Retirement experts International Living have issued a report ranking Spain as Europes top retirement choice. Each year the Annual Global Retirement Index ranks countries on their suitability for retirees. Ratings are based on the cost of living, infrastructure, healthcare, ease of integration, real estate, climate and other special consideration.This year Spain ranked fifth overall globally, with only Costa Rica, Malaysia, Ecuador and Panama scoring higher.
The International Living magazine is focused on a US audience, and countries geographically closer to the States were scored a little higher than farther flung destinations. Taking that into consideration, Spain’s performance in the report is even more impressive. International Living were particularly impressed by Spain’s mixture of beaches, mountains, vibrant cities, rich history, golf and excellent climate. Spain scored an impressive 91 out of 100 for its property market, and the experts were particularly impressed with the range of properties available for sale that are both high in quality and pleasantly affordable. Spain achieved top marks in entertainment and amenities (scoring 96 out of 100). Retirement infrastructure scored 93 out of 100 and healthcare 91 out of 100. For British retirees, the free healthcare benefits, supportive pension agreement and ease of access back to the UK are obviously major plus points. The report also commended the Country’s laidback lifestyle as being in line with the kind of new life that most retirees see for themselves. Leisurely lunches of delicious and healthy food, afternoon siestas, the wine and the generally slower pace of life were all factors.The report noted that although slightly more expensive in every day terms when compared to countries such as Costa Rica and Panama, Spain is among the most affordable locations in Europe.
The cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Málaga were recommended, but the report reserved particular praise for the Costa del Sol, noting that the presence of “thousands of English-speaking expats” in the region made it extremely easy for retirees to assimilate to life there.