Latin American countries dominate the top ten rankings of the best places to retire in 2018. 

Project Coordinator: Taneesha Kulshrestha
Costa Rica is the number one place to retire in 2018

International Living's most recent Annual Global Retirement Index 2018 compares 24 countries that give you the maximum return for your money and promise to deliver a better quality of life.

Overall, the Index is based on ratings in 12 categories: buying and investing, renting, benefits and discounts, visas and residence, cost of living, fitting in, entertainment and amenities, healthcare, healthy lifestyle, development, climate, and governance. Each category was given a score out of 100 to arrive at one composite average score.

Costa Rica took the top spot on the list for the first time. Peru marked its first appearance in the top 10. Most of the top ten are in Latin or Central America. 

Jennifer Stevens, executive editor at International Living, mentions that the survey does not look at data like the average-cost-per-foot of real estate spread over an entire country as it is not really useful for those looking to retire abroad. “We’re focused, instead, on particular communities,” she says. “So in terms of real estate, for instance, we’re looking at what it costs to rent or buy the sort of place an expat would want, in a neighborhood that’s desirable.”

The table below shows the rankings for all the countries included in the analysis.

Rank Country Average Score
1 Costa Rica 91.3
2 Mexico 91.2
3 Panama 91.1
4 Ecuador 88.3
5 Malaysia 87.7
6 Colombia 85.7
7 Portugal 85.5
8 Nicaragua 83.9
9 Spain 83.6
10 Peru 82.8
11 Italy 82.5
12 Honduras (Roatan) 82
13 Malta 81.9
14 Thailand 81.8
15 France 81.7
16 Cambodia 81.3
17 Belize 80.7
18 Bolivia 79.8
19 Ireland 79.5
20 Uruguay 78.1
21 Philippines 78
22 Dominican Rep. 76.8
23 Vietnam 76.6
24 Indonesia (Bali) 74.9