Personal Finance

In these countries, you can retire for less than $2,000 a month

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You don’t need a million dollars to live a glamorous retirement, so long as you’re willing to leave the U.S. behind.

“Most people assume that a high-flying existence like that is the purview of the rich and famous alone,” said Jennifer Stevens, the executive editor of International Living.

They’re wrong, Stevens said.

The website for expatriates is out with a list of “5 Places to Live Like a Movie Star, Without Their Bank Balance.”

Around 680,000 Americans currently receive their Social Security checks at a foreign address, although the number of retirees abroad is likely higher since many people maintain their U.S. bank account.

Here are the five destinations.

1. Italy

Although Rome, Tuscany and Venice are popular destinations in films, you don’t need a Hollywood budget — or much more than “Three Coins in the Fountain” — to retire here.

According to International Living, a couple could live well in this European destination on a monthly budget of $1,829.

2. Bali

A view of the pool and rooms at co-living start-up Roam’s property in Bali, Indonesia.


Many flock to Bali hoping to recreate Liz Gilbert’s transformative experience in the film “Eat Pray Love.”

The tropical climate of Bali and its world-class dining are attractive to retirees, says International Living.

And you can live comfortably on this Southeast Asian island with a budget of around $1,500 to $1,800 per month.

3. Costa Rica

Costa Rica, Puntarenas, Dominical. Posa azul waterfalls in Uvita.

Atlantide Phototravel | Corbis Documentary | Getty Images

Films set in Costa Rica include “Jurassic Park,” “Spy Kids 2” and “Paddington Bear.”

A couple can enjoy a great retirement in this Central American country on $2,000 a month.

4. Mexico

The hidden beach in Marietas Islands, Puerto Vallarta. Mexico.

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The 1964 John Huston film “The Night of the Iguana,” starring Richard Burton and Ava Gardner, put Puerto Vallarta on the map as a tourist destination. The Pacific Coast port, along with Acapulco, Cancun and other Mexican resort cities, has steadily attracted more and more U.S. visitors — and ex-pats — over the ensuing decades.

International Living says that costs of living for retirees can range widely in Mexico, but it’s possible for a couple to live well on $1,890 per month.

5. Vietnam

Photo Taken In Vietnam, H Noi

Vu Long / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

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