10 Best countries for a comfortable cheap retirement

Nowadays, having a Retirement plan seems more important than ever! We are witnessing people working until 72 years old instead of the traditional 65, and on the other hand, some millennials just started working a few years ago and already surviving on noodles and Kraft dinner to save up for having early retirement!

Retirement abroad is becoming more and more popular among people, with a lot of folks choosing to retire in other countries, both because of being more affordable and comfortable.

In this post we’ll talk about 10 best countries for a comfortable and cheap retirement, based on expats’ experiences, affordability, ease of getting retirement visa, and healthcare by International Living, a magazine focused on Americans living overseas.

10- Vietnam

Vietnam is a peaceful, affordable country, with a great international airport, making it fairly easy to travel to Asia, Europe, and Oceanic countries easily. With $1,500 a month, two people can easily enjoy retiring in Vietnam.

Most Vietnamese people speak English and they’re generally friendly and welcoming.

9- France

Maybe France isn’t the cheapest retirement destination on the list, but imagine waking up to the birds singing and the sun shining on your face!

French people aren’t in a hurry like in the US. They don’t work until they pass out and don’t get judged based on their children’s school’s popularity!

In southern France, there are a lot of great countrysides where it’s not that expensive to have a cottage in the middle of your own farm!

For about $2,000-2500 a month, a couple can cover their rent, utilities, and groceries.

8- Spain

Spain has a great combination of western style living, hospitality, and different climates.

People are friendly and mostly smiling at everyone! You can get away with English in big cities such as Barcelona, however, if you decide to live in the countryside, you’re going to need basic Spanish which is easy if you speak English since half of the words are somewhat similar!

Since Spain has a warm climate in the South, a lot of the country’s daily needs are produced in Spain such as peach, artichoke, and tomato! Healthcare is great and if you’re not in the mood to learn Spanish, choose to live in one of the countless expat enclaves.

A couple can live comfortably in Spain with $2,500 a month!

7- Malaysia

Malaysia is another Asian gem, you might’ve already heard about. This country has tons of white-sand beaches and gorgeous botanical gardens at the same place!

The official language in Malaysia is Malay but almost everyone speaks fluent English. It’s fairly cheap to live in Malaysia compared to the quality it offers. The weather is warm year-round and the country has many international airports for a weekend getaway, plus the tickets are very cheap to other Asian countries. How about a $50 round-trip to Bangkok on the weekends?

A comfortable life is possible with about $1,500 a month in Malaysia.

6- Ecuador

Ecuador is an amazing affordable country. Many western people never looked back once they went there to check up the area. People in Ecuador don’t look away if they see you distressed! They step in and offer to help. They would greet even strangers in the streets and smile at you all day long.

Since Ecuador is located on the equator, many areas offer pleasant weather year-round.

Renting is very affordable, and you’ll find a lot of beautiful beaches to enjoy any time of the year. There are a lot of expat enclaves to choose from which reduces the need of learning Spanish.

Living comfortably for a couple is possible from $1,650 to $1,825 a month, depending on location and lifestyle.

5- Colombia

Colombia is an undiscovered gem in Latin America. Cities like Medellín, Colombia offer spring-like weather year-round.

If you are tired of the first-world countries and like to live in the country of the second most biodiversity in the world, Colombia is calling you!

You can take advantage of a dreamy lifestyle with anywhere from $1000-2700 a month for two people. Plus, the retirement visa policy is a piece of cake in Colombia! You can get one by showing $750 a month!

4- Mexico

Mexico, the beloved winter sun destination for Americans and Canadians offers a lot of options for retirement, including busy city life and expat villages like including the Lake Chapala area, San Miguel de Allende, and Bucerías.

The healthcare system is affordable and comes in handy when needed, and since a lot of grocery products we use in America and Canada come from Mexico, it’s more affordable to buy them there!

Mexico is a large country, but depending on the location and lifestyle, a couple can live with a monthly budget from $1,500 to $3,000.

3- Costa Rica

with around $2000 a month, a retired couple can take advantage of Costa Rica’s stable economy and government, top-notch cheap healthcare, and Caribbean crystal beaches!

Costa Rica has mild weather in the Urban areas year-round while a rainy forest is less than an hour away from your home!

2- Panama

Panama is truly underrated among westerners compared to what Panama has to offer to retired people. The main thing that no one knows about is a Panamanian plan for retired people called the Pensionado Program. With Pensionado Program, you can get 25% off airline tickets, 25% off your monthly energy bills, and up to 50% off hotel stays. Women are qualified over 55, and men over 60.

In Panama English is widely spoken and the currency is US$. You pay ZERO TAXES since Panama doesn’t deduct tax from foreign income, and depending on your lifestyle and the city you live in, you could live comfortably with $2000-$3000 a month.

1- Portugal

It’s not surprising that Portugal made its way to the top of the list of the 2020 Annual Global Retirement Index.

Portugal is the 3rd safest country in the world in 2019, according to the global peace index, and Portugal is the second cheapest country in European Union after Bulgaria, add them up to people who would do anything to make you feel welcome, amazing accessible healthcare, the Portuguese cuisine and Portuguese wine you can find nowhere, countless world-class beaches, and people who aren’t in hurry at all like in the US.

If you live in cities like Lisbon or Porto, you have no problem with speaking English at all, but as you go to other areas, knowing some Portuguese could come handy. However, if you insist on not learning a new language, you can settle up in one of the international expat enclaves in the expat beach havens of Cascais or the Algarve.

Depending on where you end up living, you can live comfortably from $2000 to $3000 a month in Portugal.

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13 thoughts on “10 Best countries for a comfortable cheap retirement

  1. Learning a new language during retirement will be fun and I like how detailed the list is with monthly expenditure. However, I’ll prefer to spend my retirement in my country instead of travelling out.

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  2. These all look appealing, but you don’t mention health care, whether it’s affordable or widely available. A friend’s 72-year-old husband had a heart attack while touring rural south China, and they had to medevac him to Hong Kong for treatment. The cost was probably cheaper than what they would have been charged in the US, but it still drained their bank account. I probably would prefer living in EU countries than in places where there’s a shortage of medical centers where one can access up to date care and treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My parents looked at a lot of these for retirement. One problem though is usually retirement benefits have a residency requirement like England does or with the US, you have to have a US address. A lot of English people retire to Spain and they were screwed by David Cameron’s rule of residency to receive benefits

    Liked by 1 person

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