Cheap Retirement Places For The American Ex-pat

Cheap retirement places are to be found throughout the world. In the process of finding that “better” place, retirees considering a move oversees need to think not only of health, logistics and finances but also cultural differences, how to make friends, and how to adapt to distance and perhaps loneliness. However, even as the allure of the unknown often beckons, in the current economic downturn when savings are shrinking and Social Security looks inadequate, living for less abroad can just make good sense.



Argentina still offers rich culture and European ambiance at somewhat of a bargain. Buenos Aires has been the main draw, but prices are moving up as Argentina’s economy is recovering from the economic collapse in 2002.

Mendoza City is now a cheap retirement place of choice with its slow-paced feel. The people are friendly and the local scenery is some of the most beautiful in the world replete with many vineyards.

Monthly living costs in Mendoza City (including rent and utilities for a 3-bedroom apartment) approximate $2700. This is why Buenos Aires is considered to be one or within the brackets of cheap retirement places.



Ecuador remains one of the most appealing cheap retirement places because there is literally something for everyone. There are beaches, mountainous highlands, jungles and cities.

You can find a four-course lunch for two dollars, a taxi ride in Quito for a dollar and a massage for $15.

Real estate values are some of the best in Latin America with condos ranging from $50,000 and homes from $83,000.

It also offers great health care, low transportation costs and cut rates on taxes and utilities.


Panama City

Panama City offers an easy transition for US retirees because of its U.S. style infrastructure but rather offers cheap retirement places. The need to maximize a diminished retirement income as well as a less stressful environment also appeals to Canadians and Europeans as well.

Panama has a stable government and a growing economy where the dollar remains legal tender; there is no tax on foreign income; English is spoken; health care is excellent and the communication system includes digital broadband.



Uruguay also offers cheap retirement places. Friendly immigration policies for Americans, good health care, low cost of living, basic services that are available at affordable rates and an excellent infrastructure all contribute to consideration of Montevideo, Uruguay by potential ex-pats.


San Jose, Costa Rica

Purchasing power is greater in San Jose, Costa Rica than anywhere in the U. S. or Canada. Its prices are second lowest in South America, and its cost of goods and services compares favorably with Quito; it also has one of the highest living standards in Latin America.


Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Top places to retire in Mexico are mostly on the western coast. For example, cheap retirement is still available at Puerto Escondido, located in the state of Oaxaca, a short drive from Huatulco International Airport. Timing remains good for investment in this: Mexico’s hidden gem.


Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand offers another practical alternative to retirement in the U.S. It is possible to live on $1000 per month in this modern city with just about everything that westerners are used to.

It has excellent medical facilities with many western trained doctors and nurses. The climate ranges from tropical to subtropical; most construction reflects the climate with concrete, tile and wood, and although many houses have indoor kitchens, most cooking is done outdoors. Transportation out of the country is very easy with access to the international airport.



Ipoh, Malaysia

If heat is not a problem, Ipoh, Malaysia offers a cheap retirement place with a low cost of living allowing many fringe benefits such as a maid for around $160 per month. There are increasing services such as internet cafes, beauty shops and good restaurants. Safety is less of a concern than in the past.


Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa has become an increasing draw for expat retirees. Its climate is warm and the sunshine plentiful; it is part of a multi-racial democracy and has a progressive tax system; retirees have access to numerous private hospitals; there is an easy process available to foreigners who wish to buy real estate; and cost of living can easily be placed in the $3000 per month range.


Varna, Bulgaria

Varna, Bulgaria is another of the cheap retirement places available to those willing to become expats. It is known to have the lowest cost of living of anywhere in Europe.

The country’s fortunes have stabilized, and it has become a member of the European Community. A house can be bought for as little as $32,000 and heated with a log burning stove.


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