Who says you have to break the bank to retire somewhere with old-world European charm? GOBankingRates searched the globe for up-and-coming destinations that evoke the romance of the continent at just a fraction of the cost. 

Read on to discover cities ripe for retirement across Latin America, Asia and beyond.

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San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

As real estate professional Joshua Martin of Atticus Home Buyers pointed out, San Miguel de Allende in Mexico offers colonial architecture straight out of Spain or Italy. “It has a charming colonial architecture reminiscent of European cities like Barcelona or Florence,” he shared. 

Plus, the cost of living there is far lower than in pricey European locales. According to Nomad List estimates, retirees can expect average monthly costs around $1,872 in San Miguel de Allende versus $2,400 per month in Barcelona. A deal!

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Wellington, New Zealand

Venturing about as far from Europe as possible, Martin suggested Wellington, New Zealand, as an option. He said the cosmopolitan capital city boasts “a vibrant arts scene, and a café culture reminiscent of European cities like Edinburgh.” Though Wellington doesn’t come dirt cheap, daily costs remain below those in most major continental hubs. 

“While the cost of living in Wellington is higher than some other cities on this list, it’s still generally more affordable than major European cities,” Martin shared. According to Numbeo, the monthly cost of living in Wellington is $1,142, whereas the cost of living in London for an expat is $4,224 a month. So for retirees who want a taste of Australia infused with a dash of Europe and superb natural scenery, Wellington is a natural choice. 

Tunis, Tunisia

“Tunis, Tunisia, may not be on everyone’s list, but it is actually a wise choice,” said Tim Hopfinger Lee of Tim’s Coffee. He recently explored options for his retiring father across three continents, settling on this North African gem. According to Nomad List, the monthly cost of living for an expat is just $672, whereas for Amsterdam it’s $3,771.

Beyond superb cost savings, Tunis boasts easy proximity to Europe for travel. “Its closeness to Europe means it can serve as an excellent base,” Lee explained. Healthcare comes cheap as well — Lee saved quite a bit opting for LASIK eye surgery there versus back home. For retirees who want a Mediterranean lifestyle at African prices, Tunis hits the spot.

Udaipur, India

Travel expert Anjali Chawla of Travel Melodies called Udaipur “the Venice of India,” thanks to its serene lakes, opulent palaces and scenic waterways. “From the gorgeous lakes and palaces to the European touches everywhere, it has this old-world charm down pat,” Chawla shared. She particularly adores Lake Pichola. “It’s like you’re floating through Venice again!” 

But unlike in Italy, costs stay reasonable across the board, from dining to entertainment. Rent and daily incidentals are much less than in Venice, as well — according to Numbeo, cost of living in Ahmedabad, the nearest big city to Udaipur, is a mere $381 a month. In Venice, it’s $2,955 a month. “That savings makes such a difference when living on a set income in retirement,” Chawla added. 

Panama City, Panama

“I was blown away by how much [Panama City] reminded me of cities in Europe, like Paris,” said travel expert Jackson Groves of Journey Era. Yet, cost of living there is only $2,082 a month, whereas in Paris it’s $2,765, making carefree retirement accessible. 

Beyond upper-crust amenities, the surrounding rainforests and beaches beckon nature lovers. “It’s really got the best of both worlds,” Groves shared, “something not even Costa Rica, in my opinion, can offer!”

Medellín, Colombia

“Top of our list is Medellín, Colombia,” said travel expert Rosalind Cuthbertson of Frequent Traveller. She and her partner adore how the climate and architecture seamlessly resemble European favorites like Barcelona and Rome. But what really attracted them was the vastly lower living expenses.

“Our research shows you can live well in Medellín for around half the price of some famous European cities,” Cuthbertson estimated. According to Nomad List, an expat can get by for $894 a month in Medellín, whereas Rome will set you back $3,019 a month. Colombia also offers universal healthcare to address retirees’ medical needs.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Cuthbertson also suggested considering Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, “where walking down the crowded streets, you see so many [global] influences…mixed into one vibrant city.” The stunning French-inspired buildings and mouth-watering banh mi sandwiches would cost far more in Europe.

In Vietnam’s largest metro, Cuthbertson discovered excellent housing options downtown for under $1,000 monthly. In fact, Nomad List says around $760 a month is what expats need to live there. Compare that to $2,535 in Berlin and Ho Chi Minh City is looking even better. Medical care stays similarly reasonable for a person or couple’s retirement needs.

“With its energy and history, HCMC might be the perfect mix of Asia and Europe for us,” Cuthbertson said.   

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 7 Places To Retire That Are Similar to Europe but Way Cheaper

2024-05-23T11:10:01Z dg43tfdfdgfd