10 Countries Where You Can Really Stretch a Social Security Check

Living expenses in these nations would cost only a fraction of your Social Security payment -- leaving you hundreds of dollars to spare each month.

10 Countries Where You Can Really Stretch a Social Security Check Photo by Alexey Rotanov / Shutterstock.com

You can try every trick in the book to maximize your Social Security checks and still feel like they’re not enough.

Social Security is not meant to be the sole source of retirement funds for Americans. But if you retire abroad, it may be possible to get by with nothing more than that monthly benefit.

A recent GOBankingRates analysis has identified 10 countries in which average retirees would have more than half their Social Security check left after paying for monthly living expenses.

For the analysis, the website assumed the average Social Security check of $1,413.08 and subtracted critical monthly living expenses for 100 major countries. Those expenses include food, housing (based on a country’s average monthly rent) and utilities, for example.

In Egypt — which came out on top — you would have a whopping 80 percent of that $1,413 check left over each month after paying the costs of living.

The country’s average monthly housing cost is only $157.70. Food and utilities would run you only $105.93 and $19.46 more, respectively.

The top 10 countries in GOBankingRates’ analysis are:

  1. Egypt: $1,130 of the average Social Security payment would remain after living expenses
  2. India: $1,094
  3. Algeria: $1,028
  4. Venezuela: $988
  5. Mexico: $954
  6. Indonesia: $921
  7. Ukraine: $912
  8. Dominican Republic: $884
  9. Turkey: $839
  10. Romania: $808

Of course, just because a country is cheap doesn’t mean it’s the right retirement destination for you.

For example, International Living recently deemed Costa Rica the best country for retiring abroad based on a wide range of factors, one of which was cost of living. But it didn’t make GOBankingRates’ list.

As we explain in “11 Critical Things to Consider When Choosing Where to Retire”:

“Lists are fun reading. But when it comes to making your own decisions, things get personal. Then, it’s time to evaluate what matters most to you, not to the list-makers. To find a locale that works best for you, focus on these 11 factors when looking at retirement locations.”

What’s your take on the countries where the average Social Security check goes the furthest? Share your thoughts below on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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