Americans who Retire Overseas Can Retire Ten Years Earlier

A new research study has revealed that American seniors who opt for retirement overseas can retire over 10 years early and can enjoy a much higher standard of living.

The research, which was published by this week in the form of the Retirement Index 2012, reveals that the cost of living in countries across America’s borders is so much lower than that of the US itself that people looking for early retirement can live comfortably on a fraction of the budget that they can at home.

The cost of living index compiled by International Living is based on data that was collated by a team of experts who have expert knowledge of the most popular retirement destinations in the world for US expatriates. A range of factors was taken into consideration when compiling the rankings, including the price of bread, expected utility costs and the ease with which retirees could assimilate into the local culture. Each of the countries that were considered as part of the survey were then ranked according to a number of categories including real estate, climate, cost of living and healthcare.

Ecuador was named as the best retirement destination for US expatriates in terms of cost of living and US expats who retire there can expect to find that their expenses are around one fifth of what they would be in the U.S. Discussing Ecuador’s position in the rankings, International Living magazine editor, Eoin Bassett commented: “Many Americans are wondering when, if ever, they will be able to afford to retire.

“What they often don’t realize is the low cost of living in countries like Ecuador can open up the door to an early retirement-and a standard of living way beyond what they could afford back home.”

According to the survey, a frugal couple can live well in Ecuador on just $800 USD a month, while those who really push the boat out will still find it difficult to spend more than $1,500 USD.

In a press release issued by, one expat, Patricia Farmer described her standard of life in Bahia on Ecuador’s coast: “It averages out to be a fifth the cost of living in California. We live in a nice high-rise condo overlooking the ocean. With two spoiled cats in need of gourmet food, our love of fine dark chocolate, good Chilean wines, and eating out with friends, we enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle—even more luxurious than we had in California. You can live on less, no doubt, but our current budget is $1,500,” she said.

It is not only Ecuador where expatriates can enjoy a high standard of life for a low cost. Other low-cost retirement destinations named in the survey included Panama, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

Full details of the Retirement Index 2012 can be viewed here: “The World’s Top Retirement Havens in 2012”.