5 Places to Retire On Social Security Alone

You can live well on a modest income in these countries.

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One of the most compelling reasons to consider retiring to another country is the opportunity to reduce your cost of living, maybe dramatically.

As one American I know who retired to Boquete, Panama put it recently, “Back in Tucson, Arizona, where I’m from, my monthly Social Security check might cover the cost of my utilities. Here in Boquete, my income from Social Security is enough to buy me a very comfortable new life.”

[See 6 Reasons to Retire Overseas.]

The average Social Security check is about $1,200. You can receive that payment while living anywhere in the world. In some countries, you can even have your Social Security check direct-deposited into your local bank account. Here are five places where you could retire on your Social Security income alone.

Boquete, Panama. Panama offers super user-friendly options for foreign residency. Resident retirees receive a long list of benefits including discounts on everything from prescription medicines and in-country air travel to closing costs on the purchase of real estate.

[See 7 Affordable Places to Retire Abroad.]

Granada, Nicaragua. Granada is a charming Spanish-colonial city built around a beautiful and lively central square. It’s also home to a welcoming community of expat retirees enjoying new lives in this land of lakes and volcanoes. You could live well in Granada on about $900 per month.

Hangzou, China. About $1,000 a month could buy you a comfortable and super-exotic new life in Hangzou.

Morelia, Mexico. You could retire on a budget of about $1,100 per month in this colonial city full of charm and history. A friend calls Morelia the “coolest Mexican city you’ve never heard of.”

[See 5 Surprising Retirement Truths.]

Cuenca, Ecuador. The average monthly Social Security check ($1,200) could also buy you a pleasant new life in Cuenca. The city has an established community of expats who will welcome you and help with your transition. The other big plus for Cuenca is its climate. Ecuador is a land of eternal springtime, never too hot and never too cold.

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.