It’s not hard to believe that many people picture a scenario where they retire on the beach. However, finding somewhere to live on a budget can be difficult, let alone on the beach. According to Market Watch, the average retired American lives on just over $45,000 per year. Considering that most married couples over the age of 65 receive $2,340 per month in social security, this is $28,080 per year in social security checks. So unless they have a hefty IRA stashed away in addition to their social security benefits, finding an affordable beach town may seem like a pipe dream.
Thankfully, these places truly do exist, however. There are cities across the United States and throughout the world that offer everything from warm weather all year round to the lovely four seasons for a white Christmas. There are certainly several retirement mistakes to steer clear of, but choosing to retire in these beach locales is not among them. Here are 30 beach towns where it’s possible to retire for under $40,000 a year according to Thrillist.
30. Deerfield Beach, Florida
If you like eating, drinking, and celebrating life overall, Deerfield Beach, Florida, presents an amazing retirement opportunity. With several of Florida’s finest local breweries including Holy Mackerel and 26 Degrees and famous restaurants like Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox, Deerfield Beach is a non-stop party location for those so inclined. If you like the quieter outdoors life, Deerfield Beach’s location on the South Coast offers access to countless beaches, parks, fishing preserves, and more. Deerfield Beach also boasts a pristine, wide sand beach with plenty of room for tourists and locals alike, making it a relaxing, warm beach getaway for any retiree.
The median home price in Deerfield Beach is only $153,000, putting it on par with many Midwestern real estate markers but with much better weather. Rentals are also quite reasonable, giving retirees many options for whatever type of homeownership (or lack thereof) they prefer. As a smaller community, Deerfield Beach has a much more accessible cost of living than nearby large cities like Miami and Boca Raton. Florida has no income tax and many statewide programs for seniors and retirees. It is no coincidence that so many seniors retire to Florida with favorable economic conditions and beautiful weather.
If you’re looking for an affordable outdoors-oriented retirement destination, look no further than Gulf Shores, Alabama. With over 32 miles of white sand beaches and 15 miles of new and gorgeous oceanfront bike trails, Gulf Shores is designed with active, outdoorsy people in mind. Gulf Shores also has a growing local brewery and restaurant scene and is home to the famous Hangout Music Festival, which has featured the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Vampire Weekend. For the financially minded, Gulf Shores has one of the lowest property tax rates in the entire state of Alabama, so homeownership comes at a great price.
While the median home price in Gulf Shores is a bit higher than other destinations at $242,000, the low property tax rates help make overall homeownership more affordable. There is a wide range of price options available for renters based on size, accommodations, and distance from the beach. While Gulf Shores has many modern and outdoorsy accommodations, there are also significant benefits for history buffs thanks to its museums and historic sites. Nature lovers can watch the yearly baby sea turtle migration. There is also a great zoo in town, making for a fun destination for grandkids and adult animal lovers alike.
While many may be surprised to see a California entry on the list with the state’s extremely high cost of living, Eureka, California, is just remote enough to feature affordable housing for homeowners and renters alike. Retirees will have to give up SoCal’s palm trees in exchange for NorCal’s swaying pines, but it’s still a great tradeoff with Eureka’s median home value only being $270,000 versus SoCal’s millions. Eureka only has a population of 26,000, but it’s the biggest coastal town between San Francisco and Portland, meaning it has many of the amenities of a larger community.
Eureka features a local zoo, which is a treat for visiting grandchildren or adult animal lovers alike, as well as a neighborhood full of historic gothic and Victorian architectural style mansions. If you’re the outdoorsy type, Eureka is perfectly situated to give access to the forests of Oregon as well as the coastal waters of the Pacific. The town is quiet but features plenty of breweries, coffee shops, and local stores to keep even the most urbane shoppers happy. Mushroom lovers will enjoy the rainy climate of nearby temperate forests and the ample, diverse mushroom hunting available to people who retire in the Northwest.
If you still want to enjoy white Christmases after you retire, Biddeford, Maine could be an ideal destination for you with its warm summers and traditional, snowy winters. Looking like a truly picturesque, storybook coastal town, Biddeford has all of the lighthouses, barns, and rocky beaches you could ask for. Fans of seafood will find an abundance of inexpensive, fresh local lobster and several local chowders. Biddeford has a rapidly growing local brewery and vintner scene, with Banded Brewing, Lorne vineyard, and Round Turn gin distillery being popular spots for nightlife and fine local microbrews.
Despite the historic and picturesque setting, the median home price in Biddeford is only $223,000, making it extremely inexpensive by East Coast and oceanfront standards. While Biddeford is relatively small, it is quite close to the large city of Portland, meaning many amenities and access to excellent health care facilities is only a short drive away. Retirees should be prepared to either buy a snowblower or hire some neighborhood shoveling help, as Biddeford is subject to the occasional lake effect snow and Nor’easter storm. The beautiful autumn leaf scenery is definitely worth the rare winter storm, though.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is almost as popular with retirees as coastal Southern Florida, and it’s no wonder why with the low cost of living, miles of beaches, quintessential southern charm and friendliness, and warm, gentle winters. Ocean Springs, Mississippi, is truly the embodiment of all of these factors, with a low median home value of only $165,000. The only real drawback to Gulf Coast living is the threat of hurricanes during the summer and autumn, but this shouldn’t be enough to put you off everything the Mississippi gulf has to offer retirees of all walks of life.
The many amenities of Ocean Springs include its proximity to the Barrier Islands, whose clear turquoise waters are a huge draw for tourists and locals alike. The city also boasts Government Street, a collection of bars with local live music that can give New Orleans a run for its money. Renters will find a wide range of properties, from quiet homes to bustling condos adjacent to lively nightspots. Ocean fishing trips, crab catching, and other outdoor adventures are inexpensive and easy to find for the outdoorsy retiree. Thanks to the diversity of attractions, Ocean Springs routinely ranks as a top US beach city for all.
While Western and coastal Oregon is often associated with the outrageously expensive cost of living of Portland, several beach towns like Coos Bay are far more affordable for retirees. With a median home price of only $173,000 and similarly modest rental rates, Coos Bay is an extremely accessible way to find a coastal paradise. If you enjoy beer, Oregon is notorious for fantastic local breweries, with Coos Bay being no exception with 7 Devils Brewing. Thanks to being so close to larger communities like Seattle, the cost of living for most everyday goods is relatively low.
Coos Bay is sandwiched between two incredible recreational opportunities: the Sunset Bay State Park and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area to the north. The State Park features miles of trails of varying difficulty, with some incredible cliffs and scenic overviews of the Pacific Ocean. The National Recreation Area has vast expanses of sand, with some dunes standing over 500 feet tall, making them a true geographic wonder of North America. State and National parks are not only a fantastic investment in our country but also an extremely inexpensive source of entertainment, with even lower rates for senior citizens.
Everything does seem to be bigger in Texas, but thankfully property values seem to be the one notable exception. Despite being a decent-sized town with close to 55,000 people, the median home value is rock-bottom $66,000, putting owning a retirement home within reach for many retirees. Rents are correspondingly low, so those wanting low-maintenance or maintenance-free retirement housing will have a wealth of reasonably priced apartments and condos to choose from. Port Arthur is widely considered the cheapest beach city in the United States, so retirees should give this beautiful, modest town a serious look.
Sitting on the shore of the picturesque Lake Sabine, which shares a shoreline with Louisiana, this Texas gulf town is near the larger metropolitan area of Beaumont and only a few hours away from the bustling Houston area. The only real drawbacks to Port Arthur are the possibility of hurricanes in the summer and autumn and a slightly higher than average property tax rate. However, with homes widely available under $75,000, those can hardly offset the great retirement opportunity. Amenities include the nearby Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge and Sea Rim State Park, both of which can be enjoyed in perfect Gulf Coast weather.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has long been a popular vacation destination thanks to its beautiful beaches and warm Southern hospitality. However, many don’t realize that it’s a surprisingly affordable city for retirement, with a median home value of $197,000. Myrtle Beach also has one of the lowest property tax rates of any beach city in the United States, so don’t worry about hidden fees in your escrow account eating away at your retirement savings. While Myrtle Beach has had a rougher reputation in the past, the city has invested money in urban renewal and a beautiful new 1.2-mile boardwalk.
Myrtle Beach features one of the best minor-league baseball parks in the nation, so baseball fans can enjoy seeing up and comers and rehabbing major league stars. There are also 60 miles of beautiful undeveloped beaches along the grand strand that Myrtle Beach lies on, so there will be no shortage of beach adventures for retirees. South Carolina boasts beautiful weather with slightly less humidity than Gulf destinations but still has warm, mild winters. Motorcycle enthusiasts no doubt already know that Myrtle Beach hosts the infamous Myrtle Beach Bike Week, which sees thousands of cyclists roaring into town on Memorial Day.
Even small towns are bigger in Texas, with Galveston considered a small town despite its population over 50,000. Galveston sits just south of Houston, allowing easy access to big city adventures, including art and history museums and major sports teams like Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros and the NCAA Houston Cougars. Houston also has world-class medical facilities, so Galveston is an excellent choice for retirees with chronic illnesses or other health concerns. With a median home value of only $170,000, Galveston is a much cheaper alternative to bayside Houston properties while still enjoying that Gulf Texas experience.
The island city of Galveston also boasts 32 miles of beachfront, which means no shortage of unique beachcombing experiences. There is also the unique pyramidal indoor ecosystem at Moody Gardens, as well as the lavish Pleasure Pier that was built to rival Los Angeles, California’s Santa Monica Pier. The pier includes numerous fair attractions and even a rollercoaster for the brave, young at heart retiree. While Galveston is popular with tourists, it’s still a primarily hidden gem with plenty of great spots enjoyed only by locals, with countless great locally-owned shops, restaurants, coffee spots, and bars.
Suppose the name Port Angeles tickles a memory in the back of your brain. If it does, Twilight fans will happily inform you it’s because the city is featured throughout the book and film series as a popular destination for Forks, Washington teens, and the site of several major scenes in the books. Regardless of your opinion on vampire fiction, Port Angeles is an ideal West Coast retirement location for anyone who enjoys history or the outdoors. The city boasts unique underground tours of the original buildings left behind when the town elevated its streets to avoid flooding in 1914.
For the outdoors enthusiast, Olympic National Park is only a few miles from Port Angeles, making it an ideal location for bird watchers, mushroom hunters, hikers, and more. The city is also a popular jumping-off destination for guided whale tours. It is also only a boat ride across the sound from Seattle, so any retirees craving a big city adventure have one close at hand. With a median home value of only $202,000, Port Angeles is far more affordable than most other Pacific Northwest coastal communities, making it a perfect place to frugally and comfortably enjoy your retirement years.
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi is located along the Gulf Coast of the United States. It’s a great town for retirees because it has golf courses, hiking trails, fishing, museums, and more. You can visit the Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum, the Hollywood Casino, the Buccaneer State Park, or the Bay St. Louis Beach. Mississippi has hot summers and mild winters, with the greatest weather concern being summer and autumn hurricanes. Mississippi is in a USDA growing zone that allows for nearly year-round outdoor gardening. Fresh seafood and southern cooking make Mississippi a delightful culinary retirement spot as well, with an overall low cost of living.
According to Area Vibes, renters make a median salary of $28,739 while homeowners make $51,080. So with $40,000 a year, you would land somewhere in between the two. For a married couple, they should expect to budget $1,192 per month on living expenses if they live in Bay St. Louis. This leaves plenty left over to enjoy life. The area has a relatively low cost of living, which will allow retirees to enjoy their golden years instead of having to scrimp and save. The mild weather will allow retirees to spend ample time on outdoor adventures which can also save money over expensive indoor entertainment.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, Pensacola, Florida, is one of the best places to live in the country. It has beautiful beaches, a walkable downtown area, and a low cost of living. Besides enjoying the beach in the summertime, they have the Pensacola Saenger Theater and the Pensacola Museum of Art, which features pieces by world-famous artists like Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso. They also have a summer seafood festival, concerts in the park, and plenty of places to go shopping. Florida has long been a haven for retirees, so the state has ample programs for seniors and retirees, making it a healthy retirement choice as well.
In case you didn’t know, Florida does not have a state income tax. So anything you receive from social security, a part-time retirement job, or withdrawing investments can be done totally tax-free. On average, houses cost just $140,000. Browsing through apartment listings, the average rent hovers somewhere between $800 to $1,500 depending on the number of bedrooms and location. The low cost of living will leave money for a fishing boat or other high-end outdoor entertainment options if you’re so inclined. Florida has countless options for enriching outdoor or indoor entertainment including Miami’s hotspots and the Everglades.
The small town of Akumal, Mexico, enjoys gorgeous tropical water on the Caribbean Sea. In the Mayan language, Akumal means “The Land of the Turtles,” and it truly lives up to its namesake. Through the clear waters of the bay, you can spot plenty of sea turtles. For years, not many people have bothered to visit Akumal, but more recently, tourists who vacation in Cancun and Playa del Carmen have decided to make the trip. Because of this new influx of foreigners with money to spend, the town has acquired more restaurants, snorkeling expeditions, bars, and other various entertainment options.
Compared to the United States, all of Mexico has a significantly lower cost of living. For couples who move to Akumel, two people can live a luxurious lifestyle in the Caribbean for $2,240 a month, or just $26,880 a year. One US dollar is equivalent to almost 20 Mexican pesos, so a meager income of Social Security benefits can stretch a lot farther. The main drawback for monolingual retirees will be the need to learn Spanish to communicate with locals. While some tourism workers will speak English, Spanish is the native language and it is simply a must to learn.
You’ll find no shortage of retirees strolling the boardwalk of Atlantic City. Famous for its casinos, the city is a vacation destination for people from around the world. This is great for anyone who wants to continue to have fun during their retirement. Atlantic City has comedy clubs, restaurants, shopping, and even an airport. And if you plan to have your grandkids over to visit, you could take them to the famous amusement park on the pier. Atlantic City is in a densely populated area with many amenities and world-class health care facilities making it a great choice for retirees with medical concerns.
According to Livability, people in Atlantic City have a median household income of $25,737. Rent on apartments can be very cheap in Atlantic City, but you need to be careful because the city does have a high crime rate. Many people opt to pay for a condo that overlooks the ocean instead. If the possibility of property crime doesn’t bother you, there are ample beautiful rental available throughout the city including near the boardwalk. Atlantic City is the perfect retirement opportunity for those who enjoy hustle and bustle and the ability to watch people from all around the world enjoying their city.
The city of Corpus Christi faces the bay of its namesake, which leads out to the Gulf of Mexico. They have a busy downtown area complete with restaurants and bars. There is also the Art Museum of South Texas, The Texas State Aquarium, and the sports stadium Whataburger Field. For nature lovers, there are also state parks with plenty of natural splendor. The Padre Island National Seashore has 380 species of birds and is a refuge for sea turtles. As with other Gulf retirement spots, the main meteorological concern for retirees is the high possibility of summer and autumn hurricanes.
Rent starts at just $650 per month and goes up depending on the amount of space or luxury you are looking for in an apartment. If you are thinking of selling your current house during your move, the average home in Corpus Christi is just $150,000. Best of all, the state of Texas does not collect income taxes so you can keep more of your social security or pension benefits. Corpus Christi offers extremely warm summers and mild winters, making it an ideal spot for those who enjoy the heat and spending most of their time in outdoor activities.
If you are considering becoming an expat to live in paradise, consider Placencia, Belize. The town has 16 miles of beaches along the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea. In the distance, you can see the Maya mountain chain. Years ago, Placencia was just a small fishing village. Now, there are bars, restaurants, cafes, entertainment, and more. With a high of 86 degrees and a low of 71, the weather in Placencia remains heavenly and consistent all year round. Belize has long been a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkeling thanks to beautiful crystal clear water and abundant, diverse tropical marine life.
The main language spoken in Belize is English because it was once a British colony. This makes it a very popular tourist destination, and there are also plenty of other ex-pats living there. According to International Living, an average apartment costs just $500 per month. But if you prefer to live in a more luxurious setting, you can get that for $850 per month. If you want to live there permanently, you can get a condo or small house between $100,000 to $150,000. One US dollar is the equivalent of two Belize dollars, so your retirement income can stretch a bit further.
North Carolina is famous for its Southern charm and temperate climate. Morehead City is blessed to have sandy beaches along the bay called The Crystal Coast. There are cruises that can take you through the bay so that you can enjoy the water on a clear day. You can also go sailing or scuba diving. Besides the water, there are plenty of other things to do when friends and family come to visit. They have the Fort Macon State Park, the North Carolina Maritime Museum, and the History Museum of Carteret County. North Carolina is less prone to hurricanes than the Gulf.
According to Best Places, the cost of renting an apartment starts at just $668 for a one-bedroom apartment, and a 2-bedroom is $875. This is significantly cheaper than many other parts of the United States, especially for a beach town. Most renters have a median income of just over $33,000, and homeowners make an average of $55,000. North Carolina also has beautiful, historic cities you can visit as a day trip like Raleigh and Durham, making it an enjoyable state to discover during your retirement years. Seafood like Atlantic Blue Crabs abound and catching them makes for an extremely enjoyable afternoon.
Situated in the Mediterranean Sea, Mallorca, Spain, is a gorgeous island paradise. The main language spoken is Spanish, of course. But since it is in Europe, there will be plenty of people who can speak English, and there are actually a lot of German ex-pats who love to visit Mallorca. If you wanted to go somewhere that spoke English, you are just a short round-trip flight to London from Barcelona for just $100. Mallorca has a gorgeous, classic Mediterranean climate with warm summers and extremely mild winters. Delicious, fresh seafood is plentiful and inexpensive and who doesn’t love a good Spanish paella?
According to Christian Monson from International Living, he happily moved from his home in the United States to live in Mallorca. He pays just $800 a month on his mortgage for a three-bedroom home. A glass of beer at the bar is just $3, taxi rides to the city of Palma are only $10. It’s very affordable for ex-pats to retire there and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle. While the US dollar is weaker than the Euro, typically worth around 80 cents of the Euro’s dollar, the relatively low cost of living in Mallorca still allows for a very comfortable retirement lifestyle.
As the name suggests, Volcán is located near Panama’s one and only volcano, Volcán Baru. The town is small, and not many tourists bother to visit. The population is just 14,000 people, and it is a small farming community near the beach. It is a perfect place to live if you are looking for peace and quiet with gorgeous scenic views. The Volcán Baru National Park and La Amistad Park have hiking trails through forests and jungles. Since it is a more remote village, speaking Spanish is an absolute must as the lack of regular tourism will not have cultivated much of an English speaking population.
Volcán has been called the “breadbasket of Panama” because its volcanic soil is so nutritious, they produce the vegetables and the flowers for the entire country. Since you would be living in the heart of the farming community, this means that food is cheap and plentiful. The main language is Spanish, so it is necessary to know when you are renting or purchasing a property. But there are a lot of expats living there, so it is possible to make friends with other English speakers at the local bars. Two people can comfortably live on a budget of $1,514 per month.
Located an hour away from the famous Palm Beach, Florida, the town of Fort Pierce gives you the same beaches on a budget. The town of Fort Pierce has been voted by both Reader’s Digest and Travel & Leisure as one of the best main streets in America. The buildings are beautiful, historic architecture standing next to tropical palm trees. There are plenty of restaurants, theaters, comedy shows, and a farmer’s market on Saturdays. On the first Friday of every month, the town has a Friday Fest with live music, food, and community events. If you’re interested in culture and history, Fort Pierce is home to the Navy SEAL museum, as well.
Love fishing? Then you would love to move to Fort Pierce. The fish there have broken records for size. Even though it is such a fantastic location, it is relatively uncrowded with other fishermen. Buying a house costs an average of $150,000. There are plenty of one-bedroom apartments available for $700 to $1,000 a month, depending on the location. According to Census Bureau, most residents of Fort Pierce pay under $10,000 a year in housing costs. Coupled with Florida’s zero income tax, it’s an inexpensive place to live that allows you to stretch your retirement income for maximum benefit.
Portugal has been a go-to holiday destination for Europeans for a very long time. The town of Lagos is an oceanfront town in the Algarve region, which is known for its beautiful climate all year long. In the winter, it only gets as cold as 52 degrees, and only up to 75 degrees in the summertime. The city is easy to walk around, especially near the marina. It is also just one hour away from the International Airport in Faro, so it should be easy to get on a plane to visit the surrounding countries in Europe, or to see friends and family.
Normally, Lagos has a population of only 22,000, but in the summer, tourists begin to visit from all over the world. Even though the main language spoken is Portuguese, you should be able to meet other expats who speak English. The average budget for two people is just $2,080 per month. Retiring to Portugal also gives easy access to popular Spanish retirement destinations like Mallorca or the beautiful, historic cities of Spain like Madrid and Barcelona. Many Universities and language courses have combined Spanish and Portuguese programs, so it would be well worth looking into learning both languages.
If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, you may or may not know that the scenes of the citadel of King’s Landing were filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Since it is a seven-hour drive away from one another, you cannot exactly go on a behind-the-scenes tour so easily. However, the city of Rovinj is a seaside town with its own medieval winding streets that are absolutely breathtaking. Despite being an Eastern European nation, which are often thought of as cold, coastal Croatia has a warm Mediterranean-like climate that is warm, but not hot, summers and extremely mild temperate winters.
According to Numbeo, an apartment in the center of the city is just $355 per month. Everything else in the city is equally as affordable. The main language spoken is Croatian, so be prepared to learn if you want to move there. For some, it may actually be worth it if this is the lifestyle you have always dreamed of. One US dollar is the equivalent of over six Croatian Kuna, so your retirement income, combined with the low cost of living and housing, will stretch much further in Croatia than in Euro Zone countries that use the Euro currency.
Made famous by the Daytona International Speedway, the city of Daytona Beach, Florida, has so much more than just NASCAR races. They also have the Daytona Beach Pier with loads of rides and attractions, which would be perfect for grandkids who come to visit. And, of course, you can relax on the beach with warm weather all year round. Last but not least, it is just an hour away from Orlando, so it’s an easy day trip to visit Disney or Universal Studios. While Florida has a high risk of summer and autumn hurricanes, that risk is offset by the incredibly mild winters and hot summers.
Again, Florida does not have an income tax, so you will save a lot of money each month. The median income in the city is $41,857. There are plenty of options online to find an apartment between $850 to $1,200 per month. The median home price is just $117,000, which is less than most other places in Florida. There are also world-class medical facilities throughout Florida and the state has many programs in place to support their large senior and retiree populations, so Florida is an ideal retirement location for retirees with chronic illnesses or other medical concerns.
Just 20 minutes away from the luxurious Long Beach Island, Tuckerton is a small shore town that sits on the Great Egg Harbor Bay. Both tourists and local residents can enjoy the historic Tuckerton Seaport, which is now a museum that was once the town’s yacht club. The seaport allows you to take a ferry to Long Beach Island. The ferry drops you off near Bird & Betty’s restaurant, which also doubles as a venue for concerts. It is also within walking distance of museums, restaurants, and the Fantasy Island amusement park. It has old-time American charm and is an ideal destination for history buffs.
The town of Tuckerton itself is very quiet, but it has everything you need. This includes antique shops, restaurants, bars, a shopping center, and a Walmart. If you are looking for a place to relax and get some work done with a good cup of coffee, stop by the Union Market cafe, which also serves as an art gallery and co-op for local artisans. Apartments in Tuckerton start at just $800 per month and go up to $1,500 depending on the size you need. The small town size will also let you get to know your neighbors and is an ideal retirement destination for those tired of big city life.
Located in the heart of Tuscany, the town of Volterra has been preserved for 2,500 years. Walking down the streets, you will feel like you are walking back in time. It has been called one of the most beautiful towns in all of Italy. Tuscany is famous for its beaches and its beautiful wine country. Compared to the famous San Gimignano 20 miles away, Volterra gets very few tourists coming to visit so residents can enjoy a quiet existence. However, the low tourism rate means you will be far more likely to need to learn Italian, at least conversationally, to get by.
The town has museums, historic monuments, public spaces, and of course, delicious Italian food. It’s also very affordable, especially compared to the major hotspots in Europe. Two people can live a comfortable lifestyle on $1,715 a month, or $20,580 a year. Italy does use the Euro, officially currency of Euro Zone countries, which is slightly stronger than the US dollar. Typically, one US dollar is worth about 80 cents of a Euro. However, the relatively low cost of living still allows for a very comfortable Mediterranean retirement with rich history, incredible warm summers and mild winters, and delicious and abundant seafood.
If you are looking for a quiet and laid-back place to live in the Caribbean, look no further than Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. It’s warm all year long, so you and your family can enjoy lying on the beach, snorkeling to see the beautiful underwater wildlife or surfing. Since it is a popular tourist destination, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets filled with items imported from other countries. Unlike other islands in the Caribbean, Costa Rica has miraculously been spared from ever suffering the effects of a hurricane, and they have only ever been hit by tropical storms during the rainy season.
The cost of taxes, food, and rent are all low. There is also a public healthcare system where it’s very cheap to get medical attention when you need it. The only downside is that since Puerto Viejo is relatively rural, you would have to travel for at least 90 minutes to get to the nearest hospital that would be equipped to help you in case of an emergency. According to International Living, you can rent a beautiful, spacious 2-bedroom villa for just $950 a month, and most couples enjoy a very comfortable life living on only $2,000 a month.
Spanish is the main language spoken in Puerto Rico. But as a US territory and almost-51st-state, many people speak English, and there are plenty of ex-pats living there. This actually makes it very easy for Americans to move there, and you will not have to deal with loads of immigration paperwork. In 2017, Puerto Rico was hit with Hurricane Maria. It was incredibly tragic, and much of the island is still trying to recover. As the largest city, San Juan has the most in terms of restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife, as well as access to medical care and anything else you could possibly need.
Property prices vary drastically in San Juan. You can find a six-bedroom house in a typical residential neighborhood for just $84,000 or spend a million dollars on an eight-bedroom mansion near the ocean. The same goes for apartments. There are options from $650 per month, all the way up to $6,000. Keep in mind that food and groceries in tourist areas will be incredibly expensive, but most of the residential areas are going to be the same prices you would typically expect in the United States. Puerto Rico’s currency is also the US dollar so you won’t have to worry about any conversion rates.
According to IL’s Annual Global Retirement Index, Cambodia is ranked near the top as one of the most affordable places to live in the world. Local residents are friendly and welcoming to Americans, and many people even speak English. Cambodia has only two distinct seasons and consistently warm, tropical temperatures all year. The monsoon season brings heavy rains and humidity. Collectors of rare and tropical plants will enjoy the abundance of rainforest plants that are native to Cambodia. Life expectancy and health care facilities are rapidly developing and improving throughout Cambodia, making it a solid choice for an affordable retirement experience.
Expats can live comfortably on less than $30,000 per year. The US dollar stretches a lot more in Cambodia, so any American who lives there can have a high quality of living. The city of Phnom Penh has apartments where you can live in a one-bedroom apartment for just $250 per month. Utilities are roughly $100 per month, with food being another $200. One US dollar is equivalent to over 4,000 Cambodian Riel, and while there is obviously some inflation, a US dollar will still stretch a long way allowing for a very comfortable, and possibly even luxurious, retirement.
Four hours away from the bustling Panama City, the small town of Pedasi sits on the Pacific coast. It was once a small fishing village along the sea and has a very relaxed and laid back lifestyle. The beaches are brown and lined with rock formations. Pedasi is considered to be one of the best places to surf in the world. Temperatures stay between 75° to 93° all year long, and it’s far less humid than Panama City. Since it is a more remote village, it will likely be essential to learn Panamanian Spanish to be able to communicate with the locals.
The cost of living is very affordable. According to Panama Equity, most couples live comfortably on just $1,500 to $2,000 per month. You can buy a beer for just $1 and hire a housekeeper for only $15 a day. Any other help you might need like gardeners or handymen costs just $5 per hour. The average cost of a 2-bedroom house is $100,000. Rent is only $500 to $1,200 per month, depending on the size you are looking for. The US Dollar is worth exactly one Panamanian Balboa, so the international currency conversion is extremely straightforward.
Costa Rica is a gorgeous tropical paradise that has been called “the best climate in the world.” It is warm all year long, and rarely gets hit by major storms. In The Central Valley, the majority of the nation’s population lives there. This means that you will find plenty of medical facilities, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. You can also enjoy amazing natural sights like volcanoes, waterfalls, rivers, and rainforests. The main language spoken in Costa Rica is Spanish, but there are also some people who can speak English thanks to the high number of expats and tourists in the area.
Depending on the lifestyle you want to live, you could survive on under $1,000 per month, or spend upwards of $2,000 if you plan to have the life of luxury. If you are looking to buy a property in the Central Valley, there are a number of condos and houses that cost less than $200,000. And if you are looking to visit, it is possible to rent a gorgeous villa with a pool for just $45 per night on Airbnb. One US Dollar is the equivalent of just over 614 Costa Rican Colón, so your retirement savings and income can go a long way.