There are two types of people who move abroad; there are those who primarily move abroad for their career, in order to take up a new role or search for fresh opportunities. And then there are those who move abroad to enjoy life a little more. Whether they continue to work, or are retired, their chosen destination is an essential part of the decision-making process.
So while someone in the first group might happily move to the tax-free UAE, in contrast the latter group are more likely to find welcoming Australian beaches or rustic Mediterranean villages more appealing. Culture, quality of life and climate are all vital parts of the recipe. But which countries really have the best climates for expats?
Thankfully we now have the answers in the form of the recent 2015 Annual Global Retirement Index, where dozens of expert globe trotters and expats have been asked for their feelings on a wide variety of destinations. Hard data in the form of sunshine hours, annual rainfall and average temperature was also incorporated into the final calculations.
Now that the numbers have been crunched, we can finally examine the leader board to see which countries really have the best climates for expats.
In first place, both in terms of its climate but also in the overall ranking of “best places to retire”, comes Ecuador. Known as the Land of Eternal Spring, Ecuador was lucky enough to receive the very highest score possible in the poll. Its location – directly on the equator – makes for a warm environment year-round.
Many other equatorial countries struggle with the heat, thanks to the sun’s rays being particularly strong here. However Ecuador is also lucky enough to be very mountainous, with much of the country existing at high altitudes. This helps to take the edge off the searing heat, instead ensuring that Ecuador has a pleasant year-round temperature which is liveable in every season. In essence, it is unusual to need either heating or air conditioning in Ecuador, as the climate seems to perfectly match what we humans need.
Ranked second in the poll is Columbia, which is hardly surprising when the country borders Ecuador. Still very pleasant overall, the reason why Columbia ranks behind Ecuador is simply its lower altitudes, which makes for a generally warmer climate. Generally the country remains very popular with expats though a few do find the need for air conditioning in the warmest areas.
In the third position is Mexico, though here you’ll need to be a little more selective with your chosen destination. The Pacific coast can be blisteringly hot in the summer, though these extremes are tempered at elevation. Expats report that the central highlands offer a warm yet dry environment, perfect for those who want to spend the majority of their time outside.