By | June 1, 2016

What is the best place to retire abroad?  That really depends what you are looking for – for example the most affordable place or the most luxurious place?  And there are many other factors to consider.

Every day, more and more people are looking at the options of retiring abroad.  Some might say that it has something to do with our current U.S. presidential race, but I would suffice it to say that the people exploring the best places to retire abroad are more looking for adventure and new beginnings.  This is true for me personally, and another aspect of my decision was cost of living. From what I have found in both research and visiting with others who have retired abroad, you can enjoy a better quality of life on a much smaller budget, and in many places you’ll need only $1,200 a month (or less) to live well.  Let’s explore some of the most popular areas, including some cheap place to retire abroad.Puerto Vallarta

When we started to think through this process, we invested in a great resource, the Retire Overseas Conference” from LIVE & INVEST OVERSEAS.  Much of what I am going to share in this article is gleaned from information we learned from those individuals who have lived this as their reality, and continue to explore new, uncharted territory.  Sometimes having so much information can make the decision even harder, so let your heart, and pocketbook, help you in determining your retirement paradise of choice.

You might want to consider attending a conference yourself.  It might be the easiest, most convenient and cost-effective method to making this huge life decision.  Leaving the country is no small task, and hearing from professionals and others who have made the plunge can give you the assurance you may need. Over the four days of this conference, you’ll hear from a team of individuals who cover topics such as the top choices worldwide, financial concerns, including tax consequences or benefits, climate, medical care, earning a living (if you’re not ready to totally retire), and obtaining insurance. Personal testimonies abound and you will be able to hear firsthand about the process.

This year’s live Retire Overseas Conference is taking place in just a few months in Las Vegas.  They’ll be showcasing the following locations as the top places to retire abroad.

  • Belize.  This is an English speaking country for those of you who don’t want to learn another language (assuming you are English speakers).  You’ll enjoy a variety of beauty from rain forests, reefs, ruins, and rivers. There are already a lot of established expat communities, for instance on Ambergris Caye.
  • Portugal. Can you imagine living in Europe? This area is emerging as very affordable.  Think of the sites you can explore and the history you can immerse yourself in by being on the European continent?Portugal Coast
  • Dominican Republic. This has been a favorite for some time.  Complete with beaches and lots of sun, this island nation still boasts bargain priced properties and has great ratings in terms of residency, establishing citizenship, and banking.
  • Argentina. I understand this country is experiencing a bit of a “comeback” and this may be a good time to find good values.  Great wine country for wine enthusiasts in and near Mendoza.
  • Columbia. The dollar is strong, and this may be the hidden gem of locations. 
  • Chile. Life is simple here, and new residents are welcome with ease.
  • Ecuador. This has been a favorite for some time.  You’ll experience great weather and lots of history.
  • France. If you like romance, this is your place.  It also boasts the world’s best health care.  There are some affordable options available, you just need to know where to look.
  • Honduras.  Yes, the Caribbean has another spot where expats love to be.  Check out Roatán.
  • Croatia.  Here’s a Mediterranean option to look into.Italy Tuscan Hillside
  • Italy.  Oh, the food!  I love Italian food, and this can be another affordable option, plus it’s close to everything!
  • Malaysia.  This popular Asian alternative is probably one of the most welcoming destinations for retirees.
  • Mexico.  This is the location we chose for our first retirement stop.  We have always loved the Mexican culture, and when we learned how affordable it was, and found how beautiful it can be away from the tourist areas, we were sold!  It’s accessible and there is so much to do “south of the border.”
  • Nicaragua. This is probably the most affordable of all the options.
  • Panama. This is an investor’s dream and probably the best place in the world to launch and run an internet business.
  • Philippines. Here is another English-speaking alternative. Did you know that it has the only VA hospital outside the United States?
  • Brazil. You’ll find bargain beach properties here, if that is your desire.  The dollar is strong and there are lots of opportunities here.
  • Spain. Another European option, very well-established in terms of how they welcome expats.  They have it all:  great beaches, markets, restaurants, and attractions.
  • Thailand.  Looking for something “exotic”?  This location is quite a melting pot of expats.  Very welcoming, known as “Land Of Smiles.”
  • Uruguay.  Safe and stable … a great place to raise a family, or because you’re retiring … have your family visit!
  • Vietnam. Unbelievably low cost of living and would you believe some of the most beautiful beaches on earth.Malaysia Skyline

There are so many options!  Check out Live & Invest Overseas to investigate which one of these destinations may be the best place to retire abroad for you.  This is a huge decision, so be sure to compare and contrast.  We made a list of what we were looking for.  Brainstorm your list and be free to dream big!  There are advantages and disadvantages to each location, so you need to be able to determine which are deal breakers for you.  Are there locations on this list that intrigue you?  Maybe you’re ready to look into the overseas retirement conference?


  1. Jeff

    I followed your twitter post to this little gem of an intro article on this subject. Very informative as I was not aware of the conference or the organization. I think Jenny and I are not courageous enough to uproot from the US and live long term elsewhere, but shorter, non-permanent stays are definitely to be considered. You are right, the Live & Invest Overseas site has great info and things to consider. Thanks for taking the time to post it. – Jeff

  2. Eddie Hoyos

    Hello David I have personally wanted to start looking into a foreign country I can retire from when I turn 40. Right now I’m 29 years old and have saved a tiny amount of money. I was just wondering, David, how good would the U.S dollar be against the Brazillian Real?

    1. David Hagstrom

      There are several sites that specifically compare the cost of living in the U.S. versus various cities and countries around the world. As of this week, one report suggests the average cost of living in Brazil to be 37% lower than the U.S. That does not factor in cost of housing which varies dramatically by location and the amenities you desire. Since you’re looking 11 years out, I suggest you save aggressively and keep your eyes open for the best opportunities as that date grows closer.

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