Retired? Don’t Just Sit In Home, Go To See These Places

Today, many Americans are traveling much farther afield to enjoy a new life at a low cost. Numerous are migrating to Asia, South America, Europe and beyond to reach their retirement dollars. And foreign countries, excited for the increase to their economies, have taken notice.

With so many nations engaged in attracting retirees from abroad, Americans are spoiled for choice. Here are some places where retirees can comfortably live on an income of $2,000 a month. Check to see the affordability of housing, food and medical care at these retirement destinations.


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First is Thailand and thanks to its weather and moderate cost of living, Thailand has been on retirees’ radars for years, and Chiang Mai is low, even by Thai standards.

Groceries are no big issue, usually running him about $50 per month. Restaurants cost about twice that at $100 per month and some go out to eat almost every day. There are Western-style restaurants, entertainment venues, and social events. The city has many modern hospitals. More routine medical issues are so reasonable.


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Guam is an often-overlooked option for American retirees, despite its many advantages. Because it’s a U.S. territory, English is talked everywhere on the island, and its currency is the U.S. dollar. And, at least on the outside, much of the country’s culture and politics will seem common to many Americans. Located 3,700 miles southwest of Honolulu, Guam is a lower-cost option to Hawaii, while sharing the same climate. 1 bedroom apartments in Guam can rent for as low as $4 per month, with luxury units facing the sea costing $1,000 per month. American citizens can purchase property on the island; 3 bedroom houses usually sell for less than $200,000.

Since the territory is a small, isolated island, most items have to be shipped, which means groceries can be more costly than on the U.S. mainland. Meats, most vegetables, and some dairy goods can cost twice as much. Restaurants are usually similar in cost to their American counterparts.


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Besides liking the weather, retirees in Guam can use both American and Guam-based insurers, including Medicare to cover their health care expenses. All major medical services are accessible at Guam Memorial Hospital, which is certified and accredited by many federal agencies in the U.S.

The subprime mortgage crisis created property values to plummet everywhere, covering Spain, making the Mediterranean nation swiftly affordable for a number of retirees. The euro crisis yet, the southeastern coastal city of Valencia give hundreds of villas, apartments and houses for less than $200,000.


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New 1 bedroom apartments in the city trade for less than 50,000 euros around $65,575. For those who do not want to spend in real estate, rentals are affordable and plentiful. A 2 bedroom apartment in the center of Valencia rents for 600 euros per month $780.

Groceries traded in traditional open-air markets cost the same or less than supermarket costs back in the States, while low property taxes keep the price of living affordable for expats in Spain. The country allows free public health coverage, and additional health insurance rarely exceeds $300 per month. Prescription medicines are almost always a part of what they would be in America.

Valencia is a great choice for retirees who want to spend their golden years exploring. Its airport allows direct flights to France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Morocco. Round trip flights to the rest of Europe often cost less than 150 euros around $195.


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Although Buenos Aires is costlier than most parts of South America, it is still a bargain compared to most American cities. A 1 bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood can be hired for less than $400 per month or bought for less than $70,000. The Internet, cable, and electricity combined rarely cost more than $100 per month. The city’s extensive subway system and buses make transportation affordable. One ride on the subway costs 2.50 Argentine pesos about 50 cents.

Health care in Argentina is reasonable, thanks to the country’s public health care policy and surplus of doctors. The quality and affordability of Argentina’s medical services have led to a booming medical tourism industry. In 2011, more than 100,000 guests came to Argentina to receive medical care.


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For most expats, the expensive part of Buenos Aires is dining in the city’s European-style cafes, restaurants and night places. While movies are relatively low in Argentina, dinner out at a restaurant usually requires between $25 and $45. There are thousands of small open-air cafes.

Lake Atitlan is about 75 miles away from Guatemala City and is encircled by volcanoes and villages where Mayan traditions still flourish. The area has perennial spring-like warmth ranging from the 60s to 80s Fahrenheit. Many waterfront houses are available for rent on the lake. A 3 bedroom house prices around $300 per month to rent.

Other expenses remain very low in this retiree-friendly part of Guatemala. The lowest foods are also the healthiest; fresh fruits and vegetables require about a third less in local markets than they do in the U.S.

For those who need to be assisted living, a full-time personal nurse can be hired for $15 to $20 per day, it’s suggested to use taxis or tuk-tuks in Guatemala, which are very cheap. Tuk-tuks are 3 wheeled motorized versions of rickshaws.

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