Cheap Places to Retire – A Foreigner’s Perspective

Lots is being written here in the U.S. about inexpensive retirement locations in foreign countries. Sometimes it is more interesting to read the commentary of those outside the U.S. about retiring in other countries, including the U.S.  The London Daily Telegraph has done just that.

Ten locations are features that, according to the Telegraph writers, offer “a mixture of good value for money and an attractive lifestyle.”  One location is in the U.S.:  Florida.  I have to agree with the author who wrote this:

You would not wish retirement in some parts of Florida on your worst enemy, but it is an enormous state, with some classy enclaves, particularly on the Gulf of Mexico. Weather-wise, the Sunshine State is as good as its word. And, while the cost of medical care in the US is higher than in Britain, it is more than offset by the lower cost of living.

The other “winners” were southwest France, Le Marche Italy,  Australia, Thailand, Antigua, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Ecuador, and Morocco.

Note that Mexico was not on the Telegraph’s list. That’s probably because gun shy Europeans want nothing to do with a country immersed in drug gang wars.

The mention of Ecuador as a place to retire inexpensively was interesting. That’s a place I need to visit at some point.

I recommend that you read the article, including the comments here: Top places to retire overseas.

Then head over to Wallet Pop where they’ve added some commentary and info about costs to travel to these potential retirement locations.


  1. Vanessa says

    My daughter who is a “sustainable tour leader” in Central America will attest to the cost of American products being significanlty higher there. You might not think that things like hair spray, deodorant, tampoons, etc. are luxuery items … but in central america they are … $6 US for a small can of no name hairspray… they ARE NOT ESSENTIAL for survival … but American’s think they are … and they may well be for the “AMERICA” standard of living. There are advantages to living in a 2nd or 3rd world nation … but don’t go there because you think you can live as royalty … join the community … live their dream.

  2. Karen says

    My husband and I went to Panama in late November. Our goal was to check out Panama as a potential retirement country as well as Ecuador. The country is beautiful for it is not as cheap as you would think. Outside of Panama City services drop off rapidly. I am a nurse and my main concern in retirement years is health care. We only looked in the Coronado Altos del Maria area ( which is 90 minutes from PC). All that was available there was a “clinic”. Interestingly enough, both my husband and I both got sick and felt all we wanted to do was get back to PC. It really was kinda scary. My husband was running a 103 temp. We both think it was the amount of mold associated in the rainforest areas. Anyway, long story short…….we called Delta and cut our trip short and flew home. As excited as I was to go to Panama, I have never been so glad to get home. We still want to see Ecuador, but honestly quality oh healthcare is a “deal breaker ” for us. AND…….we are in good health. My advice for those thinking of retiring overseas is to make that all important list and be honest in prioritizing. Healthcare should be close to #1. As we age, it is pretty much a given you will get sick.

  3. scott lance says

    I did a post under retiring to Panama, with some good insights from someone who has retired to another country… but after reading this, and the posts here, it reminded me of the following:
    If you want to continue buying “Name brand” products from your home country…you will pay ALOT…in most cases you will need to change your habits, and “go local”…lots of their local products are Ok…
    Also..on the post above “Outside of Panama City services drop off rapidly”…..In any foreign country, (major 1st world countries excepted) you will need to live IN the city or very close to it…Why?? Cos usually EVERYTHING drops off rapidly outside the major city(cities)….
    PS: Panama has great cheap medical care…IN PC !!

  4. says

    Whenever I see any references to Americans retiring abroad I always see the destinations of South and Central America and Europe. Three years ago I retired and moved to Malaysia. I searched around but found little on retiring in Malaysia. I have been living here for over three years now and love it. The cost of living is much cheaper, medical costs are very much chaper and the medical care is excellent and the food here is wonderful and cheap. I could not afford to live the lifestyle I am living now, if I were in the US. The weather here is also a lot better than my home in Boston.

  5. says

    Surprised Central America was not mentioned as many countries in the region have a very low cost of living. In Granada, Nicaragua for example you can live well on under $1,000 a month (which is less than the average US social security payment). (But give the article is from the Telegraphy, Brits may be more interested in places close to home..)

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