Study Shows American Seniors “Could Retire 10 Years Early”

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Ecuador tops’s Retirement Index 2012 due to low cost of living.

American seniors could retire 10 years early—and with a higher standard of living—if they did so beyond America’s borders,’s new Retirement Index 2012 has revealed.

In putting together the Index,’s editors collated data from its own team of experts on the ground in the most popular countries among U.S. expat retirees.

Factors ranging from the price of bread and average humidity to utility costs and the friendliness of locals were assessed.

The information was then used to score each of the top countries out of 100 in categories such as “Real Estate,” “Climate” and “Healthcare.”

Ecuador scored well over a number of categories, most notably under “Cost of Living.”

“Many Americans are wondering when, if ever, they will be able to afford to retire,” said International Living magazine editor, Eoin Bassett.

He continued, “What they often don’t realize is the low cost of living in countries like Ecuador can open up the door to an early retirement—and a standard of living way beyond what they could afford back home.” spoke to Ron and Patricia Farmer who retired to Bahia, on Ecuador’s Pacific coast in February 2011. The couple reports that their expenses are around one fifth of what they were in the U.S.

Patricia said, “We enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle—even more luxurious than we had in California. You can live on less, no doubt, but our current budget is $1,500 a month.”’s researchers found American retirees living comfortably on extremely low budgets in places like the picturesque mountain town of Vilcabamba. One couple were living on a combined budget of just $1,075 per month.

This covered their clean, comfortable rental property, all their bills, the cost of running a car and a maid who visits twice a week.

Panama, with its excellent pensionado incentive program for retirees, came in second place in the 2012 Retirement Index while Mexico rounded out the top three.

Full details of the Retirement Index 2012 can be viewed here: “The World’s Top Retirement Havens in 2012.”

Editor’s Note: Members of the media have full permission to reproduce the article, “The World’s Top Retirement Havens in 2012,” either in part or in its entirety, once credit is given to

Media Contact: For information about content republishing, available source material or to book an interview with one of our experts, contact Associate Editor Carol Barron, 772-678-0287 (US), CBarron(at)InternationalLiving(dot)com or visit International Living Media Center. For automatic updates on the most current stories, follow International Living Media on Twitter.

For more than 30 years, has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. has more than 200 correspondents traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

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