Lower costs abroad
Retiring overseas can dramatically reduce your cost of living. In many cases, you can enjoy a better retirement lifestyle with significantly more disposable income abroad than you could with a modest nest egg in the U.S. Here are nine overseas retirement spots worth a close look.
In general, France is not a place to choose if you are hoping to dramatically cut your cost of living. But this area, "the other South of France," is far more affordable than its flashier counterpart and still offers the best of French country living. Monthly budget: $1,750.
Despite the growing numbers of expats in this district, the real estate market in Cayo is still priced for Belizeans, which helps keep the cost of living very low. Belize is a retirement, tax and offshore haven. It's also a place of stunning landscapes and abundant natural resources. Still, this is a small country where the infrastructure is most kindly described as "developing." Monthly budget: $1,100.
Chiang Rai, Thailand
With a population of less than 100,000, Chiang Rai offers intimacy that cannot be found in a large city. The natural setting offers thick forests, majestic waterfalls, elephant camps and hot springs. Rental prices are extremely low, and you get a lot of house for your money. Monthly budget: $750.
Dumaguete boasts a warm, tropical climate and lots of opportunities for outdoor adventures, including world-class diving and snorkeling and whale and dolphin watching. This university city also offers an opportunity to interact with professors and students, take classes and enjoy cultural opportunities not typically found elsewhere in the Philippines, including theater, ballet, art shows and libraries. Monthly budget: $1,000.
With two long coastlines, two big lakes, volcanoes, highlands, rain forests and rivers, Nicaragua has it all. Granada has an established expat retiree community that makes it an easy place to settle in. The capital, Managua, is less than 45 minutes away and has the international-class Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas. Monthly budget: $1,300.
Despite having a population of more than half a million, Ipoh feels like a small town. You can expect fresh air, clean water and a relaxing lifestyle as well as first-world health care, modern infrastructure and friendly locals who speak English. Monthly budget: $897.
Ecuador has acquired a reputation as one of the best options in the world for retirees on a budget, but little Loja is still off the beaten path. Loja has a pleasant climate, great health care, and it offers an opportunity to become a part of the local community. But you'll likely need to speak Spanish and be comfortable interacting with the locals. Monthly budget: $1,100.
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Nha Trang, Vietnam, has one of the lowest costs of living of any city in Southeast Asia or the world. English is widely spoken, the food is delicious and the weather is comfortable year-round. The ocean, mountains and rural landscapes invite both adventurous and laid-back exploration. Monthly budget: $650.
Tralee offers an authentic Emerald Isle experience. The majority of people who work in its shops, restaurants, bars and tourist sites are locals, which helps the town's heritage and character shine through. And thanks to the recession, the cost of living and of real estate is temptingly low. Monthly budget: $1,500.
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