1. Barcelona, Spain
Vacationing in Barcelona is one thing, but actually living in Spain’s second-largest city is surprisingly affordable. According to Forbes, $1,600 per month is enough to live in this vibrant “city of galleries, museums, monuments, theatres, restaurants and shopping, with the beach just right there.”
2. Algarve, Portugal
Portugal’s coastal region of Algarve has been described as “the best place in the world to live or retire that nobody’s talking about,” with an expat community of 100,000. Safe and sunny (Algarve enjoys 3,300 hours of sunlight per year), a budget of $2,000 per month allows for a “fully appointed lifestyle in the heart of the Old World.”
3. Chiang-Mai, Thailand
One can live quite comfortably for less than $2,000 in Chiang-Mai, Thailand, home to hundreds of Buddhist temples within a gorgeous mountainside setting. And with an average temperature of about 25 degrees Celsius, Chiang Mai boasts some of the best weather in Thailand, along with a wealth of Western-style modern conveniences such as malls, movie theatres and low-cost health care.
4. Abruzzo, Italy
Sitting on the Adriatic coast, the Italian city of Abruzzo has a lot to offer for a budget of $2,000 per month. You’ll find quaint villages, ancient castles and lush vineyards, and expats can enjoy everything from outdoor yoga classes to music festivals to fantastic restaurants. Plus, real estate can be up to 80 per cent less expensive than nearby Tuscany.
5. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
If you’ve always dreamed of living out your golden years in a tropical paradise, then consider Las Terranas. Named the No. 1 pick for living, retiring and investing in the Caribbean by the Live and Invest Overseas website, Las Terranas boasts white-sand beaches and a charming town that blends Caribbean culture and Euro-chic.
6. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Known as “the Paris of Latin America,” the Argentinian capital offers a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. While other places in Latin America may offer more affordable retirement options, this cosmopolitan city has a lot to offer for those on a limited budget.
7. Carcassone, France
If you’re captivated by the romantic notion of retiring in France, this small-but-charming village (home to about 2,000) offers good food and wine, old world charm and a delightfully laid-back vibe — along with being a “surprising affordable” place to live.
8. Cuenca, Ecuador
One of the cultural capitals of Ecuador, this South American city is described as a “gorgeous colonial city in Ecuador filled with beautiful architecture, friendly people, and a vibrant expat community” — and it’s also said to be “insanely, insanely affordable,” with a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre costing just over $400 per month.
9. Granada, Nicaragua
Nicaragua offers a low cost of living for North American expats, with a $2,000-per-month budget allowing for a surprisingly luxurious lifestyle. “Often referred to as the ‘City of Doors,’ Granada is a wonderful town for walking and bicycling, as it features restaurants, shops and markets down every street,” notes the Wall Street Journal, which also highlights Nicaragua’s highly affordable health care.
10. San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio hosts a large English-speaking expat community, and although Belize may be a bit “rough around the edges,” it’s also a beautiful Caribbean country where retiring on a $2,000-per-month budget results in a comfortable, chilled-out lifestyle.