By Catey Hill, MarketWatch
I read your article on MarketWatch about Sherry Bronson who retired in Bali. [Read it here: ‘I never felt like I belonged in the U.S.,’ says 62-year-old who fled Minnesota to retire in Bali — where you can live ‘very, very comfortably’ on $3,000 a month.] What other places around the world would you consider as being safe for American retirees, friendly and affordable (under $2,500 a month)?
Plenty of Americans are spending their golden years abroad these days. “More than 500,000 Americans receive their Social Security benefits overseas, an increase from 400,000 people in 2000,” my colleague Alessandro Malito recently wrote. Plenty also spend part of their time abroad and part in America. In other words, you’d be in good company if you decided to go abroad.
The hard part, of course, is deciding where to go — especially if you’re on a budget. (Sorry, Paris, London and Zurich — you won’t make the cut). Here are a number of safe, friendly spots to retire abroad on $2,500 or less a month — as recommended by our friends at International Living.
Portugal - various cities including Lagos, Coimbra and Porto
While Lisbon tends to be pricier, many other cities in Portugal are friendly, safe — and affordable. When I interviewed 69-year-old Tricia Pimental earlier this year (she left Utah and moved to Portugal) she highlighted the affordability and friendly vibes: “It’s all about family, food and fun,” she says of Portugal, adding that in general, you could spend about one-third to one-quarter of what you would in the U.S. Cities are pricier, but in the countryside “you can easily get by on $2,000 a month,” she says.
Even if the countryside isn’t your thing, there are a number of places where you could live on $2,500 or less a month, including Lagos, Coimbra and Porto, International Living tells MarketWatch.
Lagos is a port town with “pretty, cobbled lanes and picturesque squares and churches” as well as some “truly fabulous beaches” and “a huge range of activities spanning water sports, boat trips and horse riding, excellent restaurants and a pumping nightlife,” writes Lonely Planet —which adds that it is “not surprising that people of all ages are drawn here.”
Coimbra , which sits on the Mondego River, is home to the oldest university in Portugal — and plenty of other history as well. It was Portugal’s medieval capital and a number of historic buildings are now deemed a Unesco World Heritage site. “Its steeply stacked historic centre dates to Moorish times and is wonderfully atmospheric, with its dark cobbled lanes and monumental cathedral,” writes Lonely Planet.
Meanwhile Porto “gives you as much cobbled-street charm and dazzling ancient architecture as you’ll get anywhere else in Europe, and it’s nestled in one of the world’s leading wine regions — yet it’s still affordable and uncrowded,” explains Thrillist.