Surprise: This Tiny Country Is the Best Place for Americans to Retire

It’s nearby, pleasantly warm and full of first-world amenities

January 3, 2019 9:00 am

2019 just started, and we’re ready to call it a day.

Feel a similar call to retirement? Head to Panama, says a new survey from International Living.

The publication, geared toward those easing into a post-career lifestyle outside the U.S., just released the 29th iteration of its Annual Global Retirement Index. The list covers countries on five continents and utilizes a mix of 13 different metrics (health care, climate, cost of living, etc.) to rank ideal global landing spots for American retirees. 

Interestingly enough, the publication just added the category of “opportunity” to its data points, noting that many people actually would prefer to work remotely or start a new project after their so-called “retirement.”

Panama came in first. As editor Jessica Ramesch notes, it’s modern, convenient, warm and welcoming, yet also outside the hurricane belt. And for Americans, it’s familiar — the currency is the U.S. dollar, and most of the population speaks English. Oh, and there’s no income tax, medical care is first-rate but dirt cheap, and the country runs a social program called Pensionado that offers 25-50% off discounts on hotels, energy bills and airline tickets to women and men above the ages of 55 and 60, respectively (yes, including foreigners).

Rounding out the top five: Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador and Malaysia. You can see the full list here.

Photo: Miguel Bruna on Unsplash


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