If you’ve been rethinking retirement, dreaming of an early retirement or simply dream of one day living overseas, this international cost of living comparison makes it easy to spot the best retirement havens and the world’s best countries for expats of all ages. According to the report, Egypt now has the lowest cost of living, while Bermuda is the most expensive.
“In just two years, Bermuda has climbed its way to the top spot, becoming the world’s most expensive country to live in, pushing Switzerland out of first place,” wrote Movehub. “It may come as a surprise to many considering high food costs and rising inflation, but the UK has fallen out of the 20 most expensive countries for the first time since 2009, topped by the likes of Ireland and the USA.”
The cost of living rankings were compiled by Movehub, a company that assists people moving abroad, using figures from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the world’s largest database of user contributed information about cost of living comparison between cities and countries around the world.
Cost of Living and Retirement
No matter where you might be in the journey toward retirement, cost of living will play a huge role in where you ultimately decide to settle down and will significantly impact your overall quality of life. In the quest to find the world’s best retirement havens, it’s essential to consider if you will have access to high quality affordable healthcare, as well as the cost of real estate, food, utilities, travel and entertainment. Although still eligible to collect Social Security benefits, Medicare is not available for U.S. retirees living abroad.
In the United States, many people are rethinking retirement because the cost of living is just too high in the cities that offer the best quality of life. In fact, CBS News reports that cost of living is one of the most common reasons retirees give for moving overseas. In some countries, it is even quite affordable to hire someone to help around the house, do laundry, clean, cook and even provide long-term care if necessary.
“I think many people retire when they are in good health and they are interested in stretching their dollars and seeing the world,” Olivia S. Mitchell, who serves as director of the Pension Research Council at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, told CBS News in a recent interview.
More Americans Moving Abroad
“More and more Americans are retiring abroad to enjoy better weather, new experiences and relaxed lifestyles, as well as access to affordable healthcare and a lower cost of living,” wrote Investopedia.
According to the Social Security Administration, nearly 400,000 American retirees are now living overseas and that number is growing steadily. In fact, CBS News reports that the number grew 17 percent between 2010 and 2015 and is expected to continue to rise over the next decade as more baby boomers finally reach retirement age. According to the article, the most popular and best places to retire abroad include Canada, Japan, Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom.
“I wanted to find a place where I could afford to live off my Social Security,” Kay McGowan told CBS.
Recently widowed and seriously rethinking retirement, she quit her job, sold their longtime home, applied for Social Security and decided to retire in Mexico; a dream she had often discussed with her husband Mel before he passed away.
“The weather here is so perfect, and it’s a beautiful place,” she shared.
Cost of Living in Mexico
Movehub’s 2017 rankings have Mexico on the higher end among the “Lowest Cost of Living” group of countries, and it is by far the most affordable place to live in North America, compared to the United States and Canada. Looking at other countries nearby on the list, however, Mexico is way ahead in terms of services, amenities and infrastructure, compared to places like Azerbaijan and Uganda, for example.
“In Mexico, you have the good fortune of giving up very little when you make your move,” wrote International Living. “You’re heading to a near neighbor where you can get Internet, cable TV and all other comforts you’re used to.”
According to the most recent figures from March 2017 on the cost of living in Mexico by Numbeo, which averages data from the CPI and government sites, expats living in Mexico can expect to pay around 55.3 percent less than they would in the United States. This is according to aggregate data for all cities and rent is not taken into account, but Numbeo estimates separately that expats can expect to pay around 76.65 percent less for rent in Mexico than they would in the U.S.
The cost of medical care in Mexico is also more affordable than it is in many other parts of the world and Mexico adopted a universal healthcare system in 2012. In addition, the most popular retirement havens in Mexico – which includes those who are living in Playa del Carmen and Tulum, as well as Lake Chapala, Puerto Vallarta and a variety of other cities nationwide – are often much safer than cities located in the United States. Finally, Mexico’s close proximity to the United States makes it a breeze for expats, their family and close friends to travel back and forth. Travel to and from Mexico is both easy and affordable, thanks to its modern infrastructure.
Which country do you think is the best for retirement? Let us know your commet.