Retirement Safety
Comparative Murder Rates

Retirement safety may be one of your concerns.

When searching for an overseas retirement place, one thing you will think about is the relative safety of the country.

It is not easy to clearly define what the safest countries are for retirement because there are several possible statistics sources that one could look at to try to make this determination. In addition, there is no universal method of gathering and reporting the data uniformly across every country in the world and one is often tempted to wonder if the information by the various governments is in fact true.

An examination of the murder rates by country is one reasonable way of trying to determine whichare the safest countries for retirement. The graph below comes from Wikipedia which has a list of countries by intentional homicide rate that assembles the most current data for a given country from the years 2000 to 2008.

Murder rate per 100,000 people

Cost of Living comparsion

The reality is that there are dozens of websites that have statistics like this that vary greatlyfrom one to another and I'm honestly not sure which statistics are accurate and if they reallytell us anything of importance about retirement safety.

Unless you choose to make your home in a gang neighborhood or engage in some illegal activitythe realistic chances of being murdered are exceedingly slim anywhere. The likelihood of youfalling victim to serious violence has much more to do with how you live and what you do than it doeswith where you live.

The graph above makes it look as though Ecuador and Panama are very dangerous places tolive -- but the likely truth is that the bulk of those homicides will probably be gang, or drugrelated and should be of no concern to a retiree living in a pleasant seaside or mountain town.

The more serious danger in any country revolves around social, financial, and politcal issues. A nasty little revolution or acts of terrorism should be of much greater concern to a retiree than the chanceof randomly being murdered.

In most of these countries terrorism is less of a concern than it would be in the US, Canada, orthe UK -- we are all familiar now with terror alerts and homeland security has become a part of everydaylife in the US.

This is not to say that there are no threats to be aware of in these tropical countries.

In the province of Mindanao in the Philippines there are problems with Moslem terrorists, but this looks like small potatoes compared to what has been happening elsewhere in the world and is isolated to one of over 7,000 islands that make up the Philippines. In Ecuador the President of the country was taken hostage last year. In Panama drug running through the canal is a serious issue.

Every country has some potential problems and simple common sense is usually the best way to ensure your retirement safety.

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