By Charis Rebecca Brown
If you want to save some big bucks in retirement and you’d love to see the world, why not consider moving to a different country?
Even if it’s only for a little while, you could experience a different culture, and make your money go farther while living there.
Kathleen Peddicord, the publisher of the e-letter “Live and Invest Overseas” who lives in Panama says retiring abroad makes sense for people with a modest amount of savings who can live on between $2,000 and $5,000 a month.
But for these places, you could easily live on less than $2,000 a month.
1. Abruzzo, Italy
Image credit: DEA / ARCHIVIO J. LANGE / Contributor
Abruzzo is known as “the greenest region in Europe”, and rests east of Rome. Pescara, is its biggest city on the Adriatic coast.
Italian diplomat and journalist Primo Levi once said said that “forte e gentile” (strong and gentle) best describes the beautiful region.
Here, you are close to both the beach and skiing for under $2000. This region is comprised of quiet villages, castles and vineyards.
2. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Image credit: Marka / Contributor
If you love the beach, you’ll love Las Terrenas! It is one of the most economical places in the Caribbean to live. Expect to retire here for around $1,200 a month.
Due to investments in tourist infrastructure such as hotels, clubs, restaurants and shopping centers, the region is definitely growing.
The best part: It is easy to become a resident in the Dominican Republic is easy — plus you can import household goods and a car tax-free!
3. Medellin, Colombia
Image credit: Bloomberg / Contributor
Retirees who live in Colombia say Spanish-speaking Medellin is a safe place to relocate — very different from the drug-culture you might think of from the 1980s.
Though the city was once known as the most violent in the world, the murder rate has since fallen more than 80%, now considered safer than Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit and New Orleans in the U.S.
Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia, and is home to many arts and music festivals. Due to its recent advances in politics, education and social development, the Urban Land Institute chose Medellín as the most innovative city in the world in 2013. Expect to live in Medellin for just $900 a month!
4. Carcassonne, France
- Image credit: ERIC CABANIS / Staff
Who wouldn’t want to retire to France? But the better question is, could you afford it?
This area that is home to the picture perfect medieval city of Carcassonne is far more affordable than other parts of France. Expect to have a monthly budget of around $1,750.
5. Algarve, Portugal
Image credit: Education Images / Contributor
The Algarve area of Portugal has made the top spot on the Live and Invest Overseas list of the best places to retire three years in a row.
Expat writer Holly Raible Blades says it’s, “like you’ve fallen through a crack in time.”
This city has a beautiful emerald coastline, beaches, golf courses and outdoor markets with a Mediterranean climate. Costs are much lower than other parts of Europe.
According to the AARP, Pat Westheimer, 67 and a former teacher, and her husband Don David Price (69) moved to Portgual in 1991. They rent a office/apartment with a pool for $1,000 a month.
Westheimer says some of the attractions include, “traditional Portuguese crafts and wares, wonderful simple food highlighted by grilled fish, and the kindest people you’ll ever meet. They welcome foreigners, speak a good level of English, and like Americans!”
6. George Town, Malaysia
Image credit: JTB Photo / Contributor
The capital of the state of Penang in Malaysia has museums, arts centers, free concerts, jungle parks, beaches and amusement parks, in addition to modern public transportation and a first-rate health care system.
With a monthly budget of approximately $900, your dollar could go very far! Eating out at a typical restaurant costs about $3 a person.
7. Tralee, Ireland
Image credit: David Cannon / Staff
Tralee, meaning “strand of the Lee (river)” is in the south-west of Ireland in the county town of County Kerry.
Well-known for the Rose of Tralee International Festival held since 1959, Tralee has shops, restaurants, bars, golf courses and tourist sites but remains true to the character of Ireland. The cost of living here would run you about $1,500 a month.
8. Cayo, Belize
Image credit: Matthew Champlin / Contributor
For those who want to be far from a busy city, the district of Cayo might be a good bet. Cayo contains the Pre-Columbian Maya ruins of Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Chaa Creek, and Caracol (shown above.) This region is known for the beautiful Mayan archaeological sites, caves, waterfalls and forests.
In the country of Belize, the official language is actually English. And, Belize is very friendly to retirees like Panama and Costa Rica, offering the QRP, or Qualified Retired Persons program which includes a fast track to residency status.
Walter and Terri Fisher (55 and 49) who moved from Atlanta built a ranch house here with a water view, including the lot, for just $125,000, according to the AARP.
They said of their decision to move, “Last year we sold our house in the States, got off the corporate treadmill, and moved here. I drove down in my truck on my own, and Terri—and five cats—flew down. We’re completely happy, though it’s tough being this far from family.”
Though the cost of living is low, you may have to pay a lot to import things from home that you can’t find locally, as even a high-speed Internet connection is hard to come by, according to Kathleen Piccord, the publisher of Live and Invest Overseas. Expect to spend around $1,100 monthly to live in Cayo, Belize.
9. Chiang Rai, Thailand
Image credit: ANUJAK JAIMOOK / Contributor
The northernmost large city in Thailand, Chiang Rai has relaxed atmosphere, good-value accommodation and great local food, according to Lonely Planet.
You might be a long way from home, but with a monthly cost of around $750 a month, you’ll be loving the thick forests, majestic waterfalls, hot springs and elephant camps — plus the huge amount of house you can get for your money.
10. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Image credit: Patricia Marroquin / Contributor
A closer home away from home, Mexico is a great place to stay if you want to keep many of the conveniences you’re used to, while still enjoying amazing beaches and beautiful scenery.
Many American expats have chosen Mexico to be their retirement haven, and there are over 40,000 retirees in Puerto Vallarta alone — more than most other communities in the world.
At an estimated monthly cost of $1,400, it’s not the cheapest of the cheap, but you can find some big real estate bargains. You’ll also be close to world-class golf courses, restaurants and shopping, in addition to extravagant beachfront living that is much more affordable than the United States.
All pictures courtesy of Getty Images