A growing number of people are leaving their comfort zone to retire in far-flung places. They are looking for a lower cost of living and new experiences in their golden years. Different indexes rate the best place to retire around the world, based on things like climate, cost of living, entertainment options and access to healthcare. The results are often surprising.

Some people think of Mexico when they hear the word “best place to retire.” They envision white sand beaches, jungle breezes and icy margaritas. But if you are willing to do a little digging, there are a lot of great places in Mexico that offer affordable housing, a familiar culture and lots of adventure.

One of the top spots for retirees in Latin America is Playa del Carmen, which is a beautiful beach town with plenty to do and affordable costs. It also has a well-established expat community and easy access to the US. Ajijic at Lake Chapala is another popular retirement destination. This city is known for its festivals, mild climate and mountain views. It also has a large and friendly expat population. San Miguel de Allende is a colonial city with a temperate climate and cultural bona fides.

Ecuador is a tropical paradise with plenty of activities for adventurous retirees. The country is home to a vibrant ex-pat community and offers a low cost of living and excellent healthcare. Located on the equator, Ecuador has both a warm tropical climate on the coast and cooler temperatures in the mountains. Ecuador uses the dollar, making it a good choice for US retirees. The capital city of Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the city of Cuenca offers a historic and cultural experience.

Thailand is known for its food, gorgeous beaches and exciting cities. It is a safe and comfortable place to live, offering top-notch healthcare and affordable housing. It also has a rich culture and is welcoming to retirees of all ages.

France, which has a rich history and an amazing climate, is another attractive destination for retirees. English is widely spoken here, and the national healthcare program covers most medical needs. Plus, it is a part of the Schengen zone, which makes travel to other European countries simple and inexpensive.

Mauritius is an island getaway that has a tropical climate and beautiful beaches. It has a growing expat community and is friendly to Americans. Its universal healthcare system covers most medical needs, but private insurance can help keep out-of-pocket costs down.

Portugal may not be as exotic as some of the other countries on this list, but it has a thriving ex-pat community and affordable costs. It is also a safe and stable country with great healthcare and a booming economy. The only drawback to retiring in Portugal is that it can be challenging to get residency. Best place to retire in the world

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