Filed Under:Markets, Boomer Market

Top 15 best foreign countries for retirement: 2014

For those with retirement around the corner or who are already retired, picking a place to retire could be a key element into how fulfilling, meaning financially comfortable, retirement will be. With many early boomers' retirement portfolios punished by the financial crisis and low interest rates, the choice of where to live is even more critical.

International Living magazine released the results of its most recent Global Retirement Index last week, with some familiar countries on the list and some new ones. The magazine bases it index on data gathered from editors, correspondents and experts living in the countries that it ranks.

Portugal15. Portugal: 82.4

  • Real Estate: 85
  • Special Benefits: 73
  • Cost of Living: 85
  • Ease of Integration: 73
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 70
  • Health: 93
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 95
  • Climate: 85
Image courtesy Associated Press

Italy14. Italy: 82.5

  • Real Estate: 73
  • Special Benefits: 80
  • Cost of Living: 70
  • Ease of Integration: 79
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 98
  • Health: 89
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 89
  • Climate: 83
Image courtesy Associated Press

Nicaragua13. Nicaragua: 82.6

  • Real Estate: 94
  • Special Benefits: 68
  • Cost of Living: 92
  • Ease of Integration: 92
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 77
  • Health: 87
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 69
  • Climate: 83
Image courtesy Associated Press

New Zealand12. (tie) New Zealand: 83

  • Real Estate: 71
  • Special Benefits: 77
  • Cost of Living: 77
  • Ease of Integration: 92
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 88
  • Health: 86
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 86
  • Climate: 87
Image courtesy Associated Press

Ireland12. (tie) Ireland: 83

  • Real Estate: 85
  • Special Benefits: 76
  • Cost of Living: 72
  • Ease of Integration: 97
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 98
  • Health: 89
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 85
  • Climate: 61
Image courtesy Associated Press

Thailand10. Thailand: 83.5

  • Real Estate: 83
  • Special Benefits: 62
  • Cost of Living: 88
  • Ease of Integration: 89
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 96
  • Health: 90
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 78
  • Climate: 81

International Living notes that retirees have several choices when it comes to where they want to live in Thailand, depending on what kind of lifestyle they want. The capital, Bangkok, is a major city, while the northern part of the country tends to be more peaceful and less expensive, with proximity to the country’s beaches a highlight of the south.

Uruguay9. Uruguay: 83.7

  • Real Estate: 79
  • Special Benefits: 76
  • Cost of Living: 64
  • Ease of Integration: 87
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 94
  • Health: 96
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 82
  • Climate: 92

Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America, and boasts extensive infrastructure and ease of access, according to International Living. It also has an established expat community.

Malta8. Malta: 84.1

  • Real Estate: 85
  • Special Benefits: 84
  • Cost of Living: 83
  • Ease of Integration: 100
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 68
  • Health: 88
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 77
  • Climate: 88

Malta, a tiny archipelago about 60 miles south of Sicily, is just over 120 square miles. Despite this, it has a modern airport on the main island of Malta that connects the country with Rome, about an hour away by plane. It has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and has been using the euro since 2008.

Mexico7. Mexico: 84.2

  • Real Estate: 88
  • Special Benefits: 75
  • Cost of Living: 87
  • Ease of Integration: 92
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 81
  • Health: 93
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 74
  • Climate: 84

One of Mexico’s biggest attractions to retirees is the wide variety of lifestyles they can adopt there. Whether they’re looking to retire on a beach or in the city, expats will have as much to do as they want. The cost of living is low, and the ease of integration among the highest on the list.


s6. Colombia: 84.2

  • Real Estate: 88
  • Special Benefits: 80
  • Cost of Living: 87
  • Ease of Integration: 79
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 82
  • Health: 90
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 83
  • Climate: 86

Although technically tied with Mexico on its total score, Colombia earned the higher spot with a much higher rating in special benefits and retirement infrastructure, and slightly smaller gains in other categories.

Spain5. Spain: 85.8

  • Real Estate: 91
  • Special Benefits: 62
  • Cost of Living: 82
  • Ease of Integration: 87
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 96
  • Health: 91
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 93
  • Climate: 85

International Living called Spain the “best bargain in Europe.” That’s partly due to the recession, which has driven real estate prices down, but the magazine noted Spain has long been one of the least expensive countries in Europe. In some areas, utilities can be as little as $150, and while meat tends to be more expensive than in the United States, other items like produce, olive oil or wine can be very cheap.

Costa Rica4. Costa Rica: 86.8

  • Real Estate: 87
  • Special Benefits: 87
  • Cost of Living: 87
  • Ease of Integration: 92
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 94
  • Health: 94
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 75
  • Climate: 77

Costa Rica has long been a favorite destination for expat retirees. One reason is simply that it’s easy for retirees to move there. A couple needs just $1,000 per month in retirement income to qualify for residency.

Malaysia3. Malaysia: 88.5

  • Real Estate: 93
  • Special Benefits: 80
  • Cost of Living: 88
  • Ease of Integration: 92
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 94
  • Health: 95
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 85
  • Climate: 81

The highest-rated Asian country on the list, International Living found a couple can live well in a luxury condo on the coast for about $1,700 per month, including rent. It pointed to Penang Island and the capital, Kuala Lumpur, as centers of excellence in the health care industry.

Ecuador2. Ecuador: 91.1

  • Real Estate: 94
  • Special Benefits: 99
  • Cost of Living: 89
  • Ease of Integration: 92
  • Entertainment and Amenities: 88
  • Health: 88
  • Retirement Infrastructure: 79
  • Climate: 100

Less than one point behind the top spot, Ecuador was knocked out of the No. 1 position, but just barely. The excellent climate and low cost of living that made it the top place holder last year are still there, and International Living noted the country is working to improve its infrastructure. A $680 million airport opened outside Quito in February.

Panama

1. Panama: 91.2

Originally published on ThinkAdvisor. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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