10. Vietnam

Vietnam has modern and progressive cities, ancient historic sites, uncrowded beaches, rugged mountains and welcoming people. It has one of the strongest economies in Asia, which is bringing high-quality health care, good roads and modern conveniences to a once-impoverished country. English is widely spoken. Even in the country’s most expensive cities — Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi — two people can live well for less than $1,500 per month.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

9. France

France has good food and wine, haute couture, a good climate, unspoiled countryside, glittering culture, colorful traditions and history — and the glamour and sophistication of Paris. France is also more affordable than one may think. A couple can live here for anywhere from $2,083 to $2,483 a month, including rent and health care.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

8. Spain

Spain offers Western European living standards and openly embraces alternative lifestyles. Same-sex marriages have been legal since 2005. Outside tourist zones, some knowledge of Spanish may be needed to get by, but many areas have English-speaking expat communities. A couple can live comfortably in many parts of the country for around $2,500 a month.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

7. Malaysia

Malaysia is a country of idyllic beaches, seductive islands and some of the most pristine ancient rainforests in Southeast Asia. With year-round good weather, the temperature averages 82 F. The unofficial first language of the country is English. Cost of living, including health care, is eminently affordable. In the populous northern state of Penang, a couple can live comfortably on $1,800 a month, including rent.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

6. Ecuador

Ecuador offers small village life, big-city convenience and everything in between. It also has some of the best weather on the planet. A couple can live here for anywhere from $1,650 to $1,825 a month, depending on location and lifestyle. The year-round growing seasons makes food cheap. Household help is available for $10 to $20 a day. And in most areas, there is no need for costly heating and cooling.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

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5. Colombia

Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, so one can choose to live in the hot and tropical Caribbean coastal cities, or in the more temperate climates of the mountains or surrounded by lush green mountain scenery of the “coffee triangle.” A couple can live here for anywhere from $1,030 to $2,720 a month.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

4. Mexico

Mexico has something for everyone: beautiful, warm oceans, crystal-clear tropical lakes, fertile farmlands, temperate-but-majestic mountains, starkly gorgeous deserts, small towns and sophisticated cities. The cost of living is low. A couple can live here for anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 a month, depending on location, including rent and health care.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

3. Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a stable democracy and a peace-loving culture, attracts visitors with its tropical climate, low cost of living, top-notch, affordable medical care, bargain real estate and natural beauty. It is known for its safety, neutrality and good banking system. The current government is progressive, and LGBT rights are respected. A couple can live in Costa Rica comfortably for around $2,000 a month.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

2. Panama

Panama is modern, convenient, welcoming and close to the U.S. Panama City is a destination for exciting food, beer, jazz, film, golf, tennis and much more. An ocean-view condo can cost as little as $1,500 a month. Outside the city, costs are even more affordable. Panama excels in the benefits and discounts it offers retirees, from medical expenses to entertainment.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

1. Portugal

Portugal is not only beautiful, but also secure. It was rated the third-safest country in the world in the 2019 Global Peace Index. Not only that, it is the second least expensive country in Europe, after Bulgaria. A couple can live a comfortable, although not extravagant, lifestyle for about $2,500 a month. This can rise to $3,000 in the country’s capital Lisbon, in Porto in the north or in expat beach havens of Cascais or the Algarve.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

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(Related: 11 Affordable Small Towns for Retirement Abroad)

Amid the pandemic and social and political tension, many retirees yearn to move abroad. International Living recently reported that it had seen a 1,600% increase in search volume around the term “move out of the U.S.” since May.

“The uncertainty surrounding the election, the pandemic and the economy seem to be driving people in greater numbers to seek alternatives for the future,” Jennifer StevensIL’s executive editor, explained.

International Living’s 2020 Annual Retirement Index ranks 10 countries as the best places for people to retire, using its network of editors, correspondents and contributors around the world to provide on-the-ground information and recommendations.

It then ranks and scores each of the 24 countries in the index across 10 categories: housing, benefits and discounts, visas and residence, cost of living, fitting and entertainment, health care, development, climate, governance and opportunity.

See the gallery for the best countries for retirees, according to International Living.

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