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What are the best places where one could live and retire?

We have just received a report that in not too many words said that: France is the best place in the world, Italy is great for those who want to live close to the vines (as if France didn’t have vines and wines…), Ecuador is perfect for those who want to live abroad but have little money, the Dominican republic is great because it’s great, Panama has an excellent health care (among other things), some parts of Colombia are just wonderful and the climate is perfect 24 months a year, Belize is perfect for those who want to learn English, while Thailand provides the best lifestyle in Asia…

If one were difficult, one could object that great vines and wines can also be found in Australia, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa; that healthcare is pretty good in several places other than Malta, that Colombia may be wonderful but is at time a bit unsafe, and that the Dominican republic in all its perfection in the end is ultimately a little bit boring…

The good thing is that here we are not difficult and we are not going to object to anything we read in the report.

But we are somewhat surprised that in the list of wonderful places where one could live or retire, there is no mention of African countries. Let’s stick to the health issue.

A study conducted by the World Health Organization ( noted that France had the best Health care system, Italy was second, San marino third, Andorra fourth, malta fifth, Singapore sixth, Morocco 29th, Dominica 35th, Costa Rica 36th, Cuba 39th, Tunisia 52nd, Seychelles 56th, Senegal 59th, Egypt 63rd, Mauritius 84th and Panama 95th. These data make it quite clear that there are several health care system in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Northern Africa and in Sub-Saharan Africa that are better than the one in Panama.

One could of course note that while widely cited this ranking is a bit dated. But assuming that these data are still relevant today, one has to wonder: why none of the African countries is regarded as a good place where one could live and retire?

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