13 inexpensive Countries to Retire or live abroad

Based on my experiences & research, these are the

13 inexpensive Countries to Retire or Live abroad

I am always researching on this topic. 

Why move Abroad?

A chance to see the world, quality of life, explore new cultures and save money.

I used my experiences & several reference points including the latest Global Peace Index. The GPI ranks 172 independent states and territories according to their levels of peacefulness. The Annual report countries on factors like quality of life and the presence of conflict or turmoil.

I also turned to reports like the Annual Global retirement Index produced by International Living magazine. This report rates countries on categories like cost of living and access to healthcare. In addition, resources such as Numbeo’s Cost of Living index were used.

Below, is my list of the cheapest countries to Retire having benefits such as quality of life & safety. ( the numbers are not in order of cheapest )

1. Vietnam

Think French colonial architecture, beauty of nature, history and amazing street food.

Particularly affordable expat-friendly destinations are the beach town Nha Trang and the bustling city of Da Nang, where around $1,000 can cover your living costs for a month.

Vietnam’s most expensive city is Ho Chi Minh City, followed by Hanoi. Even in these two places, a couple can enjoy a comfortable, middle-class lifestyle for less than $1,300 per month. Many Westerners who live in Ho Chi Minh City  and Hanoi can get by spending around $500 per month, but it’s a no-frills lifestyle.

Vietnam is one of the cheapest countries in the world by far.

2. Thailand

Thailand, a small country in southern Asia known for its temples, natural beauty, pristine beaches, exotic cuisine and friendly people.

Island of Koh Samui offers an economical cost of living and the affordable city of Chiang Mai is full of modern amenities, like malls, health clubs and high-quality (yet inexpensive) health care.

If you prefer a city life, Bangkok is affordable and has some of the best private hospitals in the country. Thailand’s political climate is quite stable, and there is an active police presence, especially in big cities and tourist centers.

The requirement for a retirement visa is 65,000 baht per month (about $2,000) or savings of 800,000 baht ( $25,000) in a Thai bank account.

3. Slovenia

Slovenia has been my latest and favorite beautiful and affordable retirement destination in eastern Europe. In this hidden gem, are lovely historical villages, a livable four-season climate and a range of outdoor activities.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the modern capital city of Ljubljana costs about $600 a month, Numbeo says. Local food and staples also are reasonably priced.

4. Portugal

One of the overall safest countries in the world. I am drawn to its sandy beaches, warm climate, affordable lifestyle with quality healthcare, in addition to excellent food & wine.

To retire in Portugal, you’d have to provide proof of health insurance when applying for residency at the local consulate. Also, many major health insurance companies that serve the U.S. also extend coverage into Portugal.

The country has also recently tweaked its tax code to be particularly friendly to expats. If you qualify for Non-habitual Residence (NHR) status, for instance, you’re exempt from income tax for the next 10 years. This would cover earnings on pension and investments income even if it was made outside Portugal.

5. Croatia

Croatia is a gorgeous Mediterranean country which I have yet to visit. Many people plan a trip to the Croatian islands and coastal cities to go island-hopping and sunbathing.

Average monthly living expenses in Croatia are estimated to be between 400 and 700 EUR, depending on the type of accommodation (student dorm or privately rented housing). These amounts should be enough to cover food, accommodation and utilities.

Croatia’s coastal towns feel like Italy or Greece, whereas Zagreb feels like a real eastern European city. It has magnificent architecture, interesting museums, grand public squares, traditional and touristy restaurants, affordable local street markets, and stunning nearby national parks.

6. Cambodia

This country is most famous for its ancient temples in Siem Reap, but the capital city of Phnom Penh is an up-and-coming Southeast Asia travel destination.

Phnom Penh is the cultural center of Cambodia. It’s a convenient place to live as it has more amenities than other areas of the country. It’s also cheap. You can rent an apartment for as cheap as $400 or $500 a month. Utilities, shopping, food, drinks and everything else are very cheap here as well.

7. Nicaragua

Nicaragua offers a healthy lifestyle, delicious food and fantastic beach living for low costs. Here, a complete meal with wine will set you back just $7 and furnished studio apartments with water, electricity, and Wi-Fi is under $300 a month.

With health insurance available for just $500 per year through private hospitals, it was found to have quality doctors or care. Expats in Nicaragua can live a six-figure lifestyle easily on just $1,500 a month.

8. Malaysia

You can get a visa for up to 10 years through its Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program.
For nature lovers, the country serves as an ultimate getaway with its many beaches and jungles. Those who enjoy city life, choose one of Malaysia’s many urban destinations. In fact, CBS ranked George Town as one of the Top 10 cities to retire to in the world.

English is known as the “unofficial first language” in Malaysia. Plus, it ranks 30 on the Global Peace Index. This places the country considerably higher on the peace scale when compared to other countries in Southeast Asia.

9. Spain

Many chose Spain because of its overall low cost of living and peacefulness. It often makes several lists of best countries to retire in.

Family of four estimated monthly costs are 2,537$ (2,157€). A single person estimated monthly costs are $720. The average cost of living is $900 per month.

Expats may qualify for the country’s public healthcare program if they meet the following characteristics:

If you’re employed or self-employed and paying into Spain’s social security system

If you’re recently divorced from a partner who pays into Social Security

If you’re a state sensioner

If you want to retire in Spain, you need to register for a visa after 90 days.

10. Costa Rica

According to International Living, rents start at $500 a month in the popular Central Valley.  Great for outdoor enthusiasts for you will find surfing, swimming, whitewater rafting, fishing, jungle hikes, horse riding and more.

International Living rates Costa Rica’s healthcare system as excellent and among the best in Latin America.

You can retire in Costa Rica by applying for a Pensionado visa. But you’d need monthly pension income of at least $1,000.

11. Mexico

On average with the daily cost of living factors taken into account you will save from 30-60% on your monthly expenses compared to USA.

If you eat like a local and shop at farmers’ markets instead of huge brand supermarkets, the costs are low. Electricity can inflate living costs but as Mexico is a sunny nation, you can reduce these costs by fitting solar water heaters and electricity.

12. Montenegro

Another one of my favorite destinations to visit. If you’re not right on the water, €300 to €600 is a normal apartment prices. Eating out will cost €2 or €3 for a basic lunch, €5 to €10 for a nice place that’s locally owned. Fresh pastries are cheap and it’s easy to get organic fruit and vegetables for a couple euros a kilo. A beer in a bar is around €2, and you can pick up a decent bottle of wine in a store for €3.

13. Indonesia

According to a survey, the cost of living in Indonesia for a single person averages at Rp 13,415,843 (about $900) a month. While a family of four may need up to Rp 29,846,962 (about $2,000) to live comfortably. These amounts, however, tend to vary all throughout the country.

In Bali, a couple can live like royalty in most towns for $1,900. Personally, I love Bali and would like to retire here. If you choose to live right by the beach in a three-bedroom villa with a pool, it will stretch your budget

Bali is full of stunning beaches, warm land welcoming locals, amazing food, temples, nature, dense jungles and a relaxing tropical paradise.

Most visitors like me, want to stay here forever.

These are just some of my favorite places to retire and there are many more destinations that can be included. Keep in mind these numbers are estimated and will change in the future.


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