When it comes to retirement, the cost of living is the biggest concern for many people. Choosing an affordable place to retire will not only help you save money but will also give you the best retirement experience. 

It’s no surprise that retiring abroad is becoming more popular day by day.  People want to find an affordable place that fulfills all their needs, even if it means moving to the other side of the world.

What Are the Cheapest Countries to Retire in?

These are the top 10 cheapest countries to retire in:

  • Malaysia
  • Portugal
  • The Czech Republic
  • Taiwan
  • Slovenia
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Indonesia
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka

Malaysia

Known as one of the top international destinations for retirement, the southeast Asian country will be perfect for you. The country is characterized by beautiful landscapes, beaches, rainforests, and various animals. Besides the low living cost, Malaysia has much to offer you, including fantastic cuisine, stunning national parks, world-renowned aquatic life, rich history, and vibrant culture. 

Malaysia offers a special visa dedicated to retirees.

The people in Malaysia are warm and friendly, and they welcome everyone who chooses to live or retire here. A major plus of living in Malaysia is the warm weather and the delicious local cuisine.

Healthcare in Malaysia

Malaysia’s affordable healthcare is a two-tier system, which means the government-run healthcare sector co-exists with a private healthcare system. Private hospitals are equipped with the latest diagnostic and imaging facilities. The facilities have experienced and internationally recognized doctors and well-trained medical staff. Private health insurance is totally affordable, and coverage of $400 per year will generally be enough coverage. 

Living Costs in Malaysia

Here are the average costs of living in Malaysia:

HousingMonthly Costs
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$335
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$210
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$590
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$390
FoodCosts 
Milk$1.60
Rice $1.02
Eggs $1.45
Tomato $1.15
Potato $0.80
Apples $2.14
Utilities Monthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$47

Portugal

The warm climate, low cost of living, and high quality of life and national healthcare make Portugal a popular destination for retirees. Alvare is the most popular region with at least 100,000 retirees. The retirement age for both women and men is 66 years and three months. 

To retire in Portugal, you need to apply for a Portugal retirement visa

Portugal is also one of the most affordable countries to visit and live in the EU. It has many colorful and beautiful cities, with wonderful beaches and landmarks. There are many museums in Lisbon, vineyards in Porto, picturesque beaches in Algarve, and beautiful festivals in The Portuguese Riviera.      

Healthcare in Portugal

Portugal has a high standard of healthcare services. The National Health Service (SNS) provides healthcare to all Portuguese citizens and residents of Portugal. SNS serves through local health units, community health centers, and hospitals. 

Portugal has numerous health centers where you can start seeking treatment. Based on the coverage, you can get private health insurance for  $22– $55 a month or $440 to  $1,100 a year. Retirees in Portugal will have a quality public health system.

Living Costs in Portugal

These are the average living costs you can expect as a retiree in Portugal:

HousingMonthly costs
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$655
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$511
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$1130
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$830
FoodCosts
Milk$0.70
Rice $1.01
Eggs $1.90
Tomato $1.65
Potato $1.01
Apples $1.70
Utilities Monthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$115

The Czech Republic

The Czech Republic offers many benefits for retirees, starting from an accessible healthcare system to affordable living costs, high living standards, and comprehensive social security. The country is rich in cultural history and is home to many multicultural communities.

You can enjoy the oceanic climate with mild summers and cold winters. The Czech Republic will also provide you with the joy of water activities and beaches. And if you like castles, Czechia has the largest density of castles in the world. 

See how to apply for a Czech Republic visa.

Healthcare in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a strong leader in health and has universal health care with a generally high standard. You have easy access to doctors and health care practitioners. Health insurance is mandatory to get a free healthcare service. If you choose Czechia for your retirement, you will enjoy a number of choices for coverage and care.

The level of care in public hospitals is excellent, and everyone receives equal treatment.

Living Costs in the Czech Republic

These are the average living costs for retirees in the Czech Republic:

HousingMonthly Costs
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$570
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$455
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$960
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$755
FoodCosts
Milk$0.84
Rice $1.71
Eggs $1.80
Tomato $2.53
Potato $0.85
Apples $1.60
UtilitiesMonthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$201

Taiwan

Taiwan is another excellent place to retire. What attracts retirees to choose Taiwan as their retirement destination is the low cost of living and the friendliness of locals towards foreigners. 

Another thing that makes Taiwan an amazing place is the vibrant night markets that offer cheap and delicious food. The country also has the highest concentration of mountains in the world, beautiful beaches, and cities. 

The retirement age for Taiwan is 65 years old. 

See how to apply for a visa to Taiwan.

Healthcare in Taiwan

The high-quality healthcare provided in Taiwan is one of the perks you will get if you decide to retire here. The single-payer healthcare system of Taiwan is famous for its accessibility, short waiting times, and low costs. Healthcare allows you to see the doctor without needing a referral and go to any level of the hospital. The insurance system of Taiwan is an example of universal healthcare that benefits all.

Living Costs in Taiwan

The costs of living in Taiwan are significantly cheaper than in most cities around Asia. The rural region and the south of Taiwan are less expensive than other areas. 

HousingMonthly Costs
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$465
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$317
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$1170
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$765
FoodCosts
Milk$3.30
Rice $3.18
Eggs $2.61
Tomato $3.30
Potato $2.55
Apples $4.31
UtilitiesMonthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$82

Slovenia

The people in Slovenia are friendly and respectful. They like to introduce foreigners to their traditional food, culture, monuments, and natural beauties. Retirees can enjoy their retirement and still have many other things to do and explore. 

Slovenia offers beautiful landscapes, lakes, and dramatic scenery to nature lovers. The country has one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and some of the best ski resorts. It is the perfect place to let your adventurous spirit explode. 

Healthcare in Slovenia 

Slovenia has high-quality healthcare. The social health insurance system is based on a single public insurer. Slovenia offers two types of health insurance: compulsory and supplementary insurance. The first one is mandatory for everyone since it covers general and urgent healthcare services and examinations. 

Supplementary health insurance is voluntary, and you can get it only if you have compulsory insurance. 

Living Costs in Slovenia 

The minimum monthly income required to retire in Slovenia is about $1,000 per month. Here are some of the average living costs:

HousingMonthly Costs
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$550
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$440
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$990
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$760
FoodCosts
Milk$1.05
Rice $1.70
Eggs $2.60
Tomato $2.61
Potato $1
Apples $1.81
UtilitiesMonthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$230

Romania

Home to breathtaking nature and spectacular wildlife, Romania would definitely be a great place to retire. By Western standards, the costs of living are low. The people of Romania are also very friendly and will make you feel welcome.  

Romania has many beautiful traditional villages where you can enjoy some peace and quiet.

The retirement age for women is 61 years and six months, whereas for men is 65 years. 

Healthcare in Romania

The public sector of healthcare owns most of the hospitals and provides national health insurance to all Romanian citizens. Citizens of Romania are entitled to cost-free healthcare and unrestricted medical procedures. Hospitals in Romania are equipped with professional and experienced staff.

Living Costs in Romania

Monthly rent in Romania is a lot lower than in other EU countries. Traditional food is also delicious and won’t ruin your budget. Here are some of the average living costs:

HousingMonthly Costs
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$330
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$240
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$565
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$407
FoodCosts
Milk$1.10
Rice $1.18
Eggs $2.23
Tomato $1.36
Potato $0.55
Apples $0.95
UtilitiesMonthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$114

Bulgaria 

Bulgaria is more affordable than most countries in the European Union, which is why it is a great travel destination. The climate, beaches, breathtaking countryside, people, lifestyle, and cheap prices are some of the benefits of living in Bulgaria. Now imagine how wonderful retiring here would be. Bulgaria is a safe country and one of the most peaceful countries in the world. The people of Bulgaria are very friendly and welcoming. 

See how to apply for a Bulgarian visa.

Healthcare in Bulgaria

The centralized healthcare of Bulgaria is funded by the National Assembly, the National Health Insurance Fund, and the Ministry of Health. The hospitals in Bulgaria are equipped with highly trained doctors and medical staff. 

The national insurance system includes hospital treatments, diagnostic tests, emergency care, ambulance transport, etc. However, state healthcare is not entirely free, and you might need to pay for some of the treatments and services. The cost of healthcare will depend on the type of insurance you decide to have.

Living Costs in Bulgaria

Living costs are one of the key factors when deciding where to retire. Retirees usually choose the capital city Sofia as their destination because of its cheap and affordable lifestyle. The prices of real estate are some of the lowest in Europe. 

HousingMonthly Costs
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$285
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$212
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$485
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$370
FoodCosts
Milk$2.20
Rice $1.50
Eggs $1.82
Tomato $1.70
Potato $0.72
Apples $1.30
UtilitiesMonthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$108

Indonesia

Retirees attracted by the diverse culture, warm climates, and affordable lifestyle choose Indonesia as their retirement place. The beautiful landscape, beaches, and friendly community will amaze you. Indonesia will give you some of the most stunning sceneries, including temples, volcanoes, rice fields, jungles, turquoise sea. You name it, Indonesia got it.

If you are a fan of wildlife, the Komodo and Rinca islands will give you a real jungle experience. 

See how to apply for an Indonesian retirement visa.

Healthcare in Indonesia

Indonesia launched a mandatory health insurance program, JKN, designed to make basic medical care and facilities available for all citizens. Private health insurance is provided for those who can afford it. 

Living Cost in Indonesia

The living costs for retirees in Indonesia are as follows:

HousingMonthly Costs
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$285
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$170
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$650
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$402
FoodCosts
Milk$1.30
Rice $0.89
Eggs $1.55
Tomato $1.01
Potato $1.25
Apples $2.55
UtilitiesMonthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$65.50

Spain

Picturesque and warm, Spain is perfect for retirees who enjoy the beach and sun. The sun shines for almost 320 days, boosting your mood and allowing you to spend a lot of time outdoors. Spain is the perfect place to enjoy life after years of office hours. The people of Spain are warm and friendly, which shows a lot about their culture. Spain adapts with all kinds of people.

Nature lovers can enjoy the beautiful islands, beaches, fishing villages, and coastline, whereas culture lovers can enjoy Flamenco, the palaces in the South, and marvelous gardens. 

See how to apply for a non lucrative visa to Spain.

Healthcare in Spain

Spain’s main source of health funding is the public sector. Some of the hospitals and medical centers are ranked among the best in the world. All residents need to register to access healthcare to get the essential services for free. The average cost of health insurance goes from $115 to $225 per month, but you can find insurance plans for as low as $60 per month. You can get treatment in public or private hospitals, where a well-trained medical staff will treat you. 

You can choose between public health insurance or private health insurance based on your income. 

Living Costs in Spain

If you retire in Spain, you can expect living costs to be as follows:

HousingMonthly Costs
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$710
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$551
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$1115
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$830
FoodCosts
Milk$0.86
Rice $1.14
Eggs $2.11
Tomato $1.80
Potato $1.28
Apples $1.93
UtilitiesMonthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$130

Sri Lanka

As a retiree, Sri Lanka is an excellent choice for an affordable getaway place to live; and live very well. It is a country rich in culture and affordable for anyone. Perfect for people who enjoy diversity and variety, Sri Lanka offers many experiences, cultures, and places. 

The warm and homogenous temperature is perfect for living by the beach. As a bonus for choosing Sri Lanka, you will get delicious food flavored with curry. 

See how to get a visa to Sri Lanka.

Healthcare in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan healthcare system is state-funded and its facilities are accessible to all citizens. This system covers most medical services.

However, although the doctors and nurses in the government hospitals and medical centers are qualified and trained, private medical facilities have better standards and quality than public facilities. In this case, it is also recommended that you purchase private expat health insurance.

Living Costs in Sri Lanka

The best region for retirees to accommodate is between Negombo and Matara. The beach resort town of Negombo offers gated communities that lease rentals for retirees. If you are tired of city life and want to spend the rest of your life on the beach, the coastal area is popular for retirees. 

HousingMonthly Costs
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$695
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$315
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$1560
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$665
FoodCosts
Milk$3.50
Rice $1.86
Eggs $3.75
Tomato $2.60
Potato $2.85
Apples $8.34
UtilitiesMonthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$135
Did you find this page helpful?
Yes No
Scroll to Top