The Gray Divorce Podcast: Episode 43 Living Abroad After Gray Divorce, Part 2 with Jennifer Stevens, Editor of International Living

Andrew Hatherley |

In Episode 43 of The Gray Divorce Podcast, Andrew concludes a 2-part discussion with Jennifer Stevens, the editor of International Living magazine. Jennifer draws from over 25 years of experience as a writer and editor at International Living to help people live better, more interesting, more international lives without spending a fortune. 

Andrew and Jennifer discuss the results of International Living’s 2024 Global Retirement Index. The index surveys the best countries in the world to retire based on seven specific criteria. 

The 7 Key Criteria used in selecting the best countries to retire to: 

  • Housing 
  • Cost of Living 
  • Visa/Benefits 
  • Affinity Rating 
  • Climate 
  • Development 
  • Healthcare 

The Top Three Countries on the Index 

#1 Costa Rica 

Costa Rica, located in Central America, is a beautiful country with long stretches of undeveloped beaches, dense jungles with exotic wildlife, lush green valleys, and crystal clear lakes and rivers. Costa Rica offers a great climate year-round, English is widely spoken, it has no-hassle residence programs, and is renowned for its safety and stability. Importantly, Costa Rica ranks second as one of the countries with the best health care for ex-pats 

#2 Portugal 

Portugal was the leader of the 2023 index but a slight increase in the cost of housing and some changes in their long-term visa program saw Portugal slip to number two. It remains an extremely popular destination for Americans to live. The Global Retirement Index refers to Portugal’s “European style opulence on a Central American budget”. And it ranks #1 for best health care for expats. 

#3 Mexico

Mexico offers lots of advantages, but the most obvious is that it's in North America and shares a long border with the United States. It's the only country in the index that you can drive to. English is widely spoken in expat centers and vacation destinations and U.S. products, sports, and movies are popular and widely available. Mexico ranks as the 5th cheapest place in the world to live on the International Living Index. 


For more info about the Global Retirement Index: