Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

International Living's Top 10 Best Places to Retire for 2016

The International Living editors just released their 2016 Global Retirement Index, ranking 23 countries on criteria ranging from cost of living to health care to climate. Click on the slideshow to learn about each of the Top 10 places.

Panama has long been a favorite for retirees and this year it has taken the top spot in our retirement index. Whether it’s Panama City’s glittering promenade or the white-sand beaches of the Caribbean coast…Panama has somewhere for everyone.

Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

No. 1: Panama

With top scores in the categories of Benefits & Discounts (its pensionado deals for retirees are world famous), Visas & Residence and Entertainment & Amenities, Panama displaces last year’s International Living champ, Ecuador. Panama City, a three-hour flight from Miami, offers metropolitan lures and beachgoers can choose between the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts in this Central American country.

Another long-time favorite with expats, Ecuador has taken second place this year. The near-perfect climate and amazing bang-for-your-buck real estate helped.

Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

No. 2: Ecuador

Ecuador, located smack dab on the Equator, gets International Living’s top score in its Climate and Buying and Renting categories. Its highlands, several thousand feet above sea level, deliver a “year-round spring-like climate.” In colonial Cuenca, a two-bedroom apartment rents for $500 or less. Some ocean-view beachfront properties sell for under $100,000.

Mexico, which this year scored highly across the board, has once again taken the bronze medal in the retirement index, firmly proving that it is an all-round great place to retire.

Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

No. 3: Mexico

Mexico scored well across the board in International Living’s rankings. The country is historically the most popular among U.S. expat retirees; one million U.S. citizens live there. One reason: its permanent visa for those with income of about $2,100 a month or more; a temporary visa, for monthly income of about $1,300 and up, lasts four years.

Costa Rica, another firm favorite with IL readers, has notched up an impressive score in one of our new categories; healthy lifestyle. This is no surprise with a great climate and excellent conditions to grow your own fruit and veg making it the ideal country to lead a healthy life.

Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

No. 4: Costa Rica

Costa Rica had the best International Living score in the Healthy Lifestyle category, due to its clean air, natural food choices and outdoor attractions, such as the Central Valley forests and Pacific coast beaches. Its climate is world class, too.

Malaysia is bursting with things to do, see, and experience. From a rich culture to the tantalizing food, you’ll never be short of something to do, hence the country’s high score in entertainment and amenities. Other areas Malaysia scored high on were healthcare, fitting in, and buying and renting.

Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

No. 5: Malaysia

Malaysia is the top Asian country in International Living’s 2016 rankings partly because of its top scores in the Health Care and Entertainment & Amenities categories. Most doctors have been trained in the U.K. or the U.S. and speak English. Malaysia’s also a low-cost foodie haven that’s beginning to get discovered by expat retirees.

This year Colombia has risen two places in the index. Its high scores in healthcare, healthy living, and entertainment and amenities has ensured a spot in the top 10. Affordable healthcare, plenty of fresh air, and fresh produce are just some of what makes a lifestyle in Colombia so appealing.

Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

No. 6: Colombia

Colombia received a top score in International Living’s Health Care category because medical tourism is booming there and the cost of living is pretty low. This country rose two places in this year’s index, thanks in part to its high scores in the Healthy Living and Entertainment & Amenities categories. So there, Steve Harvey.

Thailand is sure to impress with its many cultural and natural attractions. Foodies will love Thailand with its famous street vendors, and you can rent from as little as $500, plus, fitting in is easy with many established expat communities and friendly locals.

Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

No. 7: Thailand

Thailand makes International Living’s Top 10 due to strong showings in four categories: Entertainment & Amenities; Fitting In (many expat communities); Cost of Living and Buying and Renting. You can rent a place from as little as $500 a month.

Nicaragua is an immensely affordable place to live and this is where it shines in the index. Retiring on just $1,200 a month, including rent is possible here. Nicaragua also scores well in the buying a renting category, as well as healthy living.

Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

No. 8: Nicaragua

Nicaragua came out a low-cost winner in International Living’s rankings. You can retire there on just $1,200 a month, including rent, a short walk from the Pacific Ocean. One drawback: infrastructure.

Sunny Spain has come out on top in the category of infrastructure. This European retirement haven has modern roads, extensive public transportation, and excellent internet coverage. The Mediterranean weather and beautiful beaches add greatly to its appeal.

Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

No. 9: Spain

The top-ranked European country in International Living’s 2016 list, Spain shines for all the reasons you’d expect: Mediterranean weather, terrific beaches and the ease of getting around. The troubled economy means this isn’t a place to look for a part-time job in retirement, though.

Finishing up our top 10 list, Portugal, like its neighbor Spain, has excellent European infrastructure. The great climate and Mediterranean diet also ensure that a healthy lifestyle is easily achieved.

Credit: Photo courtesy of internationalliving.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 11) Next

No. 10: Portugal

Portugal and its neighbor, No. 9 Spain, were the only European countries making the Top 10 in International Living’s 2016 list of best places to retire. Like Spain, Portugal was a star in the Infrastructure category — it’s very easy to get around. The country also delivers a topnotch climate and delicious Mediterranean food.

Slideshow previous Slideshow previous