Portugal is the place to retire but what other countries make the top 10 list? | Personal Finance | Finance

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Every year pensioners make the decision to retire outside of the UK but it’s important to do the research first. The Annual Global Retirement Index list of the best locations to retire has revealed the top 10 countries to live in, taking into consideration things like healthcare, housing and how far someone’s pension will stretch.

When it comes to the best countries to live in, Portugal topped the 2023 list due to its low crime rate, affordable housing and medical facilities.

Many people agree – some 42,071 Britons became Portuguese residents in 2021 – according to Portugal’s Foreigners and Borders Service.

Terry Coles, a writer for International Living who conducted the survey said: “Despite its compact size, the country offers something for everyone.

“From vibrant cities like Lisbon and Porto with buzzing nightlife, culture, history, and culinary delights.”

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Coming in at second place is Mexico where people can obtain a permanent residency visa with a minimum income or pension of about $4,400 (£3,885) per month or an average bank balance of about $180,000 (£149,680.80) over the past year. 

Mexico resident and writer. Wendy Justice, said: “I’m currently living in Santiago de Querétaro, a city in the heart of the central highlands. Wherever you live in Mexico, you’re likely to find an expat community.

“There will be plenty of opportunities for get-togethers and socializing. Organized activities may include anything from trivia nights and book clubs to hiking groups and ballroom dancing classes. Additionally, most cities and towns organize free concerts, street theatre, and other community events… and there’s always a fiesta happening somewhere.

“It’s possible for a single person to live simply, but comfortably, for around $800 per month (£666.18), while a couple choosing a luxurious lifestyle could easily spend $8,000 (£6,641.15) per month.”

In third place is Panama which is “one of the sunniest places on the planet” according to writer Jessica Ramesch who moved there.

She said: “I started most mornings with a walk along the Bay of Panama. The palm trees swaying in the wind and the sunrise over the ocean…it was a beautiful way to kick off the day. 

“Panama’s Pensionado visa makes it easy to move here if you have a pension of at least $1,000 [around £828] a month. If you don’t have a pension, but you plan to buy a home here, you can qualify for the Friendly Nations visa with purchase of $200,000 [£166,350]- with or without financing.

“If you just want to test the waters, stay for up to 18 months via the new temporary telework visa.”

Before moving abroad it’s a good idea to check the state pension situation – one pensioner told Express.co.uk he’s worked out he’s lost £13,914 in state pension after moving to Thailand.

The man, who is 69-years-old, worked in the UK Civil Service for over 42 years but now lives in Thailand and receives just £128 state pension a week. 

He said: “It seems grossly unfair that we receive less simply because of where we live. It seems particularly unfair if, like me, you pay UK income tax on all your income.”

Britons who move to Mexico or Panama would not usually receive an annual increase to their state pension, however, those who move to Portugal would receive the same as pensioners in the UK.

The top 10 countries to live according to the Global Retirement Index are: 

Costa Rica

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