The Most Affordable Places to Retire in the World
We’ve been doing some research and each year our list changes. Have a look and see if any of these retire abroad places will work for you. The are some of the most affordable places to retire in 2020.
As you prepare to retire after decades of hard work, it’s possible you’ll find that the money you’ve been saving for retirement won’t offer you the kind of retirement you hoped at home, or maybe the idea of less expensive, exotic retirement abroad is more exciting to you in the first place. Instead of retiring at home, you can stretch your dollar a lot further in any number of other countries around the world. There are a lot to choose from, so here we’ll be taking a look at a few of the best countries for an inexpensive and peaceful retirement.
To compile this list, we’ll be looking at Numbeo’s cost of living index in all of these countries. Numbeo is the world’s largest database where user can contribute data on cities and countries throughout the world. It provides up to date information on living conditions from cost of living, to traffic, to health care, to crime.
About 46.82% cheaper than living in the USA, according to Numbeo.
Peru offers up a wide array of options in terms of scenery. Mountainous regions, booming cities, small farming towns. Almost regardless of the setting you’re looking for, there’s a place in Peru that can deliver it, and no matter which one you choose, the cost of living is likely to be more affordable than a similar lifestyle in another Latin American country.
Living in Peru, a retiree can enjoy the fresh food that is raved about by nearly everyone who visits. With the mountains, the jungle, and the coast all within reach, the fresh ingredients make for some of the most varied and tasty cuisine you’ll find anywhere. Many of the big cities are easy to get around even without a vehicle, the climate offers spring temperatures all year with lots of sunshine and very little rain, and there is thousands of years of rich and fascinating culture to be explored.
To top it off, if you have $1,000 in savings for retirement, you can qualify for a Retirement Visa and retire there as long as you spend at least six months out of the year remaining in the country. Do that for seven years, and you can apply for a permanent visa.
About 46.48% cheaper than living in the USA, according to Numbeo.
Malaysia is another country that is quickly becoming more welcoming to expats and retirees and building up a community. With the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program, you’re able to get a visa for up to 10 years.
Full of beaches and jungles, Malaysia is a country with lots to offer for nature lovers looking for a new getaway to explore. If you’re more interested in a city vibe for your golden years, Malaysia has plenty of urban destinations as well. Those coming from major US cities will be impressed with Malaysia’s particularly low cost of living. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages about $350 USD per month, and outside of the city center averages closer to $210 USD.
The other nice thing about Malaysia is that English is considered the “unofficial first language” of the country, so you’ll able to get along well without having to learn a new language if you choose to retire in Malaysia.
About 41.12% cheaper than living in the USA, according to Numbeo.
Some retirees who retire to Ecuador say they are able to double, or in some cases even triple, their disposable income. Because day-to-day living costs so much less than what it does in the US or the UK, by coming to the right Ecuadorian communities, you’re able to upgrade your lifestyle, making your nest egg stretch a lot further than you would be able to at home.
Ecuador also boasts a high-quality health care system at far lower costs than in the United States. U.S. residents report that they frequently get personal attention directly from doctors, rather than just assistants or nurses, and medications are often as much as 60% or 70% cheaper than they are stateside.
All of that convenience is located in a truly beautiful country with a variety of climates. Ecuador is home to broad Pacific beaches, geothermal hot springs, snow-capped volcanoes, and the Amazon rainforest, all in a nation divided by the Andes mountain range. There’s truly no limit to the sights to see.
About 37.38% cheaper than living in the USA, according to Numbeo.
If you’re a history buff, there’s plenty to see and do and the Czech Republic that might pique your interest. Known as the castle capital of the world, the country is packed with awe-inspiring architectural wonders. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle, which stands in the center of the capital city of Prague, is the largest castle in the world. It has been standing since the Middle Ages and an entire complex is surrounded within its walls.
The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the Czech Republic is around $600/month USD in the city center and $450/month outside. It’s smack dab in the heart of Europe, easy to travel around Europe on cheap flights for spur-of-the-moment vacations. Quality of life is very high in the Czech Republic, with unemployment at a historical low and salaries on the rise, while consumer goods in the country are still relatively low. There’s a lot to love about the possibility of a retirement in the Czech Republic.
About 31.72% cheaper than living in the USA, according to Numbeo.
With a warm climate and beautiful sandy beaches, Portugal is just the kind of relaxing and refreshing lifestyle that many retirees crave in a new place to call home. The food is great both in terms of taste and nutritional value, and the low cost of living has attracted a community of expats and retirees from all around the world.
If you retire in Portugal, when you apply for residency at the local consulate, you’ll be asked to provide proof of health insurance. A lot of the major US health insurance companies, however, extend coverage into Portugal, which can help to make the transition even easier.
The tax code in Portugal also has aspects that are attractive to expats and retirees. For example, those who qualify for Non-habitual Residence status get to spend ten years exempted from income tax. The policy covers pension income and earnings from investments even if the money is made from outside Portugal.
About 25.55% cheaper than living in the USA, according to Numbeo.
From the mountains of the Julian alps to the coastal towns and the southern vineyards, the scenery in Slovenia is come of the most beautiful in the world. Coupled with a climate that offers distinct seasons, with cold, snowy winters and hot, sunny summers, with warm springs and autumns in between, it’s an ideal place for those who love variety. You also get the occasional heavy thunderstorm that a lot of people love.
Slovenians also tend to speak great English, which is a huge plus for communication but can get in the way if you’re hoping to learn the language, since so many of them are quick to speak to you in English rather than Slovenian. In fact, a lot of them are trilingual and speak German or Italian as well.
It’s beautiful country with lots of outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking in the summers and skiing in the winters, and it offers extremely low crime rates on top of everything else.
About 25.05% cheaper than living in the USA, according to Numbeo.
When you ask retirees in Spain what made them choose to move there rather than somewhere else, there’s a good chance the first thing they mention will be the weather. Especially in areas near the Mediterranean coast, Spain is well-known for sunny weather that lasts nearly all year. Warm, sunny days abound and there is little to no rain. It can get awfully hot in late summer, but there are virtually never cold days.
Spain is also commonly rated as having some of the best healthcare in Europe. Hospitals are up to date with modern technology and priced much better than hospitals in the US and the UK. Health insurance is also available at a fraction of the cost you’d pay in many other countries.
Many retirees are also struck by the friendliness of the Spanish people, and the laid back atmosphere of life in Spain. Spaniards are often very welcoming of new residents, and you’ll be quick to make new friends.
About 24.89% cheaper than living in the USA, according to Numbeo.
A residency for a foreigner looking to retire in Costa Rica is valid for five years if you have a monthly income of $1000 from your pension or retirement fund. You become eligible for an upgrade to permanent residency after three years, which affords you almost all of the same rights as a citizen of Costa Rica.
If you’re looking for a tropical paradise to retire in, but you’re not looking to pay tropical paradise prices, Costa Rica could be what you’re looking for. For a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, you’re looking at an average of around $490/month, and outside the city center it’s closer to $365/month.
Costa Rica has lots to offer in the way of outdoor activities, from fishing and rafting to jungle hikes and horseback riding. Healthcare in the country is also some of the best in Latin America.
About 24.42% cheaper than living in the USA, according to Numbeo.
There’s a lot about Panama that is potentially attractive to retirees and expats. Panama has been on the most affordable places to retires for a long time. For one thing, if you’re earning income from outside of the US, the government won’t tax it. Panama is also home to the Friendly Nations Visa, as well as the Pensionado Visa. The Pensionado is like a credit card, offering you discounts like 30% off public transportation and 25% off flights and restaurants. You can qualify for it if you have social security, annuity, or pension income of $1,000/month or more.
As with anywhere else, the cost of living you’ll find in Panama will depend greatly on the lifestyle you want to have there. It’s very possible to live well under $1,000/month if you’re okay with foregoing some basic luxuries, and for $2,000/month you can live a more standard and comfortable lifestyle.
If Latin America is what you’re after, Panama nicely straddles the line between active retirement and low cost of living. There is great golf and biking, and opportunities for meditation and yoga, and keeping your expenses down is perfectly doable at the same time.
About 2.31% cheaper than living in the USA, according to Numbeo.
Living in Austria costs a little more money than the other countries on this list, but it also has one of the highest qualities of life in the world. There are also major benefits there for retirees who want safe banking options, beautiful views, and reasonable property deals.
With lots of museums, incredible architecture, and fine art, there’s a ton to visit and see, and you’d be located right in the middle of continental Europe, a skip and a hop away from the Czech Republic, Hungary, or most any other European country. When traveling around at home, you’d have the option of dizzying mountain paths, or the high-speed railways conveniently placed to get you anywhere you need to be.
So Many Options For The Most Affordable Place To Retire
There’s no right answer as to the best place to retire. It comes down to the specific flavor of retirement a particular person is looking for. But today’s world has a wealth of options in countries all over the globe that offer all of the best things in life at affordable costs. It’s a matter of deciding what your priorities are and finding the place that best caters to those priorities.
Hopefully somewhere on this list speaks to you or gives you some things to consider. There’s a wealth of information available online about retiring in any of these places, and all of them, and so many more, are great options for the next chapter of your life. Best of luck, and enjoy your next adventure.
You might want to check out our other post on funding your retirement when you’re on a budget.
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Ian Bond is a private banking senior executive with over three decades of experience in wealth and asset management with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup. He has built major businesses on four continents.
Despite his professional responsibility for assets over $100B and revenues over $1B, after the 2008 crash Ian was personally going broke. Within five years he destroyed his debt, became an expat in 2014, and built multiple streams of income to fund his imminent retirement. Ian is also the founder of MyRetirementRehab.me created to help other executives and professionals rehabilitate their finances and make a prosperous, enduring retirement a reality.