The Global Retirement Index examined 24 countries in 10 different categories, including cost of living, benefits offered to retirees, climate or health care.
Portugal was chosen as the world's best retirement destination in 2020 by International Living magazine and is a popular destination for expats wishing to retire abroad. Portugal is featuring once again in the rankings as a great place to retire, this time because the same publication has included the city of Braga in a shortlist of 5 smaller and less well known cities in the world which are perfect for pensioners. The "75 Best Towns and Cities For Retirement - by region" highlights the places where it is possible to live better, with less. Places that offer "a culturally rich lifestyle, excellent infrastructure and first class restaurants and entertainment," says the magazine.
"Like so many cities in Portugal, Braga's history was influenced by the Roman occupation, and the city's architecture and landscape vividly recall those ancient days," explains International Living, highlighting the many "churches, chapels and convents" but also the University of Minho, which adds "diversity to the population, with Erasmus students coming from all over Europe. This youthful influence gives impetus to a city that would otherwise be very traditional," the publication states.
The magazine also highlights the city's moderate climate, which allows those living there "to do whatever they want, inside and outside the home, practically all year round".
"When it comes to a comfortable and affordable retirement, smaller cities can be a good option - when they offer the vitality of a cosmopolitan lifestyle, but without the crowds or the high costs of living in a big city," says Jennifer Stevens, executive editor of International Living, quoted in a statement.
"From our complete list of 75 towns and cities that deserve attention - all in countries that are part of our Global Retirement Index - we highlight 5 small cities where there is already an expat community, where they have access to reliable and affordable medical care, places where the climate is comfortable and the lifestyle offers attractive entertainment - from beaches to great art offerings. And at the end of the day, the cost of living is low, while the quality of life is high," she adds.
Along with the Portuguese city of Braga, the magazine also highlights Toulouse in France, Corozal in Belize, Loja in Ecuador and Dalat in Vietnam. These are all places where pensioners are said to live better, with less, and "enjoy a little adventure" or "enjoy luxuries like trips or dinners away", according to International Living.