These Are The Countries Where $200K is More Than Enough Money To Retire

Retirement in films looks like loads of fun, and it seems the possibilities are endless. You can go on a road trip, or you can take an exotic vacation or go on a trip somewhere. However, according to experts, by the age of 65, a couple needs to stash away what a star might make during a day of filmmaking, and that's a lot of money. Travel writer Barry Choi says 200,000 bucks to your name, you can give up work comfortably outside North America and enjoy your senior years in the sun. Here's a list of places where you can go and retire for less. If you need a place to put away more for your golden years, refinance your mortgage and save.


Say goodbye to your winter wardrobe, seeing as all you'll probably need here is shorts, t-shirts, tank tops and sandals! In Thailand, English is widely spoken in tourist centers, but you will probably need a Thai phrasebook to communicate in smaller towns and rural areas. With it's very tropical climate, Thailand's hot season can hit temperatures upwards of 105 F from March to May. Probably the best time to enjoy the outdoor is in between November and March when the temperature is about 86 F.

Living In Thailand

Depending on the area, your price of living in Thailand can vary. International Living Magazine claims you can expect to live a very comfortable life on just $1,500 to $2,000 per month. A complete Thai dinner with beer costs less than $10 in Chiang May, and a full Western dinner costs about $15. Thailand also ranks among the world's best health care systems. Apparently, the best private hospitals are in Bangkok where the hospital fees cost only a small amount of what you would pay in the U.S. An American expat writing for International Living Magazine, Rachel Devlin, writes, that her "day begins when I wake. up naturally, without an alarm." Here in Thailand, Devlin takes advantage the cool mornings and goes to explore her surroundings, writing "just yesterday I happened upon a temple where Thai people were releasing fish, frogs, and turtles into the Ping River after a Buddhist prayer."

Costa Rica

Many North Americans have discovered the easy going life in Costa Rica. Small towns like Atenas and Tamarindo are renowned for their amazing climate, great and affordable food, and very low prices when it comes to buying. home. With the weather being incredibly all year long, and beaches that are filled with bars and restaurants, it basically has all you need. Although the locals speak Spanish, there are many people who are able to have a conversation in English.


Over the past few years, the rental rates in small towns like Atenas has gone from $650 to $3,000 per month due to the influx of tourists and expats.

Living In Costa Rica

International Living Magazine writes that here in Atenas, Costa Rica health care is extremely affordable. The town itself has a public health clinic, a pharmacy, and an emergency room. Many expats decide to pay $75 to $150 for full health care coverage under the national public health insurance system called Caja. If you meet with a doctor under Caja, it costs less than $20 per visit, and the private and public hospitals are a very short drive away from city centers. Tara Tiedemann, who writes for ILM, says that a typical morning very her involves a very cheap breakfast. She wakes up and does a surf session, "followed by a breakfast of eggs, bacon, yuca patties (a root vegetable similar to a potato), fresh fruit, and coffee, all just for $7 at our favorite local restaurant.


This Central American country has incredible scenery from beaches to volcanoes. Although the main language here is Spanish, English is often spoken by the locals, especially along the Caribbean coast. The weather here is fantastic all year long due to it's placement, meaning you can throw out all your winter clothes before moving here.

A couple can live very comfortably here on $1,200 a month. If you spend even up to $2,000 a month, that's considered luxurious. In Nicaragua a beer is only $1.25, and a lobster dinner costs $15. The best part? Never spend more than 500 bucks a month on groceries, seeing as one month of groceries here costs less than $300.

Living in Nicaragua

Much like Costa Rica, Nicaragua has high-quality and low costing health care. Many hospitals offer a tiered health program or a membership program where pricing depends on age and the health condition. Generally, people between the ages of 41-50 pay $50 per month, while people between ages 51-65 pay $61, and those over 65 pay $65 per month.


A writer for ILM, Bonnie W. Hayman,notes that Nicaragua is incredibly safe, especially for women. She writes, "single women. have no problem crossing the country in local buses, shared taxis, or any other means of transport.


International Living Magazine claims that Malaysia is actually South Asia's most popular destination for people who have already retired. English is a widely spoken language here, and is spoken by expats and locals alike. The weather here is hot and humid all year long, with monsoon season ranging from October until the end of March.

A Canadian expat living in Penang, Malaysia writes that, "In Canada, to find something similar to what I have now-with an Olympic-size swimming pool, wading pool, jacuzzi pool, tennis court, gym, game room, and conference and meeting rooms, would cost at least 50% more, with much higher condo fees and property taxes.

Living in Malaysia

Many people are rushing towards Kuala Lumpur and the island of Penang to take advantage of the low living costs and affordable entertainment. A meal costs $3, and a two person three-course meal costs $15. A one bedroom is $550 per month, and if you live in Penang, a one bedroom only costs $265. Malaysia also offers world-class health care at a lower price.


Mexico's charming towns and villages are a popular retirement destination with it's gorgeous beaches and historical colonial towns. For just $200 a month, you can get a one-bedroom apartment to live in, and only a few dollars a week will get you bags of fresh produce and fish from local markets and fishermen. The Yucatan peninsula is also considered one of the safest places for international travelers, retirees, or visitors.


Living in Mexico

Mexico has everything you need to live comfortable, with cable TV, internet, and very up to date appliances. In Mexico, private health insurance gets more expensive as you get older, and so retirees often hold on to their medical coverage plans from their home countries and pay out of pocket for minor medical fees in Mexico. A specialist appointment in Mexico only costs $25 to $30, and a local doctor outside the city costs $10 to $15.

If your more of a small-town guy or gal, then ILM recommends you check out the town of Ajiijic. Retirees love the lake and mountain views, and the amazing year round climate draws visitors in.


Malta isn't as well known as the other destinations on this list, but it's by far one of the best places for English speakers. Here, English is the second official language after Maltese, making it an easy transition for retirees from the U.S. The islands of the Maltese archipelago have year-round sunshine, have an extremely temperate climate, and they offer a unique mix of prehistoric and colonial history, lovely architecture and plenty of outdoor adventure spots.

Living in Malta

The cost of living in Malta is less than in other Mediterranean countries, with a one-bedroom apartment is about $750 to $800 a month. Malta's health care system is ranked in the top five of the world.

An American Expat living in Malta named Tricia A. Mitchell, says she and her husband Shawn have, "an array of grocery stores to choose from--everything from family-owned shops, to large Maltese and European chain supermarkets. On average, we spend $125 on groceries per week."



Ecuador is considered one of the jewels of South America. It has amazing climates and a plethora of scenery to choose from to sandy beaches, to cities, and islands. A popular town for retirees is Quito, which is the capital, and is the smaller town of Cuenca.

Aubree Sorteberg, an American expat living in Ecuador says, life "has a reatrea-like feel to it." Her apartment has panoramic views of the Andes mountains and the blue domes of the Nueva Cathedral (New Cathedral).

Living in Ecuador

In Quito, Ecuador, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center only costs about $430 per month and $240 in Cuenca. A delicious three course meal for two costs less than $35, and everything including beer, wine and groceries, is insanely cheaper than in the U.S. In these two cities, Ecuador also offers high-quality private health care options.


Spain offers some of the lowest living costs in all of Europe, and with a warm and sunny climate all year long, Spain seems to be a retiree's dream. It's hard to compete with the country's relaxed lifestyle, affordable food and wine, and that their "winter" is made up of some rain lasting only a few months.

The country has a growing English-speaking population making it a comfortable base for travel and adventure, even though there's plenty to explore without every needing to leave the country. Unfortunately, due to the influx of tourism, it had driven Barcelona's prices up and the trend is trickling down to the other less popular regions. Some areas have remained untouched by tourism and have become immune to the trend.


Living in Spain

If you were to rent a one-bedroom in Valencia, it would cost you $525, and if you'd like to go outside the city, it will cost you $400. If you were to life in Las Palmas located on the island of Gran Canaria, it has a similar price tag, and has year round sun and temperatures ranging from 68 degrees to 80 degrees. People have claimed that the island is home to some of the kindest, most welcoming locals you'll ever meet, maybe it's all that sun!

A competitive public health system is affordable and readily available in Spain. You can also pick up generic brands of medicine at pharmacies for rock-bottom prices and often without a doctor's prescription.


Even though Portugal has a lower cost of living than Spain and many other European countries, Portugal still has it's fair share of beautiful towns, castles, and unique culture in food and wine.

ILM writes that, "sighs like terra-cotta roofs topping white-washed cottages, aromas of fragrant wildflowers or your neighbor's grilled chicken on an outdoor barbecue and the sounds of crashing ocean surf" are just some of the wonderful things you'll experience in Portugal.

Living in Portugal

Everyday expenses in Portugal are extremely affordable, and renting prices begin at $375 a month for a one-bedroom in smaller cities. However, in Lisbon, the same apartment might run you $1,000 a month.


When it comes to health care, international retirees benefit from choosing private insurance. Even though many medical professionals in the larger cities speak English, it sure helps to have some Portuguese under your belt if you decide to settle into a smaller town. With countless wine regions and friendly beach towns, Portugal is a perfect place to start before you enjoy traveling around the rest of Europe.


With mountains, rainforests, and beautiful sandy beaches, Panama is also a place for first-class living, dining, culture and medical care. You can get to Panama by ways of a short flight away from Miami, and many of the local people speak English as a second language after Spanish.

An American expat living in Panama from New Jersey writes, that he loves his life in the country. He says he's so relaxed that sometimes he doesn't even know what day of the week it is, let alone the date.

Living in Panama

Right in the middle of Panama City, the rent is extremely affordable in comparison to the U.S. One bedroom apartments in the city center cost $1,035 a month, and you can find one bedrooms outside the city for $620 months.

Panama also has a great Pensionado Program that subsidizes medical care and expenses, property taxes and car taxes, and offers incredibly benefits for retirees. In order to gain residency in Panama, all you need is proof that you have a minimum of $1,000 per month pension from your home country.



With it's warm weather, beautiful scenery, English-speaking population, and modern amenities, Australis has become an ideal retirement destination for Americans to relax and adventure. If you don't mind the distance from North America, then being based in Australia is the perfect place to explore tropical Asia-Pacific region.

Living in Australia

Even though the cost of living in Sydney and Melbourne has grown over the past few years, Adelaide and Perth are way more affordable and still great towns to live in. Renting a one-bedroom in this city goes between $1,100 and $1,650, depending on how close the apartment is to the city center. Gaining permanent residency take about four years here, but you can apply for a visitor's visa.


If you imagine a picture perfect retirement spent skiing and hiking in the Alps while admiring art, classical music, and some of the best comfort food in the world, Austria is the place to go. The larger cities in Austria have a mixed, international demographic, highly-educated and many English speaking locals and absolutely pristine streets and parks. You can enjoy a very high quality life in Austria in a four-season continental European climate.

Living in Austria

Rental and housing prices are affordable in Austrian cities. In Salzburg, a one-bedroom in the city center costs $900 a month, and if you choose to live outside the center you can subtract $200.

Food is also incredibly affordable in these cities, and there are many traditional cuisines to choose from. You'll most likely pay $230 a month for private health insurance.