Quick notes

  • Settling in another country when you’re done working is a dream for many people
  • Life as an ex-pat can give you access to new cultures and provide a range of experiences
  • Believe it or not, retiring abroad could actually save you money

You’ve been planning for retirement for a while now. However, as that magic date grows closer to reality, you may realize that you don’t necessarily want to spend your golden years in the United States. You’re savvy enough to know that life elsewhere could give you exceptional experiences, provide access to a different culture, and possibly even save you money.

If you’re considering a post-working life abroad, you’ve got so many options that choosing your ultimate destination could be tricky. There are many more reasonable options than you might realize. To help, we’ve got a list of five places that you could ultimately call home and some information about what retirement looks like in each area. We’ll look at costs, things to do, and other amenities.

Retiring in Italy

If you’re a fan of delicious pasta, world-famous wines, art, and classical music, Italy could be the perfect retirement destination. Despite these amenities, an Italian retirement could also save you money. An average monthly rent comes in at just over $950 and groceries total just under 60 percent of what they cost in the U.S. With these kinds of numbers, spending your golden years in an Italian Villa or in a cosmopolitan in-town apartment has lots of advantages.

Taking your nest egg down under

Australia is about as far from America as a retiree can put down roots. That’s part of the adventure.

Retirees who don’t mind putting some serious distance between their new home and the U.S. might consider Australia as their choice. Your lifestyle there could be rooted in cosmopolitan cities like Sydney or in remote outback towns reminiscent of the American West. While Australia isn’t as cost-efficient as Italy, a lot of expenses will be determined by where you actually settle. Generally, average rent there is just under $1,300 a month and groceries are just under 67 percent of what they cost in America.

An exotic retirement in Vietnam

One of the most exotic, cost-efficient, and popular retirement destinations is Vietnam. According to a U.S. News and World survey, a retired couple can live in one of the most popular seaside resorts for as little as $1,000 a month. Those living in the country have access to an entirely new culture, beautiful vistas and activities, and a range of potential adventures that can truly elevate their life in retirement.

A French retirement

While a retirement in France won’t necessarily be less expensive than staying in the United States, living there offers an incredible range of culture, food, and experiences that aren’t available anywhere else. One of the most popular and least expensive French destinations is Occitanie in the southern region of the country. Living there gives retirees access to food, wine, history, and landscapes that are just three hours from Paris.


Live your golden years near Machu Picchu

There are multiple South American countries to retire to, but Peru can prove to be particularly interesting and delightfully affordable. If you choose to put roots down outside of Lima, you can live comfortably for as little as $2,000 a month. A Peruvian residence gives you access to its ancient culture, amazing food, the Andes Mountains, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu.

A deeper dive – Related reading from the 101:

Here’s a more complete list of countries where retiring is cheaper than in the U.S.

How long will your nest egg hold out? These three things can make a difference.