You might want to retire to another country for any of a number of reasons — to spend your golden years exploring cultures you fell in love with on a too-short vacation, or a desire to live somewhere new and exotic, to name a couple. Life in many countries can also offer financial advantages when you’re living on retirement income: A lower cost of living, less expensive healthcare and discounts for retirees might get you thinking of moving outside the U.S.
In a recent GOBankingRates study, crunched numbers from around the world to find the cheapest countries to retire to in 2018. Take a look at some of the most interesting revelations from the study.
The Best Healthcare in the World Isn’t in the U.S.
If one of the reasons you’re hesitant to leave the U.S. is a fear of inferior healthcare, rest easy. America ranks No. 30 out of 69 countries for quality healthcare, according to Numbeo, which analyzes the overall quality of the healthcare system, doctors, other healthcare professionals, equipment and cost. South Korea tops the list, scoring 83.4 on a possible scale of 100. Taiwan, Japan, Netherlands, Thailand and Belgium all earned healthcare scores above 80 points. The U.S. scored 68.38 points, coming in just below Mexico.
Here’s Where You’ll Pay the Lowest Rent
Finding an affordable place to live is the best way to exist on a fixed income and free up more of the budget to get out and enjoy life. Look to Egypt for some of the best rent values in the world, with savings of up to 95 percent of what you’d pay for a similar pad in the U.S. The list of countries where you can save 90 percent or more on housing is extensive. Head south of the border to Mexico or Colombia to pay about 10 percent of New York City rental prices or go to Europe to reap about 90 percent savings in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia or the Ukraine. Other countries serving up steep bargains on rent include Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey and Sri Lanka.
Feast Like a King
Eating right is crucial to good health in your golden years, but it’s also a significant budgeting factor when it comes to determining the cheapest places to retire. Save 75 percent or more — without cutting coupons — on groceries in Ukraine and Egypt. Serve up savings that will have you eating for about a third of a New York City budget in Romania, Mexico, Bangladesh, Serbia, Colombia, Macedonia, India and Pakistan.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Manhattan might be home to one of the top shopping districts in the U.S., but your money will go much further in 16 other countries around the world than it will in the Big Apple. Germany has the highest local purchasing power score, with money going 28 percent further to buy goods. So even if you’re striving to live off less than $50,000, go ahead and loosen your purse strings on the Schildergasse in Cologne or Marienplatz in Munich’s Old Town. Qatar, Australia, UAE and Saudi Arabia all offer 20 percent or more savings than you’ll get in New York City.
Here’s a complete ranking of the best countries to retire in 2018:
|Rank: 1 = Cheapest||Country||Cost of Living Index||Rent Index||Groceries Index||Local Purchasing Power Index||Healthcare Index|
|38||United Arab Emirates||65.64||53.66||55.46||126.09||63.48|
Click through to see the world’s most expensive countries to live in.
Methodology: GOBankingRates generated these rankings based on cost of living indices sourced from online pricing database Numbeo.com. This study surveyed cost indicators for major cities in the 103 nations for which Numbeo had recent and accurate data, using the median cost indicators of the cities to generate a typical cost index for the country. In countries where information was only available for a single city, that city’s data was used. GOBankingRates measured each country’s performance on five key data points: 1) the country’s local purchasing power, which measures the local buying power of typical incomes; 2) cost index of consumer goods and services; 3) cost index of rents; 4) cost index of groceries; 5) healthcare index. Countries were scored on the relative favorability of these factors, with each weighted equally, and ranked according to these scores. Additional details about the countries and certain cities were sourced from Numbeo.com (from March 29, 2018) or the Central Intelligence Agency’s The World Factbook unless otherwise stated.