NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Mexico was named on Thursday as the best place in the world to retire by an annual retirement index, replacing last year’s winner Panama where real estate prices have soared.
Releasing its 15th annual global retirement index, International Living magazine said Mexico had jumped four places to top the list due to “an affordable combination of modern features and old-world charm.”
The report analyzes 29 countries, and gives them scores in categories including real estate, entertainment, special benefits offered to retirees, culture, safety and stability, healthcare, climate, infrastructure and cost of living.
“Moving to Mexico means you can still have all of the amenities you grew accustomed to north of the border: cable TV, high-speed Internet, and modern home appliances,” said the magazine’s managing editor Laura Sheridan in a statement.
Mexico also won praise for its health care, diverse climate and affordable real estate.
The magazine, which caters for people living and working overseas, said a beachfront property in Mexico could be bought for less than $100,000.
Trailing Mexico were Ecuador, Italy, Panama, Australia, Malta, Spain, South Africa, Malaysia, France and Thailand.
Panama fell to fourth slot due to a dramatic rise in real estate prices, particularly in Panama City, and because the government has recently restricted tourist visas to 30 days, making it harder for seasonal part-timers to live there.
The United States ranked No. 19 in the report, scoring poorly in the area of special benefits for retirees. It scored well in both safety and infrastructure.
The United Kingdom was ranked at the bottom of the list at 29 countries, largely due to its high real estate prices and overall high cost of living.