With today’s high cost of living, many retirees are choosing to pack up and move from the United States and Canada, only to find that their pensions and retirement funds will go much further in other regions. In this article, I will discuss about 10 places to Retire abroad where you can live for under $2,000 per month.
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Many people think that Europe is a very expensive option for expat living, and the truth is that it is expensive in many areas. However, some hidden gems are affordable and beautiful, offering a European standard of living on a budget that retirees can manage.
While not all areas of Portugal are accessible for retirees on a budget, there is one golden town that some call “the best place in the world to retire,” and that is the coastal city of the Algarve.
Home to more than 100,000 retired expats, this area boasts old-world charm along with some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Ranked as the 17th safest country on the planet, Portugal also offers good infrastructure and international standard medical services. According to a report by USA News, a budget of $1,500 (€1,198) per month would be enough for a retired couple to live comfortably. With great weather and easy accommodation programs for retirees and expats, you couldn’t ask for more from Portugal.
For relatively short visits, US citizens do not need a visa to enter Portugal. However, to become a resident, you must apply for a residence visa corresponding to your reason for staying in the country. You can apply for a residence permit from the Aliens and Borders Service.
Once approved, a temporary residence permit will be issued that is valid for one year and can be renewed for two years. You can apply for permanent residence after being in the country for five years.
Health care in Portugal is available to all passengers. Residents receive free basic medical care, including doctor visits and medication. As a pensioner, you must have Form E121.
The native language is Portuguese, but a retiree should have no problem communicating in English, given the number of expats living in Portugal.
The average rent for a three-bedroom apartment is around $678 (€531) per month (number), and the average house price in the Algarve is around $1,593.89 (€1,251) per square metre. (Universal Property Directory).
If you’re worried about shipping to Portugal, don’t be. Many foreign driver’s licenses are valid until they expire. Changing your license to a Portuguese one is another option.
If you’ve always dreamed of living in Paris but couldn’t afford the high cost, then the South of France is a good place to consider. Small, rural, surprisingly affordable towns like charming Carcassonne offer lovers of good food and wine, old-world charm and a relaxed atmosphere plenty to consider.
Pau, also located in the southern French countryside, is another great option for an expat retirement, with great weather and green slopes dotted with rich vineyards. In a university town, the youth culture will keep those in their golden years feeling young and vibrant.
Once you have obtained your long-term visa, you must register with the French Office for Immigration and Integration to obtain your residence permit (carte de Sejour).
France offers some of the best healthcare in the world. For expats, it is recommended to join the National Health Insurance Scheme. If you join CMU (Couverture Maladie Universelle), pre-existing conditions will not be considered (Telegraph).
Since English is not a preferred language in France, learning at least basic, French will help immensely.
France has an excellent public transport system, so it is possible to live in the city without a car. However, a car can make your life much easier if you plan to stay in more rural areas. Be sure to add this cost to your plans.
With gorgeous beaches and mountains nearby, Abruzzo is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. Quiet and reminiscent of Italian times, a couple can easily retire here for less than $2,000 (€1,598) a month and enjoy a quiet and pleasant lifestyle.
Italy ranks second in the WHO list of health services. If you pay taxes, you are entitled to public health benefits. Otherwise, private health insurance is also available. Retirees usually opt for the Optional Resident Visa, which requires proof of income.
Learning Italian is a huge asset to making the most of the lifestyle, but fluency is no longer necessary.
Italy’s famous delicacies, beautiful scenery and historical culture await retirees from all walks of life.
Those looking to retire in a big city may consider Istanbul, which straddles the shores of both Europe and Asia. The weather in Istanbul is reminiscent of a Mediterranean environment, with hot summers, rainy winter months, and mild spring and autumn weather.
Extremely affordable, a retired couple could easily live here for less than $1,500 (£3,441) a month, enjoying a world-class city with access to cafes, parks, culture and river walks; For those looking for an “elegant European lifestyle”, Istanbul, Turkey is the place to consider.
For long-term stays, you must apply for a residence permit by completing a declaration of intent form. It is usually valid for five years.
Healthcare is relatively cheap in Turkey compared to the rest of Europe. Most of the medical staff also speak English. Public healthcare is available to residents there for more than a year with a valid permit, but expats may want to consider higher-quality private healthcare.
Turkish is the official language, but expats will find that many people speak English.
Living in Turkey is relatively cheap compared to the United States. A two-bedroom flat costs $440.31 (£1,000) per month. However, maintenance fees may not be included in the rental cost.
Buses will take you all over the city for a cheap fare. Buying a car is also an option, but the cost of gas is very high.
Asia: One of the best Places to retire abroad
There are several great destinations in Asia where people can retire on a budget. Here are some of our favourites:
Welcoming and friendly, the residents of Dumaguete invite incoming retirees. With a warm tropical climate and plenty of cultures, those who choose to retire in the Philippines can enjoy the best of city life and outdoor adventures.
Good health care and a large expat community make it an attractive destination for many North Americans, who can expect to live here for less than US$1,500 (PHP 67,425) per month.
Anyone can enter the Philippines without a visa, but you may be required to present an exit ticket. You will then be given a visa for 21 days. For retirees, the Philippine Retirement Authority offers a plan that will grant you a residence visa.
The government is committed to providing national healthcare services to its citizens. Filipino doctors are usually trained overseas, and their nurses are world-renowned for their friendliness and skills. Medical costs are also much lower than in the United States.
Tagalog is the national language, but English is the second language. Although an expat will be able to communicate very well, learning a little local language always helps.
Housing can be very cheap in the Philippines. You can rent a furnished two-room apartment for 200-400 USD per month. Renting a home can cost between $400 and $600 per month.
The small city of Chiang Rai has a relaxing feel against the backdrop of lush green forests, scenic waterfalls, hot springs, and tropical jungles.
A retired couple can enjoy a very comfortable and peaceful lifestyle for as little as $1,000 (THB 32,645) per month.
Thailand offers retirement visas for people over 50 years old with a monthly pension of 2,005 USD (65,000 THB). To apply for permanent residence, an expat must have lived in Thailand for three years on an appropriate visa. They can then apply for a residence certificate, which will allow them to apply for permanent residence after five years.
The growth of medical tourism has led to a high standard of healthcare in Thailand. However, foreigners need private health insurance.
You will do well in Thailand speaking English, but it is highly recommended that you learn common Thai words and phrases. Online courses are a great option to acquire these skills easily.
925 USD (30,000 THB) per month will get you a furnished apartment or maisonette in Bangkok. Apartments can be rented for $62 (2,000 baht) and up per month.
Cheap taxis and other public transportation make owning a car in the city an unnecessary expense. Even in the outer regions, trains and buses run across the country.
Closer to home, Latin America is a favourite destination for many retirees due to its easy access to North America. After all, visiting the grandkids can be expensive when you need a plane. Smart retirees are considering moving to Latin America to expand their nest eggs.
While Costa Rica is the most expensive Central American country to live in, it remains a haven for retirees looking to retire close to home and on a budget. With affordable, high-quality medical care, great weather, and all the amenities you’d expect in any developed country, Costa Rica is still, depending on your lifestyle, well below the cost of living in North America.
While housing is certainly more expensive in the beach and metropolis towns, rural areas are cheaper (and some say nicer); A retired couple can easily live on less than $2,000 (1,064,000 CRC) a month.
If you are a citizen of the United States or Canada, you do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. You’ll want to apply for a pension or Rentista programme as a retiree. To qualify for a pension, you must prove that you have at least $1,000 per month in retirement income. To qualify for the rental, according to International Living, you must provide proof of income of $2,500 per month for at least two years or deposit $60,000 in a Costa Rican bank.
The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) provides public health care in Costa Rica. Comprehensive treatment is available to those who pay a small fee based on an individual’s income. In Costa Rica, healthcare costs are about a third of what you would pay in the United States. Private healthcare is another, more expensive option.
The official language is Spanish, but since Costa Rica is a popular destination for expats, English is widely spoken throughout the country.
If you plan to bring your vehicle, consider reconsidering that decision. You will incur high import taxes ranging from 45% to 75% of your retail cost in Costa Rica. There is also a shipping fee to ship the vehicle, and liability insurance is required. A used car in Costa Rica can cost $7,000 to $15,000; However, public transportation is readily available everywhere, so you can easily access it without a car.
MSNBC has referred to Nicaragua as “the world’s best-kept retirement secret,” Other notable magazines and reports have ranked it among the world’s top ten places to retire.
Nicaragua is no longer the epicentre of political turmoil it used to be. It is a beautiful place, the people are friendly, and the cost of living is very low. It, along with a comprehensive retiree benefits program and amazing tax benefits for foreign retirees, makes this country a desirable retirement location.
According to International Living, your passport will be valid for six months after the day you enter. However, US citizens do not need a visa. You will be issued a tourist card to stay in the country for 90 days. To qualify as a resident or retiree, you must prove that you are a citizen of your home country, are in good health, are in good standing with local police, and have at least $600 per month in retirement income.
You will get quality healthcare in Nicaragua at an affordable cost. International Living states that a doctor’s visit will cost $30, a home visit $35, a lab test $10 to $15, an X-ray $17, and a mammogram $150.
Although the expats are large, it cannot be easy to accommodate them without feeling comfortable speaking Spanish.
Renting a three-bedroom apartment costs about $460 per month, and the new highway system makes it easier to get around the country.
Retiring abroad is more beneficial than many retirees think. Nest eggs can go much further in many countries, including the ones listed here.
In addition to people’s natural beauty and friendliness, it is important to consider every aspect of your lifestyle before you decide to move. These include healthcare costs, the availability of transportation, whether you want (or need) to learn the language and the cost of housing.
If all of these values fit your budget, there’s no reason not to spend your golden years in a beautiful foreign country, enjoying the depth and breadth of culture.
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