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Can you really live abroad (Thailand/Costa Rica/Mexico, etc) cheaper than in the United States?

3,610 515 February 4, 2017 at 08:28 PM
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Looking through my expenses it looks like this....

Located in the south within a metro of 2 million+ people. 3 hours to the beach and 2 hours to the mountains.

~1400 sq ft 3br/2ba home cost ~$50k in 2014 paid cash...$0/month. No roommates, not crowded like apartments/hotels.

Property tax ~$800/year (0.5 miles outside city limits)

Home insurance ~$500/year

Utilities average about $200/month

Car insurance ~$300/year

Cell phone ~$20/month average with unlimited talk/text and 2-5GB of data depending on deal.

TV service with ~70 channels ~$30/month

Internet $15/month (3.5 Mbps)

Total = $4780/year

So...could I really live cheaper abroad with the same sort of "luxuries"? If so, how much cheaper?

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#2
I couldn't believe those figures were from within US. I just moved out of NYC to just outside NYC.
May I ask which city/state you are in? Other than your utilities of $200 a month, I have never seen any place so cheap.
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#3
Quote from ztezmaxlover
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I couldn't believe those figures were from within US. I just moved out of NYC to just outside NYC.
May I ask which city/state you are in? Other than your utilities of $200 a month, I have never seen any place so cheap.
About 20 min outside of uptown Charlotte. I would think my figures could easily be replicated all over the south.
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#4
300 for car insurance sounds like bare min coverage. 200/month for utilities sounds low to me too. unless the rates are that much cheaper and you plan to suffer in the summer without AC.
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#5
You would have a hard time beating that (in another country). However, for a large part of the country (mostly the coasts), it would be significantly cheaper to live in another country.
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#6
I'm sure you could find a 3 bedroom place 30 minutes away from a major city and 3 hours from the beach for less than you pay now but why would you want to? Why would you want to have to learn a new language and culture to save a few bucks? The allure of moving to one of these countries is that you can live in a tropical destination in a beautiful apartment with amenities and domestic workers for much less than a comparable lifestyle here.
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#7
That is pretty cheap to be honest being the U.S. the only thing I think you forgot to mention is probably medical. Medical is pretty expensive in the U.S. I live near the border any medical issues usually you go across the border and its like a fraction of what the U.S. charges you here.

Along to add right now the dollar > Peso big time you can get a lot more right now over their with your dollars. But still amazing living like that per year here in the U.S.

I think you possibly can the deeper you go to the south (talking about Mexico) the more your dollars buy you I think about 15 years ago my old man bought a house for 5k and sold it for 7k (few years later on the road) seem like a solid house to nothing fancy, but it is still possibly theirs a reason why people retire outside the U.S.
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Last edited by gpister February 6, 2017 at 02:05 PM.
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#8
If you are a multimillionaire and retired sure.

Big cities are expensive anywhere in the world, and living in the woods/desert/fields are cheaper.

You could probably retire at 30 to a latin american country or the phillipines or thailand with $200k, but you are not going to have a lavish lifestyle, you are going to have to live like the locals.
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#9
I was waiting for another thread from you, after your thread blockbuster here.

Based on your earlier thread about having a $25k/year passive income and the fact that you paid $50k cash I'm guessing you have a decent sized nest egg/net-worth ($300k-$1 million).

In which case your car insurance seems really low. I think you might have just gotten the required state limit to lower your premium, rather than what makes sense considering your nest egg size. So I'd definitely look into making sure you get car insurance with liability amount at least as much as your nest egg size (if not bigger). I'd also possibly look into getting umbrella insurance to protect you against any/all liabilities that you never would've thought might bite you one day.

I pay about the same in utilities as you but then I'm in FL and you're not. I don't have to heat my house in winter. I only need A/C in the summer. My utilities averages about $150 in winter and $200 in summer.

You're forgetting health insurance. If your income is $25k/year you'd surely qualify for Obamacare but be sure account for the premium and be sure to amortize the deductible every year assuming you have to go to hospital at least once every 3 years or 5 years or 7 years.

Also you forgot to add maintenance costs/depreciation/wear & tear for your home and car.
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Last edited by siid February 8, 2017 at 11:27 AM.
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#10
I have actually been looking at thailand and mexico myself lol, figure i can live off of $500 per mth depending on the city in mexico with thailand being even cheaper

I checked out ensanda and lake chaplan as they have better weather
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#11
Quote from gpister
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That is pretty cheap to be honest being the U.S. the only thing I think you forgot to mention is probably medical. Medical is pretty expensive in the U.S. I live near the border any medical issues usually you go across the border and its like a fraction of what the U.S. charges you here.
Agreed. The main reason overseas can be cheaper than the US is medical. Besides that, many areas of the US can be a very cheap place to live.
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#12
Quote from whenry83
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Agreed. The main reason overseas can be cheaper than the US is medical. Besides that, many areas of the US can be a very cheap place to live.
Agree it depends where you live in the U.S. where I stay in is pretty rural if you get a good professional job you can really live a very well life. Especially when you own a home thats just the biggest win. Now the biggest problem I see is people either live in very high expensive places and overspend. You make a dollar you spend two etc. Its how you live I am not saying live like a cheap person where you just buy cheap food and don't enjoy, but be moderate buy a good car, good food, but don't go all with exotic cars and be going out to eat every day to restaurants.
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#13
Quote from xboxhaxorz
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I have actually been looking at thailand and mexico myself lol, figure i can live off of $500 per mth depending on the city in mexico with thailand being even cheaper

I checked out ensanda and lake chaplan as they have better weather
BS, You can't live in thailand for 500 USD a month unless you like to live like a hobo/local there.
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#14
This topic has always intrigued me and I have been reading this site for >20 years: http://www.escapeartist.com
I highly recommend the resources this site provides (and have no affiliation with it what so ever).
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#15
Quote from Mydiscover
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BS, You can't live in thailand for 500 USD a month unless you like to live like a hobo/local there.
Meals are super cheap and so is rent for a house is $400 https://internationalliving.com/r...0-a-month/
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