Revealed: The World’s Best Retirement Havens in 2015—InternationalLiving.com

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InternationalLiving.com has just released its Annual Global Retirement Index, revealing the best 25 countries to retire to in the world today, with Ecuador winning the top spot.

InternationalLiving.com’s just-released Annual Global Retirement Index profiles the best destinations for good-value living around the world today. Using input from a large team of correspondents on the ground all over the world, the Index combines real-world insights about climate, health care, cost of living, and much more to draw up a comprehensive list of the best bang-for-your buck retirement destinations on the planet.

“The world’s top retirement havens for 2015 may dot the landscape from Asia to Latin America to Europe, but they share certain assets,” says InternationalLiving.com’s executive editor, Jennifer Stevens. “They’re safe, offer good value, and are places you can settle with relative ease.

“Even though only 25 countries feature on our list, all of them are worth your attention. We selected them from among all the countries in the world for their qualities as retirement hot-spots, so even the lowest-ranked nation on our Index is still very much an option worth considering,” Stevens reports.

Ecuador wins this year’s Index with a score of 92.7 out of 100, but receives a perfect score in two categories: Real Estate and Climate…and high scores across the board in every other category.

“From the quaint town of Cotacachi to the vibrant capital, Quito, from Salinas on the coast to the peaks of the Andes, Ecuador’s diversity is a key part of the massive appeal for retirees,” says senior editor at InternationalLiving.com, Dan Prescher.

“Although prices have risen slightly in recent years, Ecuador’s real estate is still the best value you’ll find anywhere,” Prescher, who has lived in Ecuador for the past five years, reports. “And the cost of living is low, with couples reporting monthly expenses of just $1,400 a month.”

The country also offers a generous array of retiree benefits. Over-65s get discounts on flights originating in Ecuador, as well as up to 50% off entry to movies and sporting events. Discounts are also available on public transport (50%) and utilities.

Runner-up in the Index—and the best retirement destination in Central America—Panama offers retiree expats the advantages of the world’s best retirement program: the Pensionado visa.

“Panama wants you to come—and their policies court you,” says Jessica Ramesch, InternationalLiving.com’s Panama Editor. “The Pensionado visa is available to anyone with a lifetime pension of over $1,000 a month. Discounts you can get with the visa include 20% off medical services, 50% off entertainment, 25% off restaurant meals, 25% off air fare, and 25% off electricity and phone bills,” Ramesch reports.

Add all this to the country’s already low cost of living, and Panama is the very definition of an affordable expat haven. For under $2,000, a couple can live comfortably in a country with a well-earned reputation for being expat-friendly.

Malaysia comes in first position for Asia and fourth overall in the Index. Quality of life in Malaysia is cost-efficient as well as excellent. In typical expat locations such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang, high-quality real estate is available for rent at a low cost. On a modest budget, a retiree can savor a life of luxury here.

The country makes a perfect base to explore the natural, historical, and cultural treasures that Southeast Asia has to offer. The proliferation of cheap Asian airlines in recent years has made it easier (and more affordable) than ever to explore the rest of Asia. Direct flights to the U.S. are also available.

Health care quality is top-notch, particularly in the larger cities, where it is comparable to that in any First-World nation. English is also widely-spoken here.

For those seeking sun and affordable living in Europe, Spain remains by far the best option available, evidenced by its standing as the top European nation in this year’s Index.

All the First-World amenities you would expect of a European country are abundant in Spain. The Internet is reliable and fast, with coverage everywhere. Public transport is efficient and home comforts—U.S. television, movies, and music—are easy to come by.

Spain’s health-care system is routinely recognized by the World Health Organization as one of the best in the world.

The full report on the world’s best retirement havens in 2015, which ranks and rates the top 25 countries for retirement, can be read here: The Best Places to Retire in 2015.

Editor’s Note: Members of the media have full permission to reproduce the article linked above once credit is given to InternationalLiving.com. Photos are also available.

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

For more than 30 years, InternationalLiving.com 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, InternationalLiving.com 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. InternationalLiving.com has more than 200 correspondents traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

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