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Top places in the world to retire? Latin America dominates the list

In the main square of the colonial town of Guanajuato, Mexico, a film festival and quaint outdoor cafes draw plenty of visitors.
In the main square of the colonial town of Guanajuato, Mexico, a film festival and quaint outdoor cafes draw plenty of visitors. MCT

Want to make your retirement dollar stretch? Prefer to do it in an exotic setting? You're in luck. All you have to do is move south.

Of the top 10 global retirement destinations, as ranked by InternationalLiving.com, six are in Latin America, just a short plane ride from Miami. Mexico is the winner of the just released International Living 2017 Global Retirement Index, followed by Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia. The list is rounded off by Malaysia, Spain, Nicaragua, Portugal and Malta.

Mexico, according to the report, "has consistently ranked in the top 10 retirement destinations on the planet. And this year —for the fifth time —it takes the top spot once again."

Why? Affordability, friendly locals, great amenities, and a sizable expat community. In fact, expats report living well for as little as $1,200. You can't rent a studio in Miami for that price.

InternationalLiving.com has been ranking two dozen or so global retirement destinations for 26 years, grading them on cost of living, retiree benefits, climate, healthcare, and more. The goal is to identify "a safe, good-value haven beyond U.S. borders to compare, contrast, rank, and rate the destinations where retirees can enjoy a comfortable life." Each destination is ranked in 10 categories, including infrastructure and buying and renting property.

To gather information used to prepare the Annual Global Retirement Index, International Living taps into a network of editors, correspondents, contributors, and contacts around the world. The goal is to help retirees get "the best bang for their buck in terms of real estate, cost of living, and overall quality of life."

International Living bills itself as one of the leading authorities on global retirement or relocation opportunities, reaching tens of thousands through a monthly magazine, e-letters, website, events and podcasts.

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