What Are the 10 Most Affordable Places to Retire Abroad?

Moving elsewhere, such as abroad, lowers your retirement costs because you’re also looking for adventure. In Europe, the top retirement abroad options for 2019 include six destinations. A strong dollar makes the eurozone a reasonable option for budget retirees. Potential retirement locations were evaluated on the basis of factors important to potential expatriate retirees. These are affordable real estate options, housing costs, taxes, infrastructure, entertainment, housing options, healthcare, crime, international access, use of English, and the expat community. 


1. Georgetown, Malaysia

There are two ways of living here, traditional and 21, comfortable and exotic. Apart from the high-rise apartments, modern George Town is one of the best-preserved ancient cities in all of Asia. Along the winding avenue of this UNESCO World Heritage site are many woolen shops, immaculate homes and guild halls. English is commonly spoken in the place, thanks to its colonial history. The great outdoors, close to town are the best seaside resorts, with sandy beaches lined with palm trees and abundant rainforests. The city is known as the capital of Asian cuisine with delicious specialties such as char kwai teow, chili paste and noodles with shrimp and cockles, all priced under $2 per serving.


2. Algarve, Portugal

The area is hospitable, safe, friendly, affordable, and beautiful. It features many golf courses and excellent beaches with a long and interesting history. Due to the movement of the ocean in the Gulf Stream, the place is well sheltered from winter, which results in an ideal climate with 3,300 hours of sunshine annually and in other countries on this side of the world. English is widely spoken, so there’s no need to learn a new language if you don’t feel like it. In the Algarve, there is one of the highest infrastructure and world-class and affordable healthcare in North America.


3. Cascais, Portugal

An amazingly beautiful place with a rocky coastline, stone buildings, white sandy beaches, museums, gardens and cobblestone walkways. An affluent and developed destination that is one of the most affordable places to live an extraordinary lifestyle near the sea. The daily costs of living in this place are quite high compared to the Algarve region, but given the quality of life on offer, it is indeed a good deal. You can manage here without learning Portuguese as English is rarely spoken in the Algarve. A 40-minute train ride from downtown Lisbon, Cascais boasts city and beach life.


4. Mazatlan, Mexico

The place stands out for its beautiful beaches and colonial center. A popular choice among expats is the Mexican Town Resort, which makes for a relaxing setting. December through March temperatures get into the 70’s with little to no rain, and July through October has high humidity levels and high temperatures making this a great option for snowboarding. It’s a hassle-free move by loading up your truck and driving south into Mazatlan with only the tools and fuel budget.


5. Cuenca, Ecuador

This place is among the cheapest places in the world to retire. A budget of $1,000 per month or less is enough for a couple to live comfortably. The setting is beautiful with cobbled streets and its historic centers well preserved and you can even explore the city on foot – no need to invest in a car. With no heating and air conditioning, its mild climate keeps costs down. US dollar currency is used which means there is no exchange rate risk. The country is part of the developing world, however, Cuenca has reliable electricity, potable water and current internet service. The place has a large community of expat retirees so newcomers get plenty of support to help them transition.


6. Annecy, France

This place caters to all lifestyles from museum buffs, nature lovers, fashionistas, foodies and adrenaline junkies. Its lake is known as the cleanest and most turbulent in the world. It also has pastel-coloured houses, museums, castles, historic sites, cinemas, festivals, and state-of-the-art theatres. If France is known as the country of cheese, Savoy is the heart. They feast on the savory tarte (potato patty with bacon and cheese reblochon) served regularly in fondue de rellette.


7. Occitanie, France

Saint-Chénin is a village in the Occitanie region where everyday life is a bit like Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Real estate prices are half that of Coted Azur and Provence. The wine industry is also growing. The place has 1,900 residents including 200 beers. Over the past 10 years, growers have been able to specialize in producing world-class red wines that come from the Carignan, Grenache, and Sansoute grapes, with additional varietals from Mourvedre and Syrah. Sitting on Saint-Chainin hill and taking in the beautiful scenery of the French countryside, you feel like you are somewhere far away. However, Spain is close for some dinners and so is Paris which is 3 hours away by train.


8. San Ajnacio, Blaise

This wide open space appeals to those who are independent and adventurous. Mayan land of ruins, mountains, waterfalls and rivers. Driving on the Western Highway, from Belize City to Cayo , you’ll see a glimpse of trees, forests, livestock, pastures, and fields. They grow citrus fruits, sugar cane, melons, and corn. The largest city in Cayo is San Ignacio, home to a large and growing community of expat expats and retirees. You can live among them easily because everyone speaks English and it is easy to get established in Bieleş. The best choice for simple living and off grid living. In the pristine jungle of Cayo you can live self-sufficiently in good company and in style.


9. Città Sant’Angelo, Italy

Abruzzo has everything Tuscany has to offer at a fraction of the cost. Newly constructed motorways provide easy access from Rome, opening up the area to attract local private and government investment. The area has seen recent development, and smaller towns are working hard to attract investment to preserve their historic main streets. However, the venue is still quite affordable and considered one of the biggest bargains in Europe. If you are looking for a traditional Italian lifestyle, this is a great place. However, if you are going to live in Citta Sant’Angelo, you will need to learn Italian.


10. Valletta, Malta

It covers an area of 122 square miles and has a population of about 400,000. A triangular island in the middle of the Mediterranean is the number one gem in the world. English is universally spoken in this multilingual society. A stable haven, a safe and luxurious holistic lifestyle and excellent healthcare. Malta’s rugged coastline showcases dramatic cliffs dotted with ancient forts as well as coves dotted with attractive fishing harbours. Isolated interior olive groves, stone walls, potatoes, wheat and heavy vineyards are in season. From its history to its culture, food, and weather, Malta is one of the most affordable options to visit in Mediterranean Europe.

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