Frances Jones leans back in her chair and motions to the rolling view from her terrace. Forest and coffee field-flecked hills stretch for miles to the Gulf of Nicoya and the Pacific. "When we found this place the house was simple—no porches—but the view was just killer. Even if it was a tent, we still would have taken it," says Frances.
Tired of shoveling snow, braving the torrential rain or wrapping up against the bitter cold? If so, check out these top three places to retire for a better climate as ranked in International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2014. With a perfect score of 100 and for the second year in a row, Ecuador comes out top in the Climate category and is the overall runner up in this year’s Global Retirement Index. Lying directly on the equator, it enjoys 12 hours of direct equatorial daylight 365 days a year.
Malta is the smallest country in the European Union (just 122 square miles), but it has long been a vacation spot for sun-starved northern Europeans and a tax haven for the wealthy. Multi-million-dollar yachts fill Malta’s marinas. Yet you’ll find great bang for your buck here. A couple could live well on a budget of $2,000 a month.
Many places all over the world have great climates, but those that took the top three spots in our Annual Retirement Index 2013 are three of the best. The country taking the number one spot not just in the climate category but overall in the Retirement Index lies directly on the equator. It enjoys 12 hours of direct equatorial daylight 365 days a year.
Today an estimated 20,000 Americans live in Costa Rica either full- or part-time, and it’s easy to see why. Costa Rica is a stable, affordable and beautiful country with a rich culture and admirable values. The healthcare here is top-notch. The facilities are excellent, the doctors are well-trained...
After a lifetime of cold weather in Alberta, Canada, retired couple Rick and Peggy Stewart were ready for a change. And they found a perfect climate—and many more benefits—in the rural community of Santa Eulalia about 20 minutes outside of the small town of Atenas, in Costa Rica's Central Valley. From their new home in the tropics, they can't help but rub it in with friends and family back home.
We’re near the top now when a cloud rushes in, and we’re immersed. Zero visibility. Better slow down and pull over. And that puts us in prime position a few seconds later when the cloud has passed to see the entire valley laid out before us. It’s been just a 45-minute drive from the city below but we’re worlds away. I’m in Costa Rica’s Central Valley.
David and Wendy DeChambeau had what many people considered an ideal life in northern Idaho...beautiful natural surroundings, two handsome and talented young boys, a nice home with all the trimmings that make up the American Dream. Yet, they were searching—seeking better economic opportunity, a lower cost of living, and a better climate.
This place boasts the world’s best climate...averaging daytime temperatures in the mid-70s every day of the year. So where am I? In Loja, a manageable city of about 180,000 people in southern Ecuador. At 6,750 feet above sea level, Loja is at a lower elevation than many of the country’s other major cities perched along the spine of the Andes mountain range.
Months ago, our far-flung editors and in-country advisers began collecting all the data and details that inform our just-released Global Retirement Index 2012. For the Index, we narrow down the countries we focus on to the top 19, and consider 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.