International Living cites entertainment and amenities, affordability as key reasons
Bangkok – 10 January, 2013: International Living, the self-proclaimed number one resource for helping people find the best places to retire around the world, has recently released their annual list of top retirement havens. Thailand, long a mainstay on surveys detailing possible locations for spending one’s golden years, placed 9th for 2013.
This year’s list focuses on the 22 best retirement destinations based on eight categories including climate, affordability, and ease of integration, as well as real estate, special retirement benefits, entertainment, health care and retirement infrastructure. Editors at InternationalLiving.com analyzed the feedback they received from correspondents in the places most popular with American and Canadian retirees.
Topping the list for the fifth straight year was Ecuador, highly regarded not only for its wonderful weather and remarkably inexpensive cost of living, but for the ease with which expats can integrate into life there.
Thailand, an immensely popular destination for tourists – as evidenced by the nearly 22 million who visited the country in 2012 – is also well regarded for its retirement opportunities. The Land of Smiles scored highly in two important categories: cost of living, where its 97/100 rating was second best on the list to the Philippines, and entertainment & amenities, where a score of 96 placed it in the top 5.
The index also points to the diversity of lifestyle options awaiting retirees in Thailand. Expats can choose between the bustling city life of the capital, Bangkok, and the white-sand beaches and clear blue waters in the south, or the slightly more temperate higher elevations in the north. The report also brought attention to the inexpensive accommodation costs, as condo rentals can be had almost anywhere for just $500 (USD) per month.
While earning high marks in many areas, the report did indicate that Thailand looks to improve on special benefits offered to retirees, such as discounts on goods & services or duty-free imports of home furnishing, and the English proficiency of the locals.
Rounding out the top 10 was Malta due to its very low crime rate, Mediterranean climate and large numbers of English speakers. Other EU members making the list include Spain, Ireland, France, Portugal and Italy. Thailand was one of only two Asian countries to make the top 10, along with Malaysia.