13 Best Countries Worldwide for Early Retirement (with Costs)

Image by

Dreaming of an early retirement abroad but worried about leaving your comfort zone?  Looking for the perfect retirement paradise? Explore this list of 13 of the best countries for early retirement, where cost of living, healthcare accessibility, delicious food, and fantastic weather are all part of the package.


Why: Malaysia is known for its multicultural environment, modern amenities, and natural beauty. It offers a comfortable retirement option with its Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program, excellent healthcare, and English-speaking environment.

Cost of Living

A monthly budget of around $1,500 allows retirees to live comfortably in Malaysia, enjoying its diverse culture, delicious food, and beautiful beaches.

Costa Rica

Why: Costa Rica is famed for its “Pura Vida” lifestyle, signifying a simple, stress-free approach to life. It’s a haven for nature lovers, with its rich biodiversity, national parks, and pristine beaches. The healthcare system is excellent and affordable, and the country’s focus on sustainability and peace adds to its allure.

Cost of Living

With a monthly budget of less than $2,500, retirees can live comfortably in Costa Rica. This budget covers all the essentials, including healthcare, in a country known for its high quality of life.


Why: Panama stands out as a top choice for retirees seeking a blend of modern amenities and natural beauty. The country’s Pensionado program is one of the most attractive for retirees, offering significant discounts on transportation, entertainment, medical services, and more. Its stable economy, dollar-based currency, and friendly locals make it an easy transition for many.

Cost of Living

An estimated monthly budget of around $1,753 can afford you a comfortable lifestyle in Panama. This includes housing, utilities, food, and healthcare, making it an affordable option for many retirees.


Why: Portugal is renowned for its warm weather, historic architecture, and welcoming people. It offers a high quality of life, with a relaxed pace, beautiful beaches, and a rich cultural scene. The country has a low cost of living compared to other Western European countries, making it an attractive option for retirees.

Cost of Living

Living in Portugal can cost around $2,500 a month, although this can rise to $3,000+ in popular areas like Lisbon, Porto, Cascais, or the Algarve. Despite these costs, Portugal remains an affordable European destination.


Why: Mexico offers an unbeatable mix of rich cultural heritage, warm weather, and affordable living. It’s a country with diverse landscapes, from beautiful beaches to mountainous regions, and its close proximity to the U.S. makes it convenient for retirees from the States.

Cost of Living

A comfortable life in Mexico can be enjoyed on a budget of around $2,000 a month. This affordability, combined with the country’s vibrant culture and delicious cuisine, makes it a popular choice for retirees.


Why: Once overlooked, Colombia has emerged as a retirement haven thanks to its stunning landscapes, affordable living costs, and warm, inviting culture. The country offers a diverse environment from beaches to mountains and cities filled with history and culture.

Cost of Living

A couple can live comfortably in Colombia for less than $2,000 a month, enjoying the country’s beauty and the warmth of its people.


Why: Ecuador is a land of incredible diversity, offering everything from Amazon rainforests to Andean peaks and coastal cities. Its low cost of living, dollarized economy, and generous retiree benefits make it an attractive destination for those looking to stretch their retirement savings.

Cost of Living

Retirees can live in Ecuador on a budget of $1,500-$1,825 a month, covering all necessities for a comfortable, adventurous life.


Why: Malta is a small island nation known for its stunning Mediterranean scenery, rich history, and friendly English-speaking population. It offers a relaxed lifestyle in a beautiful setting, with plenty of sunshine and a vibrant expat community.

Cost of Living

With a monthly budget of around $2,331, retirees can enjoy all that Malta has to offer, from its historical sites to its beautiful beaches and comfortable climate.


Why: Greece offers a captivating mix of ancient history and modern living. With its stunning islands, beautiful mainland beaches, and vibrant cities, Greece provides a picturesque setting for retirement. The cost of living is relatively low, and the healthcare system is of a high standard.

Cost of Living

Retirees can live a comfortable life in Greece on a budget of around $1,835 a month, enjoying the country’s natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality.


Why: Spain attracts retirees with its warm climate, relaxed pace of life, and rich cultural heritage. The country offers a variety of lifestyles, from beachfront living to city life in Madrid or Barcelona, all at a relatively affordable cost.

Cost of Living

Spain is noted for its affordability, especially when dining out and enjoying the country’s vibrant lifestyle. A budget of around $1,080 USD can provide a comfortable living. 

This affordability extends across various aspects of life in Spain, from healthcare to entertainment, making it an attractive destination for retirees seeking a high quality of life without the high costs.


Why: France offers a high quality of life with its world-renowned cuisine, art, and culture. It’s a country that prides itself on healthcare, leisure, and the beauty of its landscapes, from the countryside of Provence to the glamor of Paris.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in France can range from $2,083 to $2,483 a month, allowing retirees to enjoy the country’s rich culture and excellent healthcare system.


Why: Thailand is a favorite among retirees for its beautiful landscapes, affordable healthcare, and low cost of living. It offers a warm climate, delicious cuisine, and a vibrant culture, along with a friendly expat community.

Cost of Living

In cities like Chiang Mai, retirees can live comfortably on a budget of $1,596-$1,914 a month, enjoying the country’s natural beauty and cultural richness.


Why: Uruguay stands out for its political and economic stability, high standard of living, and progressive social policies. It offers a comfortable climate, beautiful beaches, and a friendly, welcoming culture to retirees.

Cost of Living

Starting at $2,500 a month including rent, Uruguay is a bit pricier than some of its neighbors but offers a high quality of life and excellent healthcare.

Leave a Comment