Looking for a place to retire? Experts say this region is tops

You have probably never heard of Ibero-America. But if you plan to retire soon, it might be time to familiarize yourself with the region.

Nine of the top 10 countries in International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index are located in that region. The one exception is Malaysia, which came in at No. 5.

Ibero-America is generally considered to comprise the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries and territories of the Americas. Many also include Spain and Portugal themselves as part of the region. “Ibero” refers to Europe’s Iberian peninsula, which is home to Spain and Portugal.

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International Living’s retirement index dates back 26 years. This year’s version was released a few months back. Its rankings are based on an analysis of 12 factors, including housing, benefits and discounts, health care, entertainment and amenities and climate.

The countries were ranked based on their final scores. The top 10 nations in order were:

  1. Costa Rica

  2. Mexico

  3. Panama

  4. Ecuador

  5. Malaysia

  6. Colombia

  7. Portugal

  8. Nicaragua

  9. Spain

  10. Peru

Costa Rica’s top rating was largely due to its modern, inexpensive health care system, according to International Living.

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Things to weigh before retiring abroad

Before retiring abroad — or even here in the U.S. — it is important to weigh a number of factors that will have a large impact on your golden years.

For example, public transportation may become a lot more important as you age and health concerns make it difficult — or even impossible — to drive. As we have written:

If you intend to stay in a new community as you age, you may eventually want to use buses, trains, light rail, cabs and ride-sharing companies. Assure yourself, long before you need it, that your new town has plenty of ways to get around.

For more, check out “11 Critical Things to Consider When Choosing Where to Retire.”

For more tips on retiring abroad, check out:

So, what’s your take? Would you consider retiring to a foreign country? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.