5 Countries Where You Can Retire with 200K

Saving for a nest egg is always a good idea, but how much does it actually cost to retire in North America? Experts say that a couple needs to save anywhere from 275,000 euros to 1,025,000 euros to retire comfortably at the age of 65.

But here’s the good news: Barry Choi, a budget travel expert, writes that with $200,000 saved and some retirement benefit payments coming in, you can retire comfortably outside North America and enjoy your senior years in the sun.

Here are five countries where you can really stretch your retirement dollars! If you need to set aside more for your golden years, consider talking to a financial advisor.

1. Nicaragua

This Central American country has a beautiful landscape dotted with lakes and lined with volcanoes to the west and beaches along its eastern shores. The main language is Spanish, but English is widely spoken, especially along the Caribbean coast. Given its geography, the weather in Nicaragua is beautiful all year round.

A couple can live comfortably in Nicaragua with 1,200 euros per month. Spending 2,000 euros a month is equivalent to a luxury life. A beer in a restaurant costs 1.25 euros and a full lobster dinner costs about 15 euros. A month of spending costs less than 300 euros!

Living in Nicaragua

Nicaragua also has high-quality and low-cost health care, especially in the Managua area. Some hospitals offer a tiered health program or membership program whose price depends on age and health conditions. However, generally people aged between 41 and 50 pay 50 euros per month, ages 51-65 pay 61 euros and those over 65 pay 65 euros per month.

Bonnie W. Hayman, an American expat who writes for ILM, says Nicaragua is incredibly safe, particularly for women. Hayman says that “single women have no problem crossing the country in local buses, shared taxis or any other means of transport.”

2. Thailand

Leave your winter wardrobe at home: in Thailand all you need is shorts, t-shirts and sandals! English is widely spoken in tourist centers, but you’ll probably need a Thai phrasebook to get by in smaller towns and rural areas.

With its tropical climate, Thailand’s warm season can reach temperatures of up to 105F (40C) from March to May. Here, the best time to enjoy the outdoors is between November and March, when the weather hovers around a mild 86F (30C).

Living in Thailand

The price of living varies between different areas, but overall ILM says you can expect to live comfortably from 1,500 euros to 2,000 euros per month in Phuket. A full Thai dinner with beer for two costs less than 10 euros in Chiang Mai, and a Western dinner for two costs about 15 euros.

Thailand also ranks among the 50 best health systems in the world, according to the WHO. The best private hospitals are in Bangkok and hospital fees cost a fraction of what you would pay in the West.

Rachel Devlin, an American expat who writes for ILM, says her “day starts when I wake up naturally, without an alarm clock.” Devlin takes advantage of the freshness of the morning to explore its exotic surroundings. Devlin writes: “Just yesterday I came across a temple where Thais were releasing fish, frogs and turtles into the Ping River after a Buddhist prayer.”

3. Costa Rica

Thousands of North Americans have discovered the pleasures of a simpler life in Costa Rica. Cities like Atenas and Tamarindo are renowned for their lovely climate, affordable food and homes, and a friendly environment where locals and expats mingle.

Year-round T-shirt time and long stretches of golden beach are dotted with restaurants, bars, and all the necessary amenities. While the locals speak Spanish, you’ll also find plenty of people to chat with in English.

Given the influx of tourists and expats, Costa Rican rental prices have increased in recent years. At Atenas, rental rates range from 650 euros to 3,000 euros per month depending on how much space and luxury you want.

Living in Costa Rica

International Living Magazine (“ILM”) writes that healthcare is very affordable in Atenas, Costa Rica. This city has a public health clinic, pharmacy, and emergency room at its center. Some expats choose to pay from €75 to €150 for full coverage under the national public health insurance system, called Caja. Private consultations with Caja doctors cost less than 20 euros per visit, and private and national public hospitals are within easy reach of city centers across the country.

Tara Tiedemann, an American expat who writes for ILM, describes a typical morning as a surfing session, “followed by a breakfast of eggs, bacon, yuca meatballs (a starchy root vegetable, similar to a potato), fresh fruit and coffee, all for just 7 euros at our favorite local restaurant.”

4. Malaysia

According to ILM, Malaysia is South Asia’s most popular destination for retirees. English is widely spoken by expats and locals alike, and temperatures range between an ideal 77F (25C) and a humid 95F (35C) throughout the year. It is worth noting that there is a serious monsoon season from October until the end of March.

Larry John, a Canadian expat living in Penang, Malaysia, says: “In Canada, finding something similar to what I have now – with a lap pool, a children’s pool, a hydromassage pool, a tennis court (which can be used all year round), gym, game room and conference and meeting rooms – would cost at least 50% more, with condominium fees and much higher property taxes”.

Living in Malaysia

Internationals are flocking to Kuala Lumpur and Penang Island to take advantage of the low cost of living and affordable entertainment. A cheap local meal costs 3 euros, or you can get a three-course dinner for two people for 15 euros. The rent is also affordable: a one-bedroom condo in the city center costs around €550 per month. Life in Penang’s cultural melting pot is even cheaper, with a one-bedroom apartment in the city costing just 265 euros per month.

Malaysia also offers world-class healthcare at a lower price than you’ll find at home. Expats often go to private clinics to get the fastest service.

5. Spain

Offering some of the lowest living costs in Europe and warm, sunny weather, Spain is a dream retirement destination for many. It’s hard to beat the country’s laid-back lifestyle, affordable food and wine, and the fact that “winter” results in some rain lasting about three months. A growing English-speaking population and freedom of mobility within the EU also make Spain a convenient and convenient base for travel and adventure, although there is plenty to explore without ever leaving the country!

In practice, comfort and cost of living vary widely between Spanish provinces. The influx of tourism has already pushed Barcelona’s prices through the roof, and the trend is dripping into other popular regions. Fortunately, some areas remain immune to this trend. For example, the southern city of Valencia mixes warm weather and cheap living with fantastic food and high doses of culture.

Living in Spain

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Valencia costs €525 per month in the city centre or €400 outside the city.

Life in Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria is equally affordable and boasts year-round sunshine (320 days a year) and idyllic temperatures ranging from 68F (20C) to 80F (27C) throughout the year. Maybe it’s the sunny weather that makes everyone smile, but many attest to the island being home to some of the kindest and most welcoming locals you’ll ever come across.

A competitive public healthcare system guarantees a high quality of care and affordable private healthcare is readily available in Spain. In addition, you can pick up generic brands of medicines at pharmacies at bargain prices and often without a prescription.

Advice on retirement planning

Whether your retirement is near or decades away, you can never start planning for it too early!

If you wish to retire to one of these places, the common message of finance professionals is to start saving as soon as possible.

Need to jump-start your savings? Look for guidance from an experienced financial advisor. They’ll be able to help you fund a great retirement lifestyle within your budget, no matter where you hang your hammock!

What are your spending habits?

When you know where your money is going, you can make better financial decisions.

With Rocket Money, you get a breakdown of your expenses to see exactly where your money is going. Manage subscriptions, reduce bills and put your savings on autopilot.

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