I slagged on International Living recently because of its hype and its eager promotion of dubious products, but it often does have some useful information if you can get past the promos. Here is a chart that outlines the best places to retire based on a number of variables.
Read across the top to find the ones that concern you, don’t just look at the aggregate best score. I find that some of the variables aren’t a concern to me, or aren’t equally ranked with the others, and some other variables aren’t included. I notice that language isn’t included, and that is very important to me, for example.
If it weren’t for health care, climate and language (not in their variables) I would strongly favor Cambodia.
Mexico measures high on most everything, but the financial requirements are relatively high (I’ve covered this elsewhere, but as an example, you can retire in most of the other countries on a pension of $1200 US or less, and it is over $1500 and some measurable assets for Mexico).
Ecuador looks good for most everything, and my only serious hesitations are political stability and the fact that the currency is the US dollar. Ecuador continues to be a strong contender.
Air fares and travel costs are also not on the graph.The countries in Asia may be better choices for Australians due to their close proximity. On the other hand, North Americans will find Latin America close and convenient, and cheap for return travel. For example, you can fly from Medellin to Miami return for less that $350 US. A return flight from most any place in Asia is $1200 on a good day. On a pension that is a huge difference.
The above chart is a great starting point for checking out the options. Please send me any question you have on the topic and I’ll be glad to research it for you.