Affordable Countries Where $150K Is Enough For Expats To Retire

Many seniors opt to retire abroad because they seek a more adventurous and/or affordable lifestyle. There are many places expats can relocate to that offer both beautiful landscapes and a lower cost of living. Some countries are more expensive than others, but they offer exotic cuisine, once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities, friendly neighbors, and other perks…

Canada Is An Affordable Alternative To The United States

Photo credit: Manuel Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Photo credit: Manuel Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Retirees who want to live in an English-speaking country similar to the United States should head to Canada. Americans who become permanent residents have access to universal health care, which, although not perfect, is a great alternative to the expensive options in the United States. Prescription drugs are also considerably cheaper.

While major cities have pricey housing, affordable options are available in areas such as Vancouver Island and Prince Edward Island (oceanfront homes can cost as little as $115,000). A stable banking system and Canada’s proximity to the United States also make our neighbor to the north a desirable place to retire.

The U.S. Dollar Is Strong In Ecuador, Which Features Stunning Landscapes

Photo Credit: Rafael Rodriguez/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Rafael Rodriguez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Retirees on a budget can live well in Ecuador because the U.S. dollar is strong in the South American country, which features Spanish structures, the Amazon, the Andes mountains, and the Galapagos Islands. The U.S. dollar is the official currency and it goes so far there that many retirees can even afford a maid service or a vacation home.

Seniors enjoy discounts on public transportation, utilities, and entertainment, and expats are not required to pay taxes on social security income. Public health care is available, and it’s possible to live in the country for anywhere between $12,000 and $24,000 a year.

Germany Isn’t One Of The Cheapest Options, But It’s Modern & Culturally Diverse

Photo credit: THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images
Photo credit: THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images

In a nutshell, Germany has great health care, diverse recreational activities, first-world advantages, and exciting cultural events for expats. According to the New York Times, it’s the fourth choice for Americans who want to retire abroad. Many choose the European country due to its high purchasing power and safe environment.

While not as sunny or tropical as other retirement destinations, it’s modern and other countries are easy to visit by taking a train. Overall, it’s 23 percent cheaper to live in Berlin than in Chicago, with rent being 35 percent lower. A one-bedroom apartment is about $750 a month. Its health care is pricey but is one of the best in the world.

Panama Has A Lively Capital City & Laid-Back Atmosphere

Photo credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

More and more people are retiring to Panama due to its stunning natural environment and culturally diverse capital city, which offers modern conveniences and exciting activities. It can cost as little as $500 a month to retire there, although a more comfortable lifestyle would be around $2,000 a month.

Health insurance runs around $145 a month for retirees and covers a large chunk of expenses. The Pensionado Visa also offers discounts for transportation, entertainment, and other services, including utilities. Negatives include diseases such as the Zika virus, poor road conditions and a laid-back atmosphere that may mean delays in getting things that you need.

Portugal Is A Developed Country Within Close Proximity To Other European Destinations

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Portugal welcomes foreigners, and its visa and tax programs make it easy for those earning a minimum of $1,400 a month to retire there. The cost of living is affordable, and the country is located in Europe, making it an easier to adjust to than some Central or South American countries — particularly if one seeks a developed country, not one that’s still developing.

There’s easy access to nearby countries, such as Spain, and culturally diverse activities. Portugal is also very connected when it comes to the internet, making it easy to stay in touch with friends and family at home in the United States.

Foodie Destination Italy Is Affordable If You Know Where To Look

Photo credit: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
Photo credit: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images

Retired foodies will find heaven on earth in Italy. The European country also features great skiing, hiking, sailing, and swimming, as well as a beautiful coastline. Italy can be costly and tourist places are pricey, but expats can save money by living in the south or in the countryside.

With $200,000 in savings and regular income such as social security or a pension, retirees can find a nice home or apartment while still enjoying dinners out, shopping, and an occasional vacation. Italy’s health care is one of the best in the world, and legal residents can apply for the national plan.

Costa Rica Boasts Beautiful Beaches & A Low Cost Of Living

Photo credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with countless natural wonders. What retiree wouldn’t be happy lounging on white sand beaches and exploring tropical forests? Flights between San Jose and New York City cost around $400, so expats can easily visit loved ones back in the states.

Those wishing to spend the last few years of their lives in the Central American country can do so on a budget — spending only $1,300 to $1,600 a month there for a comfortable lifestyle. Housing costs range from $450 to $950 a month depending on what type of dwelling one prefers.

Retiring To Ireland Is Comparable To Retiring In Arizona

Photo credit: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Photo credit: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Who wouldn’t want to retire in beautiful Ireland? Expats who choose an area such as County Kerry will be pleasantly surprised by its lower costs for products such as fish, vegetables, bread and other groceries. Utility costs can be higher than those in the states, but things such as auto insurance are cheaper.

Health insurance is also considerably less than it is in the United States. A home in County Kerry costs around $125,000. In general, the cost of living is similar to that of Arizona. Those who can afford a budget of about $30,000 a year can live comfortably in certain parts of Ireland.

Mexico Is Warm & Has Affordable Health Care

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Mexico is a great place to retire if you like warm weather and affordable health care ($140 a month). A couple can live comfortably in the country for around $2,175 a month, which covers housing, utilities, groceries, and other necessities. People can save money by shopping where the locals do and avoiding more pricey tourist destinations.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that certain areas in Mexico are safe while others are less so. It’s also essential when retiring anywhere abroad to adhere to visa and residency requirements as well as tax regulations, which may require an attorney to set things straight.

Spain Is Modern & Historic With An Emphasis On Friends & Family

Photo credit: David Aliaga/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Photo credit: David Aliaga/NurPhoto via Getty Images

For those seeking a warm climate and beautiful beaches with a European flair, Spain is the place to retire. A couple seeking to live in a developed country with quality private health insurance can reside there comfortably for around $2,100 a month. Spain features modern housing, amenities, public transportation, and broad access to the internet.

Expats can choose between vibrant cities such as Barcelona and Valencia or smaller, coastal or country towns. Spaniards are laid back and put a lot of time and effort in their friends and family. They also value art, architecture, music, and other cultural diversions.

Malaysia Features High-Quality Health Care & Most Citizens Speak English

Photo credit: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Photo credit: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Aspiring expats don’t typically consider Southeast Asia as a place to retire, but the island nation of Malaysia beckons with an average year-round temperature of 86 degrees and sunny skies. Buying or renting a home is affordable (around $75,000), and many condos and bungalows feature views of the sea.

Nearly all medical professionals are trained in Europe and Australia, making for good, high-quality health care that is relatively lower in price than other countries. Most residents speak English as a second language, and the Malaysian lifestyle is known for being very laid back and open to foreigners.

Sweden Has A Strong Economy & Is Open To Newcomers

Photo credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images
Photo credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Ninety percent of residents in Sweden speak English, and the cost of living is cheaper than it is in Chicago, New York City, and other major American cities. Stockholm, comparatively, is quite a bargain. The economy is good, and many Americans already live there.

Sweden is open to foreigners and has accepted many immigrants over the years, including Syrian refugees. The country is doing its best to accommodate newcomers by offering perks such as health care, public services, and a quality education. One caveat is that Swedish is very difficult to learn, and the country can get quite cold during the winter.

Colombia Is The Spot For Those On A Budget

Photo credit: LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
Photo credit: LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images

Expats who choose Colombia for retirement will quickly realize that their money will go twice as far than it does in the United States. For example, a week of groceries for two will cost less than $100. Local beer costs just 40 cents a bottle at the supermarket. A typical lunch for two at a medium-priced restaurant can cost around $12.

Housing is extremely affordable, with apartments outside of the tourist areas costing $450 a month or less. Utilities are also much cheaper than the United States, and taxes are extremely low. And unlike places such as Florida, expats don’t have to worry about natural disasters such as hurricanes.

Nicaragua Is One Of The Cheapest Places To Live

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Photo credit: Jon G. Fuller/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images

While Nicaragua had a bad reputation in the 1980s, it’s emerged as a very safe and stable country. It’s also one of the cheapest places to live for expats. A couple can comfortably reside there for around $1,200 a month. A new condo in Grenada costs about $99,000.

It has a stunning coastline (making it one of the world’s best-surfing destinations) and a tropical rainforest. The government offers a retiree benefits program for those over age 45 who have a monthly income of at least $600. Property taxes are low, and there are great real estate investment opportunities.

Malta’s Natural & Historic Beauty Make It Very Desirable

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Photo credit: Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Images

Malta is a tiny chain of islands in the Mediterranean with stunning cliffs, beautiful sunsets, and sun nearly year round. While tiny, it’s very welcoming to foreigners and features a sizable English-speaking community. Slightly more costly than other retirement destination spots, it runs around $2,700 a month for a couple to reside there.

A two-bedroom apartment in Sliema costs around $800 a month, but other spots can cost as little as $600 a month. A dinner out is about $25, including wine. Private health care is considerably cheaper than the United States. But what’s most appealing are its historic sites, festivals, and natural beauty.

Peru Is Less Popular But Just As Beautiful As Mexico And Costa Rica

Photo credit: ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images
Photo credit: ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images

Most expats who seek to retire abroad do so to save money and have a good quality of life. Peru is a great alternative to popular spots such as Mexico and Costa Rica but offers similar benefits. It is culturally diverse, geographically beautiful, and features a low cost of living.

The U.S. dollar is strong in Peru, and retirees can live in a three-bedroom unit in central Lima for around $900 a month. Those willing to reside 20 minutes outside of the city can spend half as much on accommodations. But what’s even more appealing are the Andes mountains, quaint fishing villages, and breathtaking scenery.

Vietnam Has A Low Cost Of Living & A Varied Climate

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Photo credit: Joaquin Gomez Sastre/NurPhoto via Getty Images

One of the reasons Vietnam is a desirable retirement destination is due to its climate — the south is warm all year round, while the north has four seasons and even some snowfall now and again. Popular spots include Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Da Nang. Food is inexpensive, and the cost of living is low.

Expats can live comfortably for about $2,000 a month, while it costs less than half that amount in smaller cities. Unfortunately, the country does not offer retiree visas and permanent resident visas are limited. New hospitals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offer decent medical care.

Expats Can Live Comfortably In Thailand If They Budget Well

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Photo credit: Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images

Thailand is an appealing option for expats due to its affordable health care, low cost of living, friendly people, exotic cuisine, and beautiful landscapes. Those with $25,000 in savings and an income of $2,000 a month can obtain a retirement visa and live comfortably, though it’s possible to live on quite a bit less.

Retirees who have more to spend can live quite well in Thailand. But there is no public health insurance, and private health care can be expensive. Those who live like the locals do can find inexpensive dwellings and save money by eating local food and produce and avoiding the purchase of alcohol and international foods.

Retirees In Cambodia Live Well On Very Little

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Pinterest/Marianne Cavalcante

Cambodia offers a mix of both modern and historic buildings and markets. A city like Phnom Penh is developing but still holds on to its distinctly Asian characteristics. The people are friendly, and the cost of living is low. A retiree can live comfortably on about $1,000 a month and still dine out at nice restaurants and spend time on entertainment.

Phnom Penh offers unlimited wi-fi for under $20 a month, and local shopping markets sell fresh groceries as well as Western food. About 80,000 expats live in the city, and many have enough money to travel to nearby Bali, Hong Kong, and other exotic destinations.

Indonesia Is Beautiful And Affordable

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No matter where an ex-pat decides to buckle down in Indonesia, one thing is for certain: they are going to have some beautiful scenery. From jungles with hidden waterfalls to rice paddy fields and the crystal clear ocean waters, Indonesia is pretty much a paradise.

And it’s a paradise that is very affordable! For people trying to get away from civilization, the remote island of Gili Air is the cheap and beautiful place to be, while Bali and Jakarta are more populated. It’s pretty much city life vs. “out there” life. Either way, ex-pats will find something they’ll love.

Switzerland Is Safe & Secure With Lower Taxes & Ample Travel Opportunities

Photo credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
Photo credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

One great reason to retire to Switzerland is the government has set up a special retirement residency program for expats who fulfill certain requirements. There’s virtually no crime, and the country is politically and financially secure. Taxes are also lower than they are in the states.

The Swiss value leisure time and often close businesses early in the day (few are open on Sundays). The country is also centrally located, making it easy to travel to other European destinations. One downside is that it is cold nine months of the year, but summers are pleasant and not too hot.

Argentina Is Geographically Stunning

Argentina
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Claudia Rolando/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

For ex-pats looking for a bit of adventure, look no further than Argentina. From the wine country of Mendoza to the all-night parties of Buenos Aires and the wilderness of Patagonia, there is always something to do in Argentina, not to mention it is pretty affordable for those working remotely!

Not only are there more than a few adventures to be had, but Argentina is known for having some of the nicest locals in the world, so it’s easy to make the country home.

There Is Always Something To Do In Georgia

Georgia
VANO SHLAMOV/AFP via Getty Images
VANO SHLAMOV/AFP via Getty Images

Not the state of Georgia, but the country of Georgia, is one that ex-pats should retire to. Clean, friendly, and with a hard-core nightlife, westerners will feel right at home. Not only is the country full of quirky cafes and trendy wine bars, but the rent is absurdly cheap.

Ex-pats can find apartments for as low as $150 a month! That’s pretty much unheard of in the United States. With the cheap rent, ex-pats will be able to save and go on the many adventures the country has to offer, including the sulfur baths in Borjomi or hiking around the glacier-capped Mount Kazbek in Stepantsminda.

Bulgaria Is As Beautiful As It Is Cheap

Ukraine's Khapilina And Morocco's Sbaai Win Wizz Air Sofia Marathon 2020
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If you want to move to Europe, then consider Bulgaria. This country is 43.43% cheaper than the United States. Monthly rent there can cost as low as $230 per month, with larger places costing $530. Wifi only costs around $8 per month, and a 40” flat-screen TV is only $340, according to Expatistan.

With a modest budget, you can live in Bulgaria and even get a local job in tourism or teaching English. This country has buildings up to 8,000 years old and affordable food, so you’ll have plenty to do on your time off.

Grenada Is A Paradise

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JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images
JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images

Honestly, what beach lover wouldn’t want to retire in the West Indies island of Grenada? It is a paradise. With some of the most spectacular beaches in the world, ex-pats won’t want to leave, not to mention beach BBQs are pretty much a must-do for any local.

Whether it’s soca music or cars driving by blasting the latest hit, Grenada is pretty much a party at all hours of the day. So, ex-pats should pack up their swimsuits and flip-flops because that’s all they’ll be wearing when they retire here!

South Africa Will Benefit From English Speakers

South Africa
Xabiso Mkhabela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Xabiso Mkhabela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

For an affordable country with English as one of its main languages, consider South Africa. This country offers a wide variety of jobs, and a one-bedroom apartment there costs between $350 and $500 per month.

South Africa is 43.6% cheaper than the United States, according to Finglobal. With 11 official languages, South Africa is full of culture and offers many careers with native English speakers. Safaris, whale watching, and ziplining are all fun pastimes that you can do on weekends. Plus, it is absolutely beautiful!

Family Life Is Affordable In South Korea

North Korea Fire Unidentified Projectiles Into Sea
Woohae Cho/Getty Images
Woohae Cho/Getty Images

Living in South Korea is far cheaper than in the United States, especially for families. According to internations.org, a family of four will spend $2,000 in South Korea, excluding rent. A house there is between $130,000 and $200,000. Compare this to the U.S. where a family will likely spend $12,000 a month.

South Korea has a higher cost of living than other Asian countries, but it is still far cheaper than America. It is beautiful and has a high demand for English teachers and transportation careers. If you love coffee and good food, you’ll enjoy South Korea!

India Is Full Of Character

Kerala
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David Talukdar/NurPhoto via Getty Images

India is full of character. One moment an ex-pat could be on the coast, and the next, they’ll be checking out an elephant on a safari. The best part about the diverse area is that the American dollar goes a very long way, so it is extremely affordable to live there.

Start by exploring the houseboats of Vembanad Lake before hiking through Kerala’s rubber tree plantations and the living root bridge. Then, grab some of the delectable food the country has to offer. Whatever the day’s adventure is, India is not going to disappoint.

Poland Is Worth The Price, Even In Large Cities

Poland
Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Although Poland is not as well-known as its neighbors, it is still a gorgeous and affordable country. Even an expensive home in Warsaw only costs around $1,344 monthly, and a cheaper apartment can be as low as $733 per month.

In 2019, over 400,000 foreigners registered to live in Poland. And it’s easy to see why. It is far cheaper than the United Kingdom, and many employees make a good living. Technicians, drivers, IT staff, and customer service positions are all in demand there.

Retirees And Working People Can Save Money In Bolivia

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RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images
RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

Although Bolivia is not as popular as Chile or Argentina, ex-pats should consider it. A retired couple can live on $1,000 per month there. A two-bedroom apartment there is only $400 a month, and a single person can live on $600-$800 monthly there.

If you want a warm, tropical home with affordable food and transportation, Bolivia might be your country. Taxi rides cost as low as 75 cents there, and its delicious food is surprisingly cheap. Even in Sucre, one of Bolivia’s largest tourist attractions only requires $1,000 per month for a couple.

Laos Is Affordable And Relaxing

Muang Ngoi Neua
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images

The best thing for an ex-pat to do is to take their retirement to Laos. The Southeast Asian country will not disappoint. Not only are the people beyond friendly to Americans, but the slow-paced nature of the people is exactly what the doctor ordered. Soon, ex-pats will find themselves taking life at a much slower pace.

And the country is known for the American dollar going a very long way, so finding lodging is going to be close to zero issues. For some peace and quiet, away from the infamous honking horns, try relaxing in the mountainside village of Muang Ngoi Neua.

Sri Lanka Is The Ideal Country For Travelers

Sri Lanka Is The Ideal Country For Travelers
ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images
ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images

If you love traveling, you might want to move to Sri Lanka. This country has India and Europe to the north, Africa to the west, and Southern Asia to the East. While living there, you can save up to travel abroad. A three-bedroom apartment is less than $700 in Sri Lanka.

Excluding rent, a family of four can live in Sri Lanka for $1,280 every month. A single person’s monthly costs are far less–only around $380. This country is known for its beaches, 5-star hotels, and fun city nightlife. If this sounds like you, check out Sri Lanka.

Nepal Is full Of Things To Discover

Nepal Is full Of Things To Discover
PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images
PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images

Traveling to Nepal is like traveling back in time. From its sandy roads to its amazing architecture, it’s no wonder ex-pats fall in love with the country and choose it for retirement. From hiking the Himalayas to experiencing the “big town life” of Kathmandu, there is always something to discover.

If big towns aren’t in the cards, explore your inner daredevil and take the windy road trip to camp on pristine white beaches. The best way to camp here is on a hammock. The cool breeze is lovely after a hot ride on a motorbike!

Croatia Gives You Access To The Mediterranean Sea For Cheap

Croatia
Fernando Gutierrez-Juarez/picture alliance via Getty Images
Fernando Gutierrez-Juarez/picture alliance via Getty Images

For fans of the Mediterranean Sea, Croatia is one of the cheapest countries. Even Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, is one of the least expensive cities in the world. Living in Zagreb is 50% lower than living in the United States–only around $1,400 per month.

You can easily live under $1,000 per month in Croatia. According to Retirepedia, utilities are under $200 a month there, and childcare is only $550 per month for full-time services. Some grocery store foods are under $1! All that for a home on the sea.

Everything In Panama Costs 46% Less

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LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images
LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images

Virtually everything in Panama is less than what it costs in the United States. To put a number on it, it’s around 46% less, and that’s including housing, restaurants, and taxi rides! The low cost of living makes it one of the best places for ex-pats to retire.

Located between gorgeous beaches and a majestic mountain range, ex-pats will enjoy the best of both adventurous worlds, depending on how they decide to spend their day.

Honduras Is Easier To Live In Than Many Think

Honduras
ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty Images
ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty Images

Honduras is an incredibly popular tourist destination, and many visitors might consider living there. It’s also more affordable than many think. The country is 2% cheaper than Costa Rica, according to ExpatFinder.

You can live in Honduras for less than $1,500 per month. A one-bedroom apartment costs $295 monthly there, and a two-bedroom house is only $1,600 per month. Daily transportation is also cheap, and people in the tourism industry might find a job there. Did we mention the beaches?

Ecuador = Save, Save, Save!

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RODRIGO BUENDIA/Afp/AFP via Getty Images
RODRIGO BUENDIA/Afp/AFP via Getty Images

With the countryside, the beach, the mountains, and even the city, Ecuador has a little something for every ex-pat thinking about retirement. According to Investopedia, the cost to rent in Ecuador is a solid 70% cheaper than that in the United States.

If that reason alone doesn’t get people flocking to the country, then we’re not sure what will! On top of the cheaper rent, consumer items go for an astounding 40% lower than in America. Talk about savings along with a beautiful landscape!

Prague, The Land Where Beer Is Cheaper Than Water

Slovenia
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Tomas Tkacik/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The city center of Prague is one of the better locations in the world for an ex-pat to settle down. It’s so affordable that the beer is literally cheaper than ordering a glass of water, not to mention you could get lost wandering the cobblestone roads while marveling at the gorgeous architecture.

For ex-pats looking to have a fun time in a fun town, moving to the heart of Prague is an option that should not be overlooked. Whether it’s joining the party on the Charles Walking Bridge or exploring the John Lennon peace wall, there is always something to do in the city.

Slovenia Deserves A Second Look

Slovenia
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Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Slovenia sits near the Alps, next to France and Switzerland. Although it is not as popular as its neighbors, Slovenia is still beautiful and more affordable than other European countries. A person can easily live under $1,500 per month there, while a family of four will need $2,700.

A single person can get an apartment there for $800 a month, which is 17% lower than the United States average. Food is cheap, and a liter of gas only costs one Euro. On your off time, you can visit bars and clubs or go hiking to see the breathtaking scenery.

Uruguay Is A Small Country With Big Promises

Uruguay
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Marica van der Meer/Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Uruguay sits on the Atlantic coast next to Argentina and Brazil. Although Uruguay is far smaller than its neighbors, it is more affordable and gives you stunning beaches. Housing is very affordable there, especially for retirees.

Depending on the location and square footage, you might need $3,000 every month in Uruguay. A one-bedroom apartment costs $450 monthly, and three-bedroom apartments might be $610 in the suburbs. Stay out of Montevideo, which is the most expensive city in South America. Smaller towns next to the beach are the best choice.