PH among world's top retirement destinations

Not only is the Philippines more fun for young tourists looking for adventure but also for foreign retirees seeking refuge for old age.

The country has been ranked 15th out of 22 of the "World's Top Retirement Havens in 2013" released by Ireland-based website International Living.

The ranking grew from only 19 countries in the previous list, which did not include the Philippines.

Related story: Tourists who stay in Philippines on the rise

The Philippines got a score of 79.5 point in the Retirement Index, based on eight categories crucial for retirees, including discounts and other perks.

These include real estate, retirement benefits, cost of living, ease of integration, entertainment and amenities, health care, retirement infrastructure and climate.

The Philippines' highest performance was in terms of cost of living (100 points). It ranked highest among the 22 countries in this criterion.

It scored lowest in the special benefits area, getting the lowest score in the list (57 points). Spain and Thailand got the same score.

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"Among the top retirement spots in the world this year, you'll find great variety in the cultural offerings, climates and lifestyles," the website said.

Ecuador sat on top of the list, with a score of 91.9 points.

"Ecuador's major cities have top notch hospitals, clinics and well-trained physicians," the website said.

"All residents are eligible to participate in the country’s Social Security health care system for incredibly low monthly premiums," it added.

Ecuador was followed by Panama (89 points), Malaysia, (87.6 points), Mexico (85.1 points), Costa Rica (84.4 points).

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"Each destination is desirable in its own way, but they all offer something increasingly hard to come by at home: A good quality of life for a reasonable price," the website said.

It noted, however, that "no 'formula' can spit out the name of the place that's just right for you."

Retirees should consider what's most important to them, "maybe climate, maybe language, maybe cost, maybe distance from home," it added.

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