Cheap places to retire are attracting more and more attention as retirement becomes a growing challenge for baby boomers.
We thought that things just had to get better … but they haven't.
However some of the countries with the lowest cost of living offer attractive options for retirees. Here are a few options which, if nothing else, should make you think … possibly there is another retirement lifestyle.
Generally the cheap places to retire are Third World countries which offer on the positive side;
- Low cost of living.
- Cheap, or relatively cheap, accommodation or housing.
- Reasonable to good medical facilities. Or at worst they are improving or there are good facilities near by.
- Good all year round temperate, warm to hot weather.
- Opportunities for year round outdoor leisure and sport.
- Friendly and hospitable locals.
But offsetting these positives there are some negatives;
- Many of these countries are relatively poor with high levels of debt.
- In certain areas there will be a high incidence of petty crime.
- A large proportion of the population is poor.
- There are massive differences in lifestyle between the rich and the poor.
- Many of the Governments tend to be "fragile".
In our trip around the globe we'll consider just ten countries in South America, Africa, Europe and SE Asia.
We start our journey looking for cheap places to retire in Argentina where we have many lifestyle choices from the urban chic of Buenos Aires, to the rugged mountains of the Andes.
One interesting lifestyle option is to be owner, or part owner, of a wine farm in the Mendoza area. These are relatively cheap and your small vineyard with its complement of livestock, and fruit orchards could be your idyllic retreat.
Ecuador is rated one of the top cheap places to retire with one of the best climates. Also with many lifestyle choices ranging from the beach to the Andean mountains.
With their wide selection of indigenous crafts an import-export business could really work here. The range of unique hand made products includes blankets, sweaters, scarves and ponchos made out of Alpaca fiber, hand embroidered table linen, colourful art, and carvings made from wood or vegetable ivory.
Another interesting and vibrant South American option would be Brazil which has a vibrant growing economy, fantastic natural resources including extensive farmlands and a resource which is growing in world importance … plenty of water.
There are many coastal resorts all with their own unique character. Fortaleza with its beaches and tourism is an ideal location for any business related to tourism; a restaurant on the beach or a B and B would be an excellent option here … meet people, have a business interest and supplement your retirement stash!
Heading west along the coast you have the old colonial town of Joao Pessoa. A city with an excellent quality of life, rated "safe" (by Brazilian standards anyway) and the second "greenest" city in the world. Having an extensive area of over 1 300 acres of rain forest within the city limits as well as many parks and tree lined streets.
Other South American countries on your list of cheap places to retire could include Uruguay. Characterised as a small, low key country, with a stable political system, thriving economy and a characteristic European "feel". Here you can enjoy the culture from wine tasting to tango. Many of the properties here are second homes owned by foreigners especially Argentinian and Brazilian so here a property administration business maybe an option.
Or Colombia with its range of lifestyle options, from affordable Caribbean, to the Andean mountains and down to the Pacific coast. Featuring colourful festivals and towns like, the very misunderstood, Medellin. Rated as having the world's best weather and the best value for money lifestyle in South America.
Colombia is another South American country well known for its craftsmanship of products manufactured from heartwood, leather, amber and pottery.
In Africa we consider two possibilities of cheap places to retire. One in the far north and one in the extreme south.
Attracted by the country's exotic charm the Kingdom of Morocco has Marrakesh as the most popular retirement destination for foreigners. For a quieter life retirees should consider one of the many sea side towns. With lively cosmopolitan lifestyles, Casablanca, or Tangier are also possible retirement destinations.
Morocco is close to Europe and has a mild climate, low prices, a variety of activities, and political stability. Famous for it's Argan Oil manufactured from the nut of the Argan Tree which is in great demand throughout the world for skin and hair care.
In the south there is South Africa which offers many attractive geographic options for retirees. However South Africa is plagued with growing crime and crumbling health care, education and infrastructure. Since independence the government has achieved very little to alleviate the poverty and plight of the majority of its population. Nepotism and corruption are endemic and rife.
There are a number of coastal retirement and eco-environment options which have a lot of potential … but at this stage that's all they remain. Although it's one of the cheap places to retire, with excellent and cheap golf courses and great weather the downside is that in many places the lifestyle is heavily influenced by crime.
Heading back north we consider one of the more interesting, and often overlooked, cheap places to retire in Europe, Hungary.
With its low cost of living (reported as being as low as $30 per day), affordable rural cottage and farm house properties and proximity to the rest of Europe. A country well known for its mineral springs, lakes, baths, and spas, wine regions and cuisine. But not such attractive weather!
Cheap places to retire in South East Asia have over the last few years grown in popularity. Driven by their focus on the retiree market and the attraction of the low cost, laid back, unique lifestyle.
The Phillipines located in the "Ring of Fire" and plagued with active volcanoes and typhoons has overcome these natural hurdles by offering attractive retiree visas, excellent medical facilities and extremely low cost of living.
Malaysia is another of SE Asia's options as one of the cheap places to retire. Kuala Lumpur is a complex, cross cultural, luxury city offering a more refined, safe and "first world" feel than some of the other Asian mega-cities. Featuring modern and efficient transport, services and other conveniences.
Although a Muslim country it is very liberal and tolerant of all religions. Malaysia's "My Second Home Program" is designed to attract retirees and is popular with Japanese and Korean retirees. However taking up employment is not permitted.
So as we've stepped through the world you can see that cheap isn't deprived. In many cases it offers an enhanced life … it just requires you to broaden your mind, make a decision and test it out.
It's not home from home … it's a whole new experience.