More and more people are viewing retirement as the start of a new chapter of their lives rather than the beginning of the end. That leads more adventurous types to head off to live in a foreign land.

While the U.S. government does not track the number of Americans living abroad, there are hints that numbers are growing. For instance, International Living magazine’s subscriber list doubled to about 80,000 in the years after the Great Recession started. The Migration Policy Institute says estimates of the number of expats of all kinds range wildly from 2.4 million to 6.8 million.

The reasons for choosing a foreign locale can vary from a thirst for adventure to making a fixed income stretch further.

Each year, we turn to International Living’s Global Retirement Index to see which countries top their list.

(For last year’s rankings, check out 15 Best Foreign Countries for Retirement: 2015.)

The magazine uses several categories to determine its rankings. They’ve added two metrics this year – visa & residence and healthy lifestyle – to the eight of the past. Correspondents in 25 countries rated the locations.

International Living says it considered safety when deciding which countries to recommend, but that anyone deciding to move to a foreign country should apply common sense when deciding where to live.

For the record, the country at the bottom of this year’s list is Vietnam, where it was last year, with a rating of 68.5.

 

Inca trail in Cuzco, Peru. (Photo: AP)

15. Peru: 79.4

• Real Estate: 87

• Benefits & Discounts: 57

• Visa & Residence: 75

• Cost of Living: 95

• Fitting In: 85

• Entertainment & Amenities: 74

• Health Care: 84

• Healthy Lifestyle: 72

• Retirement Infrastructure: 80

• Climate: 85 

Caye Caulker, Belize. (Photo: AP)

14. Belize: 79.6

• Real Estate: 74

• Benefits & Discounts: 83

• Visa & Residence: 80

• Cost of Living: 78

• Fitting In: 98

• Entertainment & Amenities: 70

• Health Care: 83

• Healthy Lifestyle: 85

• Retirement Infrastructure: 67

• Climate: 78

Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Photo: AP)

13. France: 80.0

• Real Estate: 63

• Benefits & Discounts: 75

• Visa & Residence: 77

• Cost of Living: 87

• Fitting In: 88

• Entertainment & Amenities: 96

• Health Care: 88

• Healthy Lifestyle: 80

• Retirement Infrastructure: 93

• Climate: 83

West Bay Beach in Honduras. (Photo: AP)

12. Honduras (Roátan): 81.3

• Real Estate: 77

• Benefits & Discounts: 72

• Visa & Residence: 87

• Cost of Living: 78

• Fitting In: 100

• Entertainment & Amenities: 79

• Health Care: 79

• Healthy Lifestyle: 75

• Retirement Infrastructure: 87

• Climate: 82

La Valletta, Capital City of Malta.

11. Malta: 82.8

• Real Estate: 80

• Benefits & Discounts: 75

• Visa & Residence: 78

• Cost of Living: 83

• Fitting In: 94

• Entertainment & Amenities: 82

• Health Care: 83

• Healthy Lifestyle: 75

• Retirement Infrastructure: 93

• Climate: 85

Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal. (Photo: AP)

10. Portugal: 82.9

• Real Estate: 82

• Benefits & Discounts: 75

• Visa & Residence: 77

• Cost of Living: 85

• Fitting In: 81

• Entertainment & Amenities: 81

• Health Care: 81

• Healthy Lifestyle: 88

• Retirement Infrastructure: 93

• Climate: 88

The Royal Palace in Madrid. (Photo: AP)

9. Spain: 83.6

• Real Estate: 82

• Benefits & Discounts: 69

• Visa & Residence: 77

• Cost of Living: 82

• Fitting In: 81

• Entertainment & Amenities: 90

• Health Care: 86

• Healthy Lifestyle: 88

• Retirement Infrastructure: 93

• Climate: 88

Granada Square, Nicaragua.

8. Nicaragua: 84.2

• Real Estate: 96

• Benefits & Discounts: 72

• Visa & Residence: 77

• Cost of Living: 98

• Fitting In: 88

• Entertainment & Amenities: 84

• Health Care: 80

• Healthy Lifestyle: 97

• Retirement Infrastructure: 70

• Climate: 80

Wat Muang Temple, Angthong, Thailand.

7. Thailand: 84.8

• Real Estate: 90

• Benefits & Discounts: 72

• Visa & Residence: 70

• Cost of Living: 90

• Fitting In: 90

• Entertainment & Amenities: 96

• Health Care: 88

• Healthy Lifestyle: 80

• Retirement Infrastructure: 89

• Climate: 83

Downtown Bogotá, Colombia. (Photo: AP)

6. Colombia: 87.7

• Real Estate: 88

• Benefits & Discounts: 65

• Visa & Residence: 80

• Cost of Living: 92

• Fitting In: 89

• Entertainment & Amenities: 94

• Health Care: 94

• Healthy Lifestyle: 95

• Retirement Infrastructure: 90

• Climate: 90

Wat Chayamangkalaram temple in George Town, Penang, Malaysia.

5. Malaysia: 87.8

• Real Estate: 94

• Benefits & Discounts: 67

• Visa & Residence: 87

• Cost of Living: 90

• Fitting In: 95

• Entertainment & Amenities: 100

• Health Care: 94

• Healthy Lifestyle: 90

• Retirement Infrastructure: 87

• Climate: 74

Jaco, Costa Rica.

4. Costa Rica: 88.4

• Real Estate: 81

• Benefits & Discounts: 79

• Visa & Residence: 87

• Cost of Living: 90

• Fitting In: 97

• Entertainment & Amenities: 96

• Health: 94

• Healthy Lifestyle: 98

• Retirement Infrastructure: 95

• Climate: 76

Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico. (Photo: AP)

3. Mexico: 89.3

• Real Estate: 89

• Benefits & Discounts: 88

• Visa & Residence: 90

• Cost of Living: 88

• Fitting In: 91

• Entertainment & Amenities: 96

• Health Care: 87

• Healthy Lifestyle: 86

• Retirement Infrastructure: 90

• Climate: 89 

Plasa of Independence in Ecuador.

2. Ecuador: 92.4

• Real Estate: 100

• Benefits & Discounts: 99

• Visa & Residence: 83

• Cost of Living: 90

• Fitting In: 92

• Entertainment & Amenities: 95

• Health Care: 85

• Healthy Lifestyle: 95

• Retirement Infrastructure: 85

• Climate: 100

Casco Viejo, Panama.

1. Panama: 93.5

• Real Estate: 86

• Benefits & Discounts: 100

• Visa & Residence: 100

• Cost of Living: 89

• Fitting In: 97

• Entertainment & Amenities: 100

• Health Care: 89

• Healthy Lifestyle: 95

• Retirement Infrastructure: 90

• Climate: 89

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