The Most Affordable Places to Move Around the Globe Before They Get Too Expensive
Check out these gorgeous global destinations that offer amazing value for your money and will make you want to pack your bags and join the growing global expat community.
According to Live and Invest Overseas (LIOS), the continuing strength of the U.S. dollar is extremely advantageous to Americans moving to Portugal which is one of the reasons the country has topped its retirement destination index for six consecutive years. You can rent a two-bedroom apartment in the beautiful coastal Algarve region for as little as $720 per month, or buy an Algarve pied-à-terre for $150,000 or less. Extra bonus: Public health care in Portugal is available to legal foreign residents as long as you’re registered with your local medical center. Those who prefer to live stateside will want to check out the best places to move to in the United States before they get too crowded.
LIOS recommends Vietnam as a forward-looking country with a fast-growing economy where new U.S. residents can live on a basic budget of just $500 a month. In spots like Da Lat and Da Nang, dinner at a local restaurant costs between $1 and $4; a Coke costs 50 cents, and a loaf of crusty French bread is 45 cents, making it easy to stretch your dollars without much in the way of sacrifice. And it’s easy to have a fabulous beach vacation in the coastal city of Quy Nhon, one of our expert picks for the top places to visit in 2019.
In addition to a wealth of natural resources, including a coral reef, Mayan ruins, running rivers, and lush rain forest, Belize offers easy residency and tax-free living, says LIOS, calling the peaceful Caribbean nation an English-speaking safe haven—it’s the only Central American where English is an official language—for both you and your money.
This one may surprise you since a vacation to the City of Lights can often be incredibly costly; however, according to LIOS, settling down in Paris comes with multiple affordable perks that tourists don’t know about. To start, Paris scored perfect across all criteria in the LIOS infrastructure assessment, including incredibly fast Internet (roughly 35.1 Mbps, for only $30 per month); inexpensive and reliable electricity; and an affordable and fully developed public transport system, so there’s no need for a car.
The New Green Deal may be on hold in the United States, but in Slovenia’s capital city of Ljubljana, it’s full green steam ahead, making it a perfect fit for anyone looking to embrace sustainability. Ljubljana was named the first World’s Greenest City by the Netherlands-based organization, Green Destinations, and recently won the 2019 European Smart Tourism Award (ESTA), for outstanding achievements in sustainability. Ljubljana is car-free city and has dedicated nearly 20 percent of the city to public green parks, allowing locals to easily roam the city via walking, bicycle, or the zero-emission electric tram. Here are some more tiny countries you need to discover.
LIOS says there are myriad reasons to put Panama on your “move to” list: The weather is nearly perfect year-round, there is always something to do or see, including theater, movie, concerts, and sporting matches, and the currency is the U.S. dollar, so you don’t have to worry about changing your money. Plus local Panama health insurance costs $100 per month or less. You can retire to the beach in Las Tablas, for example, on the country’s Azuero Peninsula, on a budget of $1,200 per month or even less.
There are myriad reasons to move to this incredibly friendly Southeast Asian country including a large and well-established expat community, excellent medical and dental care, and a gorgeous geographical setting that offers everything from misty mountains to pristine beaches. The real kicker though is the price. LIOS says Thailand is arguably the cheapest place on earth to live well. While affordable luxury is available, you can live on a very modest budget, thanks to $1 pad Thai lunches and $11-a-night hotels (including breakfast and free WiFi).
Proving not all of the Caribbean is expensive, one of Live and Invest Overseas top options for a low cost of living is Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. You can enjoy life on a tropical island, with some of the best beaches in the world, for about $900 a month.
Home to one of the most famous and celebrated Carnival festivals in the world, Brazil is an extremely affordable destination, where the exchange rate is 3.76 Brazilian Reals for $1. If you’re in the market for cheap beachfront property, says LIOS, this is the place to shop, but focus on the south from Ceara to Natal, where you can enjoy super-cheap coastal buys in safety. The developed tourism infrastructure allows newly arrived visitors to try out extended stay accommodations at unbeatable rates (we can recommend Renaissance São Paulo Hotel, which is known for its spa).
Known for its remarkably diverse and naturally stunning scenery, Chile is also economically strong, politically stable, and loaded with opportunity, enthuses LIOS. “For anyone who wants to achieve individual sovereignty through international diversification,” says the organization, Chile should be high on your list. Plus for every $1, Americans receive 676 Chilean Pesos, making this country affordable as well.
If you want to put down permanent roots by buying a home in a new destination, head to Italy’s beautiful Abruzzo region, where the average cost per square meter is $869, according to The World’s Best Places to Retire. That is an unbeatable price for what some say is the best place to move in the Mediterranean. Beyond the price, you get to enjoy all of the benefits that come with having your own home in Italy (think: wine, pasta, gelato, and friendly neighbors).
Cuenca is an area with bargain real estate, says LIOS. You can rent a furnished apartment for $400 per month, an unfurnished apartment from $300 per month, or buy a small condo outright for less than $40,000. It also has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Touted as “India’s next Silicon Valley”—Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Accenture, and Deloitte already have offices here—Hyderabad was named the best city to move to if you’re starting a new career by The Economic Times. Plus, it’s an easy two-hour flight from Delhi, one and a half hours from Mumbai, and home to three railway stations and a new rapid transit system, making it easy to explore the rest of the country.
If making new friends overseas is one of your priorities, then Mazatlán is the place to go, says LIOS, which called this expat community the friendliest in the world and one of the reasons it made its list of The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2019.
Another one of LIOS top picks to live abroad is the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta. Although it’s just 122 square miles, it has a lot to offer in natural beauty, with a rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, tiny coves dotted with ancient forts, and quaint fishing harbors. It’s a top pick for affordable entertainment, plus they have nine UNESCO World Heritage sites along with churches, cathedrals, museums, and galleries. Malta also has one of the best health care systems in the world; all of the staff are highly trained, and most are fluent in English, and house calls are available for around $15. Those are just some of the reasons it made our list of 12 European islands you never thought to visit—but totally should.