In International Living’sAnnual an international Retirement table of contents 2021, us ranked the 25 best retirement havens in the world, where you deserve to live comfortable for less than you deserve to in the U.S. And also while every one of these destinations room affordable, we have ranked the most cost-effective havens in the “Cost that Living” group of the Index.

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This is perhaps our many definitive classification in the Index, because of the ease of getting hard numbers. Every of ours on-the-ground correspondents filling out comprehensive cost-of-living questionnaire, tailored come the needs and wants of one expat retiree. The category evaluates things favor day-to-day expenses—groceries; rent; movie theatre tickets; eating out; garbage collection; gas; gym membership; also the price of a flight earlier to the U.S. And also all the hidden and also often unconsidered costs.

Affordability is just one of the most important qualities of a great retirement destination, especially if you’re trying to stretch savings, pensions, and also Social defense as much as possible.

Here space the five countries that score highest possible in the price of Living classification of the 2021 Annual worldwide Retirement Index.(Note: #4 is a tie.)

#4 Ecuador (tie)


Ecuadoris one of the least expensive countries in the civilization in which come live. Everything from the price of actual estate and rent come the expense of hiring a full-time maid and also dinner the end is lower.

And you won’t need to forego First-World conveniences in major cities likeQuito,Guayaquil, andCuenca. New cars space common, consisting of several brand made in Ecuadorian factories. Practically everyone own a cellphone (or two), and internet relationships are basic to come by.

World-class restaurants serve terrific meals, however you’ll be hard-pressed come pay an ext than $50 because that dinner because that two—with drink included. The not difficult to live on much less than $20,000 every year, and also you don’t need to live a frugal way of life to carry out it.

Additionally, the low cost of life in Ecuador enables retirees to increase their travel, take up brand-new hobbies, and also generally gain a better quality the life. Ecuador supplies something because that everyone, and at price unheard of in phibìc America and Europe.

Donna Stiteler,ILCuenca Correspondent, thrived up in St. Petersburg, Florida, wherein seniors flock come retire, attracted by the warm weather and also lack that state income taxes. But she embarked on a brand-new journey looking for somewhere cheaper come live in 2014—in Ecuador.

“When ns tell civilization I easily live turn off $1,800 a month, the first response is usually….what’s the catch?” states Donna. “I answers by telling them the what i don’t spend that helps me live off of my social security.

“I do own my house but with leas averaging about $450 a month, housing is affordable. I don’t need a automobile because Cuenca is a walkable city and also if ns don’t feel like walking, taxis run about $3.50 to get nearly anywhere in town. Public transportation prices 35 cents for a bus or train ride.

“I live in the Andes where temperatures operation in the high 50s F in the morning and rise to mid-70s F during the day, so there are no high electric bills—mine averages approximately $70 a month compared to the $400 ns paid during hot summers in Florida.”

Although Ecuador is a developing country, girlfriend will find first-rate medical care here, particularly in the significant cities.

Donna says, “I usage the social healthcare program the runs me $74 a month. I periodically pay out of pocket because that healthcare because it’s 80% cheaper in Ecuador, so it’s like having healthcare as quickly as friend walk off the plane. If I desire to pay the end of pocket for a specialist, it runs $40 for the doctor’s visit and also you don’t have to jump with a complicated medical system to acquire an appointment.

“So, the capture is yes sir no catch. The an affordable way of life in Ecuador.”

Full price of living in Ecuador here.

#4 Cambodia (tie)


You have the right to see progress happening prior to your eyes once you involved Cambodia. Phnom Penh, the capital city the this small, sparsely occupied country, is alive with brand-new Chinese-financed high-rise buildings, its first JCI-accredited hospital, and an boosted standard the living amongst her people. As soon as one that the world’s poorest countries, it’s now thought about to have a lower-middle-income status.

Though the country is advancing, the cost of life is quiet extraordinarily low when compared to the U.S. You deserve to go to a restaurant and have a three-course dinner there is no breaking the bank, and your beer costs nearly the very same as a huge bottle that water.

“One the the best values, if you’re life in Cambodia, is the low price of her rent,” says Wendy Justice, IL southeast Asia Correspondent. “Prices because that apartments v Western amenities in the heart of cosmopolitan Phnom Penh begin at much less than $300 every month; spend about $600 and also you’ll be living in a comfortable, middle-class area through all the conveniences girlfriend need and also maybe a few extras, too.

Phnom Penhis the largest city in the country and also offers a diverse mix the historic cultural landmarks, French early american buildings and also grand boulevards, timeless markets, pagodas, and palaces.

“One of the many enjoyable tasks in this city is taking a stroll along the boardwalk at Sisowath Quay; pull up a chair at one of the plenty of bars and restaurants, and cool down v a cold Angkor beer because that $1. The fantastically ornate royal Palace and also the chaotic night sector are simply down the street, too.”

Kampot is a city of around 50,000 around three hours southwest that Phnom Penh near the Gulf of Thailand.

“This is one more place with lovely French-colonial architecture, surrounded by pepper plantations and also some the the friendliest people around,” claims Wendy. “The expense of living below is reasonable by any type of measure. Imagine having a comfortable place in the center of city for $300—an area that’s famous with the expat community and minutes away from the beach and also Bokor nationwide Park—a must-see if she in the area.”

So while the cost of life in Cambodia may be one of the shortest in the world, the quality and also standard of living remain exceptionally high, top to an ext retirees and also expats choosing to make this country their residence each year.

Full expense of living in Cambodia here.


Bolivia is no on the radars of most potential expats. Yet, this landlocked southern American country surrounded by Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and also Paraguay provides a many advantages… not the least of which is just one of the lowest prices of living of any type of country that International Living covers.

A retired pair can live top top $1,000 or less per month, every in. During research trips, IL correspondents have met retired singles life on $500 every month. Exactly how is this possible?

Let’s look in ~ some typical costs in popular destinations choose Tarija, a mid-sized city the 400,000 in the much south with a pleasant climate and its own wine country; Cochabamba, a prospering metropolis the 700,000 in the foothills that the Andes and also a advertising center; and Sucre, a historic colonial city through 300,000 occupants designated together a UNESCO people Heritage, which provides it famous with tourists.

“I met two single retired women, one who owned a house in the countryside, the various other whose rent to be $125 per month for a two-bedroom home in the colonial center of Sucre. Both have a monthly spending plan of $500 to $600,” reports Jason Holland, IL Roving Latin America Editor.

“There room a couple of reasons why Bolivia is therefore affordable. It’s still an extremely much a arising country; it’s among the poorest in the west Hemisphere. Tourism, which often drives up prices, is very limited. And also there are few expats, which additionally helps save prices low, particularly for things favor housing.

“Those pioneers who’ve do a house there enjoy a an excellent lifestyle because that less due to the fact that even if it is a little bit rough roughly the edges, the still has actually plenty of modern-day conveniences and also amenities in the cities. It’s surprisingly sophisticated. You can stroll through contemporary shopping malls, walk to sophisticated restaurants, chill out in trendy cafes, and buy imported items in huge supermarkets.

“Of course, tho plenty of timeless markets, indoor and also outdoor, where you can buy her groceries, and also clothes, tools, electronics, and also more.”

“As for trips come Bolivia or travel approximately the country, as soon as you live there, it’s really affordable. Flights all over within the country are much less than $50. But hotel stays, tours, and also the choose are around a 4 minutes 1 of the expense of what they room in neighboring Peru, i m sorry draws many more tourists. Yet, the landscapes and tasks in Bolivia, prefer trekking and also birdwatching, room very comparable to those on sell in Peru.”

Many expats in Bolivia tend to it is in those who once volunteered or traveled in the country and also fell in love through the society and made decision to stay. But with welcoming people and a low expense of living, an ext expats are beginning calling the Andean nation home.

Full expense of life in Bolivia here.

#2 Sri Lanka


If girlfriend are looking for a location that’s affordable, rich in culture, and also diverse in that is offering, then look no further—Sri Lanka is fast becoming a popular an option for many expats. Located just listed below India, through Africa come the west, Europe to its north, and also Southeast Asia to its east, the “pearl that the Indian Ocean” is a gem that’s however to be found by many.

Colombo is Sri Lanka’s capital city and also has 5-star hotels, clubs, theatres, museums, to buy malls, and also restaurants come cater to your every taste. However, life in the city can be expensive, and it’s no the ideal option because that budget-minded expats.

“If you’re looking for an affordable lifestyle close come the city, the higher city places such as Dehiwela, Nugegoda, Moratuwa, and also Ja-ela offer an ext bang for her buck,” says IL contributor Sharmila Perera. “You can uncover rentals here from $500 a month. That is close sufficient to get to the city for a night out however just far sufficient for it to be affordable. Taxis are abundant and very affordable.”

If city life is not your ‘cup the tea’, there room many more options up in the hills and also down through the beach. Life up high top top the hills, among luscious tea plantations, forests, wildlife, thousands of waterfalls, and beautiful scenery deserve to be affordable and also peaceful. It’s possible to find three-bedroom houses to rent here for much less than $500 a month.

For coast lovers, the choices are numerous. For surfers and also other water sport enthusiasts, you’ll be drawn to the south of the country to areas like Arugambe, Beruwala, Bentota, Matara, Tangalla, and Mirissa.

“These locations attract a the majority of tourists and you’ll uncover lots the cafes, beach restaurants, and vibrant expat neighborhoods of retirees interested in an energetic lifestyle,” claims Sharmila. “It deserve to be a little more expensive 보다 the hills, a three-bedroom house here might be rented for in between $400 come $700 a month.”

A more serene beach lifestyle have the right to be uncovered towards the north-east in cities in between Trincomalee and Ampara or the west between Negombo and Kalpitiya.

#1 Vietnam


Vietnamis a fascinating and also vibrant destination, well-off in organic beauty, steeped in history, and also brimming through opportunity.Whether you want to live in the heart of a city, nestle amongst pine-forested mountains, or skip a sun-washed beach, you’ll uncover modern, high-quality housing for short prices.

Prices are consistently much less than fifty percent of what you could expect to pay in the West.

“I feeling lucky come live in Vietnam,” claims Wendy Justice, IL Southeast Asia Correspondent. “It’s a beautiful country, full of lofty mountains, gorgeous beaches, lush forests, tranquil villages, and vibrant cities; i take trips anytime I have the right to to explore brand-new areas and also revisit people I’ve to be to in the past.

“My husband, David, and also I live in a spacious furnished apartment down a small lane in a quiet, friendly neighborhood. The in the love of Hanoi, close to everything. There room dozens of good restaurants, three bakeries, and several supermarkets all within walking distance.

“Our apartment has more conveniences 보다 we had actually in the U.S.: a wonderful kitchen through a five-burner gas stove and oven, a substantial refrigerator v an ice maker and two freezers, a washer and dryer, two modern-day bathrooms, and large flat-screen TVs. Yes a huge master bedroom with several closets and a clear guest bedroom, both with comfortable king-size beds. There’s also a full-size office with integrated bookcases. A housekeeper comes in twice a week come tidy whatever up. We also like eating out, and that’s something the we can do below as often as us please.

“It could sound as if we have actually quite a sizable nest-egg come finance life this life, yet nothing is farther from the truth. Our apartment costs about $740 every month, including housekeeping and also all utilities other than electricity. We’ll seldom spend more than $10 for dinner, consisting of beverages and also a tip. We deserve to fly to one more town for about $25 every person, including baggage, and we can stay in a 5-star hotel for $40 or much less if us shop about a bit.”

“When that time to view a doctor, I’ll acquire a same-day appointment and also spend much less than $20 for a consultation. A translator accompanies me come be certain that ns understand every little thing that’s said. A check-up and also cleaning with my English-speaking dentist, consisting of X-rays, prices $15.

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“I can not afford come live choose this ago in the U.S. Just eating out would break the budget. A $30 fill-up in ~ a gas terminal in the U.S., which could last a week, would pay because that 10 mainly of driving my motorbike here, whereby we pay simply $3 because that a fill-up.

“Altogether, we spend about $1,200 per month below in Hanoi, Vietnam’s 2nd most high-quality city. In towns like Dalat or Nha Trang, our monthly budget living a similar lifestyle would be around $1,000 or even less. It’s a tiny price to pay to live in among the most amazing locations in the world.”