Top 10 Dream Retirement Locations on the Cheap

The dream retirement looks different for everyone but one common theme is the desire to stretch the dollar as far as possible to avoid the scary situation of running out of money.   I know it’s something I think about but at the end of the day I should be trusting in the Lord more!

Like anything in life, there is wisdom that can be applied to a multitude of situations.   One such situation is retirement and what location you choose.   For many that are looking at retirement, such things as cost of living, tax implications, and weather will be taken into account.

For all intensive purposes, I’m going to assume that the United States is off limits.   Believe it or not, the United States as a whole is a bad place to retire if you want to stretch your dollar.   So, where does that leave us?   Well, the rest of the world!

I scoured the internet and have found the top places around the world for retirees who wish to live off their life savings without the worry of running out of money.   If you don’t have much saved up, these are the best bets for sticking it out the longest!


Costa Rica

costa rica

photo by bowakon

I’ve heard Costa Rica talked about by some older coworkers and friends as the “best” place to retire and get it all.  Instead of assuming, I did some research and found out that Costa Rica really is an amazing place to retire. First of all, there is a retirement friendly tax structure.  Basically, there is no tax on your retirement income!  For all you California retirees, I’m sorry…  Other business ventures and real estate profits don’t get taxed either in many instances.  Costa Rica has no army and is one of the safest Latin American countries, imagine that?  Couple the financial benefits with gorgeous jungles, a serene water front and you have paradise on the cheap, literally.




photo by matthewhickey

Ahhh Mexico, land of drug cartels and beautiful beaches.  You will enjoy Mexico not only for the beautiful landscape but the extremely low cost of living!  Finding a house for under $100,000 is easy and the close proximity to the US makes it easy to travel across the border or fly to see family once and a while.  Labor is also on the ridiculous end of low priced labor.  It’s not uncommon to pay a housekeeper and landscaper $2-4/hour each for their services.  Very different than the average $20/hour in the US huh?  Climate  wise, it does get hot so you should take that into account.  While you’re going for a long walk during your retirement, you will notice an ample number of clinics. Healthcare is plentiful and very affordable.




photo by ai-cirt

While the Phillipines is a location that is too far away fro most retirees, it’s one of the best ways to ensure that your dollar lasts for the remaining of your life.  It’s not uncommon to hear of retired couples living here on less than $1,000/month.  Beautiful white and, flowers seemingly everywhere, the  landscape  here is just stunning.  If you want to venture from island to island, the flights are always affordable and very easy to book.  In the Phillipines, you won’t be able to own a home so renting will be your next option.  Another huge benefit for American retirees is that there is no language barrier.  Most of the island residents speak English so you will never have to worry about learning a new language.




photo by kmacelwee

After doing some extensive research, Panama is turning out to be a really popular  destination  for retirees who want to watch their dollars.  With a booming  economy  and ample opportunities to start a small business, you won’t be bored in this beautiful country.  The people are known to be some of the nicest and the ability to own a mansion for a couple hundred thousand dollars is appealing. Panama also features a special “retirement” discount program for foreigners.  Once you move there, you will receive discounts on things like movies and public transportation.  Panama wants you to retire there!  With beautiful  rain forests  and US backed hospitals, you will find everything you need to live out your last years in paradise.




photo by over_kid_man

Central America has some violent and unstable countries, but Nicaragua is not one of them. Although this country is known to be communist, that is no longer the case.  In fact, the government makes an extra effort to attract retirees with special benefits.  Some of these benefits include: zero tax on retirement income, friendly retiree discounts, transportation of household goods without tariffs, and you can even bring your own car into the country!  No, none of this is fake, it’s all very very real.  Meals for $2 and world class wine for $3 a glass is not uncommon. Hotels average $25 a night and rent is  typically  a couple hundred a month.  With a diverse culture and beautiful weather, Nicaragua is a fantastic  destination  for Americans not wanting to stray too far away from the homeland.




photo by whetzel

Uruguay is all about providing a relaxing retirement but also providing all the luxuries of our modern world.  You won’t have a problem finding what you need in this hot spot.  Their healthcare facilities are not up to par with the United States, so you will need to fly back for any serious surgeries.  With a mild climate, it’s easy to enjoy the atmosphere year round.  Food is cheap, rent is cheap, and the labor is cheap.  All in all, Usuguay has a lot to offer but the poor healthcare facilities may deter some retirees from choosing this location.




photo by  puuikibeach

Price and cost of living is what attracted me to this country.  You can rent a luxury property near a beach for less than $200/month!  Tack that along with $10 hour long massages and I’m sold!  The weather stays warm to hot year round and their food is top rated around the world.  The healthcare is top rated too so you won’t have to worry about the quality.  With crystal water at your doorstep and a friendly people, what’s not to like about Thailand?  It is a bit far from the US but isn’t getting away from it all part of retirement?




photo by wurglitsch

This country has been toted as having the lowest cost of living in the world for retirees.  Would you like to rent a luxury condo for $250/month and enjoy a temperate climate?  Not only is it cheap to live here, but there are tons of things to do!  Ecuador boasts activities like bird watching, world class shopping, hiking mountains, and relaxing boat rides.  And off of this can be done for pennies on the dollar!  Healthcare wise, you will have to travel to the major cities, but this shouldn’t be as transportation costs are a fraction of what it is here in the United States.




photo by trailsource

Austria is for the newly retired couple who enjoys weather changes and a low cost of living.  With bountiful wilderness and fresh air, Austria is a retirement destination for the adventure minded. Snag yourself a cabin in the mountains and get away from civilization for a while.  Believe it or not, Austria is the cheapest European country to live in and they have the culture to match.  Very few Austrians are trying to move up in their companies.  Most enjoy spending time with family or spending time in nature.  Not only that but Austria is especially friendly to people who want to prevent excessive taxes.  If you retire in Austria, you will not be taxed.  Austria is the place to be if you;re in love with Europe like I am.




photo by brostad

Last but not least, we have Belize.  Belize is one of those special countries that is hard to describe. It’s a fantastic country that has the retired couple in mind.  Being one of the least  populated  countries in the world, you will enjoy peace and quiet wherever you lie and guaranteed to enjoy a laid back retirement.  It;s not uncommon for married couples to retire here for less than $500/month.  While in Belize, you are virtually living the tax free  retirement  most  Americans  only dream about.  With a stable government and a strong currency, you can be rest assured that your assets will be safe in Belize.  If I was to retire right now, Belize would be in my top three picks!


What’s your pick?

So, if it was up to you, where would you live out your dream retirement?  Feel free to comment below if you know of some other cool locations!  Personally, I’m leaning towards Belize right now 🙂