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The Scores and How Our 2012 Retirement Index Works

The Scores and How Our 2012 Retirement Index Works

**See the scores for the 2013 Annual Retirement Index here**

Months ago, our far-flung editors and in-country advisers began collecting all the data and details that inform our Retirement Index.

We’ve changed how we do things, narrowing down the countries we focus on to the top 19, and considering each across eight crucial categories: real estate, special retirement benefits, cost of living, ease of integration, entertainment and amenities, health care, retirement infrastructure and climate.

This is a qualitative assessment, based on real-world data gathered on the ground. For each category in our Index, we looked closely at what matters most to you when you’re considering an overseas retirement spot—everything from the price of bread to how easy it is to make friends or stay in touch with family.

We considered a vast range of data points, from the average humidity to the cost of a taxi. And with costs in mind, we examined prices for real estate, rentals, and utilities like water, electricity, and cable TV. We looked at costs for groceries, eating out, even specific medical procedures. We took into account what kind of discounts retirees can get on travel, taxes and entertainment. And we considered whether there were direct flights back home…how many and how long they are, too.

And we asked: What is the Internet like? Do you need a car? Can you catch a movie in English? Are the people friendly? Does it rain? In effect, we asked all the questions you should ask when you’re considering a retirement overseas. The results are below.

Country Real Estate Special Benefits Cost of Living Inte. E&A Health Infras. Climate Final Scores
Ecuador 97 98 100 95 90 85 80 83 91.1
Panama 95 100 95 96 96 91 82 68 90.4
Mexico 94 91 88 96 96 88 75 89 89.6
Malaysia 94 79 95 95 96 87 91 66 87.7
Colombia 93 76 60 92 96 93 84 75 83.7
New Zealand 87 72 69 90 93 84 86 89 83.6
Nicaragua 92 79 94 89 85 78 63 70 82.6
Spain 79 68 78 90 93 76 94 81 82.1
Thailand 90 68 71 91 97 83 76 75 81.4
Honduras 82 89 76 95 96 78 67 63 80.7
Uruguay 91 76 81 87 57 81 83 87 80.4
Italy 69 74 60 71 98 80 90 100 80.3
Brazil 81 87 68 81 99 85 69 71 80.2
Ireland 70 90 57 99 91 70 85 79 80.2
France 68 75 57 82 100 90 88 90 80.1
Costa Rica 88 79 65 97 94 83 74 60 80.0
Belize 80 84 84 100 83 82 70 57 79.9
Chile 90 73 77 80 93 81 84 61 79.8
Dom. Republic 93 68 60 85 89 72 75 72 76.8

 

*E&A = Entertainment and Amenities; Inte. = Integration; Infras. = Infrastructure

See the 2012 Retirement Index article here.

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