal is to reduce expenses, most retirees can accomplish that and live quite well in a variety of countries.

From Latin America to Asia and Europe, retirees are finding homes and plenty of expat communities where living is more affordable. Weather, location, health care access, language, visa qualifications, and income requirements are among the many considerations that go into deciding on a retirement home. Financial advisors, experienced travelers, and expat retirees can help with advice, and the Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and State Department also have important information to offer. Data from Numbeo, updated as of June 2022, is used here for cost of living comparisons.

These are some of the countries that offer retirees an opportunity to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and lower cost of living.

Affordable Living With A Rich History

From its weather and food to its history and culture, Gozo is the best of Mediterranean Europe and one of the most affordable options for embracing this lifestyle.

Malta is a bargain compared to the rest of Europe, and Gozo is a bargain compared to Malta. Everything from groceries to utilities, eating out to transport, is inexpensive here and will cost you less than it does at home. On top of all that, Malta offers a favorable tax situation to foreign retirees, meaning you could save money by living here.

Malta does not offer a retiree visa, but its Global Residence Program for non-EU citizens amounts to one of the best residency opportunities in Europe. You can qualify simply by renting a place to live for as little as 800 euros per month and paying a once-off registration fee.

The Maltese people are warm and welcoming with a culture of their own, and other European destinations are a quick flight away.

Kathleen Peddicord

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If someone were to take Southern California and mix it together with a blend of Tuscany, Spain, and more than a sprinkling of the Greek island of Crete that person will have created a pretty good analog for Malta, a tiny little speck of rock in the southern Mediterranean, just a geologic stones throw from Sicily.

And tiny little speck is not an understatement. The entire country of five islandsonly three of which are inhabitedis basically the size of Lubbock, Texas. Yet its packed with more than 500,000 people, nearly 15% of whom are expats. Most of those people are sardined into the metropolitan area that stretches, unending, along the east coastthe cities of Valletta , St. Julians, Sliema, and the so-called Three Fingers of Kalkara, Birgu, and Senglea.

Everywhere you go in Malta, you get a sense of the age of this place. Its been around for 5 million years or so, and it has been overrun at one time or another by numerous civilizations, from Phoenicians to Romans, Arabs to Normans. All have left their mark in some fashion on the culture, the food, and even on how the place looks.

Why Should I Retire To Ecuador

Best Places to Retire in 2019: The Annual Global Retirement Index

Ecuador has long been a draw for expats and retirees, thanks mostly to its affordable cost of living and pleasant climate. Its a small country, but it packs a punch, offering a wide variety of things to see and do, from visiting the big city, exploring colonial centers, hiking in the mountains, and hitting the beaches.

The big advantage that Ecuador offers over the States is the chance to live better for less. If budget concern is a primary motivating factor as you consider your retirement, Ecuador should be on your radar.

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Find Out Where Your Perfect Haven Is

Try our Retirement Calculator. Based on your age, savings, and projected annual retirement income, our quick-and-easy Overseas Retirement Calculator will point you to your best global retirement destinations. And dont worry. Its totally anonymous. We wont ask for your name or contact information.

Our Annual Global Retirement Index

Whats there to love about living overseas? Even more than you may imagineFor more than 40 years, International Living has been publishing information on retiring overseas.

We have on-the-ground experience in the countries that we think are the best places to live for retiring and reinventing yourself right now. Weve done the researchyouve done the dreaming.

With IL correspondents around the globe, well help you make those dreams a reality. Thats why, every year in the IL magazine, we cover the best countries in the world to retire to. Check out International Livings Annual Global Retirement Index here.

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Great Places To Retire Where Its Easy To Fit In

When planning your retirement overseas, many factors come into play. Low costs, real estate, and healthcare are some of the main concernsbut what about being able to mix well with the community or make friends with the locals? If you can integrate easily into your new surroundings it will help to ensure that you feel safe, secure, andmost importantlyat home in your new home.

Do the locals speak English or do you speak the local language? Do expats feel welcome and involved in the new community? Are there groups and clubs available to join?

ILs Annual Global Retirement Index takes all these aspects into account when rating and ranking its top retirement destinations. Because the sense of fitting in is so important when looking for an overseas retirement destination, it has been given its own category.

Here are the five countries that came out on top in our fitting in category.

The Worlds 5 Most Welcoming Retirement Havens In 2022

REVEALED: The World’s 15 BEST Places to Retire in 2022

Now that many of us are working from home, many U.S. citizens are talking about moving to another country ahead of retiring there. With this in mind, a new report from points to the top 5 retirement destinations across the globe where its easiest to fit in as an expat.

The Fitting-in category of ILs 2022 Annual Global Retirement Index considers the character of the expat community, how easy it is for a single or LGBT person to adapt, how welcoming the locals are, if English is commonly spoken, and other factors.

Even for those who have done their due diligence researching healthcare, real estate, weather, cost of livingtheres still a wildcard: fitting in. Although this is often an afterthought in planning, it can make or break your expat experience.

The Fitting in and Entertainment category isnt just about making friends with locals and expatsits also about feeling at home. Can you pick up your favorite North American comforts? How easy is it to adapt to the local culture? Are there museums, events, and exhibitions? Outdoor activities? Movies in English?

The most successful expat retireesthe ones who report theyre thoroughly enjoying life abroadare very often those living in a place where theres a community of fellow expatseven if that community is small, says Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor, International Living.

#5 Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lea Lane

#4 Panama

The old section of Panama City

Lea Lane

#3 Malta

#2 Costa Rica

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