Living Abroad—Your Best Option for Retirement?

Puerto Vallarta

Current and soon-to-be retirees looking at ways to cut costs and enhance active living may experience bigger bang for their buck by looking overseas., a consumer website that offers financial advice, recently unveiled the top 10 countries to retire to on a budget of less than $2,000 a month. That’s right, less than $25,000 a year, in many places you may have only dreamed of vacationing at. Not surprisingly, the United States did not make the list.

Topping the list is Italy, followed by the Dominican Republic, Colombia, France, Portugal, Malaysia, Ireland, Belize, Thailand and Mexico. The list is based on measures of affordability, culture and return on investments.

Moving to any of these countries would certainly offer new experiences, along with lower cost of living.

In Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic, people can live comfortably on a monthly budget of $1,200 as the economy there grows, mainly due to new investments in enhanced tourist infrastructure including hotels, shopping centers and restaurants.

Over 40,000 American retirees have moved to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, more than any other city in the world. Although the average cost of living is around $1,400 monthly, there are many amenities, including golf, restaurants, shopping centers and beaches.

In the United States, the average monthly cost of living is $2,373, according to, not including the cost of items such as transportation, health care and recreational services.

One of the reasons the U.S. isn’t featured as a top country for retirement is our higher cost of living. In 2015, the average income for Americans aged 65 and over from Social Security was $1,328 per month in 2015, or $15,936 annually.

With the cost of staying home outstripping what it costs to live for a while in some exotic international locations, it may be worth giving overseas retirement a try (at least for a few years).

For more information on the top 10 places to live in retirement, visit