Best place to live for little money?

So currently I receive around $1900 a month for va disability. My question is if I decided to live off just this income where would be the best place in the world to live?

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For a start, here is a worldwide Cost of Living Index. Eliminate the cities you absolutely don’t want to live in, then go on from there.

Looks like Ukraine although I’m a bit scared of Putin.

You can live in Costa Rica fairly well on that amount. There is a sizable ex-pat community that moves there for that reason and many others. Detailed retirement guides are easily found online.

A good chunk of Air Force personnel choose Hill AFB here in Utah to retire out, as the state is veteran-friendly (some counties rebate vets’ property taxes, car registration is cheaper, etc) and VA services are readily available should you find you need them more as the years go by. You might even be able to live on base depending on your status and housing availability.
Are you actually thinking of relocating?

quite a few of my buddies have retired in Costa Rica for just the reasons you have. None of them are talking about coming back anytime soon. They do have to come back to the states for certain medical treatments on occasion. My one friend had some kind of cancer and he was treated through the VA.

Yeah, I’m going to give a shout out to Costa Rica. I think the weather there is a bit nicer than Ukraine. :slight_smile:

Any reason for Costa Rica over say Porto Rico where you’re still technically in the USA? I’ve also heard good things about belize.

Yea but what about the Raptors?

You mean Puerto Rico? I’m not really familiar with what life is like there.

I do know a boat you can get on, though. I hear it is a lovely island, but always the hurricanes blowing. And the money owing…

Costa Rica is generally cheaper, more friendly and safer than Puerto Rico. I am not sure you would save much money by moving to Puerto Rico. It is similar in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The geography, especially the beaches, is gorgeous but the population tends to be poor and common goods are more expensive than most areas on the U.S. mainland.

If you are truly interested in Costa Rica, I would look up one of the many free guides available on the web for people looking to move there. It isn’t very hard but it is a foreign country so there are some things you should be aware of. Americans are allowed to move there and stay as long as they want but you do have to leave the country and stay somewhere else overnight every 90 days if you aren’t going through one of the residency programs. American style housing is also not nearly as cheap to buy as it once was either because it is a very popular choice. It isn’t mandatory to know Spanish because the whole country is set up for eco-tourism and most people outside of the rural areas and almost everyone in hospitality industry speaks some English but it helps if you do especially when dealing with bureaucracy.

Still, $1900 a month is WAY more than the average Costa Rican makes so you could live fairly well. Household help is extremely cheap and they have socialized, high-quality healthcare with lots of U.S. trained doctors (medical tourism to Costa Rica is a growing industry).

Belize isn’t a bad option either. English is an official language so that helps. If you wanted to be a real pioneer, southern Nicaragua near the Costa Rican border is really cheap and you could live like a king on $1900 a month. Many people think of Nicaragua as a 3rd world shit-hole because of that violent Civil War in the 1990’s but it isn’t like that anymore.

It is a hot vacation spot for people that think Costa Rica has been too sanitized and some people are even forming American ex-pat communities there as well. It is certainly beautiful and largely untouched on the southern Pacific Coast but that also means that the infrastructure may not be up to the average American’s standards yet.

Philippines. You would be wealthy beyond belief to the average Filipinos. Stay out of the cities and find a nice provincial town. People are friendly and most speak English. Have no idea on residency or visa requirements.

The downside is Typhoons roll through on a frequent basis.

Almost any inner-city area in America. Seriously. Yeah, there are bad streets and some worse neighborhoods but I work with people living fairly OK off around $1000 a month. Just don’t get your expectations too terribly high.

While I personally would not retire to Indonesia, there are a fair number of happily retired expats living a good life very cheaply. Manado seems like a particularly good choice.

If you are seriously doing a research and would consider Indonesia, there is a message board for expats in Indonesia that can help a lot. I don’t know if it is kosher to plug it here with a direct link (not that it is any way competition), but just Google “expatindo” (all one word) and you’ll find it. Pose a question about Manado and several enthusiastic expats will tell you all the pros and cons (mostly pros) about living there. It seems to be really great - I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone with serious complaints about it.

Tell us more about this VA disability: how much does it restrict what you can do? How often do you need medical treatment?

A big problem with living overseas is that it is expensive to come back to the U.S. for visits.

As you leave the cities, English becomes far less common.

You will end up visiting a major city at least annually for paperwork/filings for a long time every few months for the first year. Plan on it making a trip to the DMV look positively delightful by comparison.

That said, yes you can do very well on that income in the phillipines.

apartment rent and basic bills $500/mo, good food and a few dinners out $200/mo, full time maid/cook/housekeeper who will think she has an awesome job $300/mo.

$900/mo goes a long way on the entertainment budget over there. If you need tips on spending it…PM me.

Aside from Costa Rica, there are also expat communities in Mexico. However with the drug war going on, I’m not sure if they are affected by this or not.

Mexico recently passed universal health care, and all inclusive health insurance is only about $100-200/month.

If you want to stay in the US, look at college towns that have state schools. There are cheap places to live, including people who rent rooms in a house, and people who collectively rent large houses together, so that your rent might only be $200, and you share a bathroom, kitchen, living room, and laundry room, but you get a bedroom to yourself. Sometimes the landlord is cool about signing separate leases, but sometimes you have to depend on everyone to come up with their rent every month, or you all get into trouble. There are cheap apartments. They have wall unit AC, and are walk-ups, but they go for less than $450 for a one bedroom, and you can get studios with kitchen areas and bathrooms for $350, if you know where to look. There is good, cheap entertainment, acute care clinics that are sometimes cheaper than seeing a regular PCP, and usually free food pantries and kitchens for tight months. They usually need volunteers if you want to sing for you supper.

They tend to skew liberal, but they have conservatives in them, so wherever your loyalties lie, you should be able to find like-minded people.

You can probably even find a very part-time job that won’t earn you enough to lose your benefits, and you can pick up and extra $3-400/month.

Much safer than inner cities, too.

Depends on the state. I don’t think our OP could live very comfortably in Davis, CA or Chico, either. Or Amherst, Mass. Probably better luck in the South and Midwest. Maybe the Mountain West, too (but I’d stay away from Boulder, CO).

The downside to Costa Rica is all them lonely tropical beaches, abundant food in the jungle and any body of water bigger than a bathtub is going to be full of delicious fish … and the music, yeesh, everybody all the time dancing and laughing and having good times … it can get annoying … a glass of rum with a splash of Coke …