Have you ever dreamed of retiring in an exotic location where the cost of living is so low you could enjoy a lavish lifestyle for a fraction of what you’d spend back home?
In a previous article, we explored 10 countries where you could live on less than $1,000/month. However, some of you commented that these countries often have retirement visa income requirements that are higher than $1,000.
So, in this article, you’re going to read about 10 countries with affordable retirement visas, having income requirements of $1350 or less per month, and several are under $1000/month! Plus, none require a hefty deposit into a local bank.
Keep in mind that these visa requirements often fluctuate. They may have changed already! The income requirements also vary based on currency exchange rates, which fluctuate quite a bit.
We highly recommend working with an immigration attorney who’s up-to-date with all the latest laws and can assist you in navigating the process.
Watch Our Video About 10 Cheap Retirement Visas
Common Visa Requirements
Before we delve into the details of the 10 countries, there are seven common requirements for most of these visas.
You’re going to need:
- A valid birth certificate
- A passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay
- Federal criminal background checks, state police reports, and possibly background checks in your new home country
- Proof of funds, typically in the form of bank statements or income statements
- Potential proof of health insurance that’s valid in the new country
- Potential taxation on your global income, including social security (consult with a qualified tax professional before committing to any country)
- Translation of your documents into the local language plus an apostille or legal certification
Each country has slightly different requirements so do your research and check with a local visa agent for the specifics.
10 Countries With Cheap Retirement Visas
Now, let’s explore the ten countries offering affordable retirement visas, starting with the highest income requirement and moving to the lowest.
The Ecuadorian Pensioner Visa requires a monthly income of at least three times the monthly minimum wage, which currently stands at $450. So, you’d need a monthly income of at least $1350.
The visa is fairly easy to acquire and valid for two years. Plus, Ecuador doesn’t tax social security income, unlike some other countries.
If you have a university degree, you might qualify for the Professional Visa, which doesn’t have any income requirement.
See Also: Ecuador Temporary Resident Visas
Ecuador is a paradise for retirees, thanks to its stable weather, low cost of living, and excellent healthcare system.
The country’s economy operates on the U.S. dollar, which eliminates currency conversion hassles and offers more stability. There’s no hyperinflation like some of the other countries on this list.
Ecuador’s varied landscape, ranging from the Amazon rainforest to Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands, is simply captivating.
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Paraguay offers a Pension-Based Temporary Residency Visa. You’ll need to demonstrate that you receive at least 100 times the current minimum wage or about $1300/month.
The visa is valid for two years, and there’s no physical presence requirement. However, you’ll need to go to Paraguay to get the visa and to renew or convert it to permanent before the 2-year expiration so you’ll need to plan a couple of trips.
Known for its safety, Paraguay is one of Latin America’s more secure countries.
Its capital, Asunción, is a colonial city with a European vibe. The country boasts a myriad of natural attractions, including lakes, forests, waterfalls, and wetlands.
Plus, Paraguay isn’t overrun with tourists, offering a peaceful lifestyle amidst nature. It’s about the geographical size of Germany but with about 10% of the population.
The Guatemalan Pensionado visa requires you to be retired in your home country and you must be able to prove a monthly income of at least $1250.
This visa is valid for five years, during which you can be out of the country for up to one consecutive year.
Guatemala is the “land of many trees,” with over a third of the country covered by forests. Its biodiversity, jungles, lakes, black sand beaches, and incredible scenery offer retirees a tranquil life close to nature.
The country’s rich Mayan culture and affordable cost of living add to its appeal.
In Nicaragua, the Pensionado visa requires proof of $1250/month income.
The minimum age to apply is just 45 years old, and the visa is valid for one year, renewable for an additional two.
Nicaragua is a nature lover’s paradise with 78 reserves, parks, and wildlife sanctuaries. The country is known for its stunning rivers, lakes, and colonial cities.
Add to this mix the world-class surfing opportunities and affordability, and you have a compelling retirement destination.
The Pensionado Visa in Panama requires proof of a monthly income of at least $1,000.
This visa is permanent, so you never need to reapply once you’ve got it.
Panama offers direct flights to the U.S., making it a convenient location for retirees with family back home.
Known for bird-watching, Panama has lush forests that invite you to reconnect with nature.
With beautiful beaches and the use of the U.S. dollar as its currency, Panama presents a hassle-free and serene retirement.
#5 Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Pensionado Visa mandates a letter from your bank stating you have a monthly pension or retirement income of at least $1,000.
The visa is valid for two years, and you must be present in Costa Rica for at least one day per year.
Why Costa Rica?
Costa Rica’s laid-back lifestyle, famously called “pura vida,” is perfect for a relaxed retirement.
The country is a nature lover’s paradise with stunning beaches and rich jungles.
Plus, direct flights to the U.S. make travel back and forth easy and convenient.
Peru offers the Rentista visa for retirees, where you need to prove a minimum monthly income of $1000. It must be from a pension or social security; rental income, interest, dividends, etc. do not qualify.
The visa is indefinite, but you have to spend at least six months each year in Peru.
Peru offers retirees a glimpse into rich history and culture, with attractions like Machu Picchu.
With 28 individual climates, there’s a spot for every retiree, whether you prefer mountains or beaches.
Peru’s world-renowned cuisine and low cost of living make it an ideal retirement haven.
Colombia’s Retirement M Visa requires 3x the monthly minimum salary, which currently equals around $900/month.
The visa is valid for three years, and you can be absent for up to six months.
Colombia is a warm and friendly country known for its festive culture and mouth-watering cuisine.
With a wealth of biodiversity, the country has attractions ranging from mountain ranges to the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, along with dense jungles. If you’re a birdwatcher, this is the place to be!
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Cambodia’s new retirement visa, the ER visa, requires a monthly pension or retirement income of at least $800.
The visa is valid for one year and can be renewed, but you can only be out of the country for a total of 90 days per year.
Cambodia, known as the “Kingdom of Wonder,” boasts incredible history, culture, and natural beauty.
The country is home to wonderful markets, delicious food, and friendly people.
From the mystic ruins of Angkor Wat to the bustling city life of Phnom Penh, Cambodia has something for every retiree.
Bulgaria’s Pensioner D visa requires a monthly pension or retirement income of at least 700 Bulgarian Lev (around $400 at the current exchange rate).
The visa is valid for one year and is renewable, and you can be away for up to six months each year.
Bulgaria is affordable and safe, ranking 30th on the Global Peace Index.
The country’s rich history, diverse culture, and great location in Southeastern Europe make it an attractive retirement destination.
Whether it’s the golden sands of the Black Sea coast, the grandeur of the Bulgarian Revival houses, or the snow-capped peaks of the Rila Mountains, Bulgaria has a beauty that captivates.
There are certainly more countries offering retirement visas, but these ten are among the most affordable options we’ve found, without the requirement of a large deposit into a local bank.
Do note that these requirements are subject to change, so we recommend doing your research and contacting a local immigration attorney for the most current info.
Each of these ten countries has its unique charm and appeal, offering affordable retirement options that cater to diverse preferences.
So, pick the one that resonates most with your retirement dreams, and embark on your next exciting life chapter!
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Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!