Incredibly Affordable Options For Retiring Abroad

Planning for retirement has arguably never been more challenging than it is today. Many people who are near an age where they could potentially retire may have to keep working because they just don’t have enough money in the bank. If that sounds like you, then you may want to consider retiring abroad. These are some of the top destinations where you can live a nice life even if you don’t have too much saved up.

Arenal, Costa Rica

Volcano of Arenal with stone stairs on the foreground at sunny day. Costa Rica
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dudarev Mikhail

This retirement destination may not be great for people who can’t stand the heat! It’s a tropical destination near a popular volcano. But if you’d like to live in a jungle-like environment with monthly rental fees of anywhere from 500 to 300 dollars, this may just be the spot for you. However, this city is not necessarily close to the country’s main urban centers, which can be a problem for some folks.

Armenia, Colombia

Colorful coffee farm houses in Armenia, Quindio, Colombia
Image Credit: Shutterstock / LUCHO JARAMILLO

According to sites that specialize in providing cost-of-living estimates, a single person could live in Armenia with 400 dollars a month. That includes the rent! It’s a picturesque, colorful town to the west of the capital Bogota. It’s a mountainous region, so the weather doesn’t get extremely hot as it does near the beach in Colombia.

Queretaro, Mexico

Santa Rosa of Viterbo, this temple is the maximum expression of the Queretan Baroque of the 18th century
Image Credit: Shutterstock / stacyarturogi

This is the first urban center on the list. Queretaro is a city that is about 2 hours away from Mexico City and brings a lot of the benefits of the big city with a little bit less traffic than the nation’s capital. You can find a decent rental spot in the city for about 600 dollars a month. With 1500 dollars a month, a couple can live rather comfortably in a decent neighborhood.

Another benefit of this city is that the airport, while small, offers direct flights to some of the main US hubs, such as DFW.

Isla Mujeres or Cozumel in Mexico

Beautiful sandy beach on Cozumel island, Mexico
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mikolaj Niemczewski

Prices in Cancun, the main city in the Mexican Caribbean, have spiked over the last few years. However, there are still islands in the region, such as Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, where you can retire comfortably on a low budget. Rentals for a one-bedroom apartment can be found at around the 500 dollar range. With about 1000 dollars a month, a couple can live comfortably. It’s an island way of life here, but Cancun is a ferry boat ride away. In this main hub, you’ll be able to access all of the amenities that you’d like.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Landmark pagoda in doi Inthanon national park at Chiang mai, Thailand
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Guitar photographer

Chiang Mai is a city that still features picture-worthy vestiges of walls and other elements from its rich past. It was once one of the most important cities for pilgrims in the region. Now, it’s known more as a resort town. You can expect to find lavish hotels and plenty of things to do around town because of this. Rent can go for about 400 to 700 dollars per month, depending on the size of the place that you want to stay in. With 1500 dollars a month, a couple can retire abroad comfortably in the city.

Penang, Malaysia

Woman traveler at Kek Lok Si Temple in Georgetown, Penang island, Malaysia
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sergii Figurnyi

Penang is one of the most beautiful places on the list so far. Located right by the beach, its urban center continues to grow year by year. Even though it’s a popular tourist destination in the region, prices are relatively low. Rent can go for around the same rate as it will in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Food and other amenities, however, are a bit more expensive. It could be argued, though, that it’s worth it to retire abroad in a less remote location. As mentioned this is a vibrant city that’s been growing lately.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The twilight time at Independence Monument which is the one of landmark in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Image Credit: Shutterstock / small1

A city by a river that mixes the old and the new to give residents a little bit of everything, Phnom Penh might be the place for you to live out your golden years. As is the case with many of the larger city hubs, you won’t have a problem finding any type of amenities here. Rent can go from as low as 300 dollars a month to an average of 550. If you’re looking for a larger home that can set you back north of 1000 USD. It’s a spot that can cater to people who want a quiet retired life but still want to live within an actual city atmosphere.

Hoi An, Vietnam

HOI AN, VIETNAM - MARCH 14, 2023: Night boat ride in Hoi An Ancient Town, lanterns, lights, tourists crowd Hoi An in Quang Nam province of Vietnam
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gambarini Gianandrea

Even if you decide not to live in Hoi An, it’s worth a visit. It’s a beach city with multiple streams that run through the city. Small boats sail along these streams right next to colorful houses. It’s not Venice, but you get the idea. Estimates indicate that a person can live off 547 dollars in this city. That sadly pinpoints one of the issues – some of the lower-level neighborhoods could be dangerous. If you stick to the areas frequented by tourists, you should be okay.

Bergerac, France

Bergerac, France - August 13, 2023 - Old city of Bergerac. Known for famous Cyrano de Bergerac. Dordogne, France
Image Credit: Shutterstock / boivin nicolas

The character Cyrano from the popular literary classic is perhaps what people are going to associate this city with. However, it’s more than just the backdrop for this story. Bergerac is another city that sees a river flow right through it. It features a good number of wineries nearby for enthusiasts of the drink. While meals and amenities are typically much more expensive here than in other cities on the list, it could be argued the area offers a superior calm and quality of life compared to other places. Plus, you can still find an apartment in the city center for around 500 to 600 dollars.

Granada, Spain

View of the Albayzin district of Granada, Spain, from a window in the Alhambra palace near sunset
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jason Rothe

You’ll need right around 1500 dollars a month to live more or less comfortably in Granada. While that may be a steep cost compared to other options on the list, it may very well be worth it. Rent for a centric apartment can go up to 700 dollars a month. You may be living in one of the buildings that has a heavy Arabic influence.

Granada is arguably the Spanish city that holds the most remnants from its Arabic past. That means you can enjoy all sorts of modern amenities right next to lavish palaces from centuries ago. It’s a lively city frequented by tourists that anyone can enjoy.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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