Retirement On A Budget: Expat Enclaves In Latin America


As you move closer to the day where your mind and body can’t handle the strain another day longer, you’ve been casting a nervous eye to your savings accounts. You are starting to worry that you will outlive your meager savings, or that the interest earnings from them will barely afford you a diet of pet food in your golden years.

After the 2008 crash robbed many boomers of their careers, their pensions (or a large portion thereof), and their investments, this feeling of unease has become palpable throughout the western world. Before you resign yourself to working until you drop dead, take heart: the overall strength of many western currencies have opened the door to a second possibility: spending a large portion of your year (or all of it) in a developing country with lower costs of living.

For those that call Canada and the United States home, this means that much of Latin America has suddenly become an option for those looking for a retirement hack that will allow them to continue living the middle class lifestyle that they have become accustomed to well into the twilight of their lives. Which ones ranks among the very best of all the options out there?

The following five nations have advantages that lift them up over their neighbors, the details of which we will go over in the coming paragraphs…

1) Mexico

Mexico is a massive nation, spanning from its western border in southern California, to the eastern tip of the Yucatan, which is on the same line of longitude as the western part of the Florida Panhandle. As such, there are many places throughout this nation where expats gather, from Cabo San Lucas at the tip of Baja California, to the busy beach resort town of Playa Del Carmen in the Mayan Riviera. The relative wealth of Mexico means high quality health care is easy to access (and much more affordable than in the USA), and being home to one of the world’s best cuisines means that a quality meal is never far away here!

2) Panama

Rapidly urbanizing due to the wealth generated by the Panama Canal, this nation has all the comforts of home, while having lower daily costs of living across the board … truly the best of both worlds. If this wasn’t reason enough to spend your retirement here, the government has a program in place to attract gringo retirees, offering them discounts of public transit and health care (which are already quite affordable).

3) Ecuador

South America is a lesser known territory for retiring Canadians and Americans, but the continent is starting to put itself on the map, as several expat enclaves have developed in the equatorial country of Ecuador. Cuenca is among the best known of these communities, as it sits in a valley at an elevation of about 8,000 feet, which insures a climate of perpetual spring. Exceptionally cheap real estate means you can have a property that suits your needs without it biting a huge chunk out of your retirement funds.

Head south, retirees!

With services and opportunities declining in much of the USA and Canada, and taxes and the prices of utilities rising, there has never been a better time to evaluate spending the third and final stage of your life in a place where your money still has the power it used to have. These localities can be found in abundance in the nations to the south of North America, so check them out and find your cheap tropical paradise – and have that happy ending you thought you had lost forever to unlucky economic circumstances.

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