If your retirement income makes it difficult to get by where you’re living, maybe it’s time to go off shore where your income can give you a good lifestyle. Places that have low living expenses generally have a low average wage and that means the cost of living will be low. mm.hr

But you’ve got your Social Security, a pension and perhaps some savings you can use for income. That income in a low cost of living country can pay for a fairly good lifestyle there.

Where is it cheaper to live?

You’ll generally find a lower cost of living in

* Eastern Europe

* Central and South America, and

* Asia

Living expenses vary over these areas but the more you stay away from the tourist locations, the cheaper things get. Nevertheless, Eastern Europe’s Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia are quite inexpensive. Asia’s India and the Philippines are very cheap as is Nicaragua and Ecuador in the Americas.

A rough estimate of monthly costs for living in Cuenca, Ecuador is:

Housing (rental of a luxury two-bedroom apartment): $500

Utilities (including, phone, Internet, and cable television): $150

Maid (twice a week): $60

Groceries: $275

Maintenance and fuel for one car: $140

Clothing: $70

Entertainment (two people dining out eight times a month at top restaurants or other entertainment): $200

Health care (four $30 visits to a doctor per year for two people, divided by 12 months): $20

Total per month: $1,415;

That translates to an income of about $17,000 per year or $47 per day.

Panama, Argentina, and Brazil cost a little more but can offer you more associated with your American lifestyle. But the world is upgrading fast. You really have to shop for what’s best for your circumstance.

*Where to get started and how to compare?

Use the internet to get a feel for what the cost of living is in all the countries of interest to you. A new and free site at Numbeo.com gives you a lot of living expense indices – right down to renting, electricity, meals, etc.

Indexes at this website are relative to New York City for which each index is set at 100(%). Another city with a rent index of 120 means rents on average are 20% more expensive than in New York City. A rent index of 70 is 30% less expensive than in New York City.

The indexes they tabulate for each country are:

* Consumer Price Index (CPI)

* Rent Index

* Groceries Index

* Restaurants Index

* Consumer Price Plus Rent Index

* Local Purchasing Power If domestic purchasing power is 40, this means that inhabitants of that city with the average salary can afford to buy 60% less typical goods and services than New York City residents with an average salary.

International Living at internationalliving.com also tabulates the quality indexes for cities world wide to create a Global Retirement Index per country. They created this index from weighting the scores of eight indexes for each city.

The eight indexes are based on a score of 0 to 100 where 100 is the ‘best’ score for your money’s worth. These indexes and their weight in the Global Retirement Index is:

* Real Estate Weighted, 15%

* Entertainment, Recreation, and Culture Weight, 10%

* Cost of Living Weight, 20%

* Safety and Stability Weight, 5%

* Health Care Weight, 20%

* Climate Weight, 5%

* Special Benefits: This category considers government provisions that make moving to and living in each country easier and more affordable for foreigners. Weight, 20%

* Infrastructure. Weight, 5%

Under this scheme, in 2009, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, and Uruguay ranked the highest -in the upper 70’s, while the U.S. ranked at only 62.

What to consider and compare when looking for a country – and a local area there- suited to you

Consider a country that gives you

* reasonable access to family and to enjoyments like museums, skiing, golfing, etc.

* acceptable weather

* a sense of community that you can feel apart of

* any specialty health care you must have access to

Bring yourself and be adaptable

The more you blend into your new country, the better deal you’ll have for living. Although English is the common language of the world, you should try to learn some of the local language. The locals appreciate when you do. With a few words under your belt, you’ll be able to shop outside of the tourist traps, like the locals, at greatly reduced prices.

By yanam49

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