10 Countries You Can Retire to for Less Than $200,000

6 min read

Think you don’t have enough money to retire abroad? Think again. Here are ten countries you can retire to for less than $200,000.

10. Ecuador

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Zscout370

According to Investopedia, you can retire to Ecuador for as little as $800 a month. That’s what many expatriates living in Vilcabamba pay. That’s quite easy to do since a two-bedroom furnished house can rent for as little as $225 a month (utilities included) and you can get a full restaurant meal for less than $3! Here are some other pluses:

-The national currency is the U.S. dollar.
-Seniors pay lower property taxes and are eligible for discounts (50 percent off) on public transportation, national and international airfares, monthly bills (water, electricity, phone, etc.), and cultural, sports, artistic and recreational events.
-There’s a national health care plan that’s open to all citizens and legal residents. There are no pre-existing medical condition restrictions, no co-pays or deductibles, and all medical procedures (including dental care), screenings, and medications are free or deeply discounted. FYI, inexpensive private insurance is also available.

Unfortunately, double taxation is an issue as there’s no tax treaty between Ecuador and the U.S. Also, you’ll be required to provide proof of steady income or a lump sum good for five years.

9. Nicaragua

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Plenty of sunshine, warm air, mountains, an amazing coastline, colonial cities, affordable housing and a comprehensive retiree benefit program makes Nicaragua attractive to many retirees. To take advantage of the retiree program, you must be over 45 years old and have a monthly income of at least $600. The benefits of the retiree program tend to come in the form of tax incentives or permissions, and include:

-No taxes on out-of-country earnings
-Sales tax exemption on home construction materials up to the first $50,000
-Purchase goods on credit
-Bring up to $20,000 of household goods for your own home into Nicaragua, duty-free
-Import or purchase one vehicle for personal use and pay no import tax or protective tariff, and sell it, tax-free, after five years

Hot retiree spots include Matagalpa, the colonial cities of Granada and Leon, and the southwestern corner of the Pacific coast around San Juan del Sur. A furnished, 900-square-foot apartment in Managua goes for about $660 a month and utility bills average about $100 a month.

FYI, you might want to be cautious if you plan on retiring to Nicaragua any time soon. The recent violence in the country over the social security overhaul is forcing some retirees to move elsewhere.

8. Thailand

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Photo Dharma from Sadao, Thailand [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Low cost of living, cheap health care, no double taxation issues, a low crime rate, and an exotic culture–what more could you ask for when looking for just the right place to retire? These are just some of the things foreign retirees have to look forward to in Thailand. Hot retiree destinations in this country include Chiang Mai and the capital city of Bangkok. Even though Bangkok is one of the more expensive cities, it’s still cheaper to retire there than it is here in the U.S. For example, a furnished, 900-square-foot apartment will cost about $800 a month, and utilities average about $100 a month. Retirement visas are fairly easy to come by, too. All you have to do is show that you make at least $22,000 a year.

FYI, English is widely spoken in Thailand.

7. Belize

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Jerry Kirkhart from Los Osos, Calif. [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Fishing, barrier reef diving and a reasonable cost of living (an annual income of at least $24,000 for retirees) are just some of what Belize has to offer. Plus, you can take an early retirement (you must be at least 45 years old) and any outside sources of income are not taxed. Not only that, but Belize is the only Central American country whose official language is English.

The downside to living in Belize is the lack of quality health care. Many retirees actually have to return to the U.S. for their major medical needs. Internet service can also be expensive. It costs around $130 a month.

6. Panama

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Rent for a furnished, 900-square-foot apartment in Panama City is about $1,000 a month, with utilities averaging about $200 a month for a couple. Plus, foreign sources of income are not taxed. Popular spots include Boquete, a town in the highlands, and Panama City, the country’s capital. According to an article published by MSN, “life in Panama City is comparable to life in California.” It has a warm, sunny climate and English is widely spoken there. And, if you must travel back home, the U.S. is just a short plane ride away.

5. Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Glen Cooper from Reston, US [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Known as the world’s best retirement haven, Costa Rica offers broad beaches, a tropical climate, beautiful landscapes, low crime, stable politics, cheap real estate, excellent and affordable health care, and a low cost of living. A furnished, 900-square-foot apartment in San José, for example, goes for about $630 a month, with utility bills averaging about $197 a month. Also, foreign income is not taxed. And, if you ever get homesick, Miami and Houston are only a three-hour nonstop plane ride away.

4. Malaysia

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Chris 73

A friendly, English-speaking, first-world lifestyle with an exotic mix of cultures is just some of what draws retirees to Malaysia. Affordability is another plus. Foreign income is not taxed, and a furnished, 900-square-foot apartment in Kuala Lumpur costs just $443 a month. And, utilities cost just $54 a month! To qualify for Malaysia’s retiree program, you need to be at least 50 years old and make just $2,453 a month. Unfortunately, you also need $85,879 in liquid assets. Another downside is the crime rate, which can be high in some areas.

3. Spain

Source: Wikimedia Commons

You probably wouldn’t believe it if someone told you that retiring to Europe could actually be cheaper than retiring in some parts of the U.S. But, it’s true. Especially if you retire to Spain. Cost of living there is about 26 percent lower than in the United States–it takes just $36,000 for a couple to retire in Spain. Additionally, they have a tax treaty with the U.S., excellent health care (number 7 out of 190 countries), and a low crime rate. Spain also boasts a temperate climate and a seaside lifestyle.

TIP: If you’re planning to retire here, knowing some Spanish is a must.

2. The Philippines

The Philippines
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Affordable health care, an apartment for about $500 a month, utilities that average about $76 a month for a couple, and no double taxation issues, all in a tropical country made up of over 7,000 islands makes The Philippines a great place to retire! Popular spots for retirees include Tagaytay, a suburb of Manila, and Subic Bay, the site of an old U.S. Navy base. Plus, English is the country’s official language.

The downside? Crime can be a problem in The Philippines.

1. Peru

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Huhsunqu [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)]

Mountains, sunny beaches, rainforests, Spanish colonial towns, ancient Incan cities, inexpensive living, and quality, affordable health care are some of what retirement life in Peru consists of. In the capital city of Lima, you can expect to pay $561 a month for a furnished, 900-square-foot apartment and $81 a month in utility bills. Two major drawbacks are that 1) there’s no tax treaty between Peru and the U.S., so double taxation is unavoidable, and 2) crime can be a problem there.


Do you have any plans to retire abroad? Have you already retired abroad? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!