With the American dollar strong compared to other currencies, moving or retiring abroad could be a smart strategy to stretch your retirement savings further. To find the cheapest countries to live in, GoBankingRates ranked nations by four key affordability metrics provided by online pricing database Numbeo:
Local purchasing power index: Measures the relative purchasing power of a typical salary in that country, compared to New York City. A lower purchasing power buys fewer goods, while a higher purchasing power buys more.
- Rent index: Compares typical rental prices in the country to New York City.
- Groceries index: Compares typical grocery prices in the country to New York City.
- Consumer price index: Compares costs of local goods and services — including restaurants, groceries, transportation and utilities — to New York City.
Even among the 50 cheapest countries, rent is at least 70% cheaper than rent in New York City, groceries are at least 40% cheaper, and consumer goods and services cost less by 30% or more. Local purchasing power does vary greatly among these cheap countries, however.
Scroll down to see the countries with the lowest costs, starting with the least cheap up to the lowest-cost country at No. 1.
- Local purchasing power is 58.8% lower
- Rent is 90.8% cheaper
- Groceries are 72% cheaper
- Local goods and services are 64.4% cheaper
Albania is a European country located just north of Greece with plenty of coastline along the Mediterranean Sea and a population of 3 million. The country’s biggest industries are food, tobacco products, textiles and clothing. Though the nation has a lower local purchasing power than most of the 50 cheapest countries, Albania offers low prices on groceries, rent and consumer services or goods, with the cost for all of these totaling around $630 in the country’s capital, Tirana.
- Local purchasing power is 33.8% lower
- Rent is 91.5% lower
- Groceries are 75.8% cheaper
- Local goods and services are 72.6% cheaper
Kosovo is located in Eastern Europe and borders Serbia, Albania and Macedonia. It has a population of 1.9 million, and mineral mining and construction materials are the major industries in Kosovo. When it comes to costs, Kosovo scores the best on consumer goods and groceries — in the capital of Pristina, expenses for a single person are just $324 a month. Rent costs are also low at just $275 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.