Living Comfortably & Spending Less: Best Countries for Retired Expats

Americans are living longer and becoming bolder about where they choose to spend their retirement, but which destinations offer the best value for money?

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Retired expats are searching for the best and most affordable countries around the world.

As people live longer, healthier lives, more of us than ever before can hope to experience a long, comfortable retirement. Advances in healthcare plus the years of economic boom between the war and the eighties mean those reaching retirement are part of the healthiest and wealthiest generation in history.

That’s not to say that money isn’t still a concern for many. In light of the global cost of living crisis, retirees are looking for places where their dollar goes as far as possible. People hitting retirement age are also expecting to live for decades, so making your money stretch is all the more important. But what you’re really looking for is somewhere that provides value for money, too.

A recent survey from NetCredit compared the cost of living around the world to see where retirees could get the most from their money in 2023. Mexico, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Turkey and Thailand all emerged as top retirement havens.

So let’s take a closer look at these destinations.


For many Americans, popping south of the border represents an easy but highly attractive option. It ranks in International Livings’ top five places to live and has a great infrastructure, fantastic quality of life, and good weather.

It’s one of the cheapest places to live in Latin America with the US being 113% more expensive. If you’re looking for a safe and affordable place to live, Mexico makes for a great option.

Costa Rica

The cost of living in Costa Rica is around 30% cheaper than in the US. For that, you get to live in one of the world’s safest countries with low crime rates and good infrastructure. With a warm climate and incredible natural beauty, this is a picturesque, safe, and comfortable place to retire.


The fact that Uruguay is South America’s most expensive destination may put some people off. However, it one of the best places to retire for those in search of a lavish lifestyle. Better yet, it is 34.8% cheaper than the US, so your finances will still stretch pretty far.

While many people are wary of high crime rates in South America, Uruguay is a very different animal.

It’s the safest country in South America and, according to the Global World Peace Index, is the 35th most peaceful place to live in the world. The pace of life is slow and relaxed, the locals are friendly, and the countryside offers some of the most spectacular scenery on the continent. If you’re looking for a pleasant, safe and comfortable environment, you can’t do much better.


As the place where East meets West, Turkey offers a unique living experience.

Property prices are, on average, around $300k, making them relatively affordable compared to the US. You also benefit from gorgeous weather and a rich culture that blends elements from the Middle East and Europe.

Entry requirements are relatively low which has helped it develop a growing reputation as a popular place for American retirees.


For affordability and lifestyle, you could choose to look even further afield to Thailand. Prices average at around $317k but for that, you get your own slice of paradise—with fantastic beaches featuring soft white sand spilling down to crystal-clear blue seas. The locals are friendly and the quality of life is as good as anything you’ll find around the world.

Contact us today to find your dream home abroad.

living overseas in retirement