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Malta Ranked Best Places to Retire in Europe

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Half of the Top 25 Best Places to Retire Are in Latin America

Despite all the mainstream’s media scaremongering, Latin America managed to place 13 countries in the top 25 best countries to retire.

Following Ecuador’s first-place finish, Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia ranked second, third, fifth and eighth, respectively, while Uruguay, Belize, Nicaragua, Brazil, Honduras, Chile, Dominican Republic and Guatemala also joined the top 25.

Panama came in second thanks to its unique Pensionado Visa, a residency permit for retirees who make more than $1,000 per month in pension.

This particular visa grants holders a range of discounts “including 20% off medical services, 50% off entertainment, 25% off restaurant meals, 25% off air fare, and 25% off electricity and phone bills,” says Jessica Ramesch, IL’s Panama Editor.

Colombia, South America’s numero dos, is praised for its affordable yet world-class healthcare system.

Michael Evans, IL’s Colombia Correspondent, said, “In a 2014 survey, 18 Colombian medical institutions ranked among the top 45 in Latin America. According to the World Health Organization, Colombia actually has better health care than the United States or Canada.”

Ayuthaya, Thailand

Ayuthaya, Thailand

Malaysia and Thailand: Where to Retire in Asia!

Malaysia and Thailand represent Asia in the top ten, coming in fourth and tenth as best countries to retire.

Malaysia boasts of great cultural diversity and an exceedingly cheap cost of living with rent for a large apartment with swimming pool running at about $850 per month. Its location is also ideal to explore the rest of Southeast Asia and English is widely spoken.

Besides its delectable cuisine and natural beauty, Thailand also appeals to retirees with its low-cost healthcare system. According to IL, teeth can be cared for with $30 and a basic health insurance runs for $300.

Spain, Malta, & Portugal Ranked Best Places to Retire in Europe

In Europe, the Mediterranean dominates, placing Spain (6th), Malta (7th), and Portugal (9th) in the top 10 best countries to retire in.

These countries share many commonalities that make them preferred retirements havens. Even though they are more expensive than the Latin American or Asian countries, plenty of sunshine, culture, and outdoor activities, a wealth of cuisine and reasonably priced (for Europe) real estate make them an attractive option for many retirees.

Who Tops International Living’s List?

(Grades are out of 100)

#1 Ecuador – 92.7

Galapagos IslandsBuying & Renting100
Benefits & Discounts96
Cost of Living92
Fitting In95
Entertainment & Amenities98
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

#2 Panama – 90.6

Panama CanalBuying & Renting80
Benefits & Discounts100
Cost of Living91
Fitting In97
Entertainment & Amenities100
Panama Canal

#3 Mexico – 87.6

El Castillo (The Kukulkan Temple) of Chichen Itza, mayan pyramid in Yucatan, MexicoBuying & Renting80
Benefits & Discounts80
Cost of Living90
Fitting In95
Entertainment & Amenities97
Chichen Itza, Mexico

#4 Malaysia – 86.8

Cameron Highlands, MalaysiaBuying & Renting81
Benefits & Discounts66
Cost of Living90
Fitting In97
Entertainment & Amenities96
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

#5 Costa Rica – 86.6

Arenal Volcano, Costa RicaBuying & Renting84
Benefits & Discounts76
Cost of Living90
Fitting In97
Entertainment & Amenities97
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

#6 Spain – 86.1

Leon bridge in the Spanish Square (Plaza de Espana), Sevilla, SpainBuying & Renting84
Benefits & Discounts70
Cost of Living89
Fitting In84
Entertainment & Amenities93
Sevilla, Spain

#7 Malta – 86.1

Buying & Renting78
Benefits & Discounts84
Cost of Living87
Fitting In100
Entertainment & Amenities78
St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta in Malta

#8 Colombia – 85.4

San Agustin, ColombiaBuying & Renting84
Benefits & Discounts68
Cost of Living90
Fitting In82
Entertainment & Amenities91
San Agustin, Colombia

#9 Portugal – 84.8

Lisbon cityscape, PortugalBuying & Renting79
Benefits & Discounts74
Cost of Living90
Fitting In86
Entertainment & Amenities88
Lisbon, Portugal

#10 Thailand – 84.6

Phanom Rung, ThailandBuying & Renting76
Benefits & Discounts68
Cost of Living92
Fitting In94
Entertainment & Amenities100
Phanom Rung, Thailand

Who Rounds Out the Top 25?

International Living Magazine's 2015 The World's Best Places to Retire.

Source: International Living Magazine’s 2015 Global Retirement Index – The World’s Best Places to Retire.

Best Countries to Retire: BBC Capital & The Telegraph

UK newspaper, The Telegraph, also released its own ranking, which surprisingly does not match International Living’s annual index.

In the UK publication’s list, Malta, Portugal and Spain took gold, silver and bronze as best places to retire. These Mediterranean locations were followed by Barbados, the USA, Australia, Thailand, Jamaica, Morocco and Greece, all countries (except for Thailand) that failed to make IL’s top 25.

On the other hand, BBC Capital listed their top destinations, all of which appear in IL’s annual index. Their unranked suggestions of best countries to retire in include Panama, Thailand, Malta, Belize, France Portugal and Malaysia.

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