We look at everything a country has to offer when compiling IL’s Annual Retirement Index. We ask expats the important questions, like: What is the cost of living really like? Or: How easy is it to integrate into the local culture?
And then, we look at the big considerations our readers have when deciding where to live overseas (such as price of real estate or quality of health care).
Some countries tend to be decent “all-rounders,” scoring decent marks across a number of categories. But then some simply excel, storming ahead of the pack in one or more categories.
For retiree benefits, one country holds top place, as our in-country insider reports in the this year’s Retirement Index.
In this country, they respect retirees. Qualified pensioners get residence fairly quickly. And they are entitled to local discounts…10% to 15% off consultations and medication…25% off at restaurants… and 50% off admission to movies and theaters. Nearly every aspect of life comes with a discount.
But that’s not all this country has to offer. Besides coming out on top of the “Special Benefits” category (with a perfect 100% score), this country comes a close second for the best place to retire in 2013.
It’s easy to see why. The expats here will readily tell you that while the discounts and ease of attaining residence are big draws, that’s not why they chose to live here. “The discounts are very nice,” they’ll say. “The health care is excellent,” they’ll admit. And that this country has many English speakers, uses the U.S. dollar as its currency and is located outside the hurricane belt are all big pluses.
But it’s the more everyday pleasures that most rave about—the incredibly friendly people…the rain forest…the beaches.
Most expats will also tell you: “My only regret is that I didn’t come sooner.” They say that because their lives are better than they were before. There’s something about the culture…about the idea that not everything has to be “now”…that permeates the air. By osmosis, if you move here from North America, you find yourself slowing down.
Kansas City native Robert Cook’s family was skeptical when he said he was moving to the country’s highlands. “Now they envy me,” he says. “My stress level is way down and I’m much healthier. They can see how happy I am.”
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