1.-) PANAMA: With top scores in the categories of Benefits & Discounts (its pensionado delas for retirees are world famous), Visas & Residence and Entertainment & Ammenities, Panama displaces last year’s International Living champ, Ecuador. Besides, Panama City is just a three-hour flight from Miami.
2.-) Ecuador, located smack dab on the Equator, gets International Living’s top score in its Climate and Buying and Renting categories. Its highlands, several thousand feet above sea level, deliver a “year round srping-like climate.” In colonial Cuenca, a two bedroom apartment rents for $500 USD or less. You can buy beach front property for under $100,000 USD.
3.-) Mexico scored well across the board in the International Living’s rankings. The country is historically the most popular among U.S. expat retirees; one million U.S. citizens live there. One reason: its permanent visa for those with income of about $2,100 USD a month or more; a temporary visa, for monthly income of about $1,300 USD and up, lasts for 4 years.
4.-) Costa Rica had the best International Living score in the Healthy Lifestyle category, due to its clean air, natural food choices and outdoor attractions, such as the Central Valley forests and Pacific coast beaches. Its climate is World Class too.
5.-) Malaysia is the top Asian country in International Living’s 2016 rankings partly because of its top scores in the Health Care and Entertainment & Amenities categories. Most doctors have been trained in the UK or in the US and speak fluent English. Malaysia’s also a low cost foodie haven that’s beginning to get discovered by expat retirees.
6.-) Colombia received a top score in International Living’s Health Care category because medical tourism is booming there and the cost of living is pretty low. This country rose two places in this year’s index, thanks in part to its high scores in the Healthy Living and Entertainment & Amenitites categories.
7.-) Thailand makes International Living’s Top 10 due to strong showings in four categories: Entertainment & Amenities; Fitting In (many expat communities); Cost of Living and Buying and Renting. You can rent a plzce from as little as $500 USD a month.
8.-) Nicaragua came out a low-cost winner in International Living’s rankings. You can retire there on just $1,200 USD a month, including rent, a short walk from the Pacific ocean. One drawback: infrastructure.
9.-) SPAIN: The top ranked european country in International Living’s 2016 list, Spain shines for all the reasons you’d expect: Mediterranean weather, terrific beaches and the ease of getting around. The troubled economy means this is not a place to look for a part-time job in retirement, though.
10.-) Portugal and its neighbor, No. 9 Spain, were the only two European countries making the Top 10 International Living’s 2016 list of best places to retire. Like Spain, Portugal was a star in the infrastructure category – it’s very easy to get around. The country also delivers a topnotch climate and delicious Mediterranean food.