Portugal wins the top spot for the best destination to retire abroad, according to a new ranking by International Living.
Retiring in a foreign country is also growing in popularity. The number of retirees collecting Social Security checks outside of the U.S. surpassed 400,000 in 2017, according to recent government data.
Those looking to spend their golden years overseas will enjoy the country’s mediterranean climate, sandy beaches, and seafood cuisine, the magazine points out.
“The quality of life in Portugal is really extraordinary today. I think people have this perception that it costs a lot to live in Europe because maybe they go on vacation there and they think that it's going to be really expensive to live there,” Jennifer Stevens, International Living’s executive editor, told YFi PM.
“But it's surprisingly affordable when you live like a local,” she added.
Compared to life in the United States, International Living’s Portugal correspondent Tricia Pimental spends roughly one-third less on expenses in Portugal. She noted that “you can live a comfortable, although not extravagant, lifestyle for about $2,500 a month.”
Panama came in second place on the list, followed by Costa Rica, Mexico, and Colombia. The ranking factors in elements like the cost of living, retiree benefits, and health care.
Stevens explained that Panama is a great option for those concerned about building a nest egg for a long retirement in the U.S. The Central American nation has a great infrastructure and network of hospitals, she said.
“You can rent a place with a view of the water for $1,500 or less a month in the city and then if you want to be out on the beach, even less than that,” she added.
McKenzie Stratigopoulos is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @mckenziestrat