Home Living in Costa Rica International Living Global Retirement Index Costa Rica

International Living Global Retirement Index Costa Rica

by rpetersen

Are you dreaming of a serene retirement, perhaps in a country with a perfect blend of adventure, tranquility, and affordability? The International Living Global Retirement Index might just be your compass to finding that idyllic haven. Let’s delve into what the  Index reveals about the best places to retire globally and why these destinations are worth considering.

Understanding the Global Retirement Index

Before we explore the top picks, it’s crucial to understand what the Global Retirement Index is and how it’s compiled. Developed by International Living, this annual index evaluates countries across various criteria like cost of living, healthcare quality, climate, and more. The goal? To identify the most retiree-friendly destinations around the globe.

International Living has been ranking foreign retirement destinations for years.   In the Global Retirement Index International Living compared the following variables to come up the rankings.

1. Buying & Renting, 2. Benefits & Discounts, 3. Visas and Residence, 4. Cost of Living, 5. Fitting In, 6. Entertainment and Amenities, 7. Healthcare, 8. Healthy Lifestyle, 9. Infrastructure, 10. Climate

Top Destinations for Retirement

Some of the top choices on the Global Retirement list are:

Portugal: European Charm with a Gentle Price Tag Portugal, a European gem, ranks high for its affordable lifestyle, rich history, and stunning coastal towns. The Algarve region, in particular, is a favorite among expats for its sunny weather, welcoming community, and excellent healthcare.

Costa Rica: The Pura Vida Lifestyle Costa Rica tops the list with its “Pura Vida” lifestyle, offering a perfect mix of natural beauty, friendly locals, and a low cost of living. Whether it’s the pristine beaches or the lush rainforests, this Central American paradise provides a tranquil setting ideal for retirees.

Mexico: Vibrant Culture and Convenience Mexico remains a popular choice, thanks to its vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and proximity to the United States. Places like Lake Chapala and the Riviera Maya offer diverse living experiences – from tranquil lakeside towns to bustling beach resorts.

Panama: A Haven of Benefits and Natural Splendor Panama, a rising star on the retirement horizon, offers a unique combination of modern conveniences and natural beauty. Known for its famous Panama Canal, this country also boasts an attractive retiree visa program. From the bustling cosmopolitan life in Panama City to the serene beaches and highland towns, Panama caters to diverse lifestyles and preferences.

Why These Countries Stand Out


One common thread among these destinations is affordability. Retirees can enjoy a high quality of life without the hefty price tag. Countries like Costa Rica and Mexico offer lower living costs compared to many Western nations, stretching retirement savings further.


Access to quality healthcare is a top priority for retirees. Portugal, for instance, boasts one of Europe’s best healthcare systems, while Costa Rica’s public and private healthcare facilities are highly rated.

Climate and Natural Beauty

Whether it’s the sunny Algarve or the tropical Costa Rican climate, these countries offer pleasant weather and stunning natural landscapes. This aspect is particularly appealing for those looking to spend their retirement years in scenic, tranquil settings.

Expat Communities

A supportive expat community can make transitioning to a new country much easier. Mexico and Portugal, with their long-standing expat populations, offer a sense of community and familiarity which can be comforting for new retirees.

The Global Retirement Index from International Living

International Living released the 2023 rankings and the following countries are on the list.  Follow this link for the full breakdown from International Living.





Costa Rica













The International Living Global Retirement Index is more than just a ranking – it’s a gateway to understanding what different countries offer to retirees. Whether you’re drawn to the tranquil beaches of Costa Rica, the historical charm of Portugal, the vibrant culture of Mexico, or the modern convenience and natural beauty of Panama, there’s a perfect retirement haven waiting for you. With careful planning and an adventurous spirit, your retirement could be the start of an exciting new chapter in life.

Related Articles