You diligently planned and saved your hard-earned money for many years so you could be comfortable living out your retirement dream. Now the time has come to decide which destination will be the perfect place for you. More and more, soon-to-be retirees are thinking of heading overseas.
Each year, International Living publishes a shortlist of the best countries in which to retire. Called the Annual Global Retirement Index, it takes into consideration factors such as health care, cost of living and climate and then calculates a final score for each country. The top three countries on this year's list differ in their final score by just 0.1 points. And if you're worried about adjusting to a new culture, the magazine also lists the top 5 places where American retirees will feel most comfortable.
Read on to see what the magazine ranks as this year's top 10 places in the world to retire.
— By CNBC.com's Natalia Wojcik
Posted 15 March 2017
A picturesque and compact archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta boasts gorgeous weather and mild winters. According to International Living correspondent Barbara Diggs, a couple can retire comfortably in Malta "for less than $2,700 a per month."
In Lisbon, one of Europe's oldest cities, retiring well can cost "as little as $1,700 a month" for a couple, said International Living editor Glynna Prentice. Portugal offers a rich history, both in landmarks and in a cuisine that speaks to the nation's seafaring past.
Sometimes hailed as the next Costa Rica, Nicaragua boasts a warm tropical climate and award-winning coffee and chocolate. The town of San Juan del Sur has become a popular destination, and the Central American country's many natural wonders lie waiting to be explored. Retiring here can cost as little as $1,500 per month for a couple.
Spain has long been a popular destination among European retirees due to its low cost of living, fascinating history and easygoing pace. A couple retiring to one of the larger cities, such as Valencia, can expect to pay around $2,220 per month. Costs are lower in smaller cities, where you can get by on $1,900 a month, according to International Living editor Glynna Prentice.
Cities in Malaysia are clean and modern, the country's public transport is unrivaled, and its people are considered by some to be the friendliest in Asia. Consisting of 13 states and three federal territories, Malaysia offers a lot to see and do. That's just one of the reasons many first-time tourists to Malaysia return again and again and ultimately end up moving or retiring here.
Just three hours by plane from Florida, Colombia offers both calm beaches and exciting city living. An apartment in an upscale neighborhood in Medellin can go for $1,250 per month, but prices can be as low as $500 a month in other parts of the city, according to International Living correspondent Nancy Kiernan.
4. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has been a popular destination for retirees for more than three decades. Its major draws include excellent health care and a cost of living as low as $2,000 to $3,000 a month for a couple, without being thrifty, said International Living's Roving Latin America editor Jason Holland. "A decent meal at a local restaurant will run you $5 per plate … and rents start at $400 per month for fullfurnished condos or homes in nice areas," he added.
Ecuador contains a range of climates within its borders, offering something for everyone. The country is affordable and has many discounts available for people over age 65. International Living's Coastal Ecuador correspondent Jim Santos said his monthly budget for him and his wife comes out to less than $1,500 per month.
With consistently warm temperatures, Panama nabs the second spot on the list. This narrow isthmus has great internet connectivity, welcoming people and a cosmopolitan capital.
Though President Trump is frequently in the headlines bashing Mexico, the country landed a final score of 90.9, making it the best place in the world to retire, according to International Living. The conversion rate of dollars to pesos allows the nearly 1 million American retirees in Mexico to live comfortably on about $1,200 per month.