• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

Take a look at these 10 islands around the world where couples can live comfortably on a monthly budget as low as $1,400, according to International Living magazine. We go in descending order, to the least expensive.

Welcome to your future.

10. Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye, Belize
Chris J Ferro / Shutterstock
Ambergris Caye, Belize

Monthly cost: As little as $2,800

When only pristine beaches and the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean will do, look no further than budget-friendly Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize.

It has a laid-back vibe that makes it the ultimate spot for enjoying a slower pace of life and relaxing in the sun. More adventurous retirees will enjoy sailing and scuba diving.

The island has several 24-hour clinics and internationally trained doctors. Other pluses for American retirees: English is the primary language in Belize, and U.S. dollars are widely accepted.

Kiss Your Credit Card Debt Goodbye

Millions of Americans are struggling to crawl out of debt in the face of record-high interest rates. A personal loan offers lower interest rates and fixed payments, making it a smart choice to consolidate high-interest credit card debt. It helps save money, simplifies payments, and accelerates debt payoff. Credible is a free online service that shows you the best lending options to pay off your credit card debt fast — and save a ton in interest.

Explore better rates

9. Ireland

Ross Castle, Ireland
Adam Machowiak / Shutterstock
Ross Castle, Ireland

Monthly cost: As little as $2,800

Ireland is one of the most spectacular islands in the world and can offer an affordable retirement in Europe. Home to beautiful mountains, sparkling lakes and lush river valleys, Ireland has natural beauty that's unmatched.

You’ll find a quiet pace of life in Ireland’s many pretty villages. Whether you dream of spending your days in a quaint cottage or exploring the countryside’s ancient castles, the Emerald Isle can be a truly awesome place to retire.

Ireland has a comprehensive health care system with private and some public options available for expat residents and visitors.

8. Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Beach on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
marako85 / Shutterstock
Beach on Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Monthly cost: As little as $2,750

If you're a fan of warm, sparkling beaches, colorful coral reefs and a lush climate, then Isla Mujeres may just be the place for you. Located just 8 miles off the coast of Cancún, Isla Mujeres is far more laid-back and private than its touristy neighbor.

Here, you'll find white sand, a turtle sanctuary and ancient Mayan ruins. You'll also enjoy plenty of snorkeling opportunities and a mind-boggling underwater sculpture museum.

The island has several English-speaking doctors and a hospital. A fast ferry ride to Cancun provides access to five advanced medical facilities, for complete care.

Discover the power of FreeCash – your ticket to easy money

Dive into a world of rewards at FreeCash where earning cash is as simple as a click. No gimmicks, just real cash for your time. Join the community of earners today and watch your wallet grow effortlessly.

Make Money Now

7. Malta

Grand Harbour of Malta with the ancient walls of Valletta
ZGPhotography / Shutterstock
Grand Harbour of Malta

Monthly cost: As little as $2,600

The island nation of Malta offers discerning retirees a taste of the European lifestyle, a diverse local culture and more than 150 miles of breathtaking coastlines to enjoy.

It's also home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites left behind by the Romans, Moors, French and British, and English is one of the island’s official languages.

Given its unique mix of history and modern amenities and architecture, Malta’s capital city of Valletta was dubbed the European Capital of Culture in 2018. The affordable cost of living and high quality of health care will take your retirement savings a long way.

6. Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca, Spain
vulcano / Shutterstock
Mallorca, Spain

Monthly cost: As little as $2,500

Once a vacation destination for writers and artists, Mallorca is sure to fill your days with inspiration and adventure. The largest of the Balearic Islands is still the preferred vacation destination of the Spanish royal family today.

Thanks to its mild climate, you can enjoy Mallorca’s beautiful beaches, outdoor cafes, castle-lined hilltops and charming old towns all year round. And, retirees will take comfort knowing that Mallorca offers excellent private and public hospitals and medical centers.

Find out how much you need to put away each month to reach your retirement savings goal.

5. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

A fisherman on Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
guenno / Flickr
Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

Monthly cost: As little as $2,500

Blossoming from its beginnings as a rustic fishing village, the island of Las Terrenas is now a hotbed of French, Italian and Dominican culture — and has an incredible food scene to back that up.

Las Terrenas also is blessed with perfect weather, with an average temperature of 77 degrees. Retirees living here can enjoy the island’s white sand beaches and spectacular sunsets throughout the year.

The island has its own international medical center that’s equipped to handle most medical issues. For more complex situations, you’ll find excellent and affordable care in Santo Domingo, just a two-hour drive or quick airlift away.

4. Koh Samui, Thailand

Angthong National Marine Park, Koh Samui, Thailand
lkunl / Shutterstock
Angthong National Marine Park, Koh Samui, Thailand

Monthly cost: As little as $2,250

Koh Samui is Thailand's second-largest island. It’s home to pristine beaches, hidden waterfalls, great diving, stunning Buddhist temples, and the spectacular mountains and coconut groves of Ang Thong National Marine Park.

Koh Samui lends itself perfectly to a retirement full of exploration and relaxation — just don’t forget the sunscreen! After a long day of taking in the island’s sights, you can enjoy excellent local foods, cheap drinks and delicious rum.

Health care will cost you only about $50 a month, and there are two international Bangkok-based hospitals on the island.

3. Penang, Malaysia

George Town city view from Penang Hill, Malaysia
KeongDaGreat / Shutterstock
George Town city view from Penang Hill, Malaysia

Monthly cost: As little as $2,000

Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Orient," the island of Penang is famous for its exquisite cuisine and flawless tropical beaches. This Malaysian island is in the center of Southeast Asia, which makes it a great home base for avid travelers.

Adding to its vibrant art and cultural scene, in 2008 the island became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site because of its host of historic architectural wonders.

Retirees from the U.S. will find it easy to fit in among the large English-speaking population, and will enjoy easy access to affordable, gold-standard medical care.

2. Bali, Indonesia

Hindu temple on Bratan Lake, in Bali, Indonesia
Zephyr_p / Shutterstock
Hindu temple on Bratan Lake, in Bali, Indonesia

Monthly cost: As little as $1,900

It's one of the most popular destinations in Indonesia, and you can live in luxury on the island of Bali on a staggeringly low monthly budget.

Affordable shopping centers, restaurants and first-class spas are just a few minutes away at all times on this island.

With its outstanding beaches, breathtaking mountain ranges and beautiful aquamarine waters, Bali is a nature-lover’s fantasy. There are many private clinics and intensive care units, and the best hospitals are in the island's capital, Denpasar.

1. Bocas del Toro, Panama

Mangrove island in Bocas del Toro, Panama
Damsea / Shutterstock
Mangrove island in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Monthly cost: As little as $1,400

Bocas del Toro is a chain of islands that's been called one of the best-kept secrets of the Caribbean. Launch your next sailing or diving adventure from one of the pristine beaches, or stay in shape by hiking one of the many pretty trails.

These gorgeous islands are home to a welcoming multicultural community and a slower pace of life that's extremely affordable, International Living says.

Although the island has local clinics and doctors who make house calls by boat, retirees living here should carry international health insurance with airlift coverage, in case of emergency.


This 2 Minute Move Could Knock $500/Year off Your Car Insurance in 2024

Saving money on car insurance with BestMoney is a simple way to reduce your expenses. You’ll often get the same, or even better, insurance for less than what you’re paying right now.

There’s no reason not to at least try this free service. Check out BestMoney today, and take a turn in the right direction.

Esther Trattner Freelance Contributor

Esther was formerly a freelance contributor to Moneywise.

Explore the latest articles

10 tactics to keep your summer vacation on budget

After years of pandemic disruptions and last year’s eruption of pent-up travel demand, the coast is looking relatively clear for summer 2023.

Moneywise Moneywise Editorial Team


The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.