The World’s Best Places To Retire In 2016

Retiring abroad is easier and more affordable than ever before. These days it really is possible to spend your days relaxing beneath palm fronds on a Caribbean beach, enjoying farm-fresh produce in a mountain haven with year-round spring weather, or wandering the storied streets of a historic and cultured European city…or all of the above.

But with so many choices available, finding the right one can seem daunting.

Enter International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index.

Researched over months with the help of our ever-growing team of correspondents, editors, and contributors all over the world, this Retirement Index is the ultimate resource for helping you find your ideal retirement haven.

And our 2016 Index is our most comprehensive yet. We’ve crunched more numbers than ever before…asked more questions of more expats…all in a quest to bring you the best retirement havens in the world. And here they are. Among this year’s 23 countries you’ll find something to suit every lifestyle and budget…

Are you looking for low costs? Are you after a place with great, affordable healthcare? Or both? Is high-speed internet crucial for you, or do you just want a place with a warm climate year-round? Whatever you’re looking for, our findings this year will give you a feel for the relative strengths and weaknesses of each country on our beat.

We strive to make our Retirement Index better every year. We refine, we add, we whittle…with one goal: to get the most accurate results. Our belief is: The more input, the clearer the result. Our correspondents and editors, our contributors all over the world, help us identify what matters most when weighing up the perfect retirement destination.

Then they provide us with the hard data and “on-the-ground” insights we need. These expats often started out as IL readers themselves. They know exactly what’s important to you to enjoy a happy and comfortable retirement.

Not every corner of a country is the perfect haven. And some of these countries are big and diverse places. We focus our research on the spots within them that we know are attractive and hold appeal.

This mountain of information then meets a set of complex formulas designed by our in-house editors to crunch and process the results.

This year, across 10 categories, we factored in absolutely everything needed to make a great retirement destination. How much to rent? Can you catch a movie in English? What is the average humidity? Can you get direct flights to and from the U.S.? How much does a doctor’s visit cost? Do they speak English? The list goes on…

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. And for anyone looking to retire abroad, a key consideration is the ease and expense of getting a residence visa that is right for your circumstances. Hence our new Visas and Residence category. And we’ve included a brand new destination in the Index: Peru, a country with much to offer.

All 23 countries in the Index are terrific retirement destinations, as proven by the many expats who have chosen to settle in each. If they weren’t great retirement spots, we wouldn’t be writing about them, nor would we give them a place in our Index. Even if a country scores 100 in a category, it doesn’t mean it’s perfect in that one aspect—it just means it’s that bit better than the rest.

Also, keep in mind that while numbers can guide you, it’s up to you to decide which of these countries (if any) is right for you. We can help you narrow down your list, but the final decision is up to you. Part of what makes a great retirement haven is intangible; we’ve been trying to capture it in words for over 30 years. But you’ll know, in your gut and in your heart, when you’ve found it.

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