If the current state of politics in America and other crises have you thoughtfully considering alternative places to live, this post is for you! Each January International Living posts its “Annual Global Retirement Index” for the coming year. I like to hop on that and preach, so for the third year in a row, according to their experts, here’s the gospel of international life.
The publication, International Living (IL), has been around since 1979 and they don’t just throw darts at a map every year to come up with their Best List. IL has several correspondents and editors on the ground who live full-time in the places they recommend, so they don’t voice their opinion on rumors or reports from someone who just spent two weeks at the resort. His writers live the daily life of a migrant. In addition, readers who are serious about living outside the US can participate in IL’s Boot Camp to help them better understand the transition and some of the obstacles along the way.
Determining the top 25 places for a given year is really a statistical analysis. International Living has developed a list of categories by which each potential country is evaluated. IL’s on-the-ground employees regularly contribute experiences from their daily lives at dozens of locations. Contenders must score strongly in all ten categories for the top spot on the list (or any place on the list):
Accommodation. It is primarily a measure of potency, but also takes into account availability of suitable accommodation in safe areas.
benefits to retirees, Many countries offer very generous benefits and discounts to their retirees, and this usually includes expatriates who qualify by age. This can mean savings of hundreds, even thousands, of dollars each year on goods and services ranging from travel to electricity.
Visa and Residence Law. If you buy a home in another country, you’ll want to make sure you can easily come and go without a mountain of paperwork every time you board a plane. You will want to be able to obtain permanent residency status, and in some countries it is easier to do as a retiree than as a young person. Countries that score high in this category also tend to offer favorable tax rates on any income you make.
entertainment and fittings, Most people who move abroad want to do more than just live in an expatriate community. They also want to feel a fair level of acceptance by the local people. High scores here mean that the country appreciates newcomers and invites them to be part of the society in many ways. This category also looks at the possibilities of interesting entertainment for English speaking expatriates. Are movies subtitled in English? Can interesting cultural activities like museums and art galleries be enjoyed?
Development. This includes good roads, reliable electricity and modern airports, but perhaps the most important aspect of development is how good the data infrastructure is. Some people are interested in moving to a country where they cannot stream their favorite TV shows.
Climate. Most people are drawn to life in lower latitudes to avoid the extremes of weather in northern climates. Countries are assessed on the basis of temperature, humidity, rainfall and likelihood of climate disasters.
Health care. This is an important category for most potential migrants, especially those over the age of 60. Older Americans are increasingly concerned about the availability and cost of high-quality health care. All countries in contention for the ‘best places to retire’ list would have to offer easy access to English-speaking doctors and dentists, reliable and efficient pharmacy services, and attractive pricing on things like tooth implants or hip replacements.
Governance. In 2022, for the first year, this category includes a measure of how well the country is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. This, of course, apart from the stability of the government, the ease of obtaining documents such as driving licenses and an efficient banking system.
Opportunity. It is primarily a measure of how well a country supports small businesses. Many retirees are not interested in a life of pure leisure. Today, more and more older adults want to start (or continue) a business, both online and traditional. A high score in this range indicates that a country’s officials are highly supportive of this type of activity.
the cost of living. This category is very wide and one in which land experts earn their money! They have to fill in an itemized monthly budget of what they spend on whatever they buy. It is with this information that IL editors can perform a statistical analysis of what one can expect to spend on the basics: housing, groceries, restaurants, health care, utilities, transportation and entertainment.
For 2022, the twenty-five best countries in which to retire based on the above criteria are:
2. Costa Rica
17. Sri Lanka
22. Dominican Republic
For a more in-depth look at how each country scored on each criterion, check out the full analysis here.