International Living Magazine names the Top Ten Best Countries for Retirement for 2018
By Maria Thermann

International Living Magazine names the Top Ten Best Countries for Retirement for 2018

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According to the latest guide published by expat title "International Living Magazine", the world's best places for retirement in 2018 are Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Malaysia, Colombia, Portugal, Nicaragua, Spain and Peru.

The magazine publishes its Annual Global Retirement Index in spring every year, looking at criteria such as the ease and cost of buying or renting a property, visa and residence options on offer, cost of living as a retired person, the ease of settling in and enjoying a healthy lifestyle in a pleasant climate. Other criteria include amenities such as entertainment and eating out, public transport (cost and availability) and Internet connectivity and what degree of freedom is available under local governance.

Almost predictably, the Annual Global Retirement Index, identified Costa Rica once again as the best places to retire in the world for 2018. It has consistently made the top ten list for the past few years, even though it is not the cheapest of the countries listed. However, according to International Living Magazine, Costa Rica still scores well in all categories, especially as the country provides all citizens with a healthy, environmentally friendly lifestyle that is underpinned by an excellent national health system open to expatriate citizens for a low cost at an average of about $95 per couple a month. Watch out for Property Showrooms' own Guide to retiring to Costa Rica coming up shortly!

According to the Annual Index, renting a home with two or three bedrooms in a good location with views starts at just $800 per month, however, it is possible to live even more cheaply in Costa Rica, if you look in the less expat-frequented parts of this small, but utterly beautiful country, where renting is far less a month. Buying a home with stunning mountain views in the Central Valley is possible with a budget of less than $100,000. On average, a monthly income of $2,000 can provide you with a healthy, comfortable lifestyle, but for residency purposes, only $1,500 a month are needed to qualify.

Mexico came in second place thanks to the "vibrant life and culture" the country offers expats retiring there. Blessed with a sunny and temperate climate all year, Mexico is still something of an outsider as far as European retirees are concerned. For Americans, the low cost of living is one of the main reasons why Mexico is so appealing. According to the Annual Index, a" couple can live here for anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 a month, depending on location—and that includes rent and healthcare."

Portugal was the highest rated European destination in the Annual Index, scraping in in seventh place thanks to its tax incentives, friendly people, agreeable climate and excellent private and public healthcare system that is low cost. Anywhere outside Lisbon and Porto, the two preferred destinations for start-ups and relocating families, is still quite cheap to rent or buy. Renting a four-bed home outside those two cities is possible for $1,000 a month or less. Please see Property Showrooms' own Guide to retiring to Portugal for further details.

Spain managed to sneak in in ninth place. Long a favourite holiday destination with Europeans, it is also one of the favoured retirement destinations for Brits and Scandinavians. However, increasingly Americans are also looking for retirement homes along the Costa del Sol and other Spanish locations. Blessed with a lovely sunny climate for most of the year, laid back lifestyle, excellent cuisine and healthy Mediterranean lifestyle, Spain has a lot to offer, not least of all cheap cost of living, cheaper housing and excellent amenities in seaside resorts and cities. International Living Magazine's own estimate of how much is needed to live comfortably for a couple came to around $2,100 a month.

"It’s true First-World living, with first-rate telecommunications, modern housing and amenities, and superb, widespread public transportation," the magazine states in its Annual Index, adding that Spain's healthcare system is excellent and available - mostly free - to expats. Please see Property Showrooms' own Guide to retiring to Spain for further information or download the Annual Index via the above link.

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