World’s top 10 places to retire

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International Living has released its list of the top destinations in which to retire for less overseas. Which countries made the cut?

The ranking is calculated by comparing scores in the following eight categories:

  • real estate prices
  • special government benefits
  • cost of living
  • ease of integration into the culture
  • entertainment and amenities
  • health care
  • infrastructure
  • climate

So in which countries does Retirement Living say you should spend your retirement? Here are the top 10:

  1. Panama
  2. Ecuador
  3. Malaysia
  4. Costa Rica
  5. Spain
  6. Colombia
  7. Mexico
  8. Malta
  9. Uruguay
  10. Thailand

Countries which just missed out on the top 10 were Ireland and New Zealand.

And here are International Living’s final scores in each category for the top 24 retirement-friendly countries in the world:

Global Annual Retirement Index

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Total Comments: 24
  1. 0

    Yeah, think I’ll go to Colombia. Weed’s cheaper there.

  2. 0

    Some of the places mentioned are quite dangerous to live in. And all of the places mentioned have a high cost of living according to the table, which I am not sure is factual at all. So why leave Australia?
    I have heard that a lot of retirees go to places like Bali where the cost of living is quite cheap. But then you have to like the tpropics and it takes a special disposition to ‘like’ never relenting humidity. I don’t.
    The other thing I have heard is that people who go to these places are not happy. Remembering that you effectively lose your peer group and close friends then one has to be very careful indeed that one does not throw out the baby with the bath water.
    AS much I hate the business and political corruption in this country it is still hard to opt out. New Zealand is of course a possible option.

    • 0

      I know a few New Zealanders who have moved to Australia because they were told Australia is “the lucky country” but are now whinging about various issues, not just politics. I figure if they don’t like it here, they should go home and stop bad mouth Australia.

  3. 0

    I note there’s no “ranking” for Law & Order or democracy!!!

  4. 0

    a link to original article would have been good!
    I think I’d like to do it, but the logistics!! does anyone really know if it is truly a viable option – and if you’re on a pension, or disability support, as I am ??? thanks

    • 0

      Good idea to ‘try before you buy ‘ I am retired now and have currently been in bali for 3 months and have 3 months left ,before returning home Strongly suggest you do not burn your bridges at home but have a good look around where ever you are thinking of going to ,as far as indonesia is concerned there are are a few expensive hoops to jump through to settle there,from the cost of living aspect i could probably save about 40% if i watched my pennies but i personally have not learnt that discipline yet .i am probably breaking even at the moment but I AM WARM

  5. 0

    I would rather live in a tent than retire overseas….. Australia will ALWAYS be home for me…..

  6. 0

    I will be leaving for one of the countries mentioned on that list very soon. I don’t know which countries are ‘dangerous’ to live in, but that appears an irrational sweeping statement. As to the high cost of living, again that has been misinterpreted. The higher the score, the better the cost (ie. the cheapness) NOT the higher the cost.
    The only point I can agree upon is that (if one can afford it) one should do an investigatory trip before making a final decision and also when you do pull up stumps and go, rent first before purchasing OR just rent permanently. As to loss of your peer group, so what, it is easy to make new friends and usually a lot easier as you will find people from all over the world doing just as you are – starting a new life.
    As to having heard that people who go to these places are not happy – well, I have heard that pigs can fly amongst many other very interesting things.
    The information provided for us is only an extract from the International Living survey. I subscribe to International Living and have had access to the full and complete article. Before I leave Australia, I will be setting up a website ( encouraging others to follow suit and importantly giving as much info as I can about the country I will be moving to etc etc and possibly other countries when I make suitable and reputable contacts there.
    At least I am taking some action, NOT sitting around scare mongering without any cause or basis.
    I don’t like it here, so off I go – my choice, so what!! at least I am doing something to appease my disenchantment and not accepting a situation I find unbearable in a country I love.
    Let us all take some action, experience new cultures and have some fun at the same time.
    Be game and experience life without prejudice.

    • 0

      Your comments are reasonably thought out, Firebird. The website you plan to set up is a very good idea for any that want to be ex-pats, for whatever reason. Other than the budget fallout, etc; I was curious what you found unbearable, given you love Australia. I’m not criticising your comment or decision; just really curious.

    • 0

      Gudonyer Firebird 🙂 Sounds like you have done your homework and more importantly dont intend burning bridges behind yourself 😉 I think there is no doubt you will have an interesting/exciting/enlightening time and as you say – at least you are giving it a shot/living your dream. Life is too short isbn’t it ? Happy trails – enjoy 😀

  7. 0

    Great! Heading to Panama.. Dengue fever, malaria bacterial diarrhoea

  8. 0

    There are two aspects that I would want to know more about and they are firstly – I seem to recall that the govt is revising the conditions under which Australian pensions are paid to people living overseas and secondly and more importantly what is the access to and cost of health care and aged care in overseas locations?

    I cannot see other countries want to support freely pensioners from other countries??

  9. 0

    I’m entering pension age in a few months. How is it possible for you guys to live overseas on an Oz pension? Are you allowed to do that??

    • 0

      yeh thats the thing they don’t want us to take our money overseas and i been told if you get paid by Centrelink, they could stop it after a certain time understandable i think the only way you could do it is if you have a super, and are living off that then possibly. but again which country is the safest to live in!!!!

  10. 0

    Would love to know if Australia would have made this list and if so where would we be.

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