Everyone always dreams of making more money. They sit and think about the life they could live if only they earned or had more. But truthfully, there are many places the world over where not only can you live on less money, but you can live like a king or queen. In some of the wealthiest countries of the world, it costs the most to live. People are leaving these countries and looking for a better life. These people (called expatriates) are finding opportunities left and right for this better life.
Most of the locations listed are on or are close to the water and have very temperate climates. Sure there are all kinds of places in the world that are dangerous, or in less-than-ideal circumstances that cost much less to live, but that’s hardly living like a king. These are some of the best locations in the world for less money. In many cases, you can even live there and not have to learn another language (although it tends to be helpful if you’re going to live there).
So whether you are a retiree with a pension and social security, or you work online remotely, the opportunity to live like a king for 2,000 US dollars (or less) is very real. Some basic things to understand is that you must have a valid passport and apply for an extended Visa in the country where you are wanting to go. Some countries make it easier than others, but most of the countries on this list have a very straightforward way of obtaining an extended Visa.
15 Granada, Nicaragua
The lowest cost of living in Central America award goes to Nicaragua. This county has its share of poverty and problems, but there are some wonderful places to live. There are many expatriate communities in Nicaragua that have plenty of people that have figured this out already. Granada has beautiful scenery and architecture, with colonial style buildings throughout the city. While not the best country to live just anywhere, in places like Granada, you feel safe, secure and very happy.
The expenses in Granada are very low. Eating at restaurants, groceries, electricity and utility bills are all at bargain basement prices. With breathtaking scenery and the opportunity to shop, dine and enjoy local culture and entertainment, it doesn’t get much better. Many people (especially if you buy your home) can live for no more than 1,000 US dollars a month!
14 Campeche, Mexico
As is the case in every country, there is poverty and there is prosperity. Mexico is in the top half of all countries when it comes to per capita income. The truth is that Mexico is a beautiful country with a rich history and tradition. Living in Mexico can be drastically less expensive than in the United States or many European countries.
Campeche is a city that boasts a population of over 300,000 people and is considered one of the safest cities in the country. It is located on the Gulf of Mexico and is a dream for expatriates. Rent on a modern three bedroom home starts at around $500 a month. If you look a little further out from the center of the city, rent gets even cheaper. Lunch at local restaurants will only cost a few bucks and utilities are inexpensive as well. Eating out every day, visiting the beach, rent, shopping in local stores and low bill costs are all very realistic starting at $1,500 a month. In this city, there’s always plenty to do and see and it is very inexpensive.
13 Penang, Malaysia
If you’re not particularly interested in living in North or Central America, check out Malaysia. Penang is another beautiful historic city on the beach. Renting a furnished apartment or even a house is very reasonable. The cost of other goods and services is also quite affordable as well. For instance, local markets sell just about any type of food item you could want at very low price. Hiring a housekeeper to come in each week will run just about $60 for the whole month.
The cost of healthcare in Malaysia is also very cheap and it is very efficient. The quality is apparently quite good also. Getting to live in a beautiful country with a beautiful history and tradition that is safe and on the water is unattainable for most. But for just about $2,000 a month, it can be all yours.
12 Cuenca, Ecuador
In Ecuador, the official currency is the US dollar. Ecuador’s inflation is very low and this allows the dollar to go much further. Many retirees have looked to Ecuador as a great place to get a good return from a small retirement pension. Rent tends to be low (between $300 and $600.) Again, the cost of health care is much less than in the United States.
Retirees get amazing discounts off of a variety of expenses and getting a residency Visa is not difficult. Cuenca is another beautiful city in this history-rich country. While not on the beach, it’s not too far from water if that’s something that interests you. Like other Central American countries, Ecuador gives the opportunity to get a lot of living out of a small amount of money. Just $1,500 can go a long way to living the high life in this beautiful and enchanting city.
11 Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Cambodia has been thought of for a long time as an inexpensive Asian nation. There are a lot of major cities that can get quite costly for sure, but there are also smaller towns like the beach town of Sihanoukville that are much less expensive. In addition, the idea in communities like this is to slow down the grind of working. Taking time to enjoy life more than work just to live is kind of the order of the day in towns like this.
Rent in a nice accommodation is somewhere around $500 a month. Electricity can be more expensive, but other areas of living are much less. Eating out in a nice restaurants is very reasonable, as is the cost of other necessities such as gas, water and transportation. You can get entertained and get your drink on for a lot less as well! $2,000 should go very far in this beautiful beach haven.
10 Corozal, Belize
The beautiful island of Belize in the Caribbean is a wonderful travel destination year round for lots of people. But many have decided to make this place their home. One would think that living in such a “tourist trap” kind of location would be extra expensive. In Corozal, Belize though, this is not the case.
Rents are still quite low (as low as $400 a month) and Corozal is not a high tourist area, so restaurants are much less expensive. A great lunch and dinner can be as cheap as $6! English is the language used in Belize, so the language barrier is non-existent. Living in a paradise for as low as $1,300 a month is totally possible in Corozal. Many people come to slow down and enjoy living!
9 Punta Gorda, Belize
Another beautiful town in Belize is Punta Gorda. Located in the South on the Bay of Honduras, Punta Gorda is known as the “Forgotten District,” making it the perfect get-away from the tourist traps. Because of this, Punta Gorda is perhaps the least expensive area for expatriates to settle. With beautiful mountain ranges, and beautiful beaches, PG as it’s called locally has a little something for everyone.
Those interested in purchasing property can do so very reasonably here. Renters can also find great properties to rent at bargain level prices. Much like Corozal, PG is an area that tourists haven’t found yet. That’s not to say that this will always be the case, but as of now, it’s a quiet and beautiful life in beautiful Belize at a very affordable rate.
8 Davao City, Philippines
Davao City is an absolutely huge, but very affordable place to live in the Philippines. It has state-of-the-art airport and travel facilities as well as some of the best healthcare available in that particular part of the world. It is considered one of the safest places in the country, with a great local government that keeps control of crime.
The city is more affordable than living in the capital city of Manila. For those looking for culture, entertainment and a lower cost to live in a large urban area, Davao City is well worth a look. That’s not to say that there aren’t less expensive places to live, but for what you get, the money goes so much farther. $2,000 a month could have you living the good life for sure!
7 Las Tablas, Panama
Life is good on the Azuero Peninsula of Panama. In the beautiful town of Las Tablas, there’s so much to offer at a great discount. The idea is to live like a king on less money and Las Tablas will not disappoint. This community of approximately 30,000 people has enough population to offer conveniences and opportunities without feeling cramped or urban.
Rent is very inexpensive in Las Tablas. A small place can be as cheap as $200, but if you want to splurge and get a more upscaled, furnished place, expect to spend around $600. Utilities are usually less than $50 a month and communication is cheaper as well. Most expatriates have a Vonage phone line that allows for free calling to the United States as well as other countries. Healthcare is less expensive and still of great quality. With beautiful weather, culture and an established base of other expatriates, Las Tablas is definitely one of our favorites.
6 Sucre, Bolivia
In South America, there are more than a few options for wonderful places to move. Sucre, Bolivia is one such place. Bolivians have been called some of the most polite and kindest people in the world. The country itself is wonderful with a feeling of serenity and calm throughout. Sucre is a large city with approximately 200,000 people. On perhaps even less than $1,500 a month, a person could live more than comfortably.
Imagine rent for just a few hundred dollars a month, three pounds of tomatoes for just a dollar and delicious food from street vendors for less than a dollar! The temperature stays very comfortable year round because of its position in the Andes Mountains. With the beauty of the region and modern convenience, Sucre is almost too good to be true.
5 Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
Bali is a travel destination for tourists as well as expatriates looking to live a different type of life. Different cities in Bali offer a different type of environment. Canggu has a solid expatriate community with a beautiful beach lifestyle for less money. Rent prices are negotiable in person and are quite reasonable. Being selective about ground transportation is important. BlueBird taxis are both cheap and professional.
The food is also quite amazing with a wide variety of different tastes. The best part is that all of the food options are very inexpensive! Eat out and enjoy every meal for the month if that’s what you prefer. The extras come cheap also, with amazing massages ranging for as low as $7 and evening entertainment options as well. You also aren’t far from lots of other amazing travel destinations. Canggu can be a pretty awesome base of operations.
4 El Yaque, Venezuela
Venezuela is a country with a lot of pros and cons. On one hand, the country is beautiful with a lot of wonderful places to see and live. Unfortunately, Venezuela is plagued by a very high crime rate. Inflation has gotten so very bad that there is a black market exchange. As of the writing of this list, dollars can buy an awful lot! Renting an amazing place to live, lots of shopping and eating well are all within grasp.
Now this isn’t a suggestion that Venezuela is the best place for expatriates to live, but as of now, it is insanely cheap. El Yaque is a beach community with more security than other areas of the country. For the adventurous however, it could be a nice place to relocate. Just watch your back, your personal items and try to keep a low profile.
3 Placencia, Belize
Another wonderful place for expatriates is Placencia, Belize. As is the case with the other locations in Belize we’ve discussed, one of the best parts of living there is that there is no language barrier. Regardless of where you are, Belize is a beautiful country with beautiful weather and amazing culture. While there are cheaper places, it’s quite true that it is still cheap to live in Placencia compared to most US cities.
Placencia has absolutely beautiful white sand beaches and no shortage of tourists. While this is most definitely a location with plenty of people coming in and out, keep in mind that tourist areas tend to cost a bit more. For those that love scuba diving and marine life, living in Placencia is a dream come true that costs less than living just about anywhere in the US.
2 Ajijic, Mexico
Lake Chapala is located in the Jalisco state of Mexico and has one of the most solid reputations for expatriate communities in the world. The largest city on the lake is Ajijic with between 6,000 and 10,000 expatriates. Ajijic has embraced the expatriates that have moved to the area. It has all sorts of stores found in the US and even has an English speaking movie theater. Living in Ajijic is not particularly expensive either, with fully furnished, beautiful homes renting with utilities paid for $700 to $900 a month.
Ground transportation is inexpensive, with the bus being excellent and efficient. Of course private transportation such as taxi service is also available at a very affordable rate. Lake Chapala is only an hour from the metro area of Guadalajara, which is the local hub for air travel and commerce. Ajijic caters well to expatriates and offers just about anything you could want at an amazingly low cost.
1 Chapala, Mexico
Also on Lake Chapala is the official town of Chapala. This is where the seat of government is located for the region and also boasts a great deal of expatriates. Chapala and Ajijic are right next to one another and tend to blend together. Chapala does have lower rents. While Ajijic is the center of all the action in the area, Chapala is very much a part of that.
The whole lake area has lots of recreational water activities and gorgeous weather year round. Imagine living in San Diego like a king for $2,000 or less! Wonderful food, low cost rent and utilities, mixed with excellent prices on shopping and other amenities is all available. That’s the kind of area you’ll be experiencing when you move to the beautiful Lake Chapala region.
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