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Retire abroad in these 10 cities for less than $2,000 per month


About 15% of American workers want to retire abroad, according to Dutch life insurance company Aegon’s latest “Retirement Readiness Survey.”

Some retirees are already doing it: As of 2021, around 444,000 retired workers collected Social Security benefits while living in a foreign country, according to the Social Security Administration’s latest data.

“One of the main draws to retiring abroad is the opportunity to enjoy a higher standard of living,” says Jesse Little, senior director of advice for Wells Fargo wealth and investment management.

“The U.S. dollar is relatively strong compared to many other currencies, which allows U.S. retirees in those countries to stretch their money further,” he adds.

Although leaving the U.S. doesn’t guarantee a lower cost of living, Little warns, there are several international cities where you can live on just a few thousand dollars per month.

For American expats looking to stretch their retirement dollars, here are 10 cities across the globe where the average cost of living is less than $2,000 per month.

This list was compiled using data from, a cost-of-living database that compares the average cost of living in over 9,000 cities around the world.

Before you set your sights on retirement oversees, however, there are a number of factors to keep in mind.

Tax rules

The U.S. taxes its citizens on worldwide income, Little says. This means a tax return must be filed in the U.S. each year, even if you move your assets to accounts in a different country. You may also have to pay taxes to the foreign country you’re residing in.

“Even if a person is not working while abroad, there is still potential tax exposure for withdrawals from retirement accounts, taxable pensions and Social Security income over certain income thresholds,” Little says.

Visa requirements

Property ownership

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