You can save money on everything from housing and utility bills to transportation expenses. By now it’s no secret that Ecuador is a very affordable place to live. In Greece, which ranked last on the personal finance index despite falling in the middle of the pack for cost of living, half of expats reported not having enough household income to keep up with daily expenses, and 27% said they didn't have enough money to make ends meet. "I love how different it is, and I want it to stay that way, too," says Jean Johnson who lives in the colonial city of Antigua. Thailand is a retiree bug light thanks to an exotic Asian culture, low cost of living and healthcare so excellent and cheap it draws patients from abroad. Plus, the people are exceptionally friendly and English is widely spoken. The country’s Pensionado Program is known as one of the best retiree programs in the world, offering generous discounts to pension-holding retirees on expenses ranging from medical expenses to entertainment. Transportation is also a breeze, with a vast rail and bus system, plus inexpensive ride-sharing options. "One of the best things about living in Spain is the simplicity," says Fiona Lennol. Cost of Living for Expatriates. There’s also the often-unconsidered costs—like traveling around your new home and exploring neighboring towns. Whether you want to live along the coastline or in the midst of a bustling city, Mexico has something for virtually everyone. Find out more about the best retirement havens in the world–where your dollar will stretch further…in places where you’d actually want to live. You can be yourself and just enjoy life. A pretty short ride...but it's like a different world. The truth is you can live a richer life overseas, for less than what you’re currently spending at home. Dr. Cesar, my vet, makes house calls. Cost of Living A low cost of living is one of the most important factors for retirees who move overseas. Thanks to Spain’s warm Mediterranean climate, the nation’s beach life and food options are above par. And because Malaysian law is based on the British system, you’ll find plenty of English speakers and signs. As the second-most biodiverse country in the world, there’s an environment to suit just about anyone’s preference, from warm beaches to temperate mountain communities. Below, check out what it costs on average to live in the top 30 countries on InterNations personal finance index. Home to amazing wine, cheese, freshly baked baguettes and other culinary delights, foodies will feel right at home. Ecuador is home to all-around amazing weather, with varying climates depending on its region. You're not required to have a fancy car or a big house. The lion's share of global expats — 41% — relocated because of their career or their partner's career, whether by choice or out of necessity, according to the Expat Insider 2017 report from expatriate network and global guide InterNations. To compile the data, InterNations surveyed 12,519 expats, representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries around the world. Have you long dreamed of someday retiring to a quiet, sandy beach, or a lively city with friendly locals and deep historical roots? Subscribe to HuffPost’s money and living email. Other reasons included wanting a better quality of life (8%), to have an adventure (7%), or simply because they enjoy living abroad (3%). The U.S. dollar is the local currency and many citizens speak English, so acclimating to your new surroundings is easier. Malaysia is home to hundreds of white, sandy beaches, as well as warm weather and plenty of outdoor actives. Money, Home and Living Reporter, HuffPost. "It's like traveling into some epic or bygone landscape," says Portland-native John Kin, of traveling around the highlands. You will be surprised at the high quality of life you can have with a modest income. For six months each year, we wave goodbye to family and friends in cold, snowy Canada and set out for our home in Panama’s Chiriquí province. Even after 12 years living in Mazatlán full-time, I still get surprised. You can make that dream a reality ― there’s a literal world of possibilities. InterNations developed its 2017 personal finance index by ranking 65 countries based on how survey respondents felt about their financial situation, and whether their disposable income was sufficient to cover their expenses. Retiring abroad can be a cost-effective option for your golden years, as many foreign countries have lower costs of living than the U.S. And it’s not as risky or unconventional as you might think. It's largely thanks to these folks that Guatemala has such a rich and unique culture. That's in sharp contrast to Vietnam, which took the top spot on the index, where 93% of expats said they have enough or more than they need to cover their cost of living. Mexico stands out as a top retirement destination because of its low cost of living, national health care plan, vibrant culture and diverse landscapes. In fact, my life in the little mountain town of Cotacachi is so inexpensive that I can support my family of four as a part-time freelancer. Even big cities have a small town feel because of the friendly, welcoming locals. IL Magazine: We'll Pay for your Subscription AND Give You a FREE Issue of The Savvy Retiree... about subscribing to International Living Magazine, : The Cheapest Places in the World to Live in 2020, : A Hidden Pacific Ocean Jewel Where You Can Live for $1,000 a Month, : Laid-Back, Affordable Living on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast, : Living Simply and Happily in Costa Rica With Rent of $420 a Month, : Looking for Culture, Comfort and Low-Cost Living? There’s a rich outdoor culture with plenty of hiking, diving, fishing, yoga and other healthy activities. Affordability is one of the most important qualities of a great retirement destination, especially if you’re trying to stretch savings, pensions, and Social Security as far as possible. Portugal took the top spot as the best place to retire abroad thanks to its year-round pleasant weather, low cost of living and rich culture. There are plenty of expat beach communities where you can rely on English to get settled, though venturing out of these areas will require you to pick up a bit of Spanish. That’s why each year, International Living compiles its Annual Global Retirement Index and spotlights the best places to retire abroad based on factors such as housing, benefits and discounts, cost of living, health care, development, climate and more. Life as a global nomad or an expat retiree is not just about experiencing a new culture in a foreign land. Account active And with an excellent health care system, a thriving fashion scene and abundant culture, you shouldn’t ever feel isolated or bored. You might want warm weather and a beach nearby, or city amenities and nightlife. Select first country Select second country. Money Matters and Considerations Abroad Regardless of whether your plan is to study, volunteer or work abroad, the economic condition of your destination country is an important consideration. Live your best expat life in one of these beautiful but affordable destinations. Don't see your country here? Whether you are moving abroad for a few years or permanently, you should know the expenses involved in living in a major expat hotspot. Living is very affordable, including health care costs. Case in point: pet care. Share this: Simply enter your e-mail below to subscribe to International Living’s free daily e-letter and we’ll immediately send your free report–The World’s Top 10 Retirement Havens, Subscribe to the Magazine Today and Save 35%. Part of HuffPost Money. After all you’re there to have fun. For the last seven years, my husband Gary and I have been enjoying a snowbird lifestyle. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, with an inexpensive lifestyle, friendly people, and great food—then retiring overseas is for you. Sign in to access your subscriptions and subscriber-only content. The Social Security Administration sent checks to nearly 700,000 retirees living abroad as of December 2019. I first came to the laidback fishing town of Zihuatanejo (pronounced “zee-watt-an-a-hoe”) eight years ago, to visit an old friend. This is especially true if you are an American or from another country in Western Europe. And the gorgeous landscapes don’t hurt, either. A low cost of living is one of the most important factors for retirees who move overseas. ... (8%), to have an adventure (7%), or simply because they enjoy living abroad (3%). For each country on the list, we compiled the average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the center of town, utilities, and commuting, as well as the price of a cappuccino and a pint of domestic beer, according to global cost of living database Numbeo. Costa Rica is also known as the “Switzerland of Central America” thanks to its neutrality, safety and stable banking system. Best International Cost of living comparison calculator for accommodation, transportation and food by country Houston native Bailey Colby moved to Costa Rica in July 2015 after landing a teaching job at a local school. Each beach is different than the next, you have tiny, quiet towns and busy towns nearby Read more...: Living Simply and Happily in Costa Rica With Rent of $420 a Month. All rights reserved. The nation ravaged by war several decades ago boasts an exceptionally low cost of living and one of the strongest economies in Asia. Locals are also extremely welcoming to visitors and expats. "Less is expected of you. Spain Cost of Living Summary Compared to other Western European nations, the living costs in Spain make it an extremely affordable place to live. If vineyards and meadows are more your speed, consider retiring in France. Part of the reason my wife and I chose to begin our Costa Rican adventure in the Central Valley town of Grecia was its proximity to San José and the airport, as well as the beautiful scenery and temperate climate. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. So many things are so much cheaper in Mexico it’s hard to know where to begin. Cost of Living Comparison Using this tool you can compare cost of living and its indicators (Cost of Living index, Cost of Living Plus Rent Index, Groceries Index, Restaurants Index, Local Purchasing Power...) for two cities supported by our dataset. “I had visited this area before and loved it because it’s such a short distance to so many places. Compare International Cost of living for Students, Bachelors and Family. Although money may be a major motivating factor, the report found expats' satisfaction with their personal finances varied greatly depending on where they live. Love was the second most commonly cited catalyst, motivating 12% of moves overseas. Despite what you might think, the country is an affordable place to live. For other low-cost destinations around the world, see Investopedia's article on the Best Countries for Retirement Abroad. ©2020 Verizon Media. Retiring abroad can be a cost-effective option for your golden years, as many foreign countries have lower costs of living than the U.S. And it’s not as risky or unconventional as you might think.
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