Which country is the ultimate retirement paradise? International Living’s annual Global Retirement Index has named a European country as the best place to retire – internationally.

International Living’s annual Global Retirement Index was created to make it easier for future retirees to face an important choice: where to retire? A place where you lead a healthier and happier life, spend a lot less money and get a lot more for your money.

The index rates each country according to several criteria: housing (the value of real estate and the ease with which it is possible to buy or rent the house of your dreams abroad), visas/benefits (the ease with which permanent residency and whether there are special residency options for retirees), cost of living, affinity rating (comments from those who have visited the country before), development/governance ( respect for individual freedom, stable environment), climate and health.

Despite its small size, the country offers something for everyone. Vibrant cities like Lisbon and Porto with vibrant nightlife, rich culture, fascinating history and delicious cuisine. Coastal havens along the Atlantic Ocean where camel-colored sand meets turquoise water adorned with rock formations, caves and caves.

Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world, ranked 6th by the Global Peace Index, so expats never have to worry about crime. Healthcare in Portugal is both affordable and excellent, ranked 12th by the World Health Organization.

The infrastructure is on par with that of the best developed countries, with drinking water on tap, reliable electricity and high-speed fiber optic internet making it easy to work from home and connect with the rest of the world.

With over 500,000 foreigners living in Portugal, it’s easy to fit in and it’s often impossible to tell expats from locals. Making friends is easy, especially in the most popular expat havens like Porto, the Silver Coast, Lisbon and the Algarve.

How much does it take to retire in Portugal? Typically, a couple can live comfortably on around $2,000 to $3,000 per month, depending on lifestyle and whether you own or rent accommodation. To settle in Lisbon, Porto or the Algarve, expect to pay a bit more, while inland regions cost less.

One final tip: An ideal retirement location for one person may be less than perfect for another, no matter what the clues say. This is why it is recommended to rent accommodation for a few months to test it and make sure it suits you before committing yourself definitively.