So you did not do a very good job of planning for your retirement. Life happens. Maybe you decided to spend now – save later, or maybe certain life events did not allow you (or you chose not to) save as much for your retirement as you should have.
The good news is you can still retire and you can live very comfortably. In fact, if you just have $200k socked away there are some really cool places outside the United States you could live like a King (or Queen).
Retiring abroad certainly has its benefits, such as cheaper healthcare, a refreshing change of scenery and a lower cost of living. That last detail is especially important for retirees who haven’t saved as much as they had hoped. Fortunately, there are a number of countries where you can retire comfortably with a smaller nest egg.
Living on the cheap is even easier when you’re receiving Social Security benefits. As of 2016, the average benefit amount came to $1,341 for the typical retired worker. If you have $200,000 tucked away in a retirement plan, that, along with your Social Security payments, should provide a very comfortable retirement in any of these eight international destinations.
Costa Rica has been compared to many as the poor mans’s Hawaii . It is a very popular choice 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.
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 Pension-ado Program saves foreign retirees some extra cash by offering discounts on flights, hospital services, utilities and more.
Expatriates flock to Ecuador because of its gorgeous 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.
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent in Ecuador is $1484
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 in Nicaragua is $1181
Palm trees, blue skies and sandy beaches are some of the best reasons to retire in Belize, as is the fact that it’s extremely budget-friendly. 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. Belize has also been very aggressive about luring US Citizens to their fine country and have no tax when it comes to transferring in outside assets.
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent in Belize is $1500
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 in Thailand is $1740
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 in Malaysia is $1557
And maybe the best for last is Spain. Just try and find someone who does not love Spain. The people.. The Food.. The climate.. 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.
Monthly expenses for a couple including rent in Spain is $2283
Vancouver, British Columbia
There are other things to consider for some people other than rent expense. Vancouver is a perfect example of this.
First of all you may not want to be that far away from your family or maybe at this point in your life you don’t want to learn a new language. However, one of the major expenses you need to consider when you retire is the cost of your health care. You can pay up to $1500 per month in Vancouver for an apartment but you can easily save over $400 per month on health care expenses.
Retirees in Canada have access to the country’s public health care system, which provides free care to residents, including expats with a permanent residence in the country.
Buenos Aires is the best off all worlds for many retirees. First you have one of the lowest cost of living expenses in North America. You can start with a great one bedroom apartment in a great neighborhood for only $400 per month. If you would rather buy than rent, there are great homes in great neighborhoods available starting at $70,000. Monthly expenses are more than reasonable. Internet, water, electric and cable television will cost you less than $100 per month.
Getting around Buenos Aires is incredibly easy due to their inexpensive but comprehensive public transportation system.
The other added benefit of retiring in Buenos Aires is the low cost of health care. One of the biggest mistakes that many retirees make is not budgeting enough for health care cost. Health care in Argentina is a bargain, thanks to the country’s public health care system and surplus of doctors. The quality and affordability of Argentina’s medical services has led to a booming medical tourism industry. In 2011, more than 100,000 visitors came to Argentina to receive medical care, according to Argentina’s National Institute of Tourism Promotion.
Major surgeries, including heart surgeries, knee and hip replacements, and cosmetic procedures, are half or a third of what it would cost you in the United States
If you are a lover of the far East and don’t have a lot of money for retirement than Cambodia is the retirement destination for you. Cambodia tops most all destination lists for one of the most inexpensive, modernized locations on the planet. How cheap? You can rent a great apartment in a great location starting at $250 per month. Cambodia is a retirement destination where you can actually live on your monthly social security checks