Internationalliving.com recently announced the results of the International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index. The index, which ranks best places to retire in the world on 10 different categories, is the result of months of research by their ever-growing team of correspondents, editors, and contributors from all over the world and is a resource for helping you find your ideal retirement haven.
Refined every year, the research spans across 10 categories including buying and renting, benefits & discounts, visas and residents, cost of living, fitting in, entertainment and amenities, healthcare, healthy lifestyle, infrastructure and climate.
Of particular interest to ModernRetiree.com was the rankings for affordability and healthy living. “This year we’ve added two entirely new categories. Time and again, we hear back from readers looking for a healthier lifestyle overseas. So we’ve added a Healthy Lifestyle category.” notes International Living (IL). “It includes everything from groceries to utilities, from rent to transport—every expense involved in living a comfortable retirement was factored in here.”
While Panama was ranked this year as the overall best place to retire in the world, Cambodia ranked highest (100) for having the lowest cost of living with everything factored in for a comfortable retirement including groceries, utilities, rent, transportation and eating out. According to local expats, you can eat out for less than $5.00 and rent an apartment in a nice area for as little as $250 a month.
Nicaragua came in second as among the most affordable countries with a Global Retirement Index of 98. “Here you can live a great retirement for $1,200 a month. This includes renting within a short walk of stunning Pacific beaches for only $400 a month, and great food (fish, pizza, lasagna, Mediterranean salads…you name it) for less than $10 per dish” the study notes. Nicaragua also scored high for healthy living, achieving a Global Retirement Index of 97.
Peru also scored high for affordability, achieving a Global Retirement Index of 95. “Peru has by far the most affordable cost of living,” says IL’s David Hammond, who, according to the study, was hugely impressed by what he saw there. “A couple can live in a city that has it all for $1,000, including rent.
That small budget will cover you for renting a two- or three-bedroom apartment with a terrace ($335 a month), water ($10), electricity (around $27) and cable and internet ($50 combined) as well as everything else you might need” he said.
So where are the more healthier retirement havens? Costa Rica earned top marks with a Global Retirement Index of 98, the study notes. According to expats interviewed in the study, Costa Rica offers huge scope for living a healthy, outdoors lifestyle. The great climate allows for plenty of growing opportunities so fresh produce is readily available for retirees who say you can fill your fridge for under $40 a week. “The great weather also means you can get out and about at any time of year. And many expats report eating more healthily since they arrived” IL reports.
Retirees who are seeking world-class healthcare facilities might want to consider Columbia cities like Medellin, which scored 95 on IL’s Global Retirement Index in the category of healthy living. Many of International Living’s readers say they are looking to escape from the polluted North American cities and processed North American food. “They want to find fresh air, farm-fresh produce, and clean living overseas” , IL notes. Clean air and fresh food can be found at many of the countries rated high in the IL index for healthy living including Nicaragua (97), Panama (95), Colombia (95), and Ecuador (95).
Many of the retirees interviewed say they eat more fresh fruit and vegetables with a lot less preservatives and the water doesn’t have fluoride in it. They also tend to walk a lot more and get more fresh air. “It’s been great for our health,” says expat Rob Evans. Rob has lost 50 pounds since moving to Costa Rica’s Central Valley with his wife Jeni in 2014. Another expat Greg Seymour, who lives near the town of Grecia says that since settling in Costa Rica, he has taken to “exploring the mountains and forests around his home, and feels all the healthier for it.”
For more information and to see the top 10 places to retire in the world in 2016 and how other countries rated in some of the other retirement index categories, view the article on Panama, the World’s Best Retirement Destination 2016 here. Panama not only scored high in most every category of International Living’s Retirement Index including healthy living, but also got a perfect score in the “benefits and discounts” and “visas and residence” categories. The reason is because Panama makes it easier for you to become a legal resident than virtually any country we’ve ever written about, IL reports.
Also view the article and infographic on Where are America’s Most Healthiest and Affordable Places to Retire?