Personal Finance

Here's where you can retire nicely on just $30,000 a year

Key Points
  • More and more retirees are considering moving abroad.
  • Here are five places where the cost of living is low, really low. 
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If you've been racking your brain about where to retire on a budget, it might be time to think outside the U.S.

A new report by International Living, which publishes information about living abroad, ranks the five best places to retire and coast on $30,000 a year.

To be sure, retiring in a new country will require studying up on the tax implications along with pulling off some other logistical maneuvering.

Places to retire

But for many older Americans the work will be well worth finding a new, affordable place to spend their golden years.

The average monthly Social Security check is $1,404, and more than 40 percent of single adults receive more than 90 percent of their income from that check, according to the government.

Here are the cities where that check will go far, according to International Living.

1. Mafra, Portugal

The Palace of Mafra, in Mafra Portugal.
Jorisvo | Getty Images

A couple can live comfortably in this city, around 20 miles north of Lisbon, for just $2,034 a month, according to International Living.

Nearby you'll find beaches, parks, frequent concerts and plays along with plenty of cafes and bars to choose from.

2. Cuenca, Ecuador

View of the Cuenca Cathedral, in middle of the city, in Cuenca, Ecuador.
AlanFalcony | Getty Images

In Ecuador's third-largest city, couples can live nicely on $1,680 a month, excluding travel, according to International Living. A three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom condo can go for just $700 a month.

Among the colonial architecture, you'll find festivals, "distinctive food," and "breath-taking scenery."

3. Central Valley, Costa Rica

Tourist on a suspended bridge, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
Matteo Colombo | Moment Open | Getty Images

Couples can retire here, where two-thirds of the country's population is concentrated, for between $2,000 and $2,500 a month. The area is surrounded by forests, mountains and farms.

According to International Living, retirees will find, "elegant residential communities, excellent medical facilities, first-class shopping, splendid restaurants, and spectacular natural wonders."

4. Pedasi, Panama

Man on the horse in Playa Venao near town of Pedasi in Panama. 
MarcPo | Getty Images

A few hours away from Panama City, Pedasi will cost couples around $2,000 a month to live. The fishing town is great for beach-lovers and people who enjoy a place "where the pace of life is slow." The city is surrounded by cattle ranches and corn fields.

One retiree tells International Living a housekeeper charges $15 and a beer can be yours for a $1.

5. Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Local people shop in a traditional market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia capital city.
AsianDream | Getty Images

The cost of living in Camboda is among the lowest in the world, but according to International Living, "the standard of living is high, leading to more retirees and expats choosing to make this country their home."

A single retiree can get by on just $1,150 a month. Tom Richter, originally from San Diego, said he pays $250 a month for a one-bedroom apartment with a balcony in the middle of the city.

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