world's 'best value' countries to live

While some people welcome the prospect of retirement, many pensioners are concerned if they will have enough money to live a comfortable life. 

But according to new research, retired couples can live on a budget of less than $1,000 (£612) a month if they are willing to look overseas. 

With over 40.3 million people aged 65 and older in the U.S. and over 10 million people in the UK, some of the options across the world may seem more preferable than the rising retirement costs at home. 

we compiled a list of five places they believe retirees could live comfortably on a budget.



Nicaragua: $995/ £609 per month



Place to retire: View of Madreas Volcano from Santo Domingo Beach in Nicaragua




  • Electricity (without air-con): $45/£27
  • Water: $20/£12
  • Propane gas (tank for cooking): $20/£12
  • Groceries: $200/£122
  • Entertainment: $100/£61
  • Rent: $450/£275
  • Health insurance: $100/£61
  • Maid (three times a week): $60/£36

    Total: $995/£609


Nicaragua is a budget paradise due to the fact that everything in Nicaragua is cheap, so provides a useful alternative to retired couples that are watching the pennies. says the country's lower cost of living does not mean retirees would have to sacrifice the quality of life they have been accustomed to - the editors believe they will probably be able to live in Nicaragua with even more luxuries than you were accustomed to, simply because the prices are so low. 

But it is striving to overcome the after-effects of dictatorship, civil war and natural calamities, which have made it one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.





Malaysia: $1,000 / £612 per month 



New life: Kek Lok Si Buddhist Temple. in Malaysia. According to the editors at, a couple in Malaysia can easily live on just over $1,000 a month




  • Rent: $500/£306
  • Electricity: $100/£61
  • Water: $10/£6
  • Cellphone: $10/£6
  • Gas: $4/£2
  • Internet: $30/£18
  • TV: $40/£24
  • Maid (four hours a week): $15/£9
  • Transportation: $34/£20 for gas
  • Health insurance: $33/£20
  • Dining out/Entertainment (alcohol not included): $300/£183

    Monthly total: $1,076/£612

In south-east Asia, Malaysia is one of the region's key tourist destinations, offering excellent beaches and stunning scenery. 

According to the editors at, a couple in Malaysia can easily live on just over $1,000/£612 a month, but with a budget of $2,000/£1227 a life of luxury is accessible. 

The report says that an entire bagful of fresh fruit, including mangoes, bananas, apples, oranges, and pineapples costs just $4 and a meal out for two is realistic with just $10/£6 in your pocket.  

$30/£18 will secure you reliable high-speed Internetand and for $40/£25 a month a cable TV package can be accessible. 

But Malaysia's human rights record has come in for international criticism - internal security laws allow suspects to be detained without charge or trial. 





Ecuador: $1,415/ £867 per month



New beginnings: The surfing village of Montanita in Ecuador. The report suggests retirees could live in the county for $1,415/ £867 per month



  • Rent (for a luxury two-bedroom apartment): $500/£306
  • Utilities (including, phone, Internet, and CATV): $150/£92
  • Maid (twice a week): $60/£36
  • Groceries: $300/£184
  • Maintenance and fuel for one car: $140/£85
  • Clothing: $70/340
  • Entertainment: $175/£107
  • Health care (four $30 visits to a doctor per year for two people, divided by 12 months): $20/£12

    Monthly total: $1,415/£867 per month

In Ecuador, the editors at say, a retied couple could live a comfortable lifestyle on less than $17,000/£10,431 per year - $1,415/ £867 per month states: 'Many foreign residents have their main homes in the city, and also have a country home, a beach property, or even property in another country -- something that would be impossible on a comparable budget in the U.S.' 

It says the low cost of living encourages retirees to increase their travel, take up new hobbies and generally enjoy a better quality of life. Ecuador offers something for everyone, 

But with a population of 14.6 million, many of the country's citizens live in poverty.





Panama - $1,865 / £1,142 per month



New home: The Panama Canal as it ends near the Pacific Ocean at the Bridge of the Americas close to Panama City. In parts the country is more developed than most visitors expect



  • Rent: $800/£490
  • Electricity: $100/£60
  • Water: $15/£9
  • Gas for cooking, water heaters, dryer, etc: $15/£9
  • Groceries: $400/£245
  • Entertainment: $200/£122
  • Phone/Internet/Cable: $60/£36
  • Transportation (taxi or fuel/maintenance on one small car, low to moderate use): $100/£60
  • Full-time maid : $175/£107

    Monthly total: $1,865/£1,142

Lying at the crossroads of the North and South American continents and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, says many people are surprised by the modernity of the country and number of skyscrapers that define Panama City's skyline. 

A luxurious life is accessible for retirees in Panana - a full-time maid will cost about $175/£107, while a dinner for two with a bottle of wine at one of the finest restaurants in Panama City for a mere $30/£18.  

At home a phone, internet and cable will cost $60/£36

But Panama is still trying to shake of its reputation as a major transit point for US-bound drugs and illegal immigrants, and as a haven for money-laundering






Mexico: $2,129/ £1,304 per month



Place in the sun: Mexico City, Mexico - the report suggests retirees could live here comftoably for $2,129/ £1304 per month



  • Rent (two-bedroom home): $800/£490
  • Utilities (electricity, gas, water, phone, cable TV, Internet): $220/£134 
  • Groceries: $300/$183
  • Entertainment: $250/£153
  • Health care (two people on IMSS insurance, plus $70 per month for incidentals): $112/£68
  • Maid: Three times a week: $210/£128
  • Gardener: Once a week: $87/£53
  • Incidentals: $150/£91

    Monthly total: $2,129/£1,304

Mexico is a country where affluence, poverty, natural splendour and urban blight rub shoulders.

But says 'everyone seems to agree: the quality of your life improves in Mexico.'

They believe that because services and goods cost less, luxuries can be afforded that are usually only for the very wealthy in the north of the country. 

Everyday utilities such as electricity, gas, water, phone, cable TV and Internet amount to just $220/£134 per month. 

However, violent crime remains a major concern; Mexico has one of the highest rates of kidnappings in the world.

But it is a large country, and there are still many areas which do not experience high levels of serious crime.





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