Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cheapest Countries for Retirement

With millions of Baby Boomers expected to rely almost entirely on Social Security benefits when they retire, many of them will choose to move to another country.  When they do, they will find they are not alone.  Currently, there are approximately 8 million Americans living in foreign countries.  According to the Social Security website, "over half a million people who live outside the United States receive some kind of Social Security benefit, including retired and disabled workers, as well as spouses, widows, widowers, and children."

Although you cannot use Medicare in another country, you are able to have your Social Security deposited in a foreign bank, or in an American bank with foreign branches.  In most other countries, you also have the option of signing up for their national healthcare plan and have basic Medicare in the U.S. at the same time, should you want to return to the U.S. in the future.

Source of Information on Cheapest Places to Retire

If you are interested in retiring in another country, you will want to research your options carefully. There are a number of books and articles available on the internet.  On Feb. 18, 2017, Money Magazine published an article called, "These Are the Cheapest 50 Countries to Live."  While their article was not necessarily geared towards retirement, I found the information useful for anyone who is considering retiring in another country.  All the countries on their list are less expensive than the United States.

The author, Elyssa Kirkham, based her information about the countries with the lowest cost-of-living on research from GoBankingRates, which looked at the purchasing power of the dollar in each country, cost to rent an apartment, price of groceries and the consumer index.

Issues The Researchers Did Not Consider

The researchers did not consider factors such as safety, the political system, or lifestyle.  While many of these countries could be very attractive to American citizens, others might be quite undesirable ... such as Syria, Russia and Serbia.

The list of countries is further down in this article.  If you want more details about how each country ranked, you can find the full article at "Cheapest Countries to Live."

Do Your Own Research Before Moving to Another Country 

As I have mentioned above and in other articles in this blog, it is important for readers to do their own research, check the State Department website for warnings and advisories about travel in those countries, contact local agencies or tour companies and, finally, visit the country before deciding whether you want to move there permanently.

If you still feel that such a move would be a good idea, you would then be wise to consult with a lawyer, CPA and Realtor in the country of your choice. They could help you find a safe, affordable place to live and keep you on the right side of the law in your new country.

List of Cheapest Countries to Retire

1. South Africa                         26. Montenegro
2. India                                     27. Albania
3. Kosovo                                 28. Nepal
4. Saudi Arabia                        29. Georgia
5. Kazakhstan                          30. Brazil                            
6. Zambia                                 31. Turkey
7. Oman                                   32. Estonia
8. Paraguay                              33. Spain
9. Czech Republic                    34. Tunisia
10. Macedonia                          35. Germany
11. Bosnia & Herzegovina       36. Slovinia
12. Poland                                37. Syria
13. Columbia                            38. Hungary
14. Pakistan                              39. Russia
15. Moldova                             40. Bangladesh                            
16. Chili                                    41. Philippines
17. Malaysia                             42. Armenia
18. Serbia                                 43. Egypt
19. Greece                                44. Portugal
20. Bulgaria                              45. Latvia
21. Romania                             46. Morocco
22. Mexico                               47. Croatia
23. Azerbaijan                          48. Lithuania
24. Ukraine                               49. Peru
25. Algeria                                 50.Belarus

By way of comparison, France ranked 78th, the United States ranked 83rd, Costa Rica ranked 88th, and Singapore ranked 104th.  I was surprised to learn that Costa Rica is now considered slightly more expensive than the United States.  Of course, that obviously depends on exactly where you live in each country.  The lower the number, the lower the cost-of-living; the higher the number, the higher the cost-of living.

Among the countries which might especially interest some American retirees are Mexico (especially around San Miguel de Allende), Chili, Greece, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Belarus and Peru.  At the very least, someone looking to retire in a less expensive country should consider them.  If you have relatives or a family connection to one of the other countries, you may also want to put it on your list.

If you are interested in learning more about retiring overseas, the best places to retire in the United States, Social Security, Medicare, financial planning, common medical issues and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Watch for my book, "Retirement Awareness: 10 Steps to a Comfortable Retirement," which will be released by Griffin Publishing in 2018.

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Photo credit:  Picture of San Miguel de Allende courtesy of Google images.    

1 comment:

  1. Great information. I was surprised to learn that you could keep medicare in the event you want to return to the U.S.!


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