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International Living, a leading authority on global retirement and relocation has recently published its Annual Global Retirement Index for 2018. The Retirement Index was started 26 years ago and today remains the most comprehensive and in-depth survey of its kind. The aim of the report is to help retirees find locations where their money goes further and they can find the greatest value in terms of real estate, cost of living and overall quality of life. The report is based on the exchange rate of the American dollar.

Here are the top 10 places in the world to retire to and enjoy your golden years

  1. Peru

Peru comes in at 10th place offering a low cost of living and a climate to suit everyone. The capital city of Lima is home to a large number of expats where you can enjoy reportedly “some of the best restaurants in the world” and a vibrant cultural scene. Peru is not one of the top countries when it comes to healthcare but it does have a large network of excellent private clinics and hospitals. An easily accessible international airport makes travelling to neighbouring countries a breeze.

  1. Spain

Spain has always been a top spot for both holidays and retirement for many Europeans – and now the rest of world is following their lead. The cost of living in Spain is one of Europe’s lowest and you can still enjoy first-world living with excellent infrastructure and telecommunications, modern housing and widespread public transport.

  1. Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a tropical get-away that is pegged as the most affordable destination in Latin America. There are large expat communities in the popular destinations of Granada and San Juan del Sur, where English is spoken by almost everyone. Nicaragua has something for every retiree – whether you enjoy outdoor activities or shopping, entertainment and dining – all on a very modest daily budget!

  1. Portugal

Portugal is Europe’s top retirement destination and is very receptive to foreigners. The affordable lifestyle and wonderful climate combine to make it an ideal spot to enjoy a relaxing retirement. Added to this, it is rated as the third safest country in the world according to the 2017 Global Peace Index.

  1. Columbia

Columbia is the second most bio diverse country in the world, offering a climate and environment for every taste. It is also ranked as a place for health living, where great weather allows retirees to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities every day of the year – from walking and hiking to swimming, golf and tennis. A plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables are available and it offers high quality but affordable healthcare.

  1. Malaysia

Malaysia is a country where English is widely spoken and expat clubs have flourished since the 1700s. It’s a country that most retirees from other first world countries find very affordable and this year it topped the ‘Entertainment and Amenities’ category of the Retirement Index. Here you will find gastronomic feats, beautiful pristine beaches and plenty of outdoor activities. It is also renowned for its excellent, yet very affordable healthcare.

  1. Ecuador

Ecuador is a historic city with something for everyone. Combining impressive mountain peaks with lazy coastal towns and nature-filled forests it has a lifestyle option that will suit most retirees. Many retirees start their life in Ecuador in the Cuenca, which is a colonial city offering plenty of entertainment and amenities.

  1. Panama

Panama is modern, convenient and close to the USA and its lush mountain towns are known as some of the best retirement destinations in the world. The local people and the government are welcoming and its benefits for retirees are legendary. Healthcare is also world-class and affordable, resulting in a happier, healthier life for most of its expat retirees.

  1. Mexico

Mexico combines the exotic with first-world living and offers retirees a sunny temperate climate all year round. Healthcare is also very good with private healthcare costing a quarter-to-a-half of U.S. prices. If you’re over 60 and are a legal resident, the public system is free.

  1. Costa Rica

Costa Rica remains the world’s best retirement destination. Offering a wonderful, tropical climate, low-cost living, affordable medical care, highly affordable real estate and natural beauty, it has everything retirees could wish for. Added to all this, it has a steadily growing economy, a low crime rate and is home to many multinational companies like Amazon and Microsoft.

Make the most of your expat retirement

If you are a retiree who has relocated abroad or are thinking about doing so in the future, it’s important to know that you can turn your retirement annuity and various other South African-based savings and investments into cash, even before you turn 55 – and these funds can be used for any purpose. This opportunity exists because of a change to South African tax legislation in 2008. However, getting your money out of South Africa involves navigating a series of administrative and regulatory hurdles.

At FinGlobal, we simplify this complex process, and have helped thousands of South Africans from these time-consuming obstacles. For more information about cashing in your retirement annuities, contact us today.