How Much It Costs To Retire Comfortably Around The World

How Much It Costs To Retire Comfortably Around The World

It can be hard sometimes to motivate yourself to work hard day in and day out. We do it for many reasons, whether that’s to pay for food, vacations, homes, vehicles, pools and other things we need and want while we’re working, but for many of us there’s also the dream of finally being able to stop work and enjoy our retirement.

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However, being able to retire depends upon your ability to afford to live comfortably without any earnings. If you have been squirrelling away enough of your salary for years now and building up a nest egg, that’s one thing, but how many of us can really say that we’ve been able to do that?

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Unfortunately, it’s only 14% of us, according to one survey of 40s and 50s across America, which found that they were the only ones to have saved at least $500,000. Even they can’t rest on their laurels though, with $600,000 being the figure that you should aim for if you want to keep up your current lifestyle after you quit work in this country.

Comfortable Retirement

The Cost of Comfortable Retirement

But what about around the world? There are only 13 countries where it is more expensive to retire than America, and 125 countries that are cheaper. NetCredit has found how much a comfortable retirement of 14 years costs in (almost) every country, so you can see which one fits your current savings level:

Comfortable Retirement

North America

The bad news is that if you were hoping to move to Bermuda for a peaceful and luxurious retirement in the sun, it’s actually the most expensive place in the world as you’d need to have saved an incredible $1,065,697.

With the USA on just over $600,000 and Canada on $496,118, if you’re looking for somewhere cheaper to retire in North America, Mexico is your best bet for just $257,078. If you want somewhere that offers the same tropical wonders as Bermuda but for almost half the price, you can head for the Bahamas, where retirement would be just $568,202, cheaper than the USA.

Comfortable Retirement

South America

Luckily, retirement in South America is much more affordable than North America. The most expensive place on the continent is Uruguay, where a comfortable life after work would cost $351,480.

If a life relaxing on Copacabana Beach in Brazil appeals to you, you’d need to make sure you had $216,877 saved up, while Colombia is the cheapest place in South America with $215,493 your target.

Comfortable Retirement


Retiring in Europe can be a very costly experience, depending where you choose to do it. If you want beautiful scenery and ancient towns and castles, that doesn’t necessarily need to mean that you need to have a fortune saved up. In the former Soviet republic of Georgia, you would only need to have $215,911 stashed away, though Switzerland is another story, with $842,790 needed for a comfortable retirement there.

In the United Kingdom, $515,742 is needed, with similar amounts required in Germany and France, while retiring in Russia is much cheaper with savings of $235,244 needed for a comfortable life after retirement. Nearby Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark require much higher levels of savings though, with northern Europe generally costing more than the southern countries.

Middle East

Middle East and Central Asia

Another region with a wide gulf between the most and least expensive places to retire, in the Middle East and Central Asia, Israel is the costliest at $632,745. Several of the countries here are amongst the cheapest in the world though, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan which is the third cheapest of all at just $191,216.

Unsurprisingly, there are much higher retirement costs in Middle Eastern countries like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, which have some incredibly high living standards.


Rest of Asia and Oceania

One of the biggest gaps between the most and least expensive is in the Rest of Asia and Oceania. It has two of the top three most expensive countries to retire in in the whole world, with a cost of $946,993 in Singapore and $871,578 in Hong Kong.

Conversely, there are some of the cheapest, including India and Pakistan, where you would only need $184,520 and $182,018 respectively to live comfortably into your old age. Both of these offer a comfortable retirement for less than half the price of America.



For Americans looking for somewhere cheaper than the USA to retire, every single African country offers that. Despite its recent history of economic trouble and famine, Ethiopia is actually the country in Africa where you need to have saved up the most to live out a comfortable retirement, with $458,986 needed. South African retirement would cost only $304,282 while five of the cheapest places in the world are found here, including Uganda, where you would need only $213,498.

Of course, saving money for retirement can often be easier said than done, particularly at the moment with the Covid-19 pandemic causing financial difficulties for people around the world. One in three Americans say that they’ve had to stop saving up because of the situation, while 9% have even had to take money out of savings to help them get by.

Now that you know how much a comfortable retirement would be in almost every country around the world, has it changed your plans for saving or where you might choose to go when you stop working?

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver
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