A Safe and Affordable Retirement Spot Abroad

Uruguay offers low-cost coastal and city living.


In the current global climate, safety can be a greater concern than ever before. In some retirement spots you may even be able to safely separate from all the troubles of our age.

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If safety is one of your top priorities in a retirement location, then take a close look at Uruguay. I’d rate this country as one of the safest places in the world. Parts of it have been largely overlooked by the outside world since the 1950s, and it can seem as though these regions have been left back in time.

Uruguay offers tempting options both for coastal and city living. Costa de Oro boasts some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll find anywhere, and many stretches of it are delightfully undiscovered. Montevideo is a South American capital city with European undertones, most evident in its architecture, old town, and café culture.

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Perhaps the best thing about retirement in Uruguay is that, thanks to the low cost-of-living and of real estate, it’s possible to devise a retirement here that combines both lifestyles. Many Americans could afford to keep a townhouse in Montevideo and a place on the coast. For example, you can purchase a house on the beach for as little as $75,000.

Uruguay’s Gold Coast has some of the best seaside values available in a first world setting. There are 30 miles of uninterrupted golden sands, gentle sweeping coves, and uncrowded beaches. American expat Christian MacDonald has called this country’s coast home for five years. “These are small, friendly communities with shady, tree-lined streets and stately homes from another era,” he says. “Plus, these towns have drinkable water, high-speed Internet, and generally first world infrastructure.”

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Uruguay is attracting increasing attention from retirees looking for a financial and personal safe haven. This is a country that offers a solid financial center, with an economy that actually grew during the recent global recession. It is also a place where expats can obtain residency easily, and even a second passport. Uruguay offers a peaceful, laid-back culture that has distanced itself from the world's troubles. But it does have modern conveniences including excellent medical care that’s a bargain compared with U.S. health care costs.

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.