Living Outside U.S. Could be Answer to Affording Retirement

January 3, 2012 ( – New research indicates Americans could retire up to 10 years early and with a higher standard of living if they did so outside of the U.S.

“Many Americans are wondering when, if ever, they will be able to afford to retire,” said International Living magazine editor, Eoin Bassett. “What they often don’t realize is the low cost of living in countries like Ecuador can open up the door to an early retirement—and a standard of living way beyond what they could afford back home.”

According to’s Retirement Index 2012, Ecuador is the top place to retire due to the low cost of living. In putting together the Index,’s editors collated data from its own team of experts on the ground in the most popular countries among U.S. expat retirees. Index factors ranged from the price of bread and average humidity to utility costs and the friendliness of locals. The information was then used to score each of the top countries out of 100 in categories such as “Real Estate,” “Climate” and “Healthcare.” Ecuador scored well over a number of categories, most notably under “Cost of Living.” researchers found American retirees living comfortably on extremely low budgets which covered clean, comfortable rental properties; all bills; the cost of running a car and maid services.

Panama, with its pensionado incentive program for retirees, came in second place in the 2012 Retirement Index while Mexico rounded out the top three.

Full details of the Retirement Index 2012 can be viewed at “The World’s Top Retirement Havens in 2012.”