Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Most Affordable Countries Around the World For Your Retirement

The Most Affordable Countries Around the World For Your Retirement
By Conor William O'Brien
A country has to be affordable to be a great retirement spot. It's that simple. And, for the 2017 Global Retirement Index, to assess how affordable each country is, we got our experts on the ground to fill out a comprehensive monthly budget. Everything from the cost of a liter of milk to a bottle of beer to a movie ticket was factored in.
Here are the big winners...
#1 for Cost of Living Overall
When you hear some of the prices being quoted by expats in the country that took the overall top spot in the Cost of Living category this year, it's not hard to see why it got almost full marks.
"What I really dig about my life now is that I am no longer stuck in a crowded and expensive city. I can enjoy retirement hanging out at the beach," says Roger Carter of his new life in one of this country's coastal cities. He lives in a large, two-bedroom apartment that costs $350 a month and he regularly feasts on fresh crab, squid, and shrimp for as little as $10 a plate at local barbecue joints.
In the country's second-largest city, costs are equally low. Pat Music lives comfortably on her small Social Security income. "My monthly bills come to about $255 to $309, and that's including rent, water, electricity, and internet. I buy my food at the market and I usually cook at home. My average monthly budget is less than $509."
Whether you're on a budget or have a sizeable retirement pension, you can enjoy life in this low-cost haven, and have everything you could ever want, at a fraction of the cost that you would pay at home.
#1 for Cost of Living in Latin America
"It really is so cheap to live here. I knew that before I got here, but when you actually live it, it's incredible," says Dawn Noel of her life in the country that offers the best cost of living in Latin America.
This great-value living has seen thousands of U.S. expats pursue a retirement here in recent years. After all, in this country a complete meal with wine will set you back only $16. And for less than $8 a day, you can get yourself cleaning and gardening help to maintain that beachside apartment or colonial house you call home.
In one of the country's picturesque cities, Pat and Rich Buff are living comfortably on $1,200 to $1,500 a month. "We live on less money here than we paid for just our monthly mortgage payment back home in Texas," Pat says.
In his cool-weather, still-undiscovered mountain city, Ira Stephenson rents an unfurnished house for $270 a month and his utilities average about $100 a month.
This country offers a high quality of life, no financial worries, more fun, and less stress for a fraction of what you're paying now wherever you live.
#1 for Cost of Living in Europe
The European country that came out top for cost of living in this year's Index is one with a laidback air, an emphasis on friends and family, and plenty of good food and wine (and leisurely mealtimes for enjoying them). A couple can live well on as little as $1,700 a month, including rent, in many smaller cities, and from about $2,200 a month in the cosmopolitan capital.
All these things mean that this country is growing in popularity among North American expats.
Tom and Laine Berning found their perfect Old World retirement in the country's second city. They couple pay about $900 a month for their apartment in an upscale neighborhood. "It's a little more expensive than what we were looking for, but within our range," says Laine. "The average person here spends maybe $390 to $445 a month on rent."
Of their day-to-day living costs, Tom says, "Food is about 65% less than what we were paying in the States. Clothing, about half the cost, while electronics are on par with U.S. prices."
And their healthcare costs are also low. "We brought some prescriptions with us", says Tom, "and one that was $300 in the U.S. is $3.34 here."
For low-cost living with First World amenities, few countries in Europe can match this country. And throw in a generally mild climate, rich history, and friendly locals, and you have a country that offers a lot.