The Annual Global Retirement Index from International Living highlights destinations from around the globe where you can “live a healthier and happier life, spend a lot less money, and get a whole lot more”.
Portugal topped the table for retirees, beating off competition from Panama in second place, Costa Rica in third and Mexico in fourth. Spain was ranked in eighth on the table while France came in ninth position.
A variety of factors were measured for the index including the cost of living, healthcare, climate and ease of obtaining a visa or residence permit. While Portugal faired especially well when it came to healthcare, scoring 98 out of a possible 100, the country did not come out so favourably when it came to visas and residency (75), governance (78) and opportunity (78).
High scores for Portugal in the climate category (88), entertainment (91) and housing (93), helped Portugal obtain a final score of 86, placing it at the top of the table and leading to International Living crowning the country as the best place to retire to in 2020.
Tricia Pimental from International Living said: “It’s hardly surprising that Portugal topped the 2020 Annual Global Retirement Index. From north to south, from the Atlantic west to the Spanish east, this country’s gracious people, bustling capital, brilliant sun, tantalizing beaches, and verdant valleys are more appealing than ever to a growing number of people.
“Steeped in history and culture, it has a pleasant climate year-round in most regions, as well as an extremely affordable cost of living. Whether you are looking for surfing beaches or ancient ruins, fine museums or hiking paths, a place to windsurf or to polish your golf game, you will find it in Portugal.”
The safety of the country is also an important factor in the index and with Portugal rated as the third safest country in the world on the 2019 Global Peace Index, it makes the country not only a beautiful place to live but also a safe one too.
“I have absolutely no regrets about moving here,” said U.S. expat Jacira Paolino to International Living. “I do know it can be scary picking up and moving to another country. I only really had one friend here when I came—someone I’ve only known socially for a few years, but I’ve made new friends and continue to meet new and intriguing people”
She added: “In the U.S., I worked long hours and was usually so tired when I finished, all I wanted was to walk my dogs, eat, and sleep. Here, it is a time-honoured tradition to have a coffee with a friend, or dinner, or listen to music, get a drink, or go dancing. People actually live here, and get together with family and friends. They go to the beach in the summer, to a jazz club, to any of many amazing restaurants.”