Lots of us get lost in a retirement daydream and imagine where in the world we would want to spend our later years.
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The place is different for most of us for many reasons.
Retirement destinations often depend on your home country – for instance, plenty of Americans look at Panama and Ecuador, while Europeans favour France and Spain.
In each case they offer lifestyle, cheap prices and easy transport connections back home to visit the family.
To find out the 22 best retirement destinations, American magazine International Living spoke to expats and sent out researchers to gather some key information.
Who came top
The focus was on eight key factors important to retired expats:
- The cost of buying or renting a home
- Special benefits, like low tax or ease of granting visas
- The cost of living
- How easy integrating into the local community is for expats
- Entertainment and amenities
- Retirement assistance
Each category was scored out of 100 – and the highest marks went to the Latin American state of Ecuador (91).
Panama was next with 89, followed by Malaysia, scoring 87.
The top European retirement hot spot is Spain, which came in eighth, with 82 points.
Scoring the winners
“We had a team of editors, expats and in-country experts gathering the information we needed for months across the world,” said a magazine spokesman.
“When we had gathered the information, we had another team look at the data to come up with the scoring and rankings.”
The spokesman explained the range of factors considered for each country included finding out how well internet connections worked, the price of beer and any discounts or benefits offered to retirees.
Expats were also questioned about how they keep in touch with their families back home, whether they need a car to get around and whether they easily made friends.
“Some of the categories are based on cost, but besides asking how much, we have also asked about value for money. The basket of goods and services we compared includes energy, water, food, cable TV and the cost of housing,” said the spokesman.
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