8 of the Cheapest Places to Retire Abroad to Stretch Your Savings

We have all done it at one time or another. We look to find some of the Cheapest Places to Retire. For some it is a curiosity and a fantasy but for others a necessity. Necessary because sometimes things don’t work out how we planned. Especially when it comes to our retirement savings. After years of saving, coming up far short of our wishes means thinking about taking the adventurous retirement option.

 of the Cheapest Places to Retire AbroadThat being, looking for where in this beautiful world we can stretch the retirement savings we do have to go farther. Not only that but without sacrificing our living standards.

The countries that make this Cheapest Places to Retire List are the countries where $200K can fund up to 30 years of retirement.

An Affordable Retirement Is Good But Be Sure To Look At The Non-Financial Aspects Too

Obviously there are many more considerations other than money when it comes to moving in our retirement that should be explored.

Are you interested in a rural or urban lifestyle?

Do you want mass transportation options or being close to an airport, hospital, etc.?

If looking for a country with a lower cost retirement then understanding the lifestyle we want helps us narrow our search for the country and the targeted city, town, or village within it.

Then visit it first if you haven’t spent any or much time there. It takes more than a couple of weeks of vacationing to really understand whether it is right for you as a full-time home. Go and LIVE it before committing. Don’t look at it as a vacationing tourist. Get deep into the living part. Check out the Leisure Freak Retirement Moving Considerations page for more non-financial aspects of moving.

There Is The “Language” Thing

Do you already speak the local language? If yes, then you are way ahead.

Are you willing and able to learn it? Then start before making your move.

Are you hoping to find a place that has enough English speakers to get by? Then Target communities with a large ex-pat population where English is commonly known. Do make a plan to learn the language ASAP.

The Elephant in the Room

Choose A Place Where You Will Be Welcome

I don’t see much about this on affordable retirement abroad articles but I believe it is important to note. Immigration is a huge worldwide topic these days. Even when a country’s policy is welcoming to ex-pat retirees, that doesn’t mean every community within it will be. That is no different from here in the US. Test the waters when visiting your target country and community by mentioning your intentions. See the place through non-tourist eyes.

The reason I mention this: When we were in Oahu Hawaii last year there was a lot of talk about how immigrants with big money were causing already expensive housing and other living cost to soar sky-high. There were feelings and claims that it was pushing the locals out. We sensed some animosity.

Be aware that in some countries our meager US retirement savings may make us look like the wealthy invasion driving their costs higher.

It is something to be aware of even though for the most part your retirement income and adding to their economy will be welcome in most country’s communities.

For some countries, even ones with an accepting culture and people, new tensions may arise when any new US policies play out they see as negatively impacting their country. If you notice any animosity then decide if it will get better or worse as time goes on.

Be sure to find the right welcoming place and get to know your new neighbors.

Here They Are: 8 of the Cheapest Places to Retire Abroad

This list of 8 affordable countries for retirement comes courtesy of a storymap from Easy Life Cover.

These countries offer a low-cost and a full retirement lifestyle. They all have low health care, rent and utility costs.

There is income, age and possibly other requirements necessary to retire to another country. Take Belize as an example. They have a great retirement plan for people aged 45 and over with a minimum income of $2,000 per month. Social Security can cover most if not all retirement lifestyle costs for many couples.

The 8 countries on the cheapest places to retire list are in order from highest to lowest retirement living cost (cost includes rent).

Panama $30,648 ($2,554 per month)

Spain $27,396 ($2,283 per month)

Costa Rica $23,100 ($1,925 per month)

Thailand $20,880 ($1,740 per month)

Malaysia $18,684 ($1,557 per month)

Belize $18,000 ($1,500 per month)

Ecuador $17,808 ($1,484 per month)

Nicaragua $14,172 ($1,181 per month)

For more details and geographical reference please check-out the below storymap.


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6 thoughts on “8 of the Cheapest Places to Retire Abroad to Stretch Your Savings

  1. A friend of a relative in Nova Scotia that I chat with on Facebook spends every winter for the last few years in Thailand. Most of the time in Chiang Rai in the Northern mountains. He has found the Thais very warm and welcoming – he is Canadian so they may have less preconceived notions about him than someone from the USA. I will ask what it costs him because he stays in rather nice hotels and eats wonderful food and yet I think it is very cheap. I do know Thailand has a big medical tourism industry too. People can go there for expensive medical procedures, and recover in tropical beauty and a lower price than paying for it here.

    1. Thanks for the comment Ralph. It would be interesting to see what your friend spends and if it is close to the storymap figure of $1,740 a month. I would think a lot depends on the city/town and amenities. My friend who retired to Boquete Panama had told me his total cost was just below $2,400 a month and that included maid service for their home, internet, and everything else they wanted and did.
      Tommy

      1. He said it looked about right but would not include things like buying a car, or setting up a household. I sent him the link and invited him to comment. Thailand seems wonderful and he seems to have such a fine time there I wonder if at some point he might not go back to Nova Scotia. Where he lives is his home town
        on Cape Breton Island and is a very beautiful spot in it’s own right.

        1. yes, as Ralph mentioned I would consider 1700 American a very basic income , but as mentioned…depends on where you live. I tend to sample things both high end and low in terms of sampling the best of cuisine and do not live a life of a typical ex-pat..(and yes, there is such a thing)…there are many communities as such all over the country, each with it’s own particular identity. I would venture , fairly certainly that 1700 per month would not afford you much of a life in the tropical south ..you would have big adjustments to make. In the North and North east it would be feasible..only providing you had some sort of advance monies for transportation and accomodation. Personally , I avoid road transportation like a plague since it is the second worse country in the world (by far) in terms of accidents..and does not seem to be improving much..quite the contrary. However..air travel within the country is inexpensive and plentiful..and short excursions by rented car or bus are my cup of tea. My experience is neither that of an expat nor a tourist ..but can answer to specific questions at will…but to speculate on what it really costs for an expat, I’d defer to them…since I try with varying degrees of success , to keep one foot planted here in Thailand and the other..back home. So willing to forward any specific info..but think (as everybody does about everything)..that my experience is unique..

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