Top Picks: 5 Most Affordable Countries to Retire In


Let’s talk about the most affordable countries to retire in!

Your golden years are here and you probably want to find your forever home. We already know that America is gorgeous, fun, and exciting, but it’s not that cheap, especially if you live in big cities, like New York City, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, among others.

So if you want to save money and live your golden years peacefully, in a beautiful place that also gives you lots of options for fun activities to engage in, we have some tips for you. These are some of the most affordable countries to retire in! They have out-of-this-world landscapes, friendly people, delicious foods, and everything else you might need or want. Keep reading to discover these stunning places!

affordable countries to retire in
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1. Costa Rica

We start off this list of affordable countries to retire in with beautiful Costa Rica. This Central American country stretches from the Pacific to the Caribbean, and it will impress anyone with its fabulous rainforests, jungles, sandy beaches, and modern cities.

While housing and groceries are different from one place to another, financial experts say that the overall cost of living in Costa Rica is roughly 30% lower than in America. And that’s not all. Housing is also more affordable, with a 60% lower price than in the US.

One of the loveliest cities there is San Jose, the country’s capital, which is located in the Central Valley. There’s no doubt this fabulous touristic city will impress you with its mountainous suburbs, pretty palm trees, fancy buildings, fun activities and senior programs, great parks, and the list can go on.

If your goal is to save money and have fun at the same time, you’ll be happy to hear that the cost of living in San Jose is way lower than in NYC, for instance, and you could find a house or an apartment quicker and cheaper than in many US cities (up to 80% lower).

Costa Rica has excellent healthcare and residency programs, so if you want to spend your goal years here, you should check it out! This is just the beginning! Keep reading to discover other affordable countries to retire to!

2. Panama

This isn’t the first time Panama is mentioned on the list of the most affordable countries to retire to, and that’s because it’s pretty amazing. One of the first things we like about Panama is that it’s close to the United States, so if you want to dip your toes before making a big decision, this is your chance.

The weather is gorgeous, housing costs around 50% less than in America, and the overall cost of living is roughly 30% lower. If you only want to visit Panama, you can stay there for up to three months with a valid passport, but if you want permanent residency, the documentation needs to be handled by a local immigration attorney.

We’ve told you that these are some of the most affordable countries to retire in, and the government in Panama tried its best to welcome citizens. For instance, the Pensionado Visa is a retiree’s favorite for good reason: it’s a great plan that requires pension income of at least $1,000 and offers discounts on a range of services in addition to a tax exemption on importing household goods.

Since many retirees are curious to know more about healthcare facilities, you’ll be pleased to hear that Panama has great options for you in both their public and private hospitals. While the public system has cheaper rates, don’t worry, because their doctors and clinics are top-notch. However, keep in mind that both private and public hospitals require co-payments for services.

Experts say that many retirees opt for the private system because it provides incredible services and amenities at affordable costs, with the option to pay out-of-pocket or with private insurance.

affordable countries to retire in
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3. Colombia

Did you know that warm Colombia is one of the most affordable countries to retire in? There are lots of wonderful cities in this South American country where you can spend your golden years, and all of them have something special.

For instance, the cost of living in Bogota is approximately 60% lower than in America, and rent is up to 80% cheaper. The contemporary public and private hospitals in Colombia’s healthcare system offer excellent and reasonably priced care.

Whether you’re a citizen or a foreign national, you can enroll in the public health plan by paying premiums if you have a valid national ID card. You can also opt for private insurance, as the costs are accessible.

If you choose Colombia as your new retirement home, you can choose to apply for a Pensionado visa. Keep in mind that you should demonstrate that you make at least three times the minimum salary in Colombia, and your income can come from different sources, such as savings, pensions, and Social Security.

According to experts, the current minimum required income is roughly $750 per month. Speaking of visas, you’re eligible to apply for a residence visa after five years. If you already have a visa, you can apply for a foreign ID card, which grants access to the healthcare system, among other advantages.

4. Portugal

We continue with these affordable countries to retire in, and this time we’ll talk about Portugal. You’ll have the time of your life here, thanks to the gorgeous scenery, wine, food, coastal cities, mild weather, and friendly people.

While the cost of living isn’t as low as in the other countries we’ve previously talked about, it’s still up to 30% less than in America, and housing is around 50% more affordable.

If you want to spend your golden years in Portugal, you should apply for a residence permit at a local consulate. This one’s available for five years, and then you can apply for a permanent permit once that expires.

Legal residents can register with the National Health Service to gain access to public hospitals and health centers, and you’ll pay for services as you go. Experts say that healthcare is excellent, so that’s always a plus.

affordable countries to retire in
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5. Mexico

Mexico is another one of these beautiful and affordable countries to retire in. Located just south of the US border, it offers pleasant weather, a diverse range of housing options, miles of coastline, and stunning cities.

However, a resort visit is not the same as a permanent residence, so if you’re thinking about retiring in Mexico or anywhere else, you should spend some time there first to get a better sense of the area as a home. While the cost of living is generally lower, that depends from one place to another. In Cancun, for instance, the cost of living is around 60% lower than in NYC, while in San Miguel de Allende it’s up to 50% lower than in the US, while rent is around 80% and, respectively, 70% lower than in our gorgeous and expensive NYC.

Healthcare is available thanks to government initiatives that cover low-income residents or impose premium payments. Many retirees pay cash for medical treatments or keep their private insurance because private hospitals and specialists provide high-quality care at lower costs compared to America.

For temporary residents, the minimum monthly income requirement is a bit over $2,000, and for permanent residents, it’s almost $3,000. Moreover, the required amount for a bank account is over $30,000 and around $149,000, respectively. As for visas and residency permits, the Mexican Consulate will handle every application.

What do you think about these affordable countries to retire to? Would you consider moving to any of these places? Let us know in the comments below! If you know of any other affordable countries to retire in, share them with us!

And if you want to dip your toes before moving and try visiting any of these beautiful places, don’t forget to take your camera with you! Until next time, here’s another great post for you: 9 Financial Challenges Retirees Will Face in the Next 5 Years

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