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Monthly Wrap: Are these the 5 safest countries for retirement?

currency-newsMonthly Wrap: Are these the 5 safest countries for retirement?
If you’re considering retiring overseas, you might be comparing different potential locations on the basis of the weather, the cost of living and the way of life. However, the safety of a nation should also be a priority.

To help you find somewhere you can truly relax, we’ve put together a list of the top five safest countries for retirement according to the 2017 Global Peace Index.


Last invaded by the British in World War 2 in what locals referred to as the “Lovely War” (which involved 400 British marines being invited onto the island by a bewildered local policeman) Iceland remains the safest country in the world according to the Global Peace Index, a position it has held since 2008.

Iceland’s very accommodating foreign policy and friendly relationship with the rest of the world has allowed the country to rank as one of the lowest for military spending per capita, with the country having no standing army of its own.

The sparsely populated island in the North Atlantic is also well known for its egalitarianism, which is reflected in the nation’s shockingly low crime statistics, with violent crime being particularly rare. Iceland is one of very few countries which can claim to have gone an entire year murder-free.

New Zealand

When the country isn’t being overrun by the armies of Sauron (Lord of the Rings reference, for those confused by that picture) New Zealand is known a one of the safest countries in the world, coming in second on the 2017 Global Peace Index.

As a member of a number of organisations including the UN and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, New Zealand works closely with its neighbours and many other countries to help ensure political and socio-economic stability.

New Zealand is also committed to remaining a nuclear-free zone, baring nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed vessels from entering its waters while supporting efforts to progress global disarmament.


Portugal ranks third in this year’s Global Peace Index, up from fifth place last year as the government continues to take great strides in tackling crime and corruption in the country.

Portugal also has some of the most liberal laws surrounding recreational drug use in the west, with the decriminalization of effectively all drugs actually leading to a decline in their use and a significant drop in drug related crime. 

Whether the peacefulness of Portugal can be attributed to the glorious Mediterranean climate and the low cost of living in the country is unclear, but when you’re surrounded by great food and stunning beaches it must certainly help keep spirits high!


Austria ranked 4th on this year’s Global Peace Index, slipping slightly from the 3rd position it claimed in 2016, but still remaining one of the safest countries in the world. This status is in part in thanks to the nation’s self-declared permanent neutrality.

Austria is also an active member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and strives to improve quality of life and social cohesion, something that has resulted in a very low national crime rate.   

Austria’s peace ranking is also aided by the country being surrounded by many other high ranking nations as the Austrian government works closely with them to help prevent terror incidents and criminal activity.


While Danish crime dramas like ‘The Killing’ and ‘The Bridge’ have popularised the idea of Demark as a place in which troubled police officers are frequently forced to solve gruesome murders, in reality life in Denmark is far more mundane, with low levels of crime and the lowest perceived level of corruption in the world helping it rank fifth in the 2017 Global Peace Index.

Denmark’s high ranking is partly thanks to political stability in the country and non-existent internal strife, although it has slipped down the rankings somewhat due to the country’s increased participation in conflicts abroad.

However this shouldn’t put you off looking to move to the small Nordic nation as strong social unity and the population’s willingness to look out for one another will help ensure you feel safe and secure when living in Denmark.
If you’re hoping to enjoy a relaxing, comfortable retirement, consider sampling the peace and security of one of these nations!

Philip McHugh

Philip McHugh

Joining the corporate trading desk in 2007, Phil now over sees all of Currencies Direct’s corporate dealing activity. Having gained experience working with hundreds of businesses to optimise international payments processes and execute comprehensive risk management strategies, Phil currently works with a portfolio of corporate clients whilst managing Currencies Direct’s overall market exposure

Phil has FCA approval and has completed the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertiTM)

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