Fixed Income Strategies

The 10 cheapest countries to retire in

Key Points
  • Mulling a move overseas? Using criteria such as groceries, rent and health care, GoBankingRates found the cheapest places to retire abroad.
  • India is the most affordable, based on cost-of-living data.
Getty Images | NurPhoto

More and more, soon-to-be retirees are thinking outside of the box…and country.

With older Americans increasingly focused on their future economic prospects as they approach their golden years, some are finding that they can better fulfill their retirement dreams with a move abroad. Now, 9 million American citizens reside overseas, according to the State Department.

To find the most worthwhile destinations, GOBankingRates compared the cost of living, including rent, groceries and health care among other factors, in more than 100 countries worldwide based on's latest Cost of Living Index Rate to determine a ranking.

The destinations that scored the best were all far more affordable than the U.S. For example, the cost of living in India was just 27.65 on its scale, with New York City being 100, which means India is more than 70 percent less expensive. The extremely low cost of living was one of the factors that propelled the South Asian country to the No. 1 spot.

In addition to the ability to stretch a dollar, many of these locations also promise both modern-day adventure and ancient history.

These are the countries where expats earn more than they would at home

Aside from India's Taj Mahal, considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Turkey's capital city Istanbul is home to the historic Hagia Sophia — once a Byzantine cathedral, then an Ottoman mosque and now a museum — and Mexico offers scores of pre-Columbian monuments, from Mayan-built Chichen Itza near Cancun to Aztec temple complex Teotihuacan on Mexico City's outskirts.

Others, however, while also rich in history, may present cultural challenges for Americans, as in India, with its pervasive poverty, and Saudi Arabia, with its religious strictures.

Here are the top 10:*

10. Estonia
Cost of living index: 58.00

9. Spain
Cost of living index: 62.58

8. South Africa
Cost of living index: 48.83

7. Taiwan
Cost of living index: 66.20

6. Turkey
Cost of living index: 41.19

5. Germany
Cost of living index: 75.40

4. Czech Republic
Cost of living index: 48.73

3. Mexico
Cost of living index: 34.58

2. Saudi Arabia
Cost of living index: 49.57

1. India
Cost of living index: 27.65

*Cost of living index numbers alone did not determine rankings, which also take into account other factors, such as health care, rent and grocery costs.

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