10 Places so Cheap You Might Be Able to Stop Working and Live Abroad

©Unsplash,Khachik Simonian

It’s something that all of us have probably dreamed about at one point or another, but very few people actually take the big leap and make it a reality. I’ve often thought about living in a seaside cottage in some desolate corner of Ireland or Scotland.

I’m talking about having enough money in the bank to move somewhere completely foreign to you for two very important reasons: 1). it’s cheap, and 2). you’d never have to work again.

Here are ten places where the cost of living is so cheap that you might not even have to work anymore.

Let’s take a look at the list…and let’s all keep dreaming.

1. Portugal

Sintra, Portugal

Portugal is one of the world’s safest and friendliest countries.

One expat said,

“After living here for more than seven years, I’ve been asked many times, ‘Why Portugal?’”

My response is often to enumerate factors like affordable lifestyle—which includes quality professional healthcare—temperate climate, high safety rating and excellent food and wine.”

Portugal offers a variety of culture-rich cities like Lisbon and Porto and small towns brimming with life. Expats say that their living expenses in Portugal are about one-third of what they would be in the U.S. Not a bad deal…

2. Panama


Panama has a lot of things going for it. The climate is tropical, taxes are low, and the official currency is the U.S. dollar. Excellent English-speaking doctors and one of the best retiree programs in the world that is open to all is another draw for Panama.

Panama is a pretty small country and has everything a person could ask for: beaches, mountains, and cities. A couple can live on a budget of only $1,700 in Panama City and it’s even cheaper once you leave the capital city.

3. Costa Rica

Costa Rica 2013 160

Unlike some of its neighbors, Costa Rica is attractive because it has a history of stability and peace. In fact, it’s the largest democracy in the world without a military force.

The locals are friendly, the beaches and nature are stunning, and then there’s the price. A lot of couples report that they live well on $2,000 a month, which includes all costs.

4. Mexico

Let me tell you...

Our neighbor to the south has high-quality healthcare and a low cost of living.

One expat says,

“The country has something for everyone: beautiful, warm oceans, crystal-clear tropical lakes, fertile farmlands, temperate-but-majestic mountains, starkly gorgeous deserts, small towns or sophisticated cities. And it’s quite easy to fit in.”

Prices vary throughout the country but a couple can live in Mexico for $1,500 per month, and that includes healthcare and rent. Viva Mexico!

5. Colombia


Colombia has been on the rise recently after years of having a reputation for violence and instability. Great healthcare, a low cost of living, and the beautiful scenery and vibrant cities make Colombia an attractive destination. Oh, and the people are notoriously friendly, too.

One expat who calls Medellín home says that his cost of living is 60% lower than when he lived in a small town in Maine.

Sounds pretty enticing to me!

6. Ecuador

Quito, Ecuador

Like the other countries on this list, Ecuador offers a great selection of big-city culture, small-town life, and beautiful natural landscapes.

Rent is very cheap, you don’t have to own a car in most places because of reliable bus systems, and everyday life is incredibly affordable.

7. Malaysia


The first Asian country on this list, Malaysia draws expats because of its beautiful beaches and its rainforests. All road signs are in Malay and English, so that’s a nice bonus, as well.

Malaysia is made up of over 800 islands, so outdoor activity can be found everywhere. Healthcare, food, and the cultural scene in Malaysia are added benefits to this unique country.

8. Spain


The beautiful country of Spain has one of the lowest costs of living in Western Europe. Even the big cities in Spain, like Madrid, are affordable. Venture outside the cities and it’s even cheaper.

One expat said this about living in France,

“Imagine going out for a three-course meal and paying less than $30.”

Ummm… yeah! That sounds amazing!

9. France


Yes, France! You probably already know the strong points about this fascinating country. Wine, food, culture, beautiful countryside, the list goes on and on. France is also surprisingly affordable.

Universal healthcare is guaranteed to everyone after three months (including expats) and prices are very low. As for where you live, obviously Paris will be more expensive than other places in France, but there are so many other places to consider, including small towns, beach towns, and even the Alps region.

10. Vietnam


Vietnam is at the top of my list for vacation and reading more about this country makes it even more enticing. Vietnam has one of Asia’s strongest economies and some of its friendliest people.

The cost of living is extremely low and items usually cost less than half of what they would in the U.S. English is widely spoken in Vietnam as well. A couple can live very comfortably for around $1,100 per month even in the big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.  If you live elsewhere in Vietnam, it will be even cheaper and you’ll have a very nice lifestyle.

Sounds like the dream, doesn’t it?

What do you think? Will you ever be able to do this? Would you even want to do this?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments!