Our Annual Retirement Index: How It’s Scored
• Real Estate. Countries where real estate prices are low and the purchase of real estate is relatively easy receive the highest scores. We use our own experiences, plus reports from our contributing editors and from real estate contacts around the world, to rate each country. Weight in Index: 15%
• Special Benefits. This category considers government provisions that make moving to and living in each country easier and more affordable for foreign retirees. Taken into account are discounts on health care, public transport, airfares, entertainment, utilities, whether you can import goods duty free, property rights for foreign residents, and property tax rates. Weight in Index: 20%
• Cost of Living. This score is based on statistics from the Indexes of Living Costs Abroad, Quarter Allowances, and Hardship Differentials, published by the U. S. Department of State. We also use our first-hand experiences living and traveling in these countries. The lower the score, the higher the cost of living. Weight: 20%
• Culture. To calculate this score, we look at literacy rates, education as a percentage of GDP, the number of UNESCO sites per square kilometer, and a subjective rating of the variety of cultural and recreational offerings. Weight in Index: 10%
• Health Care. Considered in this category are the cost of a typical visit to a general practitioner and the cost and coverage particulars of health insurance. Also considered are the number of people per doctor, the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people, the percentage of the population with access to safe water, the infant mortality rate, life expectancy, and public health expenditure as a percentage of a country’s GDP. Weight in Index: 20%
• Infrastructure. We look at the length of railways, paved highways, and navigable waterways in each country, and compare them to each country’s population and size. We also consider the number of airports, motor vehicles, telephones, Internet service providers, and cell phones per capita. Weight in Index: 5%
• Safety and Stability. This measure of unrest in each country is based primarily on Interpol data and U.S. State Department statistics. It also takes into account the civil liberties and political rights granted by each government. Our own experiences and reports from expatriates living in these countries also influence the safety scores. Weight in Index: 5%
• Climate. Countries with temperate weather throughout the year, moderate rain fall, and little risk of natural disaster come out on top in this category. We use data representing each country as a whole instead of favoring one region over another. Weight in Index: 5%
The Retirement Index 2011
|Country||Real Estate||Special Benefits||Cost of Living||Culture||Health||Infra.||
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