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These Are The Greatest Retirement Cities In The World For Seniors


Retirement planning can be exhausting and the price of living just keeps going up. Due to that, more and more people are choosing to retire in more affordable places. Read on to find out which cities outside of the United States have been attracting retirees and why. Interested in $7 lobster dinners, rent at rock bottom prices, gorgeous landscapes and super affordable, high-quality health care? Then this is the article for you. It doesn’t matter your age because it’s always a good time to dream about retiring in paradise. Get ready to travel the world in search of the best retirement cities.

1. Faro, Portugal

If you’re looking for a warm and beachy European location for retirement, Faro in Portugal’s Algarve Region tops the list. English is widely understood, the country boasts of over 100 miles of ocean coastlines and a ton of golf courses. What else could a person need?


Portugal is a first world country and they offer multiple residency options for retirees. The cost of living is at least 30% less than that of the rest of Europe. A two-bedroom apartment will run you around $720/month. The only downside is that the region is becoming so popular, real estate prices are starting to rise.

2. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

San Miguel de Allende is a summery city in Central Mexico that is amazing for retirement. It already has a very large retiree community and there is tons of stuff to do. According to people already living there, there are also dozens of classes offered daily.



To put it simply, you’ll never be bored or need to try hard finding something to do. San Miguel de Allende is certainly one of the best cities to retire in. Also, you’ll be close to home to visit the family. Read on for more exciting retirement cities around the globe.

3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Asia might seem like a farfetched idea, but don’t knock it until you try it! The Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur is one of the world’s “most affordable, exotic, and at the same time, fully appointed and comfortable places to retire,” according to website Live and Invest Overseas.


One Ticket Away

The cost of living in Kuala Lumpur is rock bottom; you can live comfortably for around $560 per month. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore a vibrant and exotic culture, not to mention all the great Asian food from all over the continent. Getting by isn’t that hard either and most people in the country speak a decent amount of English.

4. Saint-Chinian, France

If the romantic stylings of France are calling out to you, it’ll cost you. Out of the most popular retirement destinations in the world, France is possibly the most expensive. But there is one city in Southern France that is an attractive place to retire.

retirement saint-chinian france

Saint-Chinian is a beautiful city in the south of France, a region known best for its sprawling vineyards and delicious wines. The cost of living comfortably in Saint-Chinian is about $2,000 per month. There is also lots of entertainment and fitting in is pretty easy.

5. Lisbon, Portugal

Not only does Portugal have great soccer teams, they also have multiple great retirement cities. In the colorful Portuguese capital of Lisbon there is an adventure around every corner. It has a great climate, and best of all, beaches!


There are direct flights to Lisbon from many cities in the US and the cost of living in the city is around $770 monthly. Portugal offers great healthcare, it’s fairly easy to get a retirement visa, and fitting in is pretty simple.

6. Hua Hin, Thailand

Hua Hin is an up-and-coming place and many retirees have already set up shop in this affordable city. It’s located just about two and a half hours outside of all the hustle and bustle of Bangkok (close enough to visit for a day trip).


Hua Hin is on the coast so if you’re dreaming of a seaside two-bedroom unit you can expect to pay something around $800-$950… in other words, dirt cheap. The area is also rich in culture and historical sites to check out. Oh and there are loads of golf courses too.

7. Budapest, Hungary

If you’re more of a city person and don’t mind the cold, then the Hungarian capital of Budapest might be a good retirement city for you. Budapest hails as the most metropolitan city in Europe and offers a wide array of beautiful palaces and castles to explore.


Don’t get your heart set on learning the local lingo though… Hungarian is one of the hardest European languages to learn. According to the website Live and Invest Overseas, Budapest offers a lifetime of intriguing entertainment. Read on for more exciting retirement cities abroad.

8. L’Aquila, Abruzzo Region, Italy

This central Italian city is in what website Live and Invest Overseas called “the most overlooked and undervalued” area of the country. Italy has great affordable healthcare and ranks high on healthy lifestyles. Sure, Tuscany and Umbria might sound ideal, but it’ll cost you around 30% to 70% more.


Abruzzo Villas

In L’Aquila or really any city in the Abruzzo region, you can easily live, including rent, off approximately $1,400 per month. Now that sounds fantastic. You’ll also have lots of historical sites to check out and be super close to beaches during the summer months and skiing during the winter months. The best of both worlds!

9. George Town, Malaysia

George Town is located on Penang Island just off the eastern coast of Malaysia. It’s the second largest city in the country after Kuala Lumpur. It’s easy to get a visa and the healthcare is superb and affordable.


George Town is also one of the best cities in the world for foodies. They have an amazing variety of different cultural foods including Chinese, Malay, Indian, Thai and more. What could be better than that you ask? Well, you can expect to pay about $3 for an average meal.

10. Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam is one of the best places to retire due to the cost of living. A retired couple can live a very comfortable lifestyle in Hoi An for a mere $770 per month. For anyone who lives in North America or Europe, you know that is peanuts.


Never Ending Voyage

One drawback is that you’ll have to go through some bureaucratic jump roping to get a long-term visa, but it’s not impossible. Vietnam also ranks high on the level of healthcare available. It’s not super easy to fit in unless you’re Asian but the locals understand English for the most part.

11. Cape Town, South Africa

Retirement in Cape Town is a very attractive option with South Africa’s sandy beaches, low cost of living and great food. The city is brimming with new and exciting things to do for retirees. Wages are low in the county, so if you are in need of an assistant or a maid, it is very affordable.



Cape Town has frequently been called the most beautiful city in the world, as well as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. So if you’re looking for fun, adventures and sun, then Cape Town might be the place to retire.

12. Mazatlan, Mexico

Lots of people wouldn’t consider Mexico as a great place to retire, but think again! The city of Mazatlan has everything to fit your retirement needs. According to Live and Invest Overseas, the city has just “a little bit of everything.”


Visit Mexico

The city is a great place to buy and invest in real estate and also offers retirees great discounts on pretty much everything. The city boasts around 20 miles of beaches, great fishing and diving, historical sites, delicious food and an international airport.

13. Valletta, Malta

Malta is a small island nation just off the coast of Italy that often gets overlooked. It’s easy for retirees to get residency permits and the city of Valletta offers exuberant nightlife for those who want to get out and have fun.


Malta is high up on the chart for countries with affordable rent that are also fairly easy for English speakers to fit in. Renting a two-bedroom apartment in the country runs around $915. While Valletta might not be the most beautiful part of the country, there is currently a lot of development going on in the area to spruce things up.

14. Monción, Dominican Republic

Monción, located in the eastern portion of the Dominican Republic, is one of the best places to retire mostly due to the super low cost of living. If you’re on a budget, the Dominican Republic might just be the place for you.


Pacific World

A retired couple can live off a little less than $800 per month. And that includes rent, groceries and all the utilities. You’re also going to be close to some fantastic beaches. And were not just talking any old beaches — these are ones that people pay tons of money to come visit on vacation.

15. Le Marais Neighborhood, Paris

If your primary concern for retirement is healthcare, then look no further than France. The Le Marais neighborhood in Paris has turned into a popular retirement destination just for that reason and its proximity to great hospitals.

le marias paris retirement


The healthcare system in France is arguably the best in the world. It’s not difficult to get a visa or residency status in the country and if you’re paying into French Social Security, then almost all of your health expenses will be covered. Doctors even still make house calls in France!

16. Ambergris Caye, Belize

The Central American country of Belize has become a popular retirement destination for its super-easy residency program. Anyone over the age of 45 is eligible for a Qualified Retired Persons visa (QRPs), and that visa comes with lots of great perks to save you money.

belize retirement

Belize is actively trying to attract retirees and offers attractive incentives for those who would like to experience a Caribbean vacation every day of the year. The cost of living there is cheap, especially for those who don’t need to live right on the beach.

17. Panama City, Panama

The Central American nation of Panama is also a great destination if you’re looking to retire outside of the United States. Panama City is one of the top destinations in the country for retirees and it is a very international city.


Thousands have already flocked to Panama to take advantage of their retiree visas. Along with the visa, you also get massive discounts and benefits. And the good thing is, you don’t need to pay a cent. As long as you receive a pension that meets their requirements, you’re eligible for the visa.

18. Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia

Anyone who has worked in the medical field knows that Colombia has an impressively advanced healthcare system. They received a healthcare rating of 88 out of 100. It’s also relatively easy to get a visa there.


Working Traveller

As long as you can prove that you’re receiving at least $1,000 for your monthly pension, you automatically quality for a retiree visa. Popular cities in the country for retirees are Bogotá and Medellín. Also, your dollar is going to go pretty far in Colombia.

19. Granada, Malaga and Alicante, Spain

Spain is a popular location for retirement, although it isn’t going to be the cheapest. Some of the more popular retirement cities in the country include Granada, Malaga and Alicante. The estimated cost of living is around $2,200 or more.



On the upside, Spain offers great health care, which is important for anyone in retirement. Spain received an 87 rating in health care out of 100. And as a bonus, anyone over 60 years old can get 25-40% off train travel.

20. The Central Valley, Costa Rica

Recently, Costa Rica has also become a popular destination for those looking to retire outside of the US. Some of the more popular destination-cities are Grecia, Tamarindo, Nuevo Arenal, Dominical and Jaco. And there’s more.



The estimated cost of living comfortably in the country can range between $2,000 and $3,000 a month and the health care is great. If you’re into nature then Costa Rica might be for you. The country is known for its beautiful jungles and it also has a stable economy.

21. Bali, Indonesia

Retiring on the Indonesian Island of Bali could be one of the most relaxing experiences of your life. The island of Bali is breathtakingly beautiful and the culture will melt your stress away. The locals are also more than happy to welcome newcomers.


But as a caution, we would advise checking in advance if you have special health issues. While there are hospitals, some may not be equipped to deal with certain issues. Also, healthcare is not the cheapest.

22. Chiang Mai, Thailand

The city of Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand might just win the award for the cheapest city in the world. Tons of foreigners flock to Thailand to live. Getting a visa can also be easy if you qualify for a retirement visa.



Cheapness isn’t the only reason people just love to live in Thailand. If you haven’t been there, it’s hard to explain, but essentially the country has everything. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it in Thailand, apart from wintry weather…

23. Cuenca, Ecuador

Ecuador is the main South American destination for retirees. Thousands of retirees are already living there and we don’t hear many complaints apart from the price of imported alcohol. Imported alcohol is taxed at 100%, so yeah… ouch.


Gringo Tree

Apart from that, it is a very popular destination primarily due to its easy residency program. As long as you can prove an income of at least $800 per month, then you are entitled to a legal residency card. Easy-peezy.

24. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo

If you’re looking for an exotic adventure, look no further than Kota Kinabalu. The best features of the city include a healthy way of life, low costs, and good health care. “This laid-back and quiet city is one of the most pleasant places to live in Asia and is incredibly welcoming,” one retiree said.


For only about $850 monthly per person, you can live a comfortable life in Malaysian Borneo. According to Kathleen Peddicord, who founded Live and Invest Overseas, “its biggest practical advantages are the low cost of living and the high standard (and low cost) of health care.”

25. Manila, Philippines

The Philippines is a great country to retire in, considering the low cost of living. Since local salaries are low, just like the rest of Southeast Asia, real estate prices are quite affordable. The country is bilingual (Tagalog and English) so communication with the locals isn’t a problem.


If you can afford to put $10,000 to $20,000 in a bank account in the Philippines, then you will be eligible for a retirement visa. Otherwise, you’ll have to jump through hurdles of getting long-term visas and leaving the country and coming back.

26. Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Dreaming of getting an amazing lobster dinner for close to nothing? Well, you’ll find it in Cambodia and that’s not the only thing that is cheap here. The cost of living is quite cheap, with rent being your biggest expense. And if you want to splurge, you can get a maid for about $50 a month.


Audley Travel

Apart from Phnom Penh, other good retirement cities include Sihanoukville and Siem Reap. The only downside to Cambodia is going to be the weather. If you can’t stand humidity, then maybe you should keep looking.

27. Campeche, Mexico

Located just outside the expensive resort areas in the Yucatan Peninsula, Campeche is a great city for retirement. The cost of living is low and things like food and transportation are dirt cheap. Also, you’ll be near those big resorts and incredible historical sites for day trips and hiking.



If you’re looking for something more metropolitan in Mexico then you might also want to check out Mexico City. It’s one of the cheapest cities in the world to live in. Read on for more exciting retirement destinations for living abroad.

28. Akaroa, New Zealand

New Zealand may not be the cheapest county in the world, but it is certainly the most beautiful. Akaroa is an amazing area full of interesting things to do on the South Island, not far from Christchurch.



Whether you’re into hiking, golfing, swimming with the dolphins, whale watching, or just hanging out, Akaroa has something for you. The only drawback is that the country has very strict visa requirements, including proving that you are in good health and bringing large investments with you. Read on for some more exciting places to retire abroad.

29. Lima, Peru

You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck in Peru. If you make at least $1,000 in Social Security a month, then you can live a very comfortable life in this South American country. There are also great historical and archaeological sites to check out.


Wall Street Journal

If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, then all you have to do is travel about 20 minutes outside Lima and prices plummet. Other great retirement cities in Peru include Arequipa, Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Trujillo.

30. Granada, Nicaragua

Another Central American country that is attractive for retirees is Nicaragua. The city of Granada has attracted quite a large population of retirees looking for rest and relaxation. If you are bringing in at least $2,000 a month as a couple, then you can live a very comfortable life.


Intrepid Travel

Crime is relatively low in Nicaragua and the infrastructure of the country just keeps getting better and better. As long as you can prove an income of at least $1,000 and are over the age of 45, then you are eligible for a residency visa.

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Sources: ForbesInternational LivingTime

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