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Best Countries to Retire 2024

Retirement is a really exciting stage in life, especially for people who are not absolutely in love with their jobs or the work that they do on a daily basis. The reason retirement is so exciting for people is that it’s a golden opportunity to live on your own time and play by your own rules. If you are used to working a conventional job that takes up at least eight hours of your day, you get to look forward to never having to show up to a desk job or an office building at nine in the morning every day.

Other perks of retirement include benefits from social security payments, receive payments from 401k accounts, and empty any accrued in a personal retirement bank account. Retirees are also eligible for Medicare, have fewer priotities, including working, and more personal time to travel and relax. The last benefit of retiring from a job you held forever is the one that we are going to focus on today. The majority of people take retirement as the perfect moment to explore the world and move to a location far away from their current home. Now that the work-related responsibilities that people used to have are no longer there, people suddenly feel a travel bug and they act on their dreams of exploring new places.

Are you close to retirement and wanting to start making a list of places you’d like to travel to? Or have you retired recently and you are eager to escape your current city in favor of a brand new place to live? No matter your specific situation, it can be a lot of fun to look into the best countries for retirement. If you are thinking about how your life might change once you retire, then this conversation is for you. Even if retirement is not in sight any time soon, you can still humor yourself and start brainstorming what you want to do when the time finally arrives. Some of the countries that are considered the best places to retire in include Mexico, Portugal, Costa Rica, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Slovenia, France, Brazil, Italy, and the Maldives. Let’s focus on the top three best countries for retirement!


Mexico is a country in North America. Located right below the southernmost border of the United States of America, Mexico shares borders with four US states, including California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas -- from the western coast to the eastern coast of Mexico. The population of Mexico is 132,083,878 people. This makes Mexico the tenth largest country in the world, but the fact that a lot of people live in Mexico is no reason to not move there once you retire. If anything, it’s even more of a reason! Mexico is an absolute beauty for the most part, and you should definitely experience the country at some point in your life.

Mexico City, Ecatepec de Morelos, and Guadalajara are the busiest cities in Mexico, so consider moving to the suburbs or regions of the countries where fewer people live. You can get the best of both worlds by traveling to the coastal cities and bustling urban areas every once in a while, but retreat to your rural neighborhood to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

If you end up retiring in Mexico, you will want to get familiar with the system of money and exchanges in the country. Mexico operates by way of pesos, rather than the dollar, like the USA, or the euro, like European countries use. The most common language in Mexico is Spanish, but you can probably get away with not being completely fluent in Spanish before moving there after your retirement date. If anything, you will definitely begin picking up on common phrases and eventually you might take the time to teach yourself the dominant language in Mexico. Now that you are retired, you'll surely have the time to tackle a new language and become fluent in no time at all!


Portugal is up there on the list of some of the best countries to move to after you retire. As one of the most traveled to countries in eastern Europe, Portugal is also a main tourist attraction, which is something to keep in mind. If your goal of moving somewhere abroad once you retire is to get away from the world and spend time in a peaceful environment, then Portugal might not be the best place for you to relocate.

This is merely because the country experiences an influx of over twelve million tourists per year as of 2017, and that statistic has surely risen since the data was collected in this report by Reuters. Tourist season tends to last all year long, and on top of the 10,260,617 people who already permanently reside in Portugal, the streets of the main cities can get crowded in no time at all.

But it’s usually a good sign if the population of a country is pretty massive, right? It tends to mean that the area has an abundance of advantages to offer those who live there. Many people speak English in Portugal, so that’s wonderful news for anyone who is fluent in English and English alone. Other commonly spoken languages in Portugal include Portuguese, French, and Spanish. The country of Portugal is also a very contemporary place to live, with many modern technological advancements and buildings arising throughout the country. The cultural aspects of Portugal are impossible to pass up, and the charm that the European country naturally exudes will make you feel like you've found heaven on earth.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country located in a part of the world known as the Central American isthmus. For clarification, an isthmus is a thin stretch of land that just so happens to fit perfectly in between two larger land masses. In the case of Costa Rica, the country is positioned in between Nicaragua to the northwest and Panama to the southeast. Costa Rica has been named one of the happiest places on Earth, primarily because the country operates in many ways that oppose the modern way of living. The use of technology is minimal, and people in Costa Rica spend a considerable amount of time in nature. Costa Rica makes for a prime country to retire in if you are in search of a relaxed, lowkey country with an abundance of natural beauty and scenery for miles upon miles.

The current population of Costa Rica is approximately 4,992,208 people. With a total area of 19,714 square miles, there are just about two hundred fifty-four people per square mile of land in Costa Rica. The ratio of people to land is comfortable and livable. If you are convinced that Costa Rica is the country you want to spend your post-retirement life in, then you should look into moving to a city or town near the coastline, like Jaco or Tamarindo. The beaches in Costa Rica are worth visiting over and over and over again. You can never tire of the natural beauty of Costa Rica’s beach shores.

  • Table 1 data courtesy of International Living's 2024 Global Retirement Index.
  • Table 2 data courtesy of US News 2023 Best Countries for a Comfortable Retirement List

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Total Score 2024
Visa Score 2024
Healthcare 2024
Development/Governance 2024
Climate 2024
Cost of Living 2024
Costa Rica83.579476828289

Best Countries to Retire 2024

What is the best country to retire in?

Panama is considered the best country to retire in, with a total score of 88.9.

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