Top 10 Cheapest Countries to Retire In

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Jose Luis Pelaez Inc

When you retire, you may wish to do so in place. After all, if your family and friends live in town, you may have no reason to want to move. However, for some people, the goal of retirement is to get the heck out of Dodge and enjoy your golden years while saving your retirement money.

If you’re looking to make your retirement savings stretch, then maybe you’re looking to move somewhere with a favorable exchange rate, nice weather and a low cost of living. If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are the top cheapest countries to retire in.

10. Serbia

Adobe Stock

Average Rent: $310

Serbia is an interesting country in between Central and Southeast Europe, known for its multi-ethnic and multi-cultural identity. Serbia’s turbulent history reflects it location at the crossroads of Europe and near Turkey, as the nation has been annexed and fought over in countless wars.

At present, Serbia is negotiating entry into the EU, pending resolving ongoing disputes over Kosovo, a partially recognized state that declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

The cost of living in Serbia is quite low, with an average rent of $312 per month. Applications for citizenship might be a headache, but the country is uniquely beautiful and well worth moving to. Skiing and mountaineering are two of the biggest draws, thanks to the gorgeous mountains in the region.

9. Vietnam

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Average Rent: $500

Vietnam is a country situated in Southeastern Asia, located on the easternmost coast of the Indochina Peninsula. The country is remembered in America as the location of a controversial conflict and said conflict has had a lasting effect on the culture of the nation. In the modern era, this is reflected by the low cost of living in the region.

Application for visas of various types is straightforward, though they only last for five years apiece. However, you can reapply for any visas that are going to expire. The beautiful surroundings of the region, such as the towering forests, the misty mountains and exotic wildlife make the country ideal for those looking to retire somewhere with an otherworldly beauty.

8. Mexico


Average Rent: $415

Mexico, located directly south of the US, is a country with an interesting history and fantastic climate. Due to the country’s proximity to the Equator, it stays warm most of the year, and the surroundings range from striking deserts to deep forests. The region is ideal for retirees, as you need little more than $2,000 per month of income or $80,000 in your bank account to apply for citizenship in the nation.

The cost of living in the region is extremely low. For comparison, groceries are nearly 70% less expensive in Mexico than they are in the US. As you can tell from the average rent price, that is also significantly less expensive than the average home in the States. If you’re looking to move somewhere warm, inexpensive, and still close to home, consider Mexico.

7. Philippines


Average Rent: $440

The Philippines are renowned for the friendly residents, laid-back atmosphere and beautiful surroundings. The country is an archipelago in Southeast Asia, located right on the Equator and in the middle of the Pacific Ring of Fire. This means that the country is both blessed with abundant natural resources and plagued by typhoons, earthquakes and monsoon rains.

The Philippines are especially aware of how attractive the country is for retirees, and offers special visas for retirees to move to the country on. These require only that you make $800 per month and deposit $10,000 in a bank in the Philippines. However, even if you don’t have a pension to cover that, you can apply for other types of visas.

6. Indonesia


Average Rent: $400

Another Southeast Asian island nation, Indonesia is also known for its volcanic islands and lush tropical locales. Much like the Philippines, Indonesia has ample natural resources, large biodiversity, and a fascinating and welcoming local culture. Interestingly, Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation, comprising over 17,000 islands.

Thanks to the beautiful surroundings, you’ve got tons to do outdoors in Indonesia. If you’re over 55 and make at least $1,500 per month, you can apply for a retirement visa in Indonesia, making it an easy transition for many.

5. Colombia


Average Rent: $330

Colombia is a gorgeous nation located in the northwestern corner of South America, bordered by Panama to the Northwest, Venezuela to the East and Ecuador, Pero and Brazil to the South. It’s also bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the North and Pacific to the West.

The region has a very low cost of living, with some of the lowest rent prices you’ll find in the Americas. Local cuisine is delicious, and coffee from the region is legendary. Retirement visas are available for the region, coming in for someone with at least $765 monthly income from a pension. Social Security, for instance, fits the requirements.

4. Pakistan


Average Rent: $181

Americans who retire to Pakistan would find their rent shockingly low, the climate quite warm and the people quite fun to be around. While Pakistan might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of retirement destinations, but the region offers some of the lowest cost of living anywhere. Not to mention, there are over a million British Pakistani who live in the country, meaning that Americans wouldn’t be the only folks around speaking English.

One of the drawbacks to retiring to the region, though, is the difficulty of getting a long-term visa. In most cases, unless you’re of Pakistani descent, you might find it rather difficult to acquire a visa. In some special circumstances, however, a long-term visa might be granted.

3. Malaysia


Average Rent: $400

Yet another country in Southeast Asia, and yet another island nation, makes our list. Malaysia is bordered by parts of Indonesia to the South, surrounded by gorgeous beaches, and home to some of the most fascinating architecture in Asia. The cost of living is quite low considering how gorgeous and fun the country is to be in.

One might find it a bit difficult to stay for extended periods on a visa, though. Malaysia typically only grants long-term visas for people with Malaysian families, though some special circumstances might allow visas to be granted anyway. Residence passes might be hard to come by, but the region is gorgeous and worth considering if you can get approved for a visa to retire there.

2. India


Average Rent: $225

The massive Indian subcontinent is home to billions of people, ranging from the coastal areas near the Indian Ocean up to the norther regions, which border Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The culture is ancient and beyond fascinating: from ancient temples to modern skyscrapers, there’s so much to take in when you first visit the country.

As for visas, it can be difficult to acquire a visa for permanent residency in India. However, a tourist visa could secure you up to ten years in the country. For some people, ten years is enough retirement time to stretch the retirement cash before moving back to the US and living on the rest.

1. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Average Rent: $300

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country in the Indian Ocean, just south of India and one of the best travel destinations in the world. The two-year “dream home” visa they offer can be renewed essentially indefinitely and requires a deposit of $15,000 and a monthly income of $1,500.

For most retirees, Sri Lanka is essentially the best place you could choose. It’s got stunning beaches, lush forests, inexpensive cost of living and a laid-back atmosphere that fits the surroundings.

So, there you have it: the best countries to retire to in order to stretch your retirement savings. Hopefully, you’ve found a place you can call home once you say “so long” to the working life!

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