cheapest places to retire
Updated September 30, 2021

21 of the Cheapest Places to Retire Where Your Savings Will Last Longer

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Whether you’re retiring next year or plan on working for several decades longer, it’s never too early to start planning your retirement.

One of the best ways to make your retirement savings last the longest is to consider moving to an area with a low cost of living.

While many retirees have plans to retire right here in the United States, it’s possible to improve your quality of life and even retire early by moving abroad.

Millions of Americans have retired in other countries to reduce their cost of living while also living a fun, fulfilling retirement.

We decided to list the cheapest places to retire where your savings will last longer and will allow you to do more.

Many of these countries offer a blend of modern society and rich history, creating the perfect environment for a grand retirement adventure.

Here are Money Done Right’s cheapest places to retire and stretch your retirement savings even further.

Note: In addition to price, other factors are considered in these rankings such as quality of life, safety, and healthcare.

1. Costa Rica

Rounding out as number one on our list, Costa Rica has long been a popular retirement destination for retirees around the world.

The incredible climate, inexpensive cost of living, and affordable healthcare make Costa Rica a retiree’s dream.

Housing is very affordable throughout the country, and it’s possible to rent a home near the beach for under $500 per month.

The culture is vibrant, and there’s a large retiree presence in major cities.

You can qualify for a retirement visa with proof of income of at least $1,000 per month, and it’s very reasonable to live a comfortable retirement on less than $2,000 per month.

2. Mexico

Another popular destination, Mexico is a great place to retire.

Puerto Vallarta is home to world-class resorts that are perfect for retirees.

The economy in this area is very stable, and it’s also one of the safest areas in Mexico, which adds to the appeal.

Healthcare facilities are inexpensive and high-quality, and everything you’d ever need is readily available.
If you’re looking for convenient, care-free living, consider Mexico for your retirement.

Couples can expect to pay less than $2,000 per month for a luxurious retirement.

3. Dominican Republic

A familiar entry on many lists of cheapest places to retire abroad, the Dominican Republic is always a fan favorite.

This tropical paradise is inexpensive and welcoming, making it perfect for retirees around the world.

The economy is currently booming, and the country has a history spanning back hundreds of years.

You’ll be able to experience modern amenities that you’ve come to expect in the United States while also being immersed in a rich culture and history.

To help with an economic boost, the Dominican government makes it easy for retirees to relocate to the area.

You can live quite comfortably on just $1,500 per month.

4. India

One of the least expensive, and possibly most vibrant countries in the world is India.

With a culture that goes back thousands of years, India is an ideal destination for retirees.

While the population is over 1 billion people, there are bustling retirement communities that provide high-end amenities and housing.

A large percentage of citizens speak English as well, which makes retirement that much easier.

You’ll notice significantly lower prices on food, entertainment, utilities, and transportation.

When it comes to housing, you can rent a beautiful apartment in a wealthy area all for less than $400 per month, with total monthly expenses rarely exceeding $1,000 per month.

5. Turkey

Blending Eastern Europe with Western Asia, Turkey is one of the oldest countries in the world and a popular retirement destination.

If you’re interested in history or are seeking a unique adventure in your retirement, Turkey is a great option.

Istanbul is home to some of the world’s most famous architecture, including the grand Hagia Sofia.

Healthcare facilities offer quality services and are incredibly inexpensive.

Apart from the rich history, excellent healthcare, and overall low cost of living, housing prices are one of the lowest on the list.

You can rent an updated three-bedroom apartment in the middle of a major city for less than $500 per month.

Check out these amazing tips to retire to your dream destination early.

6. Nicaragua

For a beautiful location that can give you the most for your money, you should consider Nicaragua.

This tropical paradise is perfect for active retirees, offering outdoor adventures such as jungle tours, world-class golf, and even volcanoes.

Head to the coast to see some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, or travel inland and tour coffee farms.

You can rent a historic home in many major cities for less than $750 per month, making Nicaragua’s housing one of the least expensive of the list.

Although Nicaragua is currently undergoing drastic changes, it’s a popular retirement destination and is quickly progressing.

If you relocated to Nicaragua, expect to pay less than $1,500 per month in living expenses.

7. Estonia

Estonia is another incredible European retirement destination with sprawling forests and wildlands.

Housing prices are some of the lowest in Europe, with three-bedroom apartments averaging just $600 per month.

Living in the city won’t cost you much more either, with a high-end three-bedroom apartment averaging $800 per month.

With additional monthly expenses included, you can retire comfortably in Estonia on $1,500 per month.

Apart from the cost of living, retirees enjoy Estonia for safety, ease of communication, and access to high-quality healthcare.

8. Taiwan

Taiwan is known for exciting city life and authentic food options.

What you may not know is that it hosts a vibrant retirement community due to the low cost of living and retirement-friendly amenities.

You can easily rent a three-bedroom apartment in a high-end area for less than $1,000 per month, with total monthly expenses averaging around $1,500 per month in Taiwan.

Taiwan offers vibrant island living with quick access to the mainland, making it a prime spot for your retirement years.

9. Panama

Panama is much more than a spring break destination, it’s also an incredibly affordable retirement destination.

Panama City is a popular retirement area for many Americans and offers modern amenities and entertainment.

One of the biggest draws to retiring in Panama is healthcare costs. With many health facilities partnering with major institutions in the United States, retirees can easily get the same level of healthcare in Panama as they do in the United States, for a fraction of the cost.

Like many countries in the area, Panama offers a retirement visa for those with proof of income, which gives you discounts on entertainment, transportation, and utilities.

Living in a big city won’t cost you much more than $2,000 per month, and if you live outside of a major city, expect to pay even less.

10. South Africa

South Africa is a popular retirement destination due to the low cost of living in the cities as well as the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

You can explore beaches to the South or head inland for rugged adventure.

South Africa has both private and public healthcare systems, meaning retirees have various options.

English is an official language in South Africa as well, which makes the transition to living abroad much easier.

Cost of living averages $2,000 per month in the more expensive areas of the country.

11. Malta

Retire to paradise off the coast of Southern Italy to the small island of Malta.

This quiet Mediterranean island has low costs of living, excellent healthcare facilities, and a retirement visa to make it easy to relocate.

All you need is proof of at least $18,000 in annual income to qualify for a retirement visa.

As the island is very small at just over 100 square miles, it isn’t a common retirement destination.

That means it’s quiet throughout the year, and peak tourist season is enjoyable.

You can easily live a comfortable retirement on less than $2,000 per month.

12. Ecuador

Ecuador is a top retirement destination not only for the extreme low cost of living, but for the retirement-friendly policies and benefits.

Retirees in Ecuador get discounts on utilities and services, as well as a big tax discount, making the move to Ecuador more than worthwhile.

The lifestyle is laid-back and relaxed, even in the largest metropolitan areas.

Beautiful historic buildings are well-maintained, and the healthcare infrastructure is ideal for retirees.

When comparing costs, the estimated monthly living expenses are around $1,500 per month.

13. Colombia

Colombia is always a top contender for the cheapest retirement places for its inexpensive real estate and modern healthcare.

Bogota and Medellin are two major cities that are also retiree-friendly.

Everyone is extremely friendly and welcoming, and even the government is encouraging retirees from abroad.

By simply proving that you earn over $1,000 per month in retirement, you can qualify for a retirement visa.

The cost of living is also one of the lowest in the world, with many retirees spending less than $1,000 per month in total expenses.

If you’re looking to buy property, expect to pay as little as $40,000 for an apartment in a major city.

14. Spain

Spain is one of the cheapest places to retire in Europe, and is also one of the most beautiful.

This modernized country has everything you’d expect to have in the United States, including high-speed internet, reliable public transportation, and world-class healthcare.

In fact, retirees can take advantage of huge public transit discounts, making access to the rest of Spain and even the rest of Europe incredibly simple.

Experience rich Spanish culture while reducing costs in your retirement; expect to pay less than $2,000 per month in living expenses while retired in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

15. Belize

If you want to retire to a beautiful beach town, check out San Pedro in Belize.

While the infrastructure is being developed, this quiet country is ideal for someone looking for a peaceful, relaxing retirement.

Real estate is extremely cheap, and almost everyone speaks English.

Tourism is picking up, which is helping the economy, but it isn’t so popular as to become overcrowded with tourists.

You can rent a home near the beach for around $1,000, and can easily live on less than $2,000 per month in total expenses.

16. Indonesia

With one of the least expensive costs of living in the world, retirees who relocate to Indonesia will be able to make their savings last much longer than staying in the United States.

Indonesia has both bustling cities and quiet rural towns, letting retirees experience the best of both worlds.

Escape to the paradise island of Bali or head to Jakarta for a busy metropolitan experience.

In regards to cost, you can rent a three-bedroom apartment near the center of a major city for under $600 per month, which is far less than what you’ll find in the United States.

17. Portugal

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is more than just a popular tourist destination; it’s one of the cheapest places to retire.

Featuring world-class healthcare and affordable housing, Lisbon is in an ideal location for quick and easy access to some of Europe’s top cities and attractions.

Just a short drive to the beach, Lisbon has consistent temperatures year-round and has one of the lowest costs of living in Western Europe.

Retirees feel even more comfortable in Portugal due to its large English-speaking population and the fact that it’s currently rated as the third-safest country in the world.

You can live quite comfortably on just over $1,000 per month, and you can purchase an apartment some of the least expensive neighborhoods in Lisbon for less than $100,000.

Start early on your savings plan, click here to see how.

18. Italy

A surprising entry on the list, Italy might not be your first thought when it comes to inexpensive places to retire abroad.

However, the hidden town of Abruzzo, Italy, is one of the top destinations to retire if you’re looking for an inexpensive paradise.

Located on the coast, Abruzzo is a charming, historic town that has some of the best attractions, housing, and dining that Italy has to offer.

A retired couple can live comfortably on less than $2,000 per month, making Abruzzo the most surprising location on the list.

19. Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the top destinations to retire because of its modern amenities, world-class healthcare, and stunning landscapes.

Kuala Lumpur and George Town are two popular cities for retirees.

As a former British colony, English is an unofficial language of Malaysia, making it easy for retirees to transition to living abroad.

Housing and living expenses in Malaysia are some of the lowest in the world, allowing retirees to stretch their savings even further. For instance, you can easily find an upscale, two-bedroom apartment for less than $750 per month.

With low housing prices, affordable healthcare, and multiple major cities to explore, Malaysia is a retiree’s dream.

20. Peru

Peru truly is a South American paradise and has one of the lowest costs of living in the world. The diverse Peruvian culture is welcoming and relaxed, which is perfect for retirees.

Machu Picchu is full of rich history and offers stunning landscapes, making it one of the most popular cities in Peru.

One of the best parts of retiring to Peru is the absence of a true tourist season, paired with the fact that there are very few retirees currently living there.

When considering cost, you can easily find a two-bedroom apartment for just a few hundred dollars per month.

If you’re looking for a quiet, breathtaking place to retire, Peru is just what you need.

Check out some top ways to save for retirement and live the rest of your life worry-free.

21. Thailand

Bangkok and Chiang Mai are two very popular retirement cities, offering a bustling metropolitan area and an extremely low cost of living.

Thailand has many Western amenities and an advanced healthcare system, making it ideal for retirees.

Retirees can live in Thailand for far less than $2,000, making it one of the best places to retire on social security alone.

The country is also retiree-friendly, offering seniors discounts on travel and entertainment.

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Preparing for the Cheapest Places to Retire

Regardless of where you retire, planning early will help make your retirement as comfortable as possible.
If you start saving early and create a strategic saving plan, you can even retire early.

Here are some key tools that can help you up your retirement savings game:


You can automate your 401(k) account by signing up for Blooom.

What was once only available to the ultra-wealthy, Blooom offers professional retirement management services at a fraction of the cost.

Your account will be optimized and Blooom will help reduce unnecessary management fees, making your money work harder for you.

For more information, check out our Blooom review.


Acorns can get you into the investing game with easy, automated investments every time you make a purchase.

By linking your credit or debit card to Acorns, and with every purchase, the purchase amount is rounded up to the next dollar. Your spare change is automatically invested in stocks, bonds, and other assets.

You can choose from five different investment portfolio depending on your investment goals, from conservative to aggressive investing.


Another part of a successful retirement is continual credit report monitoring.

CreditSesame is a free credit monitoring service that takes the stress out of your credit score.

Review your accounts, dispute errors, and get personalized suggestions for your credit to chart your course toward a successful retirement.

Check out our CreditSesame review for more details.


You can always move more money into your retirement account by reducing the amount of money you spend each month on bills.

Cushion analyzes your credit card transactions and notifies you of recurring charges, subscriptions, and fees. Cushion can even work on behalf to lower your monthly bills.

To find out more about how this works, read our Cushion review.

By using these apps and services, you can sit back, relax, and think about your future retirement.

Check out even more ways to save for retirement and never have to worry about tomorrow ever again.

Are you a current retiree living abroad, or do you have more suggestions for the cheapest places to retire? Let us know in the comments!


Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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Piki Dad
4 years ago

I believe you missed listing the Philippines. It’s cheap, has great food, extremely friendly people, and gives easy access to other South East Asian countries since it’s at the very center.

Great list though. Opened up more possibilities.

Kenneth Tucker
Kenneth Tucker
3 years ago

I always wonder why the Philippines never shows up on these lists?