The Best Place to Retire Abroad in 2019 Is Remarkably Affordable

Photo by Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

The average Social Security benefit is only $1,467 a month for a retired worker and $766 for a retired worker’s spouse — a total of $2,233 a month for such a couple — as of March.

But that’s no problem for folks who opt to spend their golden years in the Algarve region of Portugal.

There, a couple can live comfortably on as little as $1,700 per month, according to Live and Invest Overseas. But the Algarve offers a lot more than just an affordable cost of living.

Based on an array of factors, this coastal region of Europe ranked as the No. 1 place to retire abroad in Live and Invest Overseas’ 2019 Overseas Retirement Index. It also has taken the top honor several times in the past, including in the 2018 index.

The best places to retire overseas in 2019

The Algarve is one of 21 destinations that ranked in the latest index. Kathleen Peddicord, publisher of Live and Invest Overseas and author of the book “How to Retire Overseas,” describes these locales as “covering the spectrum of every lifestyle option.”

In fact, Peddicord notes that the annual Overseas Retirement Index is designed to help you make an informed decision as to which overseas retirement destination would suit you best.

The latest index ranks locales based on 15 factors. A few factors are financial, including taxes and real estate prices. Others address everything from the quality of health care and infrastructure to how commonly English is spoken and how easy it is to establish residency.

The top 10 destinations for 2019 are:

  1. Algarve, Portugal
  2. Annecy, France
  3. Bled, Slovenia
  4. Canggu, Bali
  5. Cascais, Portugal
  6. Città Sant’Angelo, Italy
  7. Cuenca, Ecuador
  8. Da Lat, Vietnam
  9. Da Nang, Vietnam
  10. Fortaleza, Brazil

Why the Algarve?

Portugal in general earned especially high marks in the categories of residency options and health care.

The nation’s Golden Visa program makes it easier to establish residency in Portugal than in other countries in the 2019 index, according to Live and Invest Overseas. And legal foreign residents who register with their local medical center can get public health care.

The Algarve in particular earned high marks in the category of crime and safety and for recreation opportunities — at least for those who enjoy golf courses and beaches. The region is also home to areas where you can get by on English alone.

Other advantages to this region off the Atlantic Ocean include short and mild winters and an undervalued real estate market. You could buy a place for $150,000 or less. If you’d rather rent, a two-bedroom apartment runs as little as $720 per month.

That would leave a retired couple plenty of Social Security money for other spending each month.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
12 Ways to Maximize Your Social Security Checks
12 Ways to Maximize Your Social Security Checks

You may be eligible for more retirement income than you realize.

10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate
10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate

Clever shoppers can save money without sacrificing quality. Here is how to do it.

5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Your Car Smell Delightful
5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Your Car Smell Delightful

These tips will leave your ride smelling delightful for next to nothing. Some options are also chemical-free.

7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement
7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement

Making even one of these mistakes can easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

4 States Where Taxes on Social Security May Fall Soon
4 States Where Taxes on Social Security May Fall Soon

These states are considering reducing — or even eliminating — income taxes on Social Security benefits.

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.