Mexico: The World’s Second-Best Retirement Haven in 2011

In the right places overseas, you can live well without burning through your retirement nest egg. Where? I’ve told you about some of them already this month—the top-ranking countries in International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index. All a perfect mix of culture, climates and lifestyles.

In our main runner up, you’ll find white-sand beaches and turquoise-blue seas, with hammocks swaying nearby…centuries-old Spanish-colonial cities with winding, cobblestone streets and fountain-filled plazas…towering ruins left by ancient civilizations…guitars being strummed on warm, moonlit evenings…

Mexico is rich in romance, as the one million-plus U.S. and Canadian expats who live there will tell you.

But expats don’t live by romance alone. Fortunately, Mexico also provides solid, modern-day comforts and conveniences. That secluded, away-from-it-all beach on the deserted, packed-sand road? You can get within a few miles of it on a modern highway—one of the many that criss-crosses Mexico. Those centuries-old cities with their colonial homes? Today their walls conceal telephone and high-speed Internet cables and their roofs sport satellite dishes and solar water heaters.

Likewise, health care in Mexico is reassuringly 21st-century, with first-rate hospitals, clinics, and medical staff. (Don’t speak Spanish? Many doctors, especially in private clinics, speak English.) And the bill will likely run you half or less what you’d pay at home.

In fact, life in Mexico can cost you up to 40% less than what you’d pay in the U.S. for a similar lifestyle. It’s also lived at a slower, more gracious pace. And that is what, finally, many expats seek. As expat Jill Jackson, who lives in Loreto, Baja California Sur, explains: “It lets me be the person I have always wanted to be.”

There are a total of 23 top retirement havens in the world. There’s something to recommend each one. Some have the ideal climate, others the cheapest real estate, lowest cost of living, or healthiest environment.

You can learn everything you need to know about the best retirement havens in the world…and get the ratings and rankings in every category for every country in our 2011 Global Retirement Index… in the latest issue of International Living magazine.

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