It is a question asked by millions of people around the world every year. “Where should I retire?” The answer depends on a vast and diverse array of individual personal, demographic, lifestyle and economic factors – all of which were taken into account when International Living compiled its 2020 retirement index.
Not surprisingly, considering its longstanding popularity with expat residents and regular tourists, Portugal topped the index, which rated such key aspects as the cost of healthcare, how simple it is to obtain a visa and own property, convenient access to entertainment, and the ease of integrating into the local community.
The top-10, in order following Portugal, were: Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Malaysia, Spain, France and Vietnam.
Portugal correspondent Tricia Pimental was tasked with explaining the main reasons why Portugal held down top sport. “From north to south,” she wrote, “from the Atlantic west to the Spanish east, this country’s gracious people, bustling capital, brilliant sun, tantalising beaches and verdant valleys are more appealing than ever to a growing number of people.
“Steeped in history and culture, it has a pleasant climate year-round in most regions, as well as an extremely affordable cost of living. Whether you are looking for surfing beaches or ancient ruins, fine museums or hiking paths, a place to windsurf or to polish your golf game, you will find it in Portugal.”
International Living’s own report on the results noted that Portugal was the second least expensive country in Europe (after Bulgaria) and in another survey, the 2019 Global Peace Index, had been rated the third-safest country in the world.
According to International Living, a huge amount of data is analysed to compile the index. “It’s a distillation of every pertinent and measurable fact our scouts and experts can lay their hands on. And it reêects the experience of every expat who has contributed to International Living since the publication of our first issue, 41 years ago.
“At its heart lies the good judgement of our far-fung editors and correspondents. We didn’t create this Index for it to be a purely objective resource. Yes, it is built on hard facts. But its power – its utility – lies in what we recommend you do with them. In other words, we bring our team’s good judgement to bear on the question: Where should I go? We share with you their measured opinions and recommendations. We don’t just tell you what the situation is on the ground – we help you figure out what it means for you.
“Having moved overseas and immersed themselves in the destinations where they live and learned their lessons the hard way, our experts are ideally placed to compare, contrast, and bring nuanced insight to the most appealing retirement destinations in the world.”
Click here to discover top places in the Algarve to enjoy your retirement.