retire by the beach
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
May 8, 2021 ·  4 min read

5 Countries Where You Can Retire by the Beach for Less Than $1,500 a Month

As the weather is cooling down across the Northern hemisphere, many of us sit in our homes and offices dreaming of warmer, more relaxed places. Though your goal of retiring somewhere warm might seem lofty, I promise you it is not. These are five places where you can retire by the beach for less than $1500 per month. 

5 Places You Can Retire By the Beach On the Cheap

Going to live in a warmer climate for part of the year might seem like something only available to those of a certain income bracket, but in reality, you simply have to look outside of the bubble of North America to make your dream a reality. Sure, places in Florida are popular and familiar, but thankfully there are a number of others that are cheaper and arguably beautiful. (1)

These are the top five places you can retire by the beach on a budget – less than $1500 per month. (1)

1. Portugal

If you like sunshine, food, wine, history, and culture, then Portugal is the place for you. With more than 1100 miles of south Iberian coastline, there are certainly plenty of beaches to go around. Though the country has many lively and vibrant cities to choose from, for your purposes Mafra, which is just 15 minutes from the Ericeira beaches, might just be your best bet. (1)

Mafra is perfect if you enjoy an active lifestyle of swimming and surfing, however even just to spend your days relaxing next to the water is an ocean-lovers paradise. The other benefit of choosing Portugal is that you can easily hop on a plane, train, or bus to visit quickly whisk yourself away to other European countries and cities. (1)

A sample budget for a couple living in Mafra is about $1521 to $1555 per month. This includes housing, cleaning services, entertainment, transportation, groceries, utilities, and more. (2)

2. Costa Rica

This is a country that has a reputation for being highly welcoming to ex-pats. It is safe, full of lush forest, and pristine beach coastline. If you are looking for something chill and relaxed, then their Pura Vida lifestyle is for you. Meaning “pure life” you will find the people smiling, happy, and enjoying their life in paradise. (1)

Costa Rica has some of the least expensive waterfront homes and property available, and the small towns along the coast are known for being safe and welcoming. (1)

A single person can live comfortably in Costa Rica for $1400 to $1700 per month. Cost-sharing can make this even cheaper for couples. (3)

3. Ecuador

With 530 miles of coastline, Ecuador is full of sun, surf, and seafood. The city of Cuenca costs about 25% less than many American cities, however, there are plenty of other smaller, quainter beach towns where you can relax and enjoy the good life. (1) Sounds like somewhere you’d want to retire by the beach, doesn’t it?

A single person can live in Cuenca for $1440 per month, a couple for $1700. This includes healthcare and insurance, home cleaning, transportation, and more. (4)

4. Panama

If you’re looking for a place with a friendly English-speaking community that uses the US dollar as currency, then look no further than Panama. The country also boasts excellent health care facilities and you can live there for less than $1400 per month for a single person or less than $1700 for couples. (1)

To top it all off, Panama has a gorgeous natural coastline, gorgeous mountains, and enough stunning beaches to give you incredible views and activities 365 days a year. (1)

You can easily live in Panama for $800 to $1500 per month. (5)

5. Cambodia

For the true adventurer, Cambodia is number one in the cost-of-living category. Food, culture, and scenery make this one of the most enticing places to retire by the beach, in particular the small resort town of Kep. (1) Though further away than all of the cities listed above, it definitely is the most affordable. It also offers up opportunities for quicker travel to other places in South East Asia, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

The cost of living in the capital is about $1150 per month, including rent, amenities, healthcare, visa requirements, and more. (6)

Retire by the Beach and Live Life

Of course, before you relocate your life to any country, it is important that you do plenty of research into each one’s culture and customs. From access to healthcare to how late they typically have dinner to customs on picking up after their pets, there are many small aspects of a country that you may or may not realize have a high impact on how you like it.

Your best bet is to rent a place down there for one to three months as a test-run before fully committing and purchasing a property.

Lastly, with that current pandemic, travel has been restricted depending on the country. It may be best to wait until restrictions have been lifted, but that doesn’t mean it’s all a pipe dream. Start planning now, and retire by the beach later!

Keep Reading: Man living alone on island to leave after 32 years

  1. ‘Low-Cost, Old-World Living in Portugal’ International Living
  2. ‘Retirement Planning’ Investopedia
  3. ‘How Much Does It Cost to Live in Ecuador?’ International Living
  4. ‘Retirement Planning’ Investopedia
  5. ‘Cost of Living in Cambodia’ International Living