What is the world's best country for retirees?

RetirementHomes.com has previously reported on the top retirement destinations in the United States, but now a new report from International Living has scored international retirement spots on a variety of criteria, including affordability of housing, healthcare availability, and the local climate.

The most affordable retirement destinations around the world include the Philippines, Thailand, Ecuador, and Malaysia. The most expensive retirement spots include New Zealand, Ireland, and France.

The retirement destinations with the highest availability of healthcare include France, Uruguay and Malaysia, while the countries which scored poorer include New Zealand and Italy.

In terms of real estate affordability specifically, Central America offers many options, including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, but the more expensive locations include France, Italy, and Portugal.

The top-ranked country in the world by International Living is the Central American nation of Ecuador, which scored highly in climate, real estate prices, overall affordability, as well as availability of healthcare options.

Ecuador, sandwiched between Peru and Colombia, has a population of around 15 million people, and a Pacific Ocean coastline more than 2,300 kilometers long. The capital, Quito, sits high atop the Andes mountains, has 2.2 million residents and is located in the northern interior of the country.