According to more and more senior citizens are pushing well past the once typical retirement age of 65, and not retiring until they hit 70. In the mean time the next generation of millennials are working hard with very little outgoings in order to try and retire early. However, the biggest question remains – Where is the best country to retire to? We’ve looked at several of the key factors that make a country ideal for retirement; Housing, Healthcare and the Cost of Living. We then take an average score based on these 3 factors to find out what country really is the best to spend your retirement.

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5. Columbia


Officially called the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, it is the easternmost country on the Southeast Asian Peninsula. Will almost 100 million inhibitants (2018 census), it is the 15th most populated country in the world. Hanoi is the main capital city and the most popular location for ex-pats. Since the reunification in 1986, Vietnam has enjoyed dramatic GDP growth rate. Along with modern economic and political reforms these have helped develop and maintain the standards demanded by the modern world. Many people choose to relocate to Vietnam due to the low cost of living and it’s geographical location as an excellent base for travelling.

Housing – 68 | Healthcare – 85 | Cost of Living – 90

Overall – 81

4. Mexico


Officially called the United Mexican States, Mexico is located in the southern portion of North America. Although not as warm as Colombia, Mexico is split by the tropic of Cancer. This gives the North a much cooler and more relatable temperature in winter. Whereas the South enjoys a constant heat all year round with only 5 degrees of variance across a whole year. Home to over 130 million people it is classed by the World Bank as upper-middle class. It’s therefore not a surprise that Mexico has the 15th largest GDP in the world. Couple that with the fact that healthcare is a third of the cost compared to the United States. Mexico also has all the culture and history you’d ever want to explore.


Housing – 91 | Healthcare – 88 | Cost of Living – 87

Overall – 89

3. Costa Rica


Did you know Costa Rica literally mean “Rich Coast”? Bordered with Nicaragua in the North, and Panama in the south, Costa Rica is a place where you can really go to relax and enjoy your retirement. With a population on par with Scotland, Costa Rica hasn’t become overpopulated and still maintains it’s image of peace and quiet. Known for its long-standing and stable democracy, Costa Rica was identified by NEF as the greenest country in the world (2009). It also has plans to become completely carbon neutral by 2021. So, not only are you surrounded by beautiful landscapes, it’s a particularly green landscape that will hopefully remain that way well into your retirement.


Housing – 86 | Healthcare – 96 | Cost of Living – 87

Overall – 90

2. Panama


The only transcontinental country in Central America, Panama is home to 4 million inhabitants.  Half of them live in the metropolitan area of the capital, Panama City. Regarded by the World Bank as a high income country, it’s commerce, banking and tourism are growing sectors for the country. With the majority of income coming from canal tolls. In fact, from 2000-2015, Panama had the fastest growing economy in Latin America.

Like to explore outside of the cities? You’re in luck! 40% of Panama is covered by jungle and home to various tropical plant and animals, some of them totally unique to Panama. Looking for another incentive to retire to Panama? In 2012 the government actually brought in a law to promote foreign investment in tourism. It offers 100% exemption from income tax and real estate taxes for 15 years, along with duty-free imports for construction materials and equipment! Due to this law the amount of new properties being constructed has skyrocketed. Along with providing work for the locals, it also provides attractive properties for those looking to retire to Panama.


Housing – 89 | Healthcare – 94 | Cost of Living – 90

Overall – 91

1. Portugal


At number one on our list, we have the European country of Portugal. Bordering with Spain and the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is the westernmost soverign state in mainland Europe. Founded in the year 868, Portugal is steeped in history. Following the Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th Century, Portugal has shaped many of the world’s languages and cultures, with around 250 million Portugese speakers worldwide. Compare that to the entire population of Portugal at only 10 million, it’s clear to see the global reach Portugese still has.

Portugal is a particularly well developed country, with an advanced economy and high living standards. It’s also worth noting that Portugal ranks 2nd in the world in terms of “Moral Freedom”. Third in terms of “Peacefulness”, and 8th in the “Democracy” rankings.

Defined as having a Mediterranean climate, Portugal boasts between 2500 and 3200 hours of sunshine a year, with 12 hours of light during summer a regular occurence. This suits alot of British ex-pats who can’t handle the dry heat on offer in the South American countries. In fact, the Portugese islands of the Algarve and Madeira are most popular destinations for British tourists.

It’s also worth noting that the healthcare system in Portugal ranks as the 12th best in the world, ahead of the UK, Germany and Sweden. Oh, and if you like golf, Portugal is 100% the best place to spend your retirement. The courses are utterly fantastic and the weather is always pleasant enough for a round of golf.

Housing – 93 | Healthcare – 97 | Cost of Living – 90

Overall – 93