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Awesome Cost-Effective Retirement Places

With all the practical possibilities and alternatives that could provide you with a comfortable retirement zooming around in your mind, consider using your saved cache to move out of the country. Look for a place that can offer the calm lifestyle you are after for the amount you have accumulated as a nest egg over the years. Here are some locations that you could consider which fit the bill when it comes to affordability and reputation as retirement havens.


You may be nearing pension age, but that does not mean that you no longer have the spirit for adventure. If you identify with this, the numerous English speaking Croatian islands will suit you down to the ground. You will be sure to fit right into the so-called “New Tuscany ” as the islands are popular amongst many retirees looking for a relaxed yet intrepid retirement lifestyle that exploring the islands affords you. Take note though that it can get cold and windy in winter. If you like the idea of island exploration, you can choose to rent or purchase property as a home base on the coast of Pula or Rovinj for example. An apartment can be rented for $300 and purchasing a small apartment will only set you back around $70 000. This is very affordable and will mean that you can keep a lot of your retirement benefits in reserve.

There are a couple of things to bear in mind though before you can move in and start your exploration of the islands. It is best to either get a temporary residence permit or go to the ministry of interior or the local police station with financial documents proving that you have the funds for normal living expenses and the documentation to show you have bought a property if you have chosen that option. Belonging to the state health care system will require registration and a minimal amount to be invested in the system, but this compulsory admission to the fund will benefit all retirees and means that you will have access to affordable healthcare. You will need to renew your temporary residence in 5 years time whereafter, you can apply for permanent status.


As a retirement spot, Bolivia ticks all the boxes. Boasting some of the most beautiful scenery and landscapes in South America, Bolivia also has an extremely low cost of living. You can work on around $1000 per month being sufficient to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Apart from having to learn a bit of Spanish to be able to communicate with the locals, you will have found a great place to consider retiring even if your funds are lower than they could be. There are growing retirement communities around towns like La Paz, Torija and Santa Cruz to name but a few, whose members will be more than happy to help you settle in and show you the ropes. As it is always best to be aware of the benefits of health insurance, please note that Bolivia does not have public healthcare but the very low cost of living means that you will have funds available in your retirement kitty to consider private healthcare.

As an initial step, it is a good idea to consider embarking on an exploratory short trip to Bolivia to determine if this is the ideal retirement spot for you in the longer term. After all, when you have decided on your retirement locale, it is easy enough to get a “specific purpose visa” and take up residence. Do remember that you need to hand in documentation confirming your plans to retire here and proving that your finances will be sufficient to facilitate the move and maintain your cost of living in the future. A police check is also standard.


This country is ideal for retirees on a budget. Well known for its incredible beaches and nature, Belize is also cost-effective and would make for a peaceful retirement in beautiful surroundings. The local population speaks English and Spanish so there will be no language barriers. At an average rental of $700 per month, this country has very affordable accommodation available but it must be born in mind that there is a higher crime rate in areas such as Belize City and some of the more outlying areas so when looking for rentals, the area is important. There is one other point that must be taken into consideration and that is that if you need advanced health care at any stage in your retirement, you might have to travel to neighboring Mexico or Nicaragua who has better treatment options. The public health care system in Belize is not so advanced.

Before you can become a permanent resident, at a cost of $1000, it is required that you are in the country for at least 50 weeks. Make sure you have sufficient funds left in your combined retirement savings as you will need to transfer around $24000 annually into a Belize bank.


Enjoy the architecture and stunning scenery? Consider Vietnam as your ideal retirement home. Savor the local cuisine that will have you enjoying many meals to come. You will find that both the coastal and inland cities of Vietnam have reasonable rentals and will ensure that you can live off your savings for a long while. The climate is mild and retirement is mainly stress-free.

Of course, learning to speak Vietnamese is no mean feat but once you have mastered this, your communication with others will be smooth and will not require the assistance of any of the bilingual ex-patriots. There is also a tendency today, for English to be spoken more often in Vietnam and many retirees are finding that it is not even necessary to learn a new language anymore. As far as health-care is concerned, you can obtain excellent basic care in Vietnam or choose to travel to other countries for the treatment of more complex health issues. Once you have been granted a one-year multiple entry visa, you can remain as a resident in the country but remember that this requires you to leave the borders of Vietnam every 3 months before you can return.


With many American tourists visiting annually, it is not surprising to find that Ecuador is a favorite destination amongst American retirees. Ecuador prides itself on the upkeep of its heritage sites and nature spots throughout all its cities and you will find plenty to see and do in every town before choosing where to settle down. At a very reasonable rental of around $400 per month for the smaller rentals, you will be spoilt for choice when looking for accommodation. It probably will not take you very long to determine which area you would like to settle down in.

Once you have decided, visit the Ecuadorian consulate in America and apply for a retirement residency visa. It is at this stage that you will need to show some documentation to prove that you can draw an income of about $800 a month from your retirement annuity fund and that you can also afford to pay for a monthly health insurance premium.


It is fantastic that Ireland can offer such cost-effective accommodation as this country is a firm favorite of retirees due to its magnificent castles and rich heritage as well as how welcome guests to Ireland are made to feel by the warm, friendly and affable populace. Having a retirement home in Ireland means that you are just a hop, skip and jump away from the U.K and countries and cities in Europe. There are more pricey locations in Ireland that you may want to avoid, so stick to looking for a permanent home in the more affordable County Mayo and Roscommon areas for example.

In these locations, you are looking at spending around $100 000 on purchasing a retirement home. Ireland has top-notch healthcare and you will be well looked after in well-equipped hospitals if needs be. Bear in mind that if you are not a citizen of the EU that you may be required to have health insurance, so factor this additional expense into your costing. You will be able to remain resident for 3 months on a ‘D’ class visa before you can then show the government that you are a person of independent means’. This means, of course, that documentation will need to be provided to show that you are financially independent and can access at least $58 000 per year from retirement savings for living expenses.


Chile offers the retiree more than just low-cost living. This country is renowned for its sublime beaches and tranquil mountain top views. The many locations available for retirement living are so well priced that your retirement savings should even enable you to splurge a couple of times a month for dining out so you can savor the local cuisine as well.

All you need is a regular visa that you can exchange for a retirement/income visa once you are settled. This visa means that you can stay for a year but it probably makes more sense to apply for a permanent residency after 6 months in Chile – which you can also do. There is no need to be overly concerned if you are retiring with fewer savings that you would have liked, as you do not need to confirm a minimum income withdrawal per month. A low $1000 should secure you a small retirement home or apartment in any area as all have a very low crime rate.


For many retirees, Uruguay’s living costs are a great draw-card. A further perk is that this country has the same climate as the USA. People are drawn to Uruguay due to its democracy and modern city frameworks even amongst its well-visited heritage sites. The beaches are very popular and life in Uruguay is relaxed and calm. In the larger cities, $800 a month will secure you a small apartment with every amenity you require to make retired life easy. The low rental will enable you to have enough income left over to take care of the other expenses such as groceries and clothing.

For only $100 per month, you can join the countries with more than adequate health care which includes admission to clinics and private facilities. Once you show proof of income exceeding $1 500 a month, you will be issued with a Rentista visa so that you can import duty-free personal items. Have a look at all the options available when it comes to visa choices and choose the one that best suits your finances. As you can surmise, being granted residency in this country is easy but remember there are more extensive rules and requirements for citizenship.


Rather than scouring the whole of France for affordable accommodation, look at the smaller towns first. A small town such as Pau will likely offer more options for lower rental apartments. A single bedroom flat will run in the region of $500 per month. As far as food is concerned, costs can be kept at a minimum in a small town whether you are pricing groceries or the cost of eating out. Another good idea is to look at the university towns such as Montpellier that specifically cater to students and offer lower rentals.

It is required that you belong to a health insurance plan but this is well worth the cost as France has a superlative health care system in place. A visa can be obtained through the French consulate. The French government needs to see proof of your pension or retirement savings and investments as well as proof that you have applied for acceptance into a health insurance plan. These plans do include travel insurance within France as well which is compulsory. Your visa needs to be renewed annually and the government will need to see up to date financial statements with each renewal application.


To live comfortably in the popular tourist destination of Thailand requires an annual retirement income of about $24 000. Rentals will set you back about $1 000 a month and you can count on this amount being relatively static throughout the country. Thailand has surprisingly modern towns and cities, all of which could be a retirement mecca. Again, no need to concern yourself if, in the event, you require good healthcare, as this country offers excellent care.

Climate-wise, you will feel as if you are still in the USA and the overall crime rate is low. On retiring here, a yearly visa is required as well as confirmation that you can deposit 800 000 Baht at a Thai bank. A visit to the Thai immigration department every 3 months is a requirement you must adhere to.


Italy is well known as the land of great cuisine, unsurpassed cultural icons, and fantastic weather. Less known is that Italy is a mecca for people looking to retire comfortably, due to the great cost-effectiveness that a move to this great city brings. Rentals are around $600 a month and for a mere $32 000 the potential retiree can buy a property to make their home for the rest of their lives. It gets better, as the cost of eating out at the promenade along the beaches of Puglia is so low that fresh seafood will probably become your favorite staple cuisine very quickly.

You will not require a specific visa so apply for an elective residency visa. Again, you will need to provide the Italian government with financial statements to prove your retirement income and that you have a rental agreement in place upfront. After you have been granted residency, you will need to join a health-care plan which will set you back around $400 a month, but you will be able to access the excellent Italian healthcare system which is a huge perk for retirees.


If your retirement income exceeds $1 500 per month, you could consider Peru as one of the places to retire. You would spend approximately $225 on rent and as little as $12 on a meal out. As you can see, very affordable and one of the countries to consider when looking for a city or town conducive to a comfortable retirement lifestyle.

Again the always important health-care membership is required so that you can access both private and public medical facilities. Previous visitors to Peru report having experienced moderate altitude sickness after arriving in this must-see country. The Revista visa is renewable provided that you can show that you have access to a monthly income of $1 000 as well as $500 a month for each dependent you have living with you.


For the more spritely retirees, take a look at Slovenia. Not only does this country offer easily affordable accommodations but the cost of living and food, in particular, is very low as well. Think $550 rent per month. But more to the point for the more active amongst us, you will be spending a lot more time outdoors exploring the most magnificent scenery and walking the vistas.

The state requires a very nominal contribution to enjoy coverage under the health-care scheme. You will need to apply for a 1-year temporary residence permit when you retire but are still resident in your native country. This permit gets renewed by you every 5 years and Slovenia will also require proof that you have a confirmed monthly income of more than $1000.


When looking for a retirement home in Spain, keep to the smaller towns as places such as Barcelona can be pricey. In these smaller towns off the beaten tourist track, you will be able to find reasonable rentals in the region of $630 per month. The city’s mild climate and warm seas will make for a relaxing and peaceful retirement.

Spain is also a very convenient country for jetting off on the occasional European holiday. You need to show the Spanish government that you can access at least $2 500 of your retirement income every month when you apply for your visa. You must also confirm if your current health insurance will pay claims while you are in Spain. As far as the rest of your cost of living is concerned, you will find Spain to be very cost-efficient and affordable.


Neighboring Spain, Portugal is similarly an excellent choice for retirement living. With the same balmy weather and fantastic food means that you will not go wrong looking for a retirement home here. A bonus is the super friendly Portuguese people who will make you right at home from day one.

In this country, look into the possibility of buying private healthcare which you should be able to do as the rental and property prices are buyer-friendly. Of course, you will need a valid passport as is standard throughout the world, so that you can obtain your resident’s permit. As is usual, make sure you can prove monthly income and have your health-care documentation ready for perusal by government officials.


For a meager $500 per month, a retirement apartment or cottage is not hard to find in Malaysia. This is a greatly sought after location to spend your later years due to the tasty cuisine and mild climate. Remember to stay away from the more expensive tourist destinations like Sabah to find your property gem.

It may be a good idea to have a look at properties on the islands. One of the cheapest property prices is Panang where you can pick up a small flat for $290 a month. You will not have to concern yourself with your health as superior care and clinics are readily accessible in Malaysia. No high priced healthcare is required here! If you can show that you are generating $2 400 a month from your withdrawal benefits, you can request a 10-year visa.


It is not often that you find a country that is a tourist mecca and still manages to keep its reparations low. You will not regret joining the local Mediterranean people in their laid-back, peaceful, and friendly lifestyles. A small retirement home can be rented for about $450 per month.

One less thing to worry about is that everyone speaks English! English is actually one of the official languages of Malta. Again, the medical care in this country is top-level. A one-year visa is what you require and the annual renewal of this visa will enable you to get permanent residency in time.


If you dream of living out your retirement in a place of enchantment and elegance, Panama needs to be your first port of call. Monthly rental needs to be budgeted for at around $1 000. You can look forward to paying only $50 for a sumptuous meal out and not having to learn another language, as English is spoken throughout Panama.

This country has a retirement program which is one of the main reasons you should be considering living out your days in this idyllic location. Even better still is that there is no minimum income level, so comfortable retirement is available to all. Your visa will not be difficult to get and the retirement program offers great discounts and benefits that will help make your withdrawal benefits last even longer.


The place for young at heart retirees! If a great nightlife, tequila, and watching the sunrise are for you, Mexico is the place to find your retirement mecca – and you will not be the only one believe me! At only $200 per month, you will easily find your ideal home, and Mexico will make you feel right at home with many American brands and stores on your doorstep. When in Mexico, your health insurance is still active and valid.

You could also join a health-care plan in Mexico if you were not covered in the USA. A temporary visa is probably the best option so that you can travel between Mexico and the USA with ease. Applying for permanent residency in Mexico is not a problem so long as you can prove a retirement income of more than $23 500 a year. As you can see these requirements are the same as for people just traveling to and from Mexico and the USA.

Costa Rica

The official, most cost-effective, and value for money retirement location in the world! Consider the list of attributes Costa Rica has. Low crime rates, no political instability, magnificent scenery, majestic woodlands, and sun-drenched beaches. All of this for $1 000 per month secures you a guaranteed perfect retirement. Again, take advantage of the Pensionado program which only requires you to confirm that you have a pension amount available of $1 000 a month and allows you to take advantage of fantastic benefits and discounts. You can choose to belong to the public health-care system or buy your own privately if this is what you prefer. Costa Rica must be the ultimate retirement location but the following destinations are our editor’s choice and need some valid consideration as well.

Scottsdale, Arizona

For the retiree who loves small-town living coupled with amazing vistas, this town is a must-see. Peace and quiet are guaranteed and a mild climate will be easy on aching bones: no snow or low temperatures in Scottsdale!

Cape Coral, Florida

Cape Coral is for the budget conscious and those looking for moderate year-round temperatures. The cost of living is low and the sun will warm the bones and hearts of its retirees year-round.

The Woodlands, Texas

For magnificent scenery with overall small-town peace, The Woodlands is the place to consider living out your years comfortably. Your entire retirement savings from all packages need only be around $15 000 in total. You can anticipate spending about $1 300 a month on accommodation and the balance of your outlay on necessities will not eat up your savings. This very safe and friendly locale is perfect to consider as a retirement home.

Torrance, California

Looking at the west coast, Torrance is one of the most beautiful towns when it comes to its landscapes and terrain. You are close enough to L.A to head into the big city for an outing or dinner. The small city of Torrance is also perfect for the budget-conscious with a low cost of living.

Augusta, Georgia

If you love the old world southern charm found in this city, you will love Augusta. The perfect place to retire, Augusta does not require that you have a huge retirement package saved up. You will find your withdrawal benefits sustaining you throughout the length of your retirement as expenses will be so low.

Metairie, Louisiana

Another locale for those worried about their retirement savings carrying them through. The is a typical small town with some quaint night-life that can be enjoyed by all. For even more to see and do, New Orleans is only a few miles drive down the road.

Mesa, Arizona