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Retirement: Retire nicely outside US, live on Social Security benefits

Here’s where you can retire nicely on just $30,000 a year … outside the US

Annie Nova CNBC
Published 8:13 AM EDT Jul 18, 2019

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, lists destinations where you can coast on less than $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.

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% of single adults receive more than 90% of their income from that check, according to the government.

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

1. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Caribbean Costa Rica Travel cover for 11/28/2008 The beachside lodge Banana Azul outside Puerto Viejo, which caters primarily to travelers over age 15, has open air balconies complete with hammocks to catch the Caribbean breezes.
Don Faust, None

A couple can live comfortably in this town for just $2,025 a month, or $24,300 a year, according to International Living.

You’ll find warm weather, beaches and Italian, Argentinian and French restaurants.

2. Lagos, Portugal

Camilo Beach, Lagos, Portugal: Some of Europe’s best beaches are in Portugal’s Algarve Region, where white-sand beaches, rocky cliffs and brightly colored fishing towns echo Italy’s Amalfi Coast. In the beach town of Lagos, descend the wooden steps to Camilo Beach (or Praia Camilo) for a day of lounging on soft sand and exploring stone arches in the sea cliffs. Switch into adventure mode by booking a boat tour of the bay that can bring you into the nearby grottoes and sea caves that drain at low tide.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Couples can live in this town in southern Portugal for $2,080 a month, or $24,960 a year, according to International Living.

Lagos, with a year-round moderate climate, is great for retirees who want to live near the ocean. Transportation options abound and the city is fairly flat, making it great for walking too.

3. Akumal, Mexico

Akumal is one of many towns along the Mayan Riviera offering an array of condominiums right on the region’s 70-mile long strand of beach. (Via MerlinFTP Drop)
Riviera Maya Destination Marketi, MerlinFTP Drop

Couples can retire in this tropical town for $2,240 a month, or $26,880 a year, according to International Living.

“Famously known for its spectacular clear bay filled with sea turtles, Akumal has matured from a secretive destination for divers to a growing tourist hotspot,” the travel site says.

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4. Volcan, Panama

Fishermen on boats take part in the Virgin of Carmel procession in Taboga island, Las Perlas Archipelago, Panama, on July 16, 2019. – Every year, an image of the Virgin, the patron saint of seafarers, is placed on a boat, which sails down the coast. (Photo by Ivan PISARENKO / AFP)IVAN PISARENKO/AFP/Getty Images ORIG FILE ID: AFP_1IU7YO

Volcan will cost couples around $1,500 a month, or $18,000 a year, to live.

The town is in the middle of a farming community in a valley, and has a population around 14,000. You’ll need to speak some Spanish to be able to communicate with locals and do business, according to International Living.

5. Medellin, Colombia

25. Medellin, Colombia     Traffic in Medellin is so bad, it takes six minutes to drive a mile — that’s an average speed of 10 mph. Locals who drive waste about 138 hours a year sitting in traffic. The city’s smog problem has become a serious concern . Air pollutants don’t have a way of leaving the city because of its geography — Medellin is located in a valley with mountains surrounding it.
brendanvanson / Getty Images

Medellin is Colombia’s second-largest city. A couple could live well here for $2,000 a month, or $24,000 a year.

The city is filled with more than 30 universities, as well as art and history museums and restaurants.

©CNBC is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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