Quit Early, Live Lavishly: Affordable Havens to Retire With Just $150K


Are you ready to take the plunge and retire early, seeking new adventures in globally diverse settings?

It may seem impossible with such a limited budget of $150K, but don’t be deterred!

There are fantastic havens around the world where you can live lavishly on this amount while also finding other ways to build your wealth.

From beach ambles in Thailand and Mexico to UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Romania or farmers markets in France, we’ve researched some of the most affordable places for living an active retiree life.

So, if you dare to dream of good wine under starry night skies, delicious dining experiences, plus generous culture and sightseeing opportunities, it could all be yours sooner than expected!

#1. Thailand

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Retirement checks stretch farther in tropical Thailand.

Living comfortably in the country costs $1,500 to $2,000 monthly, including rent.

There are many locales to choose from. Chiang Mai offers modern amenities, while Koh Samui is an economical island haven.

Of course, there is also Bangkok if you want the feel of a big city.

The country has a stable political climate with an active police presence.

#2. Peru

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With Peru’s diverse population, language-learning opportunities, and awe-inspiring attractions like Machu Picchu and the Amazon rainforest, it’s no wonder retirees are flocking here. 

Peru also offers generous pensionado benefits for those 55 and over, making it easier to stretch out limited funds.

Living in Peru on a budget of $150K or less, retirees can rent a cozy coastal apartment in Lima or the beach town of Paracas for about $350 a month.

#3. Belize

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Belize is popular with international retirees due to its Caribbean vibes, nature preserves, affordable living, and English-speaking culture.

Expats prefer Placencia Peninsula and Ambergris Caye, despite higher costs.

You should avoid border towns, isolated regions, and Belize City due to criminal activity.

Th main downside to Belize is that that healthcare, especially for those in critical condition, is limited.

#4. Vietnam

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Vietnam’s rich culture and affordable cost of living make it a popular retirement destination for North Americans.

As more English speaking people flock here, it is easier to communicate.

But you will need to learn some basic Vietnamese in some areas.

As for the cost of living, it is very affordable throughout the country, so retirees have their choice of where to live.

#5. Chile

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Chile offers beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, bustling cities, and friendly people.

It is one of the most stable countries in South America, providing a safe and comfortable middle-class lifestyle at a fraction of the cost of retiring in the U.S.

With about $1,000 a month, you can cover housing and basic expenses anywhere in the country.

Spend a little extra to enjoy dining, hiking, and exploring to your heart’s content.

#6. France

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You probably wouldn’t expect to see France on a list of cheap overseas retirement destinations.

This is mostly due to the high cost of living in Paris.

But step outside into the countryside and prices for all things, including food and shelter, are very reasonable.

The biggest drawback is the same with most other European nations. As a non-citizen, health insurance coverage is on you.

#7. Ireland

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Living in Ireland has many perks, including excellent healthcare and a low cost of living.

Plus, you are a short flight to most European countries, making sight-seeing much easier.

The downside is since you are non-European Union citizen, you need to pay for health insurance for coverage.

#8. Czech Republic

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The Czech Republic is renowned for its castles, towns, architecture, and local beers.

With a growing expat population and affordable living, it’s becoming a popular retirement destination.

This has led to more businesses and services opening daily in Czech cities.

While apartments in Prague are cheaper compared to other European capitals, foreigners often pay more as rent-controlled apartments are not easily accessible.

The country has a cost-effective healthcare system, and coverage from a Czech health insurance company registered with the Czech National Bank is required to take part.

#9. Malaysia

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Retirees in Malaysia enjoy warm weather, affordable food, entertainment, and English-speaking services.

But you can’t overlook monsoon season during winter.

There are many places that offer affordable living. For example, in Penang, you can live an island life in an apartment for as little as $225 per month.

If big city is more your ideal, Kuala Lumpur offers city living for less than $1,000 a month.

#10. Panama

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Anyone who has explored expat life won’t be surprised to find Panama on this list.

The country offers abundant sunshine, rich culture, and natural beauty.

While Spanish is the primary language, English is widely spoken, particularly in urban areas. Panama City, the capital, is surprisingly affordable with a one-bedroom rent under $1,000 per month.

Additionally, living in Panama offer tax advantages as well as excellent healthcare.

#11. Portugal

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Portugal, Spain’s next door neighbor, offers many of the same perks but at a much lower price.

Expats can enjoy sight-seeing, sunshine most days of the year, and ample amounts of seafood, if that excites you.

The only downside is the healthcare system, which has come under scrutiny in recent years.

As a result, private health care is recommended.

#12. Ecuador

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Ecuador is another South American country gaining in popularity, mostly since the election reforms enacted in 2018.

However living in this country requires some different planning than others on the list.

Visitors can stay for only 90 days, so retirees should consider applying for the pensioner residency visa at an Ecuadorean consulate in the U.S.

The visa requires proof of receiving an $800+ monthly pension from a recognized source.

Once approved, signing up for public or private health insurance is mandatory.

#13. Costa Rica

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An extremely popular destination for retirees is Costa Rica.

In years past, this option was tops for expats retiring abroad.

While there are still plenty of reasons why this Central American country should be considered, it has fallen in recent years due to a higher cost of living.

Of course, it is still less expensive than most areas in the U.S., but it is not as cheap as it once was.

#14. Bulgaria

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Bulgaria is one of the most affordable countries in Europe, with an extremely favorable exchange rate of 1.95 BGN per USD (as of June 2019). 

Retirees can stretch their savings even further with generous pensioner discounts on everything from transportation to restaurants, museums, and parks.

Bulgarian cities like Sofia, Varna, and Plovdiv are vibrant and full of culture, making it a great destination for retirees seeking an enriching lifestyle.

#15. Nicaragua

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The laid-back country of Nicaragua offers a great mix of adventure and relaxation. 

From the bustling city of Managua to the tranquil beaches of San Juan del Sur, there is something here for everyone. 

Plus, with prices ranging from as low as $50K for a 3-bedroom house in Leon, you can enjoy amazing views, tasty seafood, and an incredibly welcoming culture without breaking the bank.

After a few years in Nicaragua, you can easily make your dreams of early retirement come true!

#16. Colombia

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Colombia is quickly becoming a popular destination for those looking to retire early on a budget.

It has some of the best beaches in South America and offers plenty of activities such as hiking, surfing, and exploring the lush rainforest.

The cost of living here is incredibly affordable, with some estimates at just $1,200 a month for an expat couple!

Plus, you can easily find quality healthcare and excellent safety measures in many cities throughout Colombia.

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