20 Places Around the World Where Retirees Live a Longer, Happier Life

With health care and other costs skyrocketing in the U.S., many soon-to-be retirees are considering what once might have been unthinkable: taking their retirement savings and moving overseas for their senior years. Countries across Central and South America, Europe, and Asia boast lower living costs, great climates, modern amenities, and advanced medical care. Follow along as we share our top picks: 20 nations around the globe where retirees might quickly get by on savings of $200K—or less.

South Africa

South Africa offers stunning landscapes, from beaches to mountains to safari parks. The cost of living is low compared to the U.S., and you can enjoy a luxurious lifestyle without breaking the bank. Cape Town and Johannesburg provide urban comforts at a fraction of the cost of similar cities in the Western world. Just be mindful of the security measures and local travel advisories.


Discover the charm of Lisbon and Porto’s old town! Portugal offers a laid-back lifestyle, balmy climates, and rich cultural experiences, all on a modest pension. Renting a cozy apartment in smaller cities can cost as little as $375 a month, leaving plenty of room in the budget for exploring Portugal’s stunning beaches and historic sites. Don’t worry about the language barrier; English is widely understood in tourist areas and bigger cities. And hey, you might even pick up some Portuguese along the way!

New Zealand

Far from just a beautiful backdrop for movies, New Zealand offers a peaceful, politically stable environment with a high standard of living. While it’s a bit pricier than other destinations on this list, the quality of life is exceptional. Kiwis are incredibly friendly and welcoming to foreigners, and the scenic landscapes are worth every penny. Just be prepared for a quieter life, as the nightlife is not as bustling as in larger countries.


This tiny island nation in the Mediterranean is known for its history, sunny weather, and friendly locals. The cost of living is reasonable, and healthcare is both high-quality and affordable. English is also one of the official languages, making communication easy. Malta is ideal for those who want a tranquil yet culturally rich retirement.


Imagine sipping a margarita on the sandy beaches of Tulum or exploring the vibrant streets of Mexico City. With a low cost of living and proximity to the U.S., Mexico is a top choice for retirees. You can find a lovely one-bedroom apartment for under $500 a month. Plus, the warm hospitality of the locals makes settling in a breeze. Just watch out for those spicy tacos—they’re not for the faint of heart!


Spain entices us with its sun-soaked beaches and dynamic cities like Barcelona and Madrid. Living costs vary, but places like Valencia offer a great quality of life without the hefty price tag. Expect to pay about $675 for a decent one-bedroom apartment. The laid-back lifestyle and afternoon siestas will recalibrate your pace of life—because in Spain, every day is meant to be savored.


Ecuador is a practical and picturesque place to retire. With the U.S. dollar as its currency and a cost of living that can make your savings stretch further, Ecuador is a practical and picturesque place to retire. A comfortable apartment in a city like Cuenca might cost around $360 a month. And don’t forget the perks for seniors, including discounts on flights and public services. Ecuador’s vibrant indigenous cultures and stunning landscapes offer an enriching retirement.


Ready for an adventure in the Land of Smiles? Thailand combines affordable living with rich cultural experiences. From bustling Bangkok to serene Chiang Mai, you can find an apartment for under $400 a month. And the food? Delicious and cheap! It’s easy to enjoy a quality lifestyle on a modest budget here, plus the healthcare is top-notch and reasonably priced. Just try to resist buying too many silk scarves!


Known for its stable economy and laid-back lifestyle, Uruguay is a gem hidden in plain sight. A monthly budget of $2K could afford a comfortable life in this South American haven. Montevideo offers European vibes, while coastal towns like Punta del Este provide a peaceful beach retreat. Uruguay’s approachable, friendly atmosphere makes integrating into the local community easy.


Vietnam is not just for backpackers—it’s a top retiree destination with its breathtaking landscapes and low cost of living. Imagine renting an apartment near the beach for less than $400 or enjoying fresh, flavorful meals for a fraction of what you’d pay back home. The warmth of the Vietnamese people and the country’s rapidly improving infrastructure make it a compelling choice for a serene retirement.


Chile stretches from the driest desert in the north to the icy Antarctic in the south, offering dramatic scenery at every turn. Cities like Santiago provide a modern urban lifestyle, while places like Valparaiso offer a more relaxed pace. With a monthly income of around $1,500, you can live comfortably, enjoying Chile’s world-renowned wines and stunning landscapes. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this long, skinny country—it’s genuinely a geographic wonder.


The Italian lifestyle is celebrated around the world, and for good reason. Imagine sipping espresso on your balcony overlooking the Amalfi coast or strolling through ancient Roman ruins. While the cost of living can be high in popular cities, smaller towns in regions like Puglia or Abruzzo offer a more affordable yet quintessentially Italian lifestyle. Remember, it’s all about la dolce vita here, so take your time and enjoy!


Yes, France! While cities like Paris might be pricey, other regions offer the joie de vivre without draining your wallet. The countryside of Provence and the vineyards in Bordeaux are perfect for those who dream of a quiet, gourmet retirement. A bit of French will help you blend in, but the wine is fantastic even if your accent isn’t!

Costa Rica

Known for its “Pura Vida” lifestyle, Costa Rica is a paradise for nature lovers. The healthcare system is robust and affordable, and the country boasts a high quality of life with a reasonable cost of living. Whether you’re into beachfront living or mountain retreats, Costa Rica offers diverse environments in which to settle down. Also, the biodiversity here is simply stunning—perfect for retirees looking to stay active and engaged with nature.


Want to live where it feels like vacation all year? Malaysia’s stunning landscapes and affordable urban living make it an attractive option. A meal can cost as little as $3, and renting a high-rise apartment with a pool might set you back less than $600 a month. And let’s not forget the cultural melting pot that is George Town in Penang, a city so rich in history and flavor that will keep your retirement vibrant.


The sunny skies of Greece make it a heavenly retirement spot. The cost of living is surprisingly low, especially on less touristy islands or rural areas. Imagine living a stone’s throw from ancient historical sites and eating freshly caught seafood every day. Greece’s relaxed pace of life encourages you to slow down and savor the moment—Opa!


With over 17,000 islands, Indonesia offers a kaleidoscope of experiences. From the bustling streets of Jakarta to the serene beaches of Bali, the cost of living here can be incredibly low. A small apartment can cost as little as $250 a month in Bali, leaving plenty of budget for island hopping. Plus, the friendly locals make it easy to feel at home in this tropical paradise.


With its rich history, lush green landscapes, and friendly locals, Ireland offers a charming setting for retirement. While Dublin can be expensive, smaller towns and rural areas provide affordable living options. The Irish community spirit makes it easy to feel at home, and there’s no language barrier, which is a big plus.


While Australia might not be the cheapest retirement destination, it offers an incredible quality of life with its beautiful beaches, vibrant cities, and extensive cultural activities. Healthcare is top-notch, and the Aussies’ laid-back but friendly attitude makes fitting in a breeze. Consider coastal towns for a more affordable lifestyle than the major cities.


It’s not just the stunning Alpine views and crystal-clear lakes that attract retirees but also Slovenia’s affordable cost of living. You can rent a charming one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Ljubljana for around $600 a month, and the healthcare system is robust, thanks to compulsory state insurance. Slovenia’s numerous medieval castles and towns will fill your days with wonder if you’re into history. It might just be Europe’s best-kept secret, so why not make it your new home?


At the top of our list, Panama offers an appealing mix of vibrant city life and tranquil retreats. Its Pensionado Program is one of the best in the world, providing significant discounts and perks for retirees. The cost of living is affordable, healthcare is excellent, and most locals are bilingual in Spanish and English. Whether you’re looking in cosmopolitan Panama City or the laid-back beaches of Bocas del Toro, Panama is hard to beat for a retirement destination.

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