5 Cities Where You Can Actually Retire Without Being a Millionaire

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated January 28, 2021

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Money Saving Tips
May 29, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

When planning for your retirement, cutting back on living expenses can go a long way toward stretching your savings. Finding affordable cities that have all of the amenities you could want at a price you can afford is worth a little time and effort. Here are a few options that span the globe and give you plenty of exotic and homegrown destinations to consider.

If you want affordable living in the states, you can’t go wrong with a retirement plan that includes a move to Memphis. Not only does the Home of the Blues sport excellent entertainment options, it also offers nearly year-round outdoor activities. When you move this far south, prepare to say goodbye to snow and hello to warmer weather.

If you want beaches that run for miles without a ton of tourists, Brownsville is the place you’ve been looking for. Located right on the Mexico border with miles of Gulf Coast to enjoy, you get the best of urban living at a fraction of the cost. Plus, expect to get more square footage for your buck in Texas. They really do it bigger.

Combine exotic island location with incredible edibles, massive transportation networks, first-world healthcare infrastructure and an incredibly low cost of living and you have Kuala Lumpur, a Malaysian jewel of a city.

As a former British colony, many of the natives speak fluent English. The city also has a thriving expat community. The welcoming atmosphere means you won’t feel isolated after the big move, and you won’t spend every dime keeping your head above water.

From Lisbon to Ericeira, there is no bad city to pick in the country of Portugal. Small in landmass, commuting from one area to another is a quick day trip. You can drive from northern city of Brago to the southern coastal city of Faro in less than 6 hours. Sparkling beaches, 300 days of sunshine and one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world all make Portugal a top retirement destination, even before you start looking at the lower cost of living.

Top-notch healthcare? Check. Delectable local cuisine? Check. Tropical weather? Check.

Panama City has it all. From affordable health care at 40 to 75 percent less than you’d pay in the States to energy costs that equal a tank of gas back home, there are plenty of savings to be had without sacrificing on amenities.

Retirement isn’t cheap. When you live in the right place, though, every dollar you’ve saved can make you more comfortable.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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