During past times, many retirees moved from New England, California, and the Midwest to the sunny and least densely populated Sun Belt, where low taxes and the warm weather became friends. Today, many Americans are venturing much farther to enjoy retirement life at a low cost. Thousands are migrating to Asia, South America, Europe and beyond to stretch their retirement savings. And many retirees, eager to stretch their dollars, have taken notice.
Money Pacers uncovered 10 travel destinations where retirees can easily live on an income of $2,000 a month or less.
Best Countries For Your Retirement Savings
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent : $1500
Formerly known as the British Honduras, it’s a country on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. Housing in Belize City is dirt cheap, with a 900-square-foot furnished rental going for as little as $377 a month. The Qualified Retired Persons Incentive Program makes it even more attractive for retirees age 45 and up since any income earned from sources outside Belize is 100% tax-free. (For more, see both
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent : $1435
Americans flock to Ecuador because of its beautiful landscape, superior healthcare system and the generous government benefits extended to retirees, including discounts on utilities and public transportation. Housing is a steal in the capital city of Quito, with the monthly rent for a furnished, 900-square-foot apartment start at just $538. Utilities run $53 a month on average. Overall, Ecuador has a cost of living that’s 58% cheaper than New York City.
3. Costa Rica
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent : $1916
Costa Rica is popular with tourists, but certain areas, such as the Central Valley region and the southern coast, are ideally suited for establishing permanent residence on a shoestring. Even if you decide to set up shop in the capital city of San Jose, rental prices can go as low as $417 per month or up to $1,042, depending on the neighborhood. Utilities typically run between $48 and $79 per month, so it’s definitely possible to make your retirement savings stretch.
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent : $1761
If you’re looking for somewhere a little more exotic, it doesn’t get much better than Thailand. Retirement visas are available to seniors age 50 and above who meet the minimum income standards. Specifically, you’ll need a monthly income of 65,000 baht (about $1,863 USD) or 800,000 baht (about $23,000 USD) in a savings account. Bangkok is one of Thailand’s pricier cities, but even so, it’s still 50%–60% cheaper than Chicago, New York or Boston.
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent : $2275
Spain features a rich culture and heritage, not to mention a cost of living that’s easily affordable on a modest budget. Compared to the U.S., the cost of living is approximately 20% lower and rent prices are slashed roughly in half. Qualifying for a visa isn’t an overly complicated process; you must be able to show proof of residency, proof of income and be free of any illness that constitutes a threat to public health.
The city of Valencia is a great option for retirees who want to spend their golden years traveling. Its airport offers direct flights to France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Morocco, and Norway. Round-trip flights to the rest of Europe often cost less than 150 euros ($195).
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent : $1525
Malaysia’s people are just as warm as the weather, and this is the kind of place where outsiders are easily welcomed into the fold. As far as the cost of living goes, Malaysia is roughly 44% cheaper than the U.S. Housing is an especially good deal, with rent prices that are 69% lower than what you’d find here at home. Retirees can apply for a long-term visa through the Malaysia My Second Home Program. If you’re 50 or older, you’ll need at least 350,000 Malaysian ringgits ($89,343 USD) in assets and 10,000 Malaysian ringgits ($2,552 USD) in monthly income.
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent : $1191
Nicaragua is located in the heart of Central America, and it’s a premier retirement destination if you’re looking for an excellent quality of life without a high price tag. The Nicaraguan government offers a number of financial incentives to attract foreign retirees, such as a sales tax exemption on construction materials if you’re building a home. You need to be at least 45 years old and have a minimum monthly income of $600 to qualify, which may be appealing if you’re considering an early retirement.
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent: $2554
Panama proves to be exceptionally welcoming for retirees from all parts of the globe who come in search of a tropical atmosphere. Prices in Panama City tend to be on par with what you’d pay in the U.S., but you’ll find that the surrounding smaller towns and villages are much more affordable. The Pensionado Program saves foreign retirees some extra cash by offering discounts on flights, hospital services, utilities and more.
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent: $1756
Guam is an often-overlooked alternative for American retirees, despite its many benefits. Because it’s a U.S. territory, English is spoken everywhere on the island, and its currency is the U.S. dollar. And, at least on the surface, much of the country’s culture and politics will seem familiar to many Americans.
Situated 3,700 miles southwest of Honolulu, Guam is a lower-cost alternative to Hawaii — while sharing the same climate. One-bedroom apartments in Guam can rent for as low as $400 per month, with luxury units facing the sea costing $1,000 per month. American citizens can buy property on the island; 3-bedroom houses often sell for less than $200,000.
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent: $1326
Although Argentina is pricier than most parts of South America, it is still a bargain for your retirement savings compared to most cities in America. Take Buenos Aires, for example, a 1-bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood can be rented for less than $400 per month or bought for less than $70,000. The internet, cable, and electricity combined rarely cost more than $100 per month. The city’s comprehensive subway system and buses make transportation cheap. One ride on the subway costs 2.50 Argentine pesos (about 50 cents).