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Costa Rica has been named the best place to retire in 2018 by — picturist/ pic via AFPCosta Rica has been named the best place to retire in 2018 by — picturist/ pic via AFPLONDON, Jan 4 — Considering criteria such as cost of living, healthcare and climate, Costa Rica has been named as the ideal destination to retire in for 2018, according to a new Retirement Index from

The annual Retirement Index compiles the top 24 retirement havens worldwide, based on key criteria for a happy and successful retirement.

No less than 12 factors are taken into account when assessing potential destinations, such as cost of living, political life, retirement benefits, climate and healthcare, all based on a couple of retirees living with at least US$1,500 (RM6,039) per month.

This year sees Costa Rica jump from fourth place to top of the list. The Central American country nestled between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean is a safe destination both at day and night thanks to low levels of crime.

Moreover, Costa Rica is focused on environmental preservation, with 25 per cent of the country's territory protected. The economy is also seeing constant growth, reports

Portugal is Europe's top retirement haven, followed by Spain, while Malaysia ranks highest for Asian destinations.

The top 10 best places to retire in 2018:

1. Costa Rica

2. Mexico

3. Panama

4. Ecuador

5. Malaysia

6. Colombia

7. Portugal

8. Nicaragua

9. Spain

10. Peru — AFP-Relaxnews