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 2022.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
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.
Chitre is an up-and-coming city on Panama’s Azuero Peninsula. Located about a four-hour drive west from the capital, Panama City, Chitre has charming Spanish colonial architecture and a small-town atmosphere, as well as proximity to some of the country’s finest Pacific beaches. But what makes it a top budget retirement option is the level of convenience it offers expats. Chitre has seen much development over the past decade and now boasts the infrastructure of a much larger town, including health care, well-paved roads and sidewalks and U.S.-style grocery stores and shopping options.
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.
Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard
Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most affordable places to live, but standards of living are not uniform across the region. One area where you can decrease your cost of living without having to compromise on quality of life is Thailand‘s eastern seaboard. Also known as the Chonburi Coast, it’s two hours south of Bangkok and extends down a long stretch of golden sand coastline. The eastern seaboard offers diverse lifestyle opportunities, from high-rise studio apartments along bustling beachfront roads to three-bedroom family villas with pools in quiet residential communities. The area is home to a big expat population that enjoy its excellent health care facilities, international schools and golf courses.
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.
George Town, Malaysia
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.
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.
Canggu (Bali), Indonesia
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.
Da Lat, Vietnam
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.
Medellin offers one of the world’s highest qualities of life at one of the lowest costs. It stands out for its strong infrastructure, including its clean and efficient Metro, and the importance it puts on green spaces, parks, colorful gardens, trees and shrub-lined roadways. Medellin is renowned for its lushness, which is something the city aims to maintain by requiring new developments to invest in greenery alongside their construction. The cosmopolitan city center has diverse dining, shopping and entertainment options as well as a lively annual festival and fiesta calendar. Medical services are high-quality and lower-cost than those in the United States. Medellin is a top option for a comfortable and affordable lifestyle in retirement.
10 Affordable Places to Retire Overseas:
— Canggu (Bali), Indonesia.
— Chitre, Panama.
— Cuenca, Ecuador.
— Da Lat, Vietnam.
— George Town, Malaysia.
— Medellin, Colombia.
— Northern Belize.
— Popoli, Italy.
— Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
— Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard.
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The Best Affordable Places to Retire Overseas in 2022 originally appeared on usnews.com
Update 03/24/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.