Skip to comments.The Best Places in the World to Retire (For less than $2,000 a month. 2012 Edition)
Posted on 01/30/2012 2:08:43 PM PST by SeekAndFind
01/26/12 If you had $20,000 a month to retire on you could live lavishly pretty much anywhere on the planet. But were interested in the places where you can live that lifestyle on one-tenth the budget…
Places where you can have a maid clean for you…hire a gardener… wake up to a view…have great health care, eat well, enjoy the finer things in life for less than $2,000 a month. You may be surprised how many there are…
Months ago, our far-flung editors and in-country advisers began collecting all the data and details that inform our annual Retirement Index.
To compile it, we evaluate and rank countries around the world according to eight crucial categories: real estate, special retirement benefits, cost of living, ease of integration, entertainment and amenities, health care, retirement infrastructure and climate.
This is a qualitative assessment, based on real-world data gathered on the ground. For each category in our Index, we looked closely at what matters most to you when youre considering an overseas retirement spot everything from the price of bread to how easy it is to make friends or stay in touch with family.
We considered a vast range of data points, from the average humidity to the cost of a taxi. And with costs in mind, we examined prices for real estate, rentals, and utilities like water, electricity, and cable TV. We looked at costs for groceries, eating out, even specific medical procedures. We took into account what kind of discounts retirees can get on travel, taxes and entertainment. And we considered whether there were direct flights back home…how many and how long they are, too.
And we asked: What is the Internet like? Do you need a car? Can you catch a movie in English? Are the people friendly? Does it rain? In effect, we asked all the questions you should ask when youre considering a retirement overseas. This years Top 19 foreign locations are listed below:
Numbers and rankings dont tell the whole story, of course. When it comes to relocating overseas, there is no such thing as one size fits all. So the staff and global correspondents of International Living also recorded a wide range of boots-on-the-ground testimonials from folks who have retired to these various foreign locales.
Take Daphne Newman, who lives in Caribbean Honduras. Shes spending just $1,400 a month to live yards from a white-sand beach on the island of Roatan. Only a three-hour flight from the US, English-speaking Roatan with its world-class reef just offshore, is an easy place to make friends and fit in. It lands mid-table in this years Index.
Jack Griffin and his wife Margaret have opted, by contrast, for city life in Nicaragua. When the stock market crashed and the value of their home in the States plummeted by 30%, they began to worry about how to fund their retirement. The final straw came with a 37% hike in their annual health-insurance premium. At age 60, they felt they deserved the retirement they had worked for all their lives, so they found a new home in Managua, the countrys capital.
Today their international medical insurance costs them 62% less than their policy did back home (yet their local hospital is internationally accredited and the doctors speak English). Retired now without money worries, they spend their days exploring, horseback riding, going to the beach or gym, and doing yoga. They have a full-time maid and a gardener and, says Jack, We do it all for less than half the cost of a moderate lifestyle back home in Atlanta, Georgia.
Chuck and Jamie Bilbe, ready to retire in Florida, found themselves in a situation similar to the Griffins. We were concerned that our retirement savings wouldnt see us through, so we began looking overseas for a place where our ever-shrinking nest egg might last longer, says Chuck. Now they live in Corozal, Belize, their cost of living is much lower than it was in the States, but thats not the greatest appeal. What they say they like most is the Old-World lifestyle. Like Florida in the 1950s, they say. Were eating better, sleeping better and enjoying social activity much more now than we did before.
Its not just destinations south of the States that appeal. Pam Griner Leavy and her husband Jim are just two of the more than 100,000 American expats living in France. Theyre retired in Paris on a reasonable $3,149 a month. There are so many things for free here, or reasonably priced…big-city life is good, says Pam.
In Asia you can live comfortably for less than $1,000 a month on a powder-sand beach in Thailand. Up the budget just a bit and you can afford First-World comforts and conveniences in colonial Penang Island, Malaysia. Keith Hockton and his wife Lisa live there, where they rent a sea-view apartment for $1,000 a month it comes with a shared pool and gym and they eat out five nights a week, keep a small sailboat, enjoy cycling through the botanic gardens. Their total budget is $1,719 a month.
In Brazil, expats with $2,150 a month can live a block from the countrys best beaches in Fortaleza. In Boquete, Panama, Karl and Liz Parker need just $2,000 a month to fund their life in a place that provides lavish highland views in a near-perfect climate. Panamas retiree-benefit program provides them discounts on nearly everything, too, which helps keep their costs down.
In Cuenca, Ecuador, Douglas Willis, his wife and two children live on just $1,000 a month. In Costa Ricas Central Valley, Sharon and Lee Harris bought a townhouse in Heredia for $75,000, and pay only $40 a month for healthcare coverage as members of the Caja, the countrys excellent national healthcare system.
Wherever the locale theyve chosen beach, city, highland, valley these expats all have one thing in common: Theyre living the lives theyve always wanted for much less than they ever dreamt they could.
This 2012 Retirement Index covers all the bases, revealing a wealth of choices when it comes to comfortable retirement living abroad. Choices you dont have to be wealthy to take advantage of.
The International Living Team
for The Daily Reckoning
There is only two that I would consider on that list: New Zealand and Ireland. The Central and South American countries are too risky in my opinion, as are the European countries.
It seems appealing, but if you’ve got kids and grandkids, just try to convince the wife it’ll be OK to see them every - oh, say, 18 months or so!
GMTA — your post reads like it was taken right off of my keyboard!
All turd world countries.
I’m retiring in th Philippines and Freepers live there too. My bro got married there years ago and 2 things jumped out at me: you can own guns and English is the 2nd language, with more than 10 dailies in English. You can’t get that in those illegal-alien infested countries in the list.
Mexico? Panama? Columbia? Brazil? Are they freaking kidding?
How about Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Somolia?
You couldn’t spend that much money in Appalachia LOL!
Italy looks good. Climate 100! Plus, they offer highly attractive sea cruises.
AMEN! We aren’t retired and we only see them a couple times a year now (1200 miles one way)! If I tried to talk her into moving to Ireland or Belize? FORGET-ABOUT-IT!
Add the Phillipines to that list.
I forget who - but I was Freeping with a Freeper a month or so ago - who lives in the Phillipines. English is spoken by most and you can rent a nice place with a maid and a driver and enjoy good food and drink for less than $2,000 US monthly.
I agree - statists and socialists everywhere are a menace. Places like Costa Rica and Panama though actually have lower top tax rates than the USA - and a thriving, inexpensive and free-market health-care industry (which will be important once Obamacare kicks in). Singapore doesn't have exactly an open political system, but it also has low taxes, is very pro-business, very safe, and absolutely protects property and the rule of law.
Given the ascendency of the idiot-left in the USA, my point is - don't assume the USA will always be better than other places in the future either.
I am an American. I was born here. My family has been in this country since the 1600’s.This is my native land, my home ,my country.
I have no intention to leave this country.
I live in Southern Maryland, my ancesters are buried her and I will be to.My history, my family, my home.
I don’t need maids, I have the most beautiful view of the Potomac River anyone could want, if I or my wife get sick I have friends that will come to see me.
There ar a lot of things that have happened over the years in America that I don’t like, but none that will make me move.My roots are deep.
A person I know who can live anywhere in the world told me his wife just can't go more than a few weeks or so without seeing the grand chidren.
He has solved some of the problems by flying them to visit grandma and grandpa. That only solves some of the problem, so they are regular visitors back "home " to see their childen and grand kids.- tom
LOL! I notice they did not call then the 19 SAFEST places....
whoever thought that Costa Rica climate was a 60 is crazy...much closer to 90 in my opinion. Why the huge disparity between #1 Ecuador and #19 Costa Rica when they are a couple of hundred miles apart? And then gave Mexico an 89?
I think they need to figure out what they are measuring when it comes to climate. Makes me wonder the accuracy of the rest of the survey.
AlexW I think???
I have visited many of these. I find their people pleasant and willing to work. Far preferable to Obama voters. Will stay here as long as I can as money is not an issue.
They’re probably factoring in the frequency of hurricane landfalls. (ie: how often a hurricanes have hit the country)
>No thanks, the PI sounds pretty good, but they do have a terrorist problem.<
That’s only in the Southern Philippines as the Philippines is the only Christian nation in Asia. 95% of the population that greets you in “Merry CHRISTmas” and NOT “Happy Holidays” unlike here in liberal America.
There’s a US Spec Ops base also in the Southern Philippines that checkmates the muzzies, regardless of what people hear. They are currently shooting BOURNE IDENTITY with Jeremy Renner in Manila BTW.
All fine and good, but they have missed something, I think. I spend a lot of time in Chile. Wonderful place. But Medicare isn’t effective here (or any of the other places for that matter) and an HMO in Chile for a person in his/her 60’s can go from $500-$1000 per month. That would take a chunk out of a less-than-$2000/month budget.
Yeah, that’s the ticket. Retire in the Third World. Of course you will soon be able to do that here since we are being colonized by the Third World.
Agreed. I laughed out loud when I saw Mexico so high on the list. Yeah, beheadings, cartel mass murders -— let’s go there. Jeesh.
“AlexW I think?”
Yes, that is me.
I do not recommend the Philippines for young to middle age
families, but for single retired men with limited funds it is a paradise.
For those interested in areas south of the boarder, there are several online sites.
Both cover the world, but strong emphasis on south and central America.
While I lived in Slovakia for five years, and spent a year in other central European countries, I would be concerned about anywhere in Europe today, especially the southern Euro countries.
I really have to wonder at Spain and France on that list. Too statist regardless.
If I was 75-80....frankly I could care less about liberty and freedom issues at that point...living in Utila, Belize, Corfu. Hell...even Catalina.
What’s retirement? I don’t want to retire. I want to go to a poor country and try to help people create businesses.
Sorry I didn’t ping you Alex. I was drawing on memory of your screen name after a couple beers. If I remember, you live on way less than $2,000/ mo.
“If I remember, you live on way less than $2,000/ mo.”
I live on less then $1000 per month, and that is for two adults and one child, and want for nothing.
That covers everything, including plenty of wine.
Got to tell you, I’d much rather be in South America than Ireland or continental Europe when WWIII starts.
Good stuff Alex. Can you work or own property??
A few answers to your missive flashed before my keyboard until this one. How do you know WW III hasn’t started already?
“Good stuff Alex. Can you work or own property??”
No, non-citizens can not own property or business.
Many Ex-pats brag about their houses and properties, but in fact those properties are in the name of a Philippine citizen, usually their wife.
Some expats get very long term leases on property and build a house on it.
I knew one Brit, in his 60s, that took a fifty year lease
just last year, and started building a house for himself,
and another to rent out.
Unfortunately he died just a few months ago, before any house was completed.
I am sure you could work for a multinational doing business
here, but you would probably have to be in Manila...Something I would never consider.
At my age, I have no interest in owning anything.
Thanks for the feedback. How’s the fishing?? Lol...
“Thanks for the feedback. Hows the fishing?? Lol.”
Well, I am not a fisherman, but there are twelve fishing boats tied up at my beach.
Most of my neighbors are fishermen.
Several of them wake me up as early as 4 AM to buy ice
that I make for the neighborhood.
My next door neighbor builds boats in his back yard.
They are called “pump boats”...large outrigger canoe style
with inboard diesel engine. They seat up to six people.
What is not sold when they come in around noon, goes over to the town market.
And you are comfortable with your individual liberty and freedom here? You think you are free of state security and property seizure?
I feel absolutely oppressed and fearful in the United States right now. IRS, EPA, HHS, Justice Dept. All are on a path of destruction of liberty and freedom. It gets worse by the day.
That was my first thought when reading this article. What good is the savings if you have no means (guns) to protect yourself from the creeps that are in any society? And the thought about a tyrannical government is always in my mind.
Most Muslims in the Philippines live in Western Mindanao, around the city of Zamboanga, and also the Sulu Archipelago and Basilan island.
I was in central Mindanao over a month ago and travelled from Davao City to my fiancee’s brother’s place which is located in Norala (near Koronadel).
I’m curious about what you thought about Slovakia. I’ve always been intrigued with the idea of going to that part of the world, either Poland, Czech Republic or Slovakia, I’ve especially was interested in looking at the High Tatry region, either on the Polish or the Slovak side. I like the fact that Bratislava is so close to Vienna it could almost be a suburb.
They don’t seem to have the issues with third-world immigrants that Western Europe does.
Having traveled extensively through Costa Rica, I can tell you (as you may well know) that the climate varies quite considerably. The high mountain regions are quite cool and showery; the inland valleys hot and relatively dry; the coastal regions very humid and changeable. A beautiful country with many nice, industrious people.
“Im curious about what you thought about Slovakia.”
I very much enjoyed Slovakia, first going there in 2000,
spending a few summers in 2001-2003, then moving there full time in 2005, living in Bratislava. It is a great country.
I worked about 20 hours per week as a private English conversation tutor in banks and businesses.
It was very nice and lucrative work.
Yes, Vienna is quite close, with their airport only about 30 min. away.
I fly direct from Vienna to Cebu, with one stop in Doha, Qatar.
I did spend a weekend over in the Tatras, and on one hike
we went to the Polish boarder.
I spent summer of 2004 in Romania, and have spent time in
Hungary, Bulgaria, and Czech Republic.
I could go on and on, but this is on the forum.
Feel free to private mail me for more info.