The Lagos Coast in Algarve, Portugal, which ranked at the top of the list of Best Places to Retire // (c) 2012 plcmasta / Flickr.com
The Lagos Coast in Algarve, Portugal, which ranked at the top of the list of Best Places to Retire // (c) 2012 plcmasta / Flickr.com

After spending much of their lives chasing the American dream, workers are starting to eyeball foreign lands when it comes to their defining their retirement plans. So what are the best places to retire? Algarve, Portugal is the world’s top retirement destination for 2014, according the Annual Global Retirement Index. At the recent Retire Overseas Conference in Nashville, Tenn. more than 400 people heard about the list’s leading destinations and details for international relocation.

Algarve was new to No. 1 spot on the list and the designation can be in part attributed to the fact that Portugal passed legislation allowing retired expats to be free of income tax in 2012. Add to that great weather and 42 golf courses in the region and that a retired couple could live comfortable on $1,500 per month in Portugal.

The Lagos Coast in Algarve, Portugal, which ranked at the top of the list of Best Places to Retire // (c) 2012 plcmasta / Flickr.com
The Lagos Coast in Algarve, Portugal, which ranked at the top of the list of Best Places to Retire // (c) 2012 plcmasta / Flickr.com

In 2013 Portugal placed No. 11 on the Retirement Index. Portugal took over the top spot from Ecuador, a country that has received the highest ranking for many years. Cuenca, Ecuador garnered the No. 2 spot followed by George Town, Malaysia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Dumaguete, Philippines; Pau, France and Medellin, Colombia.

“There’s no one best place to retire overseas; no one place is right for everyone,’’ said Kathleen Peddicord, organizer of the conference and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas. “That’s why we rate the top destination around the world, each for its own reasons.’’

Contributing factors to the rating: climate, cost of living, entertainment, environmental conditions, health care, infrastructure, real estate, residency options, existing expat community, safety, taxes and English spoken.

Nine other countries from the Americas placed on the index: Ambergris Caye, Belize; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cayo, Belize; City Beaches, Panama; Granada, Nicaragua; La Serena, Chile; Medoza, Argentina; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Samana, Dominican Republic.

Two destinations from Asia made the list Istanbul, Turkey and Nha Trang, Vietnam. And three in Europe: Abruzzo, Italy; Barcelona, Spain and Istria, Croatia.

The Retire Overseas Index is published by Live and Invest Overseas. The company is an overseas investment, real estate and retirement resource.

Interested in retiring overseas? Read about several international destinations actively seeking American retirees.

Live and Invest Overseas
www.liveandinvestoverseas.com

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Carol promoted Los Angeles as a vacation destination for 18 years while working for Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Additionally, she did public relations for Australia and Guam as visitor destinations while working at Aviso Public Relations. Prior to entering the public relations field, Carol was a travel journalist. She received numerous Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers while she was Travel Editor of the Los Angeles Daily News. Also, she served as Managing Editor of The Black Convention, a magazine showcasing the meetings and convention industry. Her articles also appeared in Family Circle, La Opinion and Vacations Magazine. Her favorite international destination: Tahiti because it is beautiful and the country hasn’t (for the most part) altered customs and traditions to accommodate visitors. Her current travel goal: visit all 50 states. Most recent addition: Alabama. It is very close to her new home: Spring Hill,