GOBankingRates

The 15 Cheapest Countries To Retire To

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Escaping the daily grind and retiring to a new and exciting locale where you can spend your golden years exploring and enjoying a new setting might actually make your retirement nest egg go a lot further.

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To assist in your retirement planning, GOBankingRates used Numbeo, an online pricing database, to identify 15 countries (out of 131) that are the cheapest in the world to live during retirement. The countries are ranked by four key affordability metrics, and each metric is measured against what you would find in New York City:

  • Cost-of-living index: Includes the costs of local goods and services, such as restaurants, groceries, transportation and utilities
  • Average rent: The typical rental price in the country
  • Groceries index: Includes typical grocery prices in the country
  • Local purchasing power index: Measures the relative purchasing power of a typical salary in that country; a lower purchasing power buys fewer goods, whereas a higher purchasing power buys more

The study also factored in the following quality-of-life metrics for each country:

  • Healthcare index: Includes estimates of the overall quality of the healthcare system, healthcare professionals, equipment, staff, doctors and costs
  • Safety index: Measures the safety of the country on a scale of 0-100; a higher safety index indicates a safer country, whereas a lower safety index indicates a more dangerous country
  • Peacefulness index rank: The level of peace in a country according to the Institute for Economics & Peace. The global peacefulness was weighted triple. 

Based on a combination of these affordability and quality-of-life metrics, GOBankingRates’ study found that the most affordable places to retire abroad were in the following 15 top-ranked countries. Places are listed in reverse order, with the most affordable place to retire abroad appearing last in the list.

While some countries might not seem significantly cheaper than the U.S., their healthcare, public safety and other metrics make them a relative bargain; even compared with some of the cheapest places to retire in America.

Retire Comfortably
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15. Austria

  • Cost-of-living index: 71.04
  • Purchasing power index: 77.25
  • Grocery cost index: 65.88
  • Healthcare quality index: 76.75
  • Safety index: 73.92
  • Peacefulness index rank: 6
  • Average rent: $700

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14. Slovakia

  • Cost-of-living index: 44.68
  • Purchasing power index: 54.7
  • Grocery cost index: 39.74
  • Healthcare quality index: 60.33
  • Safety index: 69.82
  • Peacefulness index rank: 26
  • Average rent: $461
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13. Lithuania

  • Cost-of-living index: 45.65
  • Purchasing power index: 58.74
  • Grocery cost index: 36.18
  • Healthcare quality index: 71.94
  • Safety index: 66.72
  • Peacefulness index rank: 37
  • Average rent: $478
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12. Taiwan

  • Cost-of-living index: 62.35
  • Purchasing power index: 58.35
  • Grocery cost index: 76.19
  • Healthcare quality index: 86.43
  • Safety index: 84.13
  • Peacefulness index rank: 34
  • Average rent: $395
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11. Bulgaria

  • Cost-of-living index: 38.38
  • Purchasing power index: 45.96
  • Grocery cost index: 34.02
  • Healthcare quality index: 56.41
  • Safety index: 61.26
  • Peacefulness index rank: 27
  • Average rent: $311
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10. North Macedonia

  • Cost-of-living index: 31.38
  • Purchasing power index: 35.44
  • Grocery cost index: 26.95
  • Healthcare quality index: 55.83
  • Safety index: 59.13
  • Peacefulness index rank: 40
  • Average rent: $161
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9. Hungary

  • Cost-of-living index: 40.66
  • Purchasing power index: 51.98
  • Grocery cost index: 35.19
  • Healthcare quality index: 53.44
  • Safety index: 65.71
  • Peacefulness index rank: 19
  • Average rent: $356
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8. Poland

  • Cost-of-living index: 38.95
  • Purchasing power index: 59.95
  • Grocery cost index: 32.42
  • Healthcare quality index: 57.76
  • Safety index: 70.21
  • Peacefulness index rank: 24
  • Average rent: $492

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7. Estonia

  • Cost-of-living index: 53.68
  • Purchasing power index: 63.46
  • Grocery cost index: 42.29
  • Healthcare quality index: 73.33
  • Safety index: 76.18
  • Peacefulness index rank: 30
  • Average rent: $461
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6. Portugal

  • Cost-of-living index: 47.94
  • Purchasing power index: 46.8
  • Grocery cost index: 39.01
  • Healthcare quality index: 71.97
  • Safety index: 69.42
  • Peacefulness index rank: 4
  • Average rent: $656
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5. Croatia

  • Cost-of-living index: 48.94
  • Purchasing power index: 47.55
  • Grocery cost index: 41.98
  • Healthcare quality index: 64.06
  • Safety index: 75.87
  • Peacefulness index rank: 17
  • Average rent: $378
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4. Malaysia

  • Cost-of-living index: 37.02
  • Purchasing power index: 55.3
  • Grocery cost index: 39.45
  • Healthcare quality index: 70.14
  • Safety index: 44.29
  • Peacefulness index rank: 23
  • Average rent: $290
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3. Romania

  • Cost-of-living index: 35.24
  • Purchasing power index: 48.12
  • Grocery cost index: 31.38
  • Healthcare quality index: 56.21
  • Safety index: 71.21
  • Peacefulness index rank: 25
  • Average rent: $316
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2. Slovenia

  • Cost-of-living index: 53.88
  • Purchasing power index: 59.48
  • Grocery cost index: 47.71
  • Healthcare quality index: 65.25
  • Safety index: 77.35
  • Peacefulness index rank: 5
  • Average rent: $460
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1. Czech Republic

  • Cost-of-living index: 48.24
  • Purchasing power index: 66.47
  • Grocery cost index: 42.76
  • Healthcare quality index: 75.34
  • Safety index: 74.46
  • Peacefulness index rank: 9
  • Average rent: $612

More From GOBankingRates

Jordan Rosenfeld contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: For this study, GOBankingRates selected measures of affordability, as well as quality of life and safety. GOBankingRates began by analyzing 131 countries’ (1) overall cost of living index score for each country, (2) local purchasing power, which measures the local buying power of typical incomes, (3) groceries cost of living index score, (4) healthcare quality index score and (5) crime index score. Then, by analyzing 422 international cities for which complete data was available, GOBankingRates found each country’s (6) average monthly rent. To calculate this figure, GOBankingRates first created monthly rent estimates for all countries by averaging the mean costs of (a) a one-bedroom residence in the city center and (b) one-bedroom residence outside the city center. Estimates for each country were then created by averaging these rent figures. All data used for these five factors was sourced from Numbeo. Finally, GOBankingRates found each country’s (8) peacefulness index rank from the Institute for Economics & Peace. Each factor was then scored, with overall cost of living index and average rent being weight double, and global peacefulness score being weighted triple. Countries were ranked on their cumulative score. Only the countries with data available for all factors were considered in the final ranking and all countries with a peacefulness score below the “medium” range were excluded. No. 1 is the cheapest country to retire to. All data was collected on and up to date as of June 22, 2022.

Retire Comfortably