Country Comparison – Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica:
Since we decided to add another country to our list of countries we’re exploring for early retirement, we thought we better update our overall country comparison for the places we’ve researched thus far. You may recall that a while ago, we created a scoring system for countries that we are considering, see Retirement Country Scoring System. The idea is to make sure we judge them all equally. We applied that scoring system to each country and came up with a table that shows them side by side.
Below is the table summarizing the three countries we’ve been heavily researching up until now: Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama.
As you can see from the scores in the table, Panama is currently in our top spot followed by Mexico and Costa Rica. Although all the scores are very close, Panama leads the way in healthcare (see Healthcare Panama Good or Bad? post) and friendliness toward expats (see Are Panamanian people friendly?) , as well as climate – truly there is no better weather than in Boquete – we love it! And Panama gets no hurricanes!
The table above also shows that Mexico and Panama (see our Cost of Living Comparison post) lead the way in low cost of living; Costa Rica (see Cost of Living Costa Rica) however, is far behind. This is an important consideration for us.
You may also notice that we’ve not scored religion and culture in this country comparison yet – that is still coming.
Please note that Ecuador and now Puerto Rico are still on our list. We will be visiting Puerto Rico next month and hope to have another column added to the above table with scores shortly after.
We’re excited to be evaluating and learning more about Puerto Rico soon and then Ecuador hopefully in the fall.
You may also like our post on Different Types of Expats in Latin America and Why They Return Home.