Tag: cheap places to retire

Cheapest States To Retire

Retiring on a budget? Wondering how to make your Social Security or pension stretch as far as possible? Looking to have a decent lifestyle on not much money? Then it’s important for you to know the cheapest states to retire.

Here are the 14 states that are the cheapest states to retire because they offer very low costs of living and affordable housing and low taxes.


Florida is the most popular state for retirees and one of the reasons is because it is the cheapest place you can retire. In fact, when you retire to Florida you qualify for some perks. There is a property tax exemption of up to $25,000, no state income tax and it is now much cheaper to buy a home than it was just a few years ago. Florida has many inexpensive senior citizen communities that offer another alternative for retirement living.


In 2009, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center ranked Oklahoma as having the lowest cost of living and the fourth-lowest total tax burden in the US.  It has affordable housing whether you are buying or renting, as well as a low tax burden.

Tulsa, the second largest city in Oklahoma, ranks as one of the cheapest cities in which to live in the US. It is also considered an attractive place to live due to low crime levels, thousands of acres of city parks and trails, good entertainment and sporting venues and a low unemployment rate.


Arkansas is a cheap retirement option as the average house price is just $87,000. Arkansas also offers excellent medical service, senior support programs and a low cost of goods. Plus, it is very welcoming to newcomers. The northwest corner of Arkansas has been booming over the past 10 years, mostly due to the fact that Bentonville is the corporate headquarters of Wal-Mart.


The three cities in Texas that appeal the most to retirees due to their low cost of living are Brownsville, Ft. Worth and Harlingen. As an example of how affordable living can be in Texas, one of the suburbs of Fort Worth, Benbrook, has an average house price of around $145,000 but is a fantastic area that offers endless recreational opportunities, beautiful scenery and no state income tax.


This state is appealing to retirees because of its inexpensive housing, excellent weather and all of its recreational activities. Arizona has many retirement communities and some great small towns such as Brisbee, Tucson and Prescott that offer very affordable costs of living.

North Carolina

North Carolina may be the best state of all, as well as a cheapest state, for retirees. It offers a great geographic diversity with both coastal and mountain recreational activities and has some of the best hospitals in the country. Three great towns in North Carolina to consider for retirement are Hendersonville, Asheville, and Wilmington.


Tennessee has no sales tax, abundant land and inexpensive housing. It also has the cultural opportunities you would expect to find in its larger cities – Nashville and Memphis. Tennessee as well as the spaciousness and appeal of its rural areas. One of the best cities in America to retire is Paris, Tennessee.


The cost of housing in Pennsylvania can be 30% below the national average so a retiree can buy housing much cheaper than in many other states. Pennsylvania has numerous airports that make it easy to get in and out for travel to visit friends and relatives. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offer many cultural opportunities and Pittsburgh is rated as one of the cheapest places to retire in America.  Plus, Pennsylvania does not tax retirement income.


This southern state offers good weather, abundant recreational opportunities and a lot of cultural activities.  Atlanta, often called the capital of the south, has its great amenities.  There is a low cost of living in its smaller towns such as Gainesville, Athens and Columbus. Georgia has excellent medical care available throughout the state


Colorado is renowned for the beauty of its mountains, rivers and lakes, and wide-open spaces that make it a great place to retire. It has smaller communities with a low cost of living that are near large cities such as Denver and Colorado Springs with their cultural activities for retirees. In fact, Aurora, Salida and Fort Collins, Colorado are on almost everyone’s lists of best, affordable small towns for retirees.


This sleepy, Midwestern state offers a nice relaxed lifestyle that many retirees will find attractive, especially those who are coming from a fast-paced lifestyle. Iowa’s capital, Des Moines is listed as one of the most affordable cities to retire. It is the home of more insurance companies than any other city in America so it also offers opportunities for part-time jobs for retirees or even full time jobs if you want to continue working after retirement.

South Carolina

Here you will find some of the finest beaches and golf courses in the nation. What happened to housing in the US also happened to housing in South Carolina so home prices for have fallen considerably – making it great for retirees. Another plus is that South Carolina’s weather is very pleasant 12 months of the year.

Now you have a better idea of the cheapest states to retire in America. You can check hotel and flight prices to see if you can make a trip to a few locations you are thinking about to see how well you might fit in one of these cheap places to retire.

10 Cheapest Places To Retire

When it comes to the 10 cheapest places to retire, you can choose to go abroad or to remain here in the US area. Naturally, you will find places in Central and South America that are cheap places to retire versus big metropolitan areas in the US. However, there are places to retire in the US that make our list of the 10 cheapest places to retire.

First, cheap places to retire abroad


This country used to be in the news because of political issues but has stabilized and become one of the most beautiful and safest countries in Latin America. It has a very stable, democratically elected government that welcomes retirees from the United States. Its capital is Managua, which is fast becoming a first-class setting. It offers many fine restaurants, malls and shops and entertainment centers. Life in Nicaragua is very inexpensive and it has very flexible laws for imports and exports of goods such as vehicles.


This country is another great choice for retirees due to its beautiful weather, lovely people and pristine beaches. It also offers many outdoor activities. The people are welcoming and, if you can handle it, life can be exciting. It is a large country–the fifth largest in the world–though you won’t see much of it because it is rain forest. Brazil offers wonderful weather. It can become very humid but the temperatures are generally comfortable all year round. In the winter, you usually will not even need a coat to go outdoors.


Retire to this country and you will find yourself in the middle of beautiful, timelessly classic countryside. You will also be able to enjoy an excellent climate and unique Italian housing options. The Italian people are quite friendly and welcoming especially if you choose to embrace the Italian way of life. You will also like the prices in Italy. There are some areas that tend to be expensive but the majority of the country has housing that is priced much lower than the rest of Europe as well as the US. And if you enjoy culture and the arts, spending your retirement years in Italy would be a fabulous idea. Or if you would like to continue working, jobs and Italy are readily available.


You can spend as much as $2 million for a superior home in Rome but in the northern part of the country you can purchase a home for around $95,000. Spain is a good choice for retirement if you want to live in a country that has all of the modern touches but plenty of culture. Spain is very modern with all of the latest technological and medical advantages. Its weather is one of the major reasons to retire to Spain because the seasons do change but you will enjoy most of them. In fact, you can sit in your garden all year round and enjoy a cup of Spanish coffee, as the weather is enjoyable almost all the time.


If you’re interested in a brand-new experience and an exciting adventure, Thailand has much to offer you. It has amazing people, a beautiful landscape and many cultural opportunities to explore. The culture in Thailand is unique and much different then we Westerners are used to. The climate in Thailand is good especially if you’re tired of North American winners. It is a very safe country–with one of the lowest crime rates in the world. If you want to continue working, there are jobs available for visitors. Or you can just relax with activities such as scuba diving and golf. Buying a home or condominium in Thailand is very straightforward and housing is much cheaper than what you would find in the US.


The cost of living in Argentina is much cheaper than here in the US, which is why, many Americans have chosen to retire there. Its culture is full of charm, as one would expect from a Latin American country. The Argentine climate is wonderful, especially if you like sun and sand. Real estate in Argentina is much more affordable than in many developed countries such as the United States. And since much of the country is still rural, you can buy a larger portion of land then you would be able to in the US.

Here are four places to retire in the U.S. that make the list of 10 cheapest places to retire

Missoula, Montana

When a person thinks of places to retire, they may not think of a town in Montana. But in this case, you need to think again. Missoula with the University of Montana and a metro population of 103,000, along with affordable housing and good health care, could be a great place to retire.  It has very little violent crime and is certainly the cultural capital of Montana.  Missoula is the state’s most progressive city and is the home of East Coast transplants, Russian and Tibetan immigrants and other international students.  The median list price of a home in Missoula is an affordable $227,900. Its population is 66,788 – making it an easy place to meet people and to get around in.

Dahlonega, Georgia

This beautiful little city is in the Blue Ridge Mountains 70 miles north of Atlanta. In fact, it was the site of America’s first gold rush. Its name comes from the Cherokee word talonega that actually means gold. Retirees are beginning to flock to this town and there are 500 units now under construction for the 55-and-older crowd. Retirees can bird watch, canoe, horseback ride, attend classes at North Georgia College and State University free of charge. The town also has five local wineries and the historic Holly Theater. The median home value in Dahlonega is 233,100 and the town’s population is 3758

Salida, Colorado

This town, which is 145 miles from Denver and 100 miles from Colorado Springs, is kind of an unknown quantity to many people living in the Denver Metro area. However, for those in the know, is a great place to visit and live. It is bordered on all sides by the snow-capped Rocky Mountains and in the winter is a ski lover’s paradise. The area in which Salida sits is the home of more 14,000-foot peaks than any other county in Colorado. This makes for great outdoor activities in the summer–hiking, biking and camping–as well as skiing in the winter. Salida’s population is 5,348 and its median home value is 185,500–making it a very affordable place to buy property.

Yuma, Arizona

According to the World Almanac Book of Records, Yuma, Arizona has more sunny days than any other place on earth. This, of course, is why thousands of “snowbirds” flock to the area every winter. However, many retirees have chosen to move to Yuma and stay there year ‘round. You will definitely need air conditioning to weather the summers in Yuma but this warm weather comes with a positive – locally-grown vegetables and fruits that are to die for and at very affordable prices. Yuma also has a number of part-time and seasonal jobs for folks who want to augment their social security or pensions. Its population is 84,187 and the median home value is $197,400.

So there you have some ideas of the 10 cheapest places to retire in the world.

Cheap Countries To Retire – Argentina

One of the more commonly mentioned places when people talk about a cheap country to retire to is Argentina. It has a lot of the features that many people are looking for. You get the nice weather and the lower cost of living, as well as a pretty cosmopolitan lifestyle if you live in Buenos Aires. There are also lots of Europeans living in the country.

Diagonal Norte StImage via Wikipedia

In Argentina, it is preferrable to purchase real estate rather than renting as their is a greater cost savings. There aren’t a lot of rental properties available, though you can find both furnished and unfurnished rentals, especially if you go a bit outside the city.

If you wish to supplement your retirement income with a job, there are many opportunities even though the unemployment is relatively high right now. Working for one of the many American companies, English language teaching, and tourist industry jobs are all things to consider.

Although Argentina is a cheap place to retire to, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to live in the style that you are accustomed to, or better. Pretty much all of the products you would purchase at home will also be available to you in the major cities, so you don’t have to worry about bringing things with you like you would in some of the options for a cheap country to retire to.

You should be able to live in Argentina easily with an income of $1,000 per month. This is comparable to the salary that a doctor makes in Argentina. If you live outside Buenos Aires your money will go further. However, you should expect to have a standard of living similar to that which is common in Europe. If you have at least this level of income you will also be able to get a residency visa for Argentina so you won’t have to worry about renewing your visa as often as you might otherwise.

Ecuador – A Cheap Country To Retire In The World

One option for a cheap country to retire to that many Americans don’t necessarily think of is Ecuador. However, they really should as there is a lot to recommend it. Not only is it inexpensive to live there, with a couple being able to live in a rented apartment with a full time maid for less than $1,000 a month, but it has a great climate as well.

Sailor, Isla Puna, EcuadorImage by Rinaldo W. via Flickr

As Ecuador is located on the equator, the climate is very nice. You can live down by the beach at the lower altitudes and have mainly 80 degree days, or you can live in Quito up in the mountains and have 60 degree days. There is a fair amount of rain for about four months of the year, but this is usually in the afternoons. The altitude will take some getting used to as well. This is a very bio-diverse country, so nature lovers will really enjoy their time here.

Those who like a more cosmopolitan big city environment will definitely want to be in Quito. The infrastructure in the country works well, and, best of all for people that don’t want to be constantly thinking of exchange rates, they use the dollar as their currency. In Quito there is public transportation, shopping, restaurants, and museums to keep you occupied. They are also very welcoming of Americans. You will have to pay a fee of $350 for the visa, however. If you are in one of the larger cities you will have access to well equipped hospitals that have qualified doctors, many of whom have trained in the United States.

Health care is even less expensive than in Mexico. You also don’t have to worry about not having the luxuries you’ve been used to. You can get U.S. cable stations for less per month than you pay back home.

The economy and the government are stable in Ecuador, and the level of crime is said to be less than that in the United States, which is great when it comes to a cheap country to retire to. You know you are likely to be safe, and you don’t have to worry much about investments you might make in property and belongings. There are also a fair number of people who speak English.

Mexico – A Cheap Country To Retire

One cheap country to retire to that many Americans are already somewhat familiar with is Mexico. That is because it is our neighbor to the south. Many people have gone there on vacation. That makes it one of the better known options.

One of the reasons why Mexico is a popular place for Americans who want to stretch their retirement income to move during retirement is the fact that it is so close to the U.S. It is easy for them to go and visit family and friends from time to time.

Chichen Itza Image via Wikipedia

Mexico also has a varied climate, so that you can choose the city where you live based on the type of climate you prefer. You can live somewhere that is warmer, or somewhere that is a bit more temperate depending on your preferences. You can live near mountains or the beach, or in a valley, it is all up to you.

Obviously, the fact that it is a cheap place to retire to and expenses will be a lot less there is another factor people consider. Health care is decent and insurance only costs a fraction of what you would pay in the U.S. Everything else you purchase is also likely to cost less. This includes the cost of property, making it so that it isn’t impossible to own a nice house of your own in retirement. These cost savings make it possible to have a maid and a house on a very low budget, which wouldn’t be possible in the U.S. The exchange rate is also very favorable toward the dollar.

The transport system makes it so that it is easy to travel around the country and from Mexico to other countries. This means you can see all the famous sites in Mexico as well as visit other countries in Latin America.

Because of the nearness to the United States, you can also find many of the products that you are familiar with easily in the local stores. You can also find people who speak and understand English, although they do appreciate it if you make an effort to learn Spanish.

Morocco – A Cheap Place To Retire To

Some people consider Morocco to be a good cheap country to retire to. Many people speak French and/or English, and there are a lot of tourists so you can get many of the things you are used to as a Westerner. The weather can be quite nice, and varies throughout the country so you can choose an area with weather that suits you, whether it is more in the mountains so that you have a real winter, or further south where the weather stays warmer.

Fishing. Bin el Ouidane lake (Azilal, High Atl...Image via Wikipedia

One thing to consider if you decide to use Morocco as your cheap place to retire to is medical care. Many of the small towns and rural area do not have much in the way of health care, so you should stick close to the major cities. Living in the cities themselves you will have to deal with more crowding and pollution, as well as more tourists, so you have to balance that against the nearness of a good hospital in case something should go wrong. You also want to make sure to have good health insurance.

Because of the fact that Morocco is so close to Europe it is very accessible. For this reason you will meet many people from all over Europe if you decide to live there. This also means that many Western goods are very easy to acquire and readily available, especially in the cities.

The cost of living is low in Morocco as well. Since you can easily live on about $300 per month, it is definitely a cheap country to retire to. You can find unfurnished apartments for only about $40 per month. Food and clothing are also very inexpensive. This means that your retirement dollars can really be stretched. Keep in mind that if you live in a very rural area you won’t have as much to do. You don’t want to be stuck with just the TV to keep you occupied. This isn’t as much of a problem if you like hiking and don’t need all sorts of stores and scheduled activities.

There are also lots of wonderful scenic and historic places that you can visit. You won’t need to just stay in the town where you are living all the time. If you should want a break from Morocco it is simple and inexpensive to travel to many companies of Europe for a short visit.

Cheap Countries To Retire Around The World – Nepal

Those who want to find a cheap country to retire to have a wide variety of options. Many countries are less expensive than the US to live in, so you just have to choose which one suits you best. There are pros and cons to all of the different countries you could choose. One option worth considering for those who don’t need to have a lavish lifestyle is Nepal.

In Nepal, you can live in the capital, Kathmandu, for about $200 per person per month if you want to budget your money, or be very comfortable on about $500 per month. This is very inexpensive. People tend to eat rice, lentils, beans, and fruits and vegetables a lot. This is a poor country, so you won’t find all of the amenities you might be used to. There is no sewage treatment available, and water is usually pumped from large collection wells.

You will probably want to buy some type of imported heater to keep your home warm during the colder months. If you want more than one phone line you will have to be on a many years long waiting list or pay a large bribe to get to the head of the list. There aren’t a huge number of expats, many of those who are there work on the foreign aid projects that are being constructed.

As for the weather, Kathmandu is at a relatively high elevation. This means it isn’t one of the places where it is always warm. It doesn’t usually reach freezing often, however, and you also will be kept plenty cool by a fan for the most part during the summer. The weather is a bit more temperate. However, there is a monsoon season of about a month, and winter does get a bit cold.

There are a number of restaurants and other businesses in Kathmandu that now cater to Westerners, and you will want to use these for the most part since they have similar ideas about cleanliness and food, for example.

Although there is some civil strife in Nepal, and the government is continually changing, this doesn’t really affect the daily life in this country much, especially for tourists and expats. The main problems that occur are the transportation strikes that are common.

Indonesia – A Cheap Country To Retire To

Many people would like to make their retirement dollars stretch a bit further by finding a cheap country to retire to. There are all sorts of options available, depending on your requirements. One of these is Indonesia.

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, IndonesiaImage via Wikipedia

It is possible to retire to Indonesia, and to eventually get a retirement visa, providing that you meet the minimum qualifications. You need to have an income of at least $1,500 per month, you need to hire an Indonesian maid, you need to either purchase or rent a home of a certain value, depending on where you stay, and you need to have health, death, and personal liability insurance. You cannot work while on these visas. You also must be at least 55 years old.

As foreigners cannot own land in Indonesia, it is not really possible to purchase a home, although legally they are allowed to purchase a home. It is probably better to rent until all the legal issues get straightened out.

If you are in Indonesia for more than 183 days a year you need to pay income tax of 35 percent for incomes over $20,000. This is true even if you are not working in Indonesia. This will cut into your retirement funds a bit.

There is medical care available in Indonesia, though it is not necessarily up to the standards that you are used to. You can get your basic care through one of the group practice medical groups that are available, but more specialized care usually requires a trip to the referral hospitals in Singapore or Australia.

While the weather is generally warm in Indonesia, keep in mind that they do have monsoon season there. It will be very rainy, and you will need to make sure to take precautions so that your home is protected from the rain.

However, Indonesia is a cheap place to retire to. You will be expected to have a maid, as most people do, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning or cooking. You will probably want to live in one of the larger cities so that you will have more of the amenities you are used to, even though they aren’t as picturesque as some of the more rural locations.

Honduras – A Cheap Country To Retire Around The World

Those who would like to find a cheap country to retire to should definitely check out Honduras. Not only is it only a two hour flight from the US, so that visiting friends and relatives will be easy, but it is also a lot less expensive to live there.

Imagen de Puerto CortésImage via Wikipedia

One good thing about Honduras as a cheap place to retire to is the fact that they allow foreigners to buy property. This means you can buy yourself a nice home and not have to rent like you would in some of the other inexpensive places where you could retire. Once you have your home, you will be able to afford to have a maid so that you don’t have to deal with the cooking and cleaning, as it doesn’t cost much to hire someone for this.

Honduras also has laws that help to protect the environment, so that there won’t be any large developments or high rises that will destroy the view, and the rain forest will be there for everyone to enjoy. It has the warm weather that many retirees prefer also.

As we age, we tend to have more medical problems, so most retirees would like to live somewhere that has good health care. Honduras has a number of high quality hospitals that are staffed with doctors that were mostly trained in the US, so you don’t have to worry about not getting good health care in this country.

The infrastructure is also pretty good. They have a stretch of the Pan-American Highway. You can also get good phone service, with the option of land lines, cell phones, VOIP, and satellite phones. They even have satellite, DSL, and dial-up internet connections so you can easily keep in touch with your friends and family and with what is going on in the world. The banking system is also stable, and many banks have connections to banks in the U.S. so it is easy to get wire transfers should you need to.

There are all sorts of opportunities for things to do in Honduras, so you don’t have to worry about being bored during if you choose this cheap country to retire to. There are all sorts of outdoor activities you can participate in to stay active, as well as many cultural opportunities.

Laos – A Cheap Country To Retire

When it comes to finding a cheap country to retire you, you might want to consider some of the many options in Asia. These countries are typically relatively inexpensive to live in, and they feature the warm weather that many people prefer throughout the year. One of the countries that many are considering these days is Laos.

the view of Laos from Nong KhaiImage by permanently scatterbrained via Flickr

One of the benefits of choosing Laos as a cheap country to retire to is the fact that it is so inexpensive. You can rent a home starting at around $100 per month, and cover all your expenses with a few hundred dollars a month if you need to. Unfortunately, foreigners are not allowed to own property, even if they are married to a citizen of Laos.

Most foreigners who retire in Laos do so in the capital city of Vientiane. This is a good option for those who prefer the simple life since there aren’t a lot of amenities available, or a lot of imported products. There also aren’t any good medical facilities. However, those who want access to these things can cross the border into Thailand, where the nearby city of Nongkhai can meet these needs. Crossing the border can be done easily with the purchase of a tourist visa that lasts one month.

Foreigners have a number of different options when it comes to visas. If you want to retire permanently to Laos you can get an immigrant visa, but then you will need to apply for exit permits whenever you leave. Other options include long term business visas, which require the help of a company that can employ you as a consultant, or tourist visas each month (which will quickly fill up your passport).

There aren’t a lot of options for entertainment in Laos, although there is a movie theater, bowling alleys, shops and restaurants. The main foreigners are those expats that are employed by NGOs and those employed by embassies and development projects. It would be wise to cultivate some local friendships with citizens of Laos.

You will also need to keep in mind that people tend to be very conservative, and make note of the cultural differences that exist so that you don’t offend people. It is illegal for a foreign man to cohabit with a Lao lady that he is not married to, so relationships with local women need to be handled very carefully.

You can explore more about what makes Laos a cheap place to retire around the world.