Top-Rated Places To Retire in 2024 According to the Annual Global Retirement Index

February 27, 2024

In 2021, Debbie Crowley discovered the cost benefits of retiring in Tamarindo. For example, an MRI scan cost her a mere $187, as opposed to the United States national average of $926.56.

As retirement savings need to stretch further, the International Living Annual Global Retirement Index becomes crucial. Every year, the Index reveals destinations that offer affordability alongside quality of life. In 2024, it highlights countries that provide financial ease, excellent healthcare, and diverse experiences, proving ideal for retirees seeking to optimize their golden years.

Costa Rica

This Central American paradise isn’t just about natural beauty. It’s also known for its stable democracy and peaceful history, a rarity in the region. To be eligible for the Pensionado Visa, an individual must prove a permanent monthly pension income of at least $1,000. Retirees can enjoy a healthy lifestyle thanks to the country’s focus on organic farming and locally sourced foods. The “Pura Vida” lifestyle is a way of life that promotes happiness, health, and harmony.


Beyond Lisbon’s charm, Portugal’s Algarve region is a hidden gem for retirees. Its Mediterranean climate, beautiful beaches, and golf courses make it a haven for those seeking an active outdoor lifestyle. The income requirement for the D7 visa in Portugal, or the Retirement Visa, aligns with the country’s minimum wage.

In 2024, this is set at 820 euros monthly, translating to an annual income of at least 9,840 euros for applicants, which can be from passive sources such as pensions or rental income. Additionally, Portugal offers a high standard of healthcare and a low cost of living, making it an economically sensible choice for retirees.


In Mexico, retirees can enjoy a rich cultural mix. From the gastronomic pleasures of Oaxaca to the colonial charm of San Miguel de Allende, each region offers a unique experience. To qualify for the Mexican Permanent Resident Card, a popular choice for retirees in Mexico, one must be retired, have enough financial resources for a comfortable lifestyle in Mexico, and not engage in paid activities.

Applicants provide six months of bank statements showing a monthly income of around $2,000 to $3,000. The country is also home to a large expat community that provides a sense of familiarity and community for retirees from abroad.


Panama’s Pensionado program is one of the most retiree-friendly in the world, offering discounts on everything from medical services and utility bills to hotels and entertainment, such as movies and cultural events. The visa program provides permanent residency to foreign individuals who choose to relocate to Panama and can demonstrate a consistent monthly income of at least $1,000.

The country’s biodiversity is another draw, with opportunities for bird watching, hiking, and exploring rainforests and beaches.


Spain is as much about lazy beach days as it is rich in arts and history. Cities like Seville and Granada offer a glimpse into Spain’s Moorish past, while the northern regions such as the Basque Country and Galicia provide a different cultural experience altogether. For the Spanish Non-Lucrative Residence Visa, applicants must demonstrate a monthly financial sufficiency of approximately $2,330.


Ecuador is more than just affordable; it offers diverse climates and landscapes. From the Amazon rainforest to the colonial cities of Quito and Cuenca, there’s a setting for every preference. The country is also known for its Indigenous markets, offering a unique shopping and cultural experience.

To qualify for an Ecuadorian retirement visa, individuals must be at least 65 years old and have a minimum monthly income of $800. Ecuador is attractive for its low living costs, pleasant climate, and free public insurance. However, potential retirees should be aware of occasional power outages in the country.


Greece’s mainland, with sites like Athens and Thessaloniki, is rich in history and culture. Additionally, the Mediterranean diet is known for promoting longevity and good health. The country’s healthcare system is well-regarded, particularly on larger islands such as Crete and Rhodes.

However, smaller Greek islands can face isolation during adverse weather. There is no specific retirement visa for those considering retirement in Greece. Still, the Financially Independent Person Visa requires a minimum monthly income of 2,000 euros, increased by 20% for a spouse and 15% per child.


Malaysia’s appeal lies in its cultural diversity, which is evident in its cuisine, festivals, and architecture. The country is also home to some of the best healthcare facilities in Southeast Asia. That makes it an appealing choice for retirees concerned about health and wellness.

The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program facilitates non-Malaysians’ retirement and residence in Malaysia for an extended period. This program has recently changed into a three-tiered system, with the entry-level tier offering approximately five years of residency starting at around $105,600.


France’s appeal extends beyond Paris with its first-class museums and historic movie theaters. The countryside offers a serene and picturesque lifestyle, with regions like Provence and Bordeaux famous for their vineyards and relaxed pace of life. The French healthcare system is among the best in the world, providing peace of mind for retirees.

The Carte de Séjour Temporaire Visiteur is renewable and allows foreigners to stay in France for more than three months, up to one year. To be eligible, an individual must show a minimum monthly resource of approximately $1,500 annually.


Colombia’s transformation in recent years has made it a rising star for retirement. Cities like Medellin, known for its spring like climate year-round, and Cartagena, with its Caribbean charm, offer diverse urban experiences. The country’s healthcare system has also seen significant improvements, making it more attractive to retirees.

For Colombia’s retirement visa (M-11) in 2024, the income requirement is a monthly pension of at least three times the minimum salary, equating to approximately $1,000.

Each of these countries offers unique advantages for retirees, from the serene beaches of Costa Rica and Greece to the rich cultural experiences of Mexico and Spain. These destinations provide a lifestyle with cultural richness, natural beauty, and a sense of community, making them ideal choices for retirees in 2024.

Georgia Konidari | Wealth of Geeks

This article was produced by Media Decision and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.


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