3 Countries to Live Better for Half the Price

Nowadays, more and more retirees are open to the idea of spending their golden years abroad.  Not only because they want a change of scenery and experience a new culture, it’s so much more affordable too.  However, when choosing for a retirement destination, don’t just go for the country that offers a cheap cost of living, consider its healthcare and safety too.

I’ve rounded up 3 countries to live abroad where you can live better for half the price.

1. Ecuador

Located in the western part of South America, Ecuador is a small country that offers a slower pace of life.  You’ll love the beaches, mountains, valleys and enjoy exploring the Amazon rainforests and Galapagos Islands.

Aside from the adventure that the country offers, what draws expats and retirees is its low cost of living.  According to Numbeo.com, it’s 40.50% lower than in United States.  With only $2,000/month or less, you will already be able to live comfortably.

A high-quality but low-cost healthcare is also another reason why Ecuador is a popular retirement destination.  Retirees also get a bunch of benefits including foreigners.  With the Pensioner Visa, you get 50% off public/private transportation, 50% off tickets for movies, cultural and sporting events, 50% off your electric and water bills, free domestic landline phone service and reductions in a variety of taxes including income and sales.

2. Panama

This country in Central America is known for its beautiful turquoise seas and exotic tropical rainforests.  So if you are thinking about retiring in a paradise but kind of worried about your budget, go for Panama.  Compared to other countries in Central and Southern America, Panama is the safest.

Health Care and Insurance are both inexpensive but high quality.  If you are on a Pensionado Visa, you get 10% off from your prescription medicines and 15% off from dental and eye exams.  Other benefits include 50% off entertainment, 25% off restaurants, 50% off hotel accommodations (Monday-Thursday), 30% off public transportation and 25% off domestic and international airline tickets.  On top of these discounts, you can also buy or own a property with the same rights and protections that the locals receive.

3. Malaysia

Malaysia is situated in the heart of Southeast Asia.  If you want a city life, the country has a high standard but cheap cost of living.  Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital, is home to a lot of shopping districts, colonial buildings and skyscrapers including the famous Petronas Towers.  If you want adventure, the country also has a lot of unspoiled beaches and exotic jungles.

The cost of living is way cheaper than US.  According to Numbeo consumer prices in Malaysia are 42% lower than US and their rent prices are 69% less.

Malaysia is also a popular medical tourist destination because of its high quality standard of healthcare but at a cheaper cost.  In fact, Penang and Kuala Lumpur have become the medical tourism hubs of Asia.  Some of the most popular treatments are cosmetic surgery and dental work.  The people behind their excellent healthcare are either trained in the UK or US and all of them speak English fluently.

If you are planning to retire here, you can apply for the “Malaysia, my 2nd home (MM2H)” program that the country offers where you can get a 10-year Social Visit Pass and Multiple Entry Visa, a chance to import your car or purchase a new car tax-free, employ a maid, obtain up to 80% of housing loan, and the ability to invest and own a business in Malaysia.

About Toni Marie

Toni is a contributing author. In addition to writing about the Baby Boomer generation, she also likes to write about relationships and health.
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