Cheapest places to retire abroad

Cheapest Places to Retire in the World!

For many people, retirement can’t come soon enough. By the time we’re nearing the end of our professional careers, it’s exciting to fantasize about just how to make the most of the unplanned years that lay ahead. 

Oftentimes, travel tops many retirees’ lists of things they’ve always wanted to do more of. One of the best ways to get a jump start on seeing the world is to move to a new country. Retiring in a different country has many perks. For one, it offers a great way to immerse oneself in a place and culture that’s entirely new. 

Additionally, moving internationally for retirement is a smart option for those who want to explore more of the world without spending an arm and a leg to do so. In fact, there are plenty of countries you can retire to that can actually help you save money while living out your dreams.

So just what are the cheapest places to retire in the world? We’re sharing out some of the top spots on the list along with the factors that make these places ideal destinations for those looking to make the most of their retirement. 


View of beautiful Casco Antiguo in Panama City.

It’s pretty hard to beat Panama when it comes to finding the ideal retirement destination. For starters, Panama has something for everyone. Be it retirees who want to move abroad, but don’t want to give up the comforts and amenities they’re well accustomed to, Panama City offers everything you could want from a world-class metropolis including great dining, shopping, health care, and transportation. 

For those, on the other hand, who are ready to leave the city life behind (or who never embraced city life to begin with) and want to enjoy the rest of their life in nature, Panama offers tons of quaint beach and mountain communities for every type. From the crisp air and verdant landscapes of El Valle de Antón to the friendly beach community of Coronado. Panama has something for everyone. And given the country’s fairly compact size, it’s easy enough to live in one area but travel around and take advantage of all that this beautiful country has to offer. 

Not only is Panama an enjoyable place to live, but it’s also incredibly affordable, especially for retirees. The cost of living in Panama is lower than in the United States and most countries in Europe. And, since the currency here is the dollar, American retirees will have one fewer change to adapt to. 

One of the biggest draws to retiring in Panama is the pensionado visa program. Known as the world’s best retirement program, this is an opportunity to really live your best life for a fraction of the cost. If you retire with a lifetime pension, you can qualify for a pensionado visa in Panama. This visa comes with tons of perks to help retired expats get the most bang for their buck. On this visa, retirees get huge discounts on dining, entertainment, healthcare, utilities, travel, and transportation in Panama. Add to this the reasonable cost of living, and retired expats in Panama can live like kings and queens, even with a modest pension. It’s no wonder why Panama is so widely recognized as one of the best/cheapest places to retire.

Want to explore what Panama real estate has to offer? Then check out our beach, city, or mountain properties, or contact us today to get started on your retirement journey to Panama!


Lisbon, Portugal city skyline over the Alfama district.

Welcome to the sunshine capital of Europe! Portugal not only boasts more sunny days than anywhere else on the continent but also is very friendly to the wallet when it comes to common expenses. Favorable tax legislation means that most retirees can keep their full pension without paying taxes. Making it all the easier to enjoy the best that Portugal has to offer. Whether it’s the beach, or golf, or historic towns that make you tick, you’ll likely find it in Portugal. 


Spain, one of the cheapest places to retire in Europe.

Toledo, Spain old town skyline.

While Europe isn’t always known for being an affordable destination, Spain is one exception to the rule. In addition to a warm climate, vibrant culture, beautiful cities, and plenty of coastline, Spain also boasts one of the most affordable lifestyles on the continent. You’ll quickly find that your ideal day in Spain costs little compared to what you would pay elsewhere in Europe. A leisurely three-course lunch might only set you back $10. And in many regions of Spain, small snacks (tapas) are complimentary with the purchase of a drink meaning you can have a light dinner on the house any night of the week.    


A view along the beach of the Caribbean Sea in Cancun, Mexico

Given it’s close proximity to the United States, affordable cost of living, and an incredible array of ecosystems to choose from, Mexico is a popular choice for retirement in North America. Large cities like Mexico City and Monterey offer urban enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy the fascinating mix of new and old culture that Mexico has embraced. If the beach is more your pace, Mexico has thousands of miles of coastline. With every type of beach community imaginable to choose from. And if colonial towns are what you’re after, gems like Puebla, Taxco, and San Miguel de Allende are perfect. Places where you can live out your dreams without breaking the bank. 


Thailand, one of the cheapest places to retire in the world.

Citsycape of Bangkok, Thailand.

Tropical beaches, eternally warm weather, cheap delicious food. What’s not to love? All of this can be a part of your everyday life if you choose to retire in Thailand. Sure, Thailand might be a bit out of the way for many expats. But for those who brave it and choose to call it home will promise you that it is entirely worth the trek. You could easily spend all of your days swimming in the crystal waters of some of the world’s most beautiful beaches or checking out the unique food markets where you can score lunch for under a dollar. And, with a thriving expat community, it’s easy to find like-minded retirees with whom you can explore the country. 


Ecuador, one of the cheapest places in the world to retire.

City of Banos, Ecuador. View from the Mirador de la Virgen.

It may be a bit further south than some of the other Latin American options on this list. But Ecuador is truly a great choice for affordability, especially for those looking to buy real estate. There are tons of cheap homes for purchase both in the cities and smaller communities. Additionally, the Ecuadorian government has done a great job of implementing retirement benefits for expats. Which include discounts on flights, utilities, and entertainment. Choose Ecuador and you can make the most of your days whether you’re living them out on the beach, in the mountains, or soaking in the rich local culture. 


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia park and skyline at dusk.

When it comes to the cheapest places to retire in Asia, it’s hard to beat Malaysia. Not only does Malaysia offer a low cost of living, but it is also incredibly welcoming to expats. Whether you opt for a beach home or somewhere in the city, you’ll find that dining out in Malaysia can cost only a dollar or two per meal. Allow you to try plentiful fresh and flavorful local dishes every day of the week. Most retirees agree that Malaysia offers the perfect mix of old-world charm with modern amenities. Making it an ideal retirement destination. 


Beautiful Columbia, one of the cheapest places in the world to retire.

A view of the center of Bogota with the Andes in the background. Columbia, one of the cheapest places to retire in South America.

Another one of the cheapest places to retire in South America is Colombia. Once you set foot in this magical country, you’ll see that Colombians seem perpetually happy. And they love to share that happiness with others, regardless of where you’re from. The Colombian government makes it a breeze for retirees to get residency in Colombia. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to enjoy all this amazing country has to offer. From some of the freshest and most delicious fruit you’ve ever tried to a vast array of ecosystems and climates to choose from. There are plenty of reasons that expats love Colombia. And it doesn’t hurt that living your best life here costs a fraction of what you would pay back home. 

So what are you waiting for? If travel and new experiences are on your retirement bucket list, consider making a move abroad to enjoy the years ahead somewhere new and potentially save yourself some money in the meantime!

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