The 5 best places to retire in the world: the road to retirement bliss

Written by Stannah


“Retirement: That’s when you return from work one day and say: Hi, Honey, I’m home — forever ”.

Well, someone could have told Gene Perret (the American comedy writer and producer) that things have changed and people are now wondering about the best places to retire in the world.

These days, the idea of retiring abroad is getting increasing and significant traction among seniors who seek to embrace their newfound freedom and (even!) pursue long-held dreams.

But retiring abroad isn’t just about escaping the daily grind. It’s about immersing in new cultures, embracing diverse landscapes, and enjoying a fulfilling lifestyle and a better quality of life.

The allure of retiring abroad lies in the promise of improved quality of life, adventure, the opportunity to stretch retirement savings further, and the chance to enjoy the year-round sunshine or explore vibrant cityscapes.
For those looking for a short list of the best places to retire in the world, this article will do it, as it offers a glimpse into the exciting possibilities awaiting retirees or people planning for retirement.

The best places to retire in the world: what makes a great retirement destination?

Choosing the best and most suitable place to retire is not the same as picking some holiday destination and finding the sunnier beaches or picturesque scenery.

While moving abroad for retirement might seem thrilling, it requires careful consideration to ensure that personal priorities are fully aligned with the potential destinations’ offerings.

Here are some of the factors to consider:

1. Cost of living

Destinations where retirement savings can stretch further without compromising quality of life are the first ones in line to consider. Countries offering an adequate and affordable cost of living (considering your financial status) are the answer to enjoying a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

2. Healthcare quality and accessibility

Easy access to healthcare services is paramount, so choosing a destination with excellent healthcare facilities, affordable services and accessibility ensures peace of mind and proper medical care when needed.

3. Infrastructure and amenities


Accessibility is key for basically anyone, especially as mobility needs change as we grow old. Choosing destinations with infrastructure adapted to seniors, such as accessible public transport and living areas that can be explored on foot, increases your level of independence and consequently improves your quality of life.

In addition, whether in your home country or abroad, you should also consider the level of accessibility of the house where you will be living, to ensure that you will always have complete independence and freedom of movement.

One way to ensure your independence and that you can move around your home freely is to consider installing mobility solutions such as stairlifts and platform lifts. Stannah can help you choose the mobility solution that best suits your needs. Just contact us and we’ll take care of the rest.

4. Safety and security

When choosing the best places to retire in the world this is something that comes to light and destinations with low crime rates and stable political environments provide the so-needed sense of peacefulness and peace of mind.

5. Cultural offerings and social life

Rich cultural experiences and an active social scene are key to a fulfilling lifestyle. Destinations with vibrant arts scenes, festivals, and community events offer endless opportunities for engagement and connection. A must for a perfect retirement.

6. Climate

This one is quite self-explanatory. Sun-soaked beaches and favourable climates are the places that anyone gravitates towards when choosing the best place to… basically do anything, and retiring is no different.

Destinations offering pleasant weather year-round are an undoubtful favourite. While climate preferences vary, the appeal of mild winters and warm summers is quite universal.

7. Legal bureaucracy and personal preferences

Visa requirements, language barriers, proximity to family and friends are also something to have in mind when looking at a list of the best places to retire in the world. It’s highly recommended to conduct thorough research and visit potential destinations before making the final decision.

The top 5 retirement destinations

Picking the best places to retire in the world might not seem an easy task. If you’re thinking about retiring abroad, you need information.

But, no worries, we got your back. Here’s a short list of the destinations you might want to consider, according to the latest 2024 Annual Global Retirement Index. Here’s the top five:

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is renowned for its biodiversity, laid-back lifestyle, abundant natural beauty, and welcoming expatriate community.

Considered by many a European hidden gem, Portugal offers a compelling mix of stunning coastlines, excellent healthcare system, modern amenities, picturesque towns, great food and a relaxed pace of life

Talk about appealing combinations and Mexico comes in line. The country’s natural beauty with its vibrant beaches, warm culture, thriving expat community and affordable lifestyle, make Mexico a captivating destination.

Known for its mild climate, affordable healthcare, low property taxes and a dollarized economy, Panama ranked fourth in this list. This allows a comfortable retirement, as expats living there can enjoy a luxurious yet affordable lifestyle.

Spain completes the top five of the best places to retire in the world. The country’s vibrant culture, diverse landscapes and pulsating cities, allow anyone living there to enjoy the Mediterranean climate and an active lifestyle immersed in art, history, and excellent gastronomy.

Road to the retirement bliss

Retirement is the beginning of a new chapter. We encourage you to reflect on your dreams and priorities and find the most suitable destination for you, whether it’s a sun-drenched shore or a cultural paradise, the world is yours to explore and enjoy. Embrace the possibilities, and start planning your dream retirement today.