In 2022, slightly more than 443,000 retired Americans received benefits while living abroad, according to the Social Security Administration.
That number is more than double the number of retirees who received benefits abroad in 1999, according to USA Today. Moving to Spain, a company dedicated to assisting Americans emigrate, has compiled a list of the best European countries for retirement as more Americans choose to retire overseas.
The organization examined a number of variables, including population, life expectancy data from the World Bank, cost of living in each country, difficulty in obtaining a visa, access to health care, number of beaches, hours of sunshine per year and position on the Global Peace Index. Then each country was assigned a score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest. In the end, Portugal triumphed.
Portugal received a winning score of 7.83 from Moving to Spain, citing in its conclusions that “Portugal is a safe country, with a high percentage of its population aged 65 and above. It offers plenty of sunshine, good-quality beaches, as well as a reasonably low cost of living. One of the many things Portugal is famous for is its wine and port. Add spectacular golf courses and wonderful scenery, and it is the complete package.”
The country’s 500-plus miles of coastline offer more than beautiful beaches, but “good quality” doesn’t quite do them justice. Visitors can enjoy Portugal’s calm waters in the Algarve and gin-clear waters in Arrábida, and even see 100-foot waves in Nazare.
Spain, which boasts high life expectancy and excellent health care, ranked second on the list of other European countries where retirees should consider moving, with a score of 7.31.
The first five places were occupied by Italy, Greece and Bulgaria, while France, Slovenia, Croatia, Malta (which had the most sunny days) and Ireland closed out the top ten. Dream of spending your retirement abroad by checking out Moving to Spain’s full breakdown here.