When it comes to places to retire, it seems like most Americans (especially those from the Midwest and the Northeast) make their way down to warmer climates in the south like Florida and Arizona where they can spend their days golfing and not having to worry about shoveling snow anymore.
While the southern states of the U.S. do provide many great places to spend your retirement years, many retirees try to satisfy their wanderlust by exploring Latin America as a retirement home. The number of expats living in Latin America continues to grow every year, with retirees escaping to new cultural experiences, scenic landscapes, and great weather year-round. Another advantage of going abroad to Latin America for retirement? The cost of living!
While Florida can be a wonderful place for retirement, especially because of the lack of a state income tax, the price of real estate can be high in desirable areas, as well as a high cost of living (in general) when you factor in health care and daily needs. Today I’ll focus on a region of the world that I’ve spent a lot of time in where you can live on $2,000 monthly. That part of the world is going to include many parts of tropical, sexy, and mountainous Latin America.
Retiring in Latin America for $2,000 Per Month
If you are looking to break away from the U.S. to spend your golden years in another country, you can live a very frugal life by calling one of these Latin American countries home.
Did you know that Colombia has become one of the top retirement destinations in the world? While there has always been a stigma of it just being a crime-ridden country run by drug cartels, it has blossomed over the last few decades into a wonderful retirement haven. For one, the value of the US dollar is strong relative to the local currency – your money goes a lot further! The landscape is beautiful (there are more than 50 national parks), the weather can’t be beat, and there are many cultural activities and excursions to take in. If you are looking for a more cosmopolitan lifestyle, Medellin is a tremendous city that is surprisingly affordable. As health care is of great importance at that age, be assured that the hospitals are state-of-the-art and the cost of care is inexpensive.
This retirement destination is so well-received that International Living ranked this country as the number one place for retirement in their 2016 publication. Why? The geography provides amazing beaches and remote islands, and you can’t beat the temperate weather! Not to mention that it is very easy to get to. But beyond the weather and the landscape, many programs are in place to make living in this beautiful country an affordable option. If you earn over $1,000 per month (and if you have properly saved for retirement, earning that in interest on your savings per month shouldn’t be a problem), you qualify for the Pensionado Visa which entitles you to discounts on health care, travel, entertainment, and more.
Many people think of Costa Rica as the top Central American retirement destination, but it is actually their neighboring country that makes the list as one of the top Latin American places to retire to on a budget. According to the 2016 International Living “Best Places to Retire” report cited earlier in this post, a retiree can live in Nicaragua for around $1,200 per month. Living for that cheaply doesn’t mean you will be slumming it, either. You can rent a place just a short walk from the country’s beautiful beaches for around $400 per month (you won’t need a perfect credit score to rent here!), all while enjoying delicious foods for around $10 per meal. Ever since the country ended its civil conflict in the early 1990’s, Nicaragua has blossomed into a wonderful place to live. Infrastructure and real estate have been priorities over the last few decades and make for a great retirement. Beyond a comfortable life, you’ll be able to take in all the scenic beauty of its beaches, volcanoes, Lake Nicaragua, and charming old towns like Granada. There is always something to explore!
If you are bored of the traditional southern U.S. retirement options and want to see something more, and also want to make your money stretch a little bit further, consider one of the three best places to retire in Latin America above. While you may think that you will be a “fish out of water”, these countries will actually be quite comfortable as you won’t be the only expat around due to their rising popularity as a retirement destination. For just $2,000 per month, you can live a happy retirement abroad and enjoy a life of luxury in a beautiful foreign country!
2 thoughts on “Retiring to Latin America on $2,000 a Month”
I can’t believe you don’t highlight Costa Rica. It deserves to be on this list and is arguably the best destination to live in not only Central, but South America.
I totally agree with you on Costa Rica being somewhere that should be on everyone’s list! I lived there for many years and continue to visit as much as humanly possible. The thing is, unless you want to live VERY remote, and VERY frugally, $2,000 per month won’t really cut it in Costa Rica these days. It’s become a bit more expensive, and I can’t vouch for the lifestyle $2,000 will get you down there right now. Can it be done? Sure, it can. But, I will say it won’t be the way most people envision retirement. Thanks for stopping by.