International Living Lists Top 5 Places for Expats to Retire

For retirees looking for a luxurious place to retire, International Living suggests taking a closer look at Ecuador. According to the publication, Ecuador has grabbed the top position in this year’s Global Retirement Index for the third year in a row.

“No matter where you choose to live in Ecuador, there is no better place on earth to discover the simple abundance of health, tranquility, adventure, and beauty,” says expat Patricia Farmer. “We chose Bahía de Caraquez on the coast to begin our Ecuador adventure. There are plenty of amenities, including a hospital, restaurants, and frequent expat get-togethers.”

In determining its rankings, International Living analyzed 37 data points within 8 different categories. These categories included:

•    Real Estate – considers how easy it was to purchase real estate at a low price. Weight: 15%
•    Special Benefits – considers government provisions such as public transport, health care, entertainment, airfares, utilities, property rights for foreign residents, duty-free imports and property tax rates. Weight: 20%
•    Cost of Living – based on statistics provided by the Indexes of Living Costs Abroad, Quarter Allowances, and Hardship Differentials as well as first-hand experiences of the editors of International Living. Weight: 20%
•    Culture – focuses on things such as education as a percentage of GDP, literacy rates and the number of UNESCO sites per square kilometer. Subjective ratings on cultural and recreational offerings were also taken into consideration. Weight: 10%
•    Health Care – considers the cost of a typical visit to a doctor as well as the type of coverage provided by health insurance. Other factors include the number of people per doctor, the percentage of the population that can access safe water, the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people, life expectancy rates, infant mortality rates and public health expenditure as a percentage of the country’s GDP. Weight: 20%
•    Infrastructure – focuses on things such as the length of railways, navigable waterways and paved highways in comparison to the country’s population and size. Other factors, such as the number of motor vehicles, airports, Internet service providers, telephones and cell phones per capita are also taken into consideration. Weight: 5%
•    Safety and Stability – considers the amount of unrest within the country, which is mostly measured by Interpol data and U.S. State Department statistics. Other factors such as political rights and civil rights granted by the government coupled with reports from expatriates living in the country are also considered. Weight: 5%
•    Climate – favors those countries with moderate rain fall, temperate weather throughout the year and little risk of natural disaster.

After Ecuador, Mexico was selected as the second most desirable location for retirees. Panama grabbed the number three position, while Spain took fourth and New Zealand took fifth.