The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2022—

Share Article‘s 2022 Global Retirement Index scores the world’s top 25 retirement destinations across 10 categories, including cost of living, governance, retiree benefits, climate, healthcare, and more. This yearly Index—the 31st annual from the magazine—examines 25 safe, good-value destinations beyond the U.S. or Canada, comparing, contrasting, ranking, and rating them in categories to select spots across the globe where a retired couple can live a comfortable, carefree life on as little as $2,000 a month.

International Living Annual Global Retirement Index 2022

International Living Annual Global Retirement Index 2022

“When we saw that we could get a [water] view for less than a quarter of a million dollars, we said right away, ‘We’re in!’ It was like a dream come true.”, the leading authority on global retirement and relocation opportunities, has just released its 31st Annual Global Retirement Index for 2022.

Using International Living’s vast network of on-the-ground editors and correspondents around the world, this annual Index is designed to be a useful tool for potential expats trying to find the place that’s right for them. The Index is built of statistics and informed by real-world, practical, on-the-ground intelligence, experience, and opinion provided by International Living’s contributors based around the globe.

Across ten categories, readers can swiftly and constructively compare and contrast countries in terms of their cost of living, housing, healthcare, retiree benefits, and more.

“This Index is designed to be a cheat-sheet of sorts, to help point people toward the spots that might make the most sense for them overseas,” says Jennifer Stevens, International Living’s Executive Editor.

“All 25 countries we consider are worth your attention, so the Index is most useful if you come to it with some sense for your own priorities. Maybe you’re most concerned about cost of living, or proximity to home, or access to good affordable healthcare. Whatever it may be—have those things in mind, and you can use the Index to narrow down your options.

“The idea of going overseas to a place where the living is good and the costs are low is more timely than ever.

“That’s because going abroad provides a viable solution for lots of folks considering what they want their lives to look like over the next decade—or two or three decades.

“Americans today are looking long and hard at their own values, and at the way they spend their days and many are coming to the conclusion that they need a change. They want more time with family and friends, more time to pursue their interests, more freedom to arrange their days the way they prefer.

“But it can be hard to know how to afford that life. Overseas, in the right places, it’s easy.

“Three million baby boomers retired early in the pandemic—some of whom have enough to retire comfortably and so took that early retirement voluntarily. But others of whom weren’t prepared to stop working so soon and now are worried about their nest eggs holding out.

“Millions more people lost their jobs or were furloughed. And then you bring the 'Great Resignation' into the mix. The upshot is that people—in huge numbers—are finding themselves at a crossroads.

“And going overseas can provide a path to that better-balanced, more affordable life folks are craving. IL’s Global Retirement Index provides a roadmap.

“Whether you’re looking for a friendly, good-value city… a tropical beach… a cool, highland retreat… an historic colonial enclave… or a quiet lakeside getaway… this Annual Global Retirement Index shows folks where it’s possible to upgrade their lifestyle, without having deep pockets.

“Our choice of countries reflects a huge range of lifestyles and locations—they’re the places we think you’ll find the best combination of factors to suit your overseas retirement. We’ve got people on the ground in each of them, reporting facts and figures, and sharing their insights about the places they enjoy calling home.”

According to's 2022 Global Retirement Index, the world’s top 10 retirement destinations are:

#1 Panama
#2 Costa Rica
#3 Mexico
#4 Portugal
#5 Colombia
#6 Ecuador
#7 Malta
#8 France
#9 Spain
#10 Uruguay

For the 11th time, Panama takes the top spot in’s Annual Global Retirement Index.

“Some say the only constant in life is change,” says Jessica Ramesch, IL Panama Editor. “But after more than 15 years in Panama, I’ve found that some of the best things in life remain the same. It’s no surprise to me that this tiny powerhouse has—once again—taken the number one spot in International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index.

“We’ve been here before…and with good reason. That’s because, when it comes to overall benefits and value, Panama is very tough to beat. All any doubter has to do is make a list.

“Start with Panama’s geographical position and climate. Just a three-hour flight from Miami, it’s perfectly positioned between North and South America, on a narrow isthmus between the Pacific and the Caribbean. It’s warm and tropical, but completely outside the treacherous hurricane belt.

“But it’s not just the climate. 'Are you a pensioner?' You may be surprised the first time a pharmacist asks you this in Panama. Before you bristle, note that in this country, there’s no reason to resent being called a pensionada (or pensionado). No one’s implying that you’re 'over the hill.'

“The simple fact is that, here, all legal residents are entitled to 20% off prescription medications if they’re of 'pensioner' age. And the threshold is low—just 55 for women, 60 for men.

“Panama may not be perfect—no country is—but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. As a single woman I feel safe and free to live my life here, whether I’m going out to dinner and Ubering home late at night or driving cross-country to visit friends. Perhaps that’s because this is truly a land of opportunity, home to thousands of hard-working, upwardly mobile locals and immigrants.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs over the past couple years—in Panama and all over the world. But this country has a well-deserved reputation as Central America’s powerhouse. And here’s the thing about living in a powerhouse nation: Panama was perfectly poised to weather the financial and health-related storm, with excellent healthcare and a strong economy that was bound to bounce back.”

Jessica is just one of many who have discovered the joys of Panama—the worlds #1 retirement destination for 2022.

“When we saw that we could get a [water] view for less than a quarter of a million dollars, we said right away, ‘We’re in!’ It was like a dream come true.”

That’s what Judy Whaling, a retiree happily settled in Panama, says about her new home. A native Californian, she recalls a time when regular folks could afford to live within easy reach of the beach and enjoy it as part of their day-to-day lives. But no more.

“I couldn’t afford a view in Southern California… not even for the weekend,” she says. So she and her husband left—and upgraded their lifestyle in the process.

“Now, here I am in Panama looking out my bedroom window, and I see miles of shoreline, and mountains, too. This is gold to us…we struck gold.”

International Living’s 31st Annual Global Retirement Index is the most comprehensive and in-depth survey of its kind. Their editors and correspondents focus on actually living overseas, not on finding this month’s fashionable vacation spot. They’re reporting hard facts and practical details such as rental costs, medical provision, and economic stability, as well as the more enjoyable things like climate and the cost of a nice meal out.

International Living’s complete 2022 Annual Global Retirement Index, including more information on the winner and the other nine countries that made it in to the top 10—as well as the individual rankings in all 10 categories for all 25 countries included—can be found at: The World's Best Places to Retire in 2022.

Editor's Note: Members of the media have permission to republish the article linked above once credit is given to

Further information, as well as interviews with expert authors for radio, TV or print, is available on request. Photos are also available.

For information about content republishing, source material or to book an interview with one of our experts, contact PR Managing Editor, Marita Kelly, +001 667 312 3532,

About International Living

Since 1979, 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 contributors traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

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