Is happiness why many boomers retire overseas?

We’ve run many stories on BoomerCafé over the years by and about baby boomers who have chosen to retire someplace overseas. Not to put down our own nation, which still ranks reasonably high, but this piece we spotted by Lauren Boyer at might help explain it … especially when you see the “data points” used to determine The Twenty Happiest Countries in the World.

How happy is your homeland?

There’s a new World Happiness Report out this week that ranks the most cheerful nations in the world.

The happier countries are marked in dark green.

The happier countries are marked in dark green.

Switzerland ranks No. 1, trailed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

America ranks 15th, a slight improvement from last year. The saddest — er, least “happy” — countries include Togo, Burundi, Syria, Benin and Rwanda.

Data, which can be used to guide policy, is based on research collected by economists and scientists analyzing the factors that make people feel satisfied. Data points include life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, and social support.

Here’s the rundown of the world’s top 20 happiest countries:

You can download the full report here.


  1. Interesting article but the premise is flawed: that survey measures happiness of national citizens not of foreigners residing in those countries…Few people can afford Switzerland, you need more than a golden retirement fund!! And the weather in Scandinavia is awful, the longest winter, even if the summer is fine (but too short).

    No. Why many baby boomers retire abroad is due to (1) economic reasons (it’s cheaper, your retirement dollars stretch further) and (2) the weather, the exoticism, all factors that make it pleasant to live abroad!

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