Bargain retirement spots overseas
One of the greatest benefits of retiring overseas can be the opportunity to enrich your lifestyle while dramatically reducing your cost of living. In many cases, you could decrease your monthly expenses, perhaps significantly, simply by relocating to a new country. Depending where in the world you choose to retire, you could enjoy big savings on housing, dinners out, medical bills, household help and other expenses. There are many tempting locales in Europe, Latin America and Asia where you can live large on a small budget. Here are the 10 most affordable places to retire overseas in 2021.
10. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Monthly budget: $1,660
The Dominican Republic has swaying palm trees, warm, turquoise water and year-round sunshine in abundance. This small nation boasts about 800 miles of coastline, all of it sandy and inviting. While the southeastern coast can be very touristy, the north coast is less trafficked. The Costa Dorada could be the most naturally stunning part of the island, with forested mountains rising behind the white sand beaches, and also the most affordable. The city of Puerto Plata provides resort beach living without typical resort beach costs. You could buy a condo for as little as $100,000 or less.
9. Pedasi, Panama
Monthly budget: $1,600
Panama’s Azuero Peninsula is home to traditional Panamanian culture and folklore. The peninsula is dotted with quaint villages steeped in history and tradition. The gulf coast of Azuero, known as the dry arch, offers some of Panama’s best weather. A constant breeze helps reduce the humidity that can be overwhelming elsewhere in Panama. The waters offshore from Pedasi’s Tuna Coast provide some of the world’s best big-game fishing and opportunities to see the annual migration of the humpback whale. Pedasi is a top beach retirement choice in Panama that is friendly to foreign retirees from throughout the world.
8. Northern Belize
Monthly budget: $1,600
Northern Belize is a remote region of tropical rivers, hardwood forests, traditional farms, sleepy rural villages and breezy Caribbean seashores. This is a refreshingly off-the-radar place where residents embrace a simple, by-the-sea lifestyle. It is also one of the most affordable options for retirement in the Caribbean. Northern Belize is an area of about 2,500 square miles and the point where the Caribbean and Central America meet. Northern Belize’s remoteness is part of the appeal, but remote living has its disadvantages, especially in retirement. Fortunately, this part of Belize is just across the border from Chetumal, Mexico. In Northern Belize, you could enjoy a bargain Caribbean lifestyle with easy access to shopping, city distractions and medical care in Chetumal.
7. Corfu, Greece
Monthly budget: $1,500
Many Greek islands have a deserved reputation as expensive, but not Corfu. This is a top European beach destination that offers a Greek lifestyle at a remarkably low cost. You could rent a two-bedroom apartment for 400 euros a month or buy an old house to renovate for 15,000 euros. Many expats come to the island as tourists, fall in love with the spectacular scenery and the laid-back way of life and extend their trip indefinitely. One of the best things about living in Greece is the chance to enjoy Greek cuisine. Emphasizing fresh fish, vegetables and grains, it is recognized as one of the world’s healthiest diets and could play a role in the long life expectancy of the Greek people.
6. Popoli, Italy
Monthly budget: $1,500
Nestled among mountains and rolling hills and surrounded by bucolic fields and pine-spiked clifftops, Popoli is a corner of the Old World where you’ll feel removed from the concerns of the modern age. You could spend your days hiking, trekking, bird watching, canoeing, horseback riding or enjoying long drives along the region’s narrow country roads leading through vineyards, orchards and small farms. The village of Popoli is home to just 5,000 residents, and an exodus of residents to bigger cities has decreased property values. Popoli’s position in the valley of three Apennine mountains provides access to nature that few places in the world can rival.
5. George Town, Malaysia
Monthly budget: $1,390
The lifestyle in George Town qualifies as both first-world and exotic. George Town’s population is a melting pot of cultures and languages, but English is widely spoken, and foreigners are welcomed in this safe, stable island nation. Beyond the high-rise apartments is one of the best preserved old cities in Asia. Low costs are a big part of the appeal. Almost on the city’s doorstep are stylish seaside settlements with palm-fringed sandy beaches and a rainforest backdrop. You can escape for a weekend to swim in the warm, clear sea, play a round of golf, trek the slopes of Penang Hill or laze in a hammock amid the lush greenery.
4. Cuenca, Ecuador
Monthly budget: $1,370
Cuenca is a city of cobblestone streets that has one of the best-preserved historic centers in the Americas. The city also enjoys reliable electricity, modern internet service and drinkable water. If you’re interested in studying Spanish, Cuenca offers quality schools. Both the cost of living and of real estate are a bargain, and Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar, which eliminates concern over fluctuating exchange rates. Health care is first-rate and affordable. The city is home to a large expat community, and it’s easy to find English-speaking friends. The high elevation climate is temperate year-round. However, the 8,400-foot elevation means thinner air and can be a concern for people with respiratory issues.
3. Canggu (Bali), Indonesia
Monthly budget: $1,050
Offering an eclectic combination of modern life and traditional culture, Canggu is an up-and-coming neighborhood on Indonesia’s most popular island, Bali. The long expanses of black sand beaches have some of the world’s best surf waves. Pioneering surfers have paved the way for what has evolved into a thriving expat community that is being called the Brooklyn of Bali. Canggu exists in the sweet spot between traditional and trendy. The climate is warm and tropical, the cost of living is irresistibly low and much of the local population speaks English. Canggu is a welcoming place to live with good health care facilities and 11 different international schools.
2. Da Lat, Vietnam
Monthly budget: $1,000
Da Lat’s cool weather, misty peaks and pine forest have a historic and otherworldly charm that can be enjoyed at an impressively low cost. Air conditioning isn’t needed in Da Lat, so electricity bills are low, and utilities are usually included in the cost of a rental. Known as the garden of Vietnam, flowers including roses, marigolds, hydrangeas and golden everlastings are grown here. Da Lat has its own wine industry and enjoys a reputation for having some of the best food in the country. A full, delicious meal can be had for as little as $1 a plate.
1. Santa Fe, Panama
Monthly budget: $980
Santa Fe is an unassuming small town in Panama’s Veraguas Province that offers a mountain setting and climate that is comparable to better-known Boquete at a fraction of the cost. Life in Santa Fe is sweet and simple, with activity centered around the wide and fast-flowing Santa Maria River. On the hillsides bougainvillea, hibiscus and jasmine bloom in abundance. When the sun sets, temperatures fall, and, thanks to the elevation and mountain breezes, evenings are pleasant and best spent out-of-doors. You will need to learn some Spanish to embrace a local lifestyle, but the payoff is a sublimely low cost of living. Panama uses the U.S. dollar, so there’s no currency exchange risk, and there are several options for establishing residency.
10 Affordable Places to Retire Overseas:
1. Santa Fe, Panama.
2. Da Lat, Vietnam.
3. Canggu (Bali), Indonesia.
4. Cuenca, Ecuador.
5. George Town, Malaysia.
6. Popoli, Italy.
7. Corfu, Greece.
8. Northern Belize.
9. Pedasi, Panama.
10. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
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The Best Affordable Places to Retire Overseas in 2021 originally appeared on usnews.com
Update 02/12/21: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.