Sometimes we just know where we’re going to end up, once we retire –  it could be the people, the culture, the scenery or the peace and quiet that decide us. At other times, we need a little help choosing.

So, if you’re wondering where you should end up, here are a few destinations which might be worth looking at, based on various indices that rate health care, quality of life, safety, comfort and affordability.

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Australia has great weather, a growing economy and plenty of outdoor activities which retirees can enjoy. It ranked fifth on the Natixis Global Retirement Index – which takes health, finances and quality of life into account to determine the best countries to retire in the world – making it the highest-ranked non-European country.


Cyprus is already a popular retirement destination among the British community. With good weather, scenic beaches and an expat community, it could be the ideal option.


The Annual Retiree Overseas Index by Live and Invest Overseas ranked Cuenca in Ecuador as the second best city to retire in the world. With cheap real estate, a low cost of living and a large expat community, it’s a sought-after destination for many retirees.


Germany ranked seventh on the Natixis Global Retirement Index of countries. It’s an attractive option because of its stable economy, good healthcare system and high quality of life.


George Town is a popular choice to retire in Malaysia. It has an expat community, is affordable, and retirees can easily blend in with the community as many locals speak English. George Town is also ranked third city on the Retiree Overseas Index.

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Dumaguete in the Philippines is ranked fifth on the Retiree Overseas Index. The locals are friendly, most people speak English and the cost of living is pretty low.


Algarve was ranked the top city to retire on the Retiree Overseas Index. With pretty beaches, good weather and a large expat community, retirees can enjoy spending days walking through fishing villages and visiting outdoor markets.


Chiang Mai in Thailand has good healthcare and a large expat community. It is ranked fourth on the Retiree Overseas Index of cities.


If you’re looking for a mix between Europe and Asia, Istanbul would be an ideal choice. The city has plenty of historic sites along with coffee shops and cozy cafes. It also ranked 10th on the Retiree Overseas Index.

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Ranked No.1 on the Natixis Global Retirement Index of countries, Switzerland has much to offer as a retirement destination. With good healthcare and a high quality of life, the scenic destination also has plenty of outdoor activities. Retirees can enjoy skiing in the winter and golf or hiking in the summer.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Even though the UAE doesn’t appear on any of the top 20 rankings, it’s still worth considering. It’s known to be safe, with lots of activities such as shopping, entertainment and leisure, as well as sunshine most of the year. Expats can also purchase property in the UAE, allowing them residency without a work permit. [Related: What are the residency visa rules if I buy UAE property?]

United States of America (USA)

Ranked 19th on the Natixis Global Retirement Index, the USA has a good healthcare system and a high quality of life. Florida, in particular, has proven a popular option for retirees.