What’s the top 9 places to retire in $2017?

After sleeping in jungles, party hostels, haunted houses and in airplane terminals around the world, I’ve come up with TOP NINE list of where to retire cheap.

Here you go, in order:

#9 Cali, Colombia: Ranked ninth, Cali is a city in Colombia which I never want to go back to. While safer than Medellin, it’s also boring as hell. Seriously, unless you want to learn how to Salsa dance there is NO reason to go to this city. Give it a skip. It’s not a bad city. It’s just not good. It does have Uber though, which is a nice little bonus when you’re sick of fighting with local taxi bandits. Biggest con besides being boringest place in South America? They don’t speak English here. Great food though!

LINK TO Cali One Month Summary

#8 Cebu, Philipines: Beautiful forts, old architecture, mountains and beaches…..what’s not to love about Cebu? Also Cebu speaks English. They have great food, a mix of traditional and western can be found here no problems. The biggest problem with Cebu and why it only ranked #8 on this years list? Heat. It’s hottttttt, hot, hot here. Also spotty wifi, and roosters. Why are roosters a big con? They still have cock fighting here. So you are going to hear roosters all the time. One of the best things about Cebu though? The beaches, this will rank high for you if you love beaches!

Cebu Summary

#7 Bali, Indonesia: Beautiful beaches, and a very diverse culture. From Australian backpackers, to yoga pant wearing hippies reside here. I’ve been all around the world and this is one of the most diverse places I have found in the way of culture. The people of Bali, are also quite of mix. You’ll be able to get fresh fruit shakes for $1 CDN and big beers are $3. The biggest problem with Bali, is that it’s full of bugs. I don’t think I saw one traveller that was not covered in bug bites. I’d vacation here, but I don’t think I’d like to retire here. But I love the banana pancakes on the beach…..so good and definitely worth going for!

LINK: One Month Bali Review

#6 Quito, Ecuador: Quito is one of the cities you’ll visit in Ecuador. The reason you’ll visit is airports, and it’s close to the Amazon. Would I retire there? Yes, but it’s not as good as it’s sister city Cuenca. While Quito has several things going for it like Uber and more buses going to different parts of the country , it’s not quite perfect. Giant hills make walking around difficult, and while I’d recommend coming here, (It’s still in the top 10 in the world.) It’s neighbor Cuenca is just better for retirees. Another problem with Quito is that it doesn’t speak English like most of South America. Great healthcare in Ecuador though keeps Quito in the mix! Also as a bonus if you’re staying in Quito, go check out the Blue Door Housing…fantastic place to stay.

LINK: One month in Quito

#5 Chiang Mai, Thailand: Founded in 1296, this northern town in Thailand is a quiet place compared to Bangkok. The old town here is amazing, picturesque with temples and a feeling of peace. It doesn’t feel like a big tourist trap like Bangkok does. Saying that there are some reasons it’s ranked #5. No transit. The city has no good bus/transit/taxi. You’ll be taking Jeepneys everywhere.

LINK: Great things about retiring in Chiang Mai

#4 Bangkok, Thailand: The land of smiles, lives up to it’s name. I love the transit here, as long as your near the train line, you can get almost everywhere. And there are tons of cabs if you want them. Great medical, a hustler culture and fantastic food are some reasons I keep going back to Bangkok. Why isn’t it #1? It used to be my #1. But there are some reasons that it isn’t. Safety. It definitely isn’t the safest on my list. Heat is also something to consider. It’s 30 something here all the time. I do not miss having to take a shower every time I stepped outside. Still I love Bangkok, and will definitely be back. If only for the custom suits!


Link to Bangkok vs Medellin Side by Side Review

#3 Medellin, Colombia: Ranked #3 this is my #1 to place if I were just to judge it by it’s vibrancy and culture. I loved Medellin as soon as I stepped off the plane. The sounds, the sights (the women are beautiful) and the fact that everyone seems pretty darn nice is why I fell in love with Medellin. Medellin is somewhere you definitely want to visit at least once in your life. Saying that it only ranked #3 for a a few reasons. It’s lively culture also includes, drugs, thieves and assaults. Every person I knew had either been mugged, robbed or pickpocketed (or personally knew somebody who had been). I personally had somebody try to pickpocket me, and my roommate was robbed at knife point. The safety factor drops this amazing city in Colombia to #3.

LINK: Medellin is dangerous!

#2 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ranked as my #1 most boring place in the world last year, I still love the city. It’s sleepy but there’s a lot going for it. If you love developed cities, with malls this is the place for you. The problem with it being a heavily Muslim country is that sin is expensive here. Beer, smokes and anything non Muslim is more expensive. A beer is $3 CDN in store. Which compared to the $1 in Thailand is kind of crazy. Why I love this boring place though, is that has a great Chinatown. The Chinatown balances out the bland genericness of the malls. I also love the transit. You can zip around anywhere by train, no problem. The signs are all in English, and everybody speaks it. Gym are a bit expensive, compared to other cities I’ve been to. One big bonus, no extreme poverty. Most of the cities in South East Asia, have rampant poverty and homeless people. Not in KL.

LINK: Retire in Kuala Lumpur

#1 Cuenca, Ecuador: Oh Cuenca, I love you. The beautiful architecture you would find in Quito, but not filled with giant hills. The safety of Kuala Lumpur but with more culture, and the best gyms I’ve found anywhere while traveling, are all big reasons why Cuenca.

Big beers are $1.25 CDN, food is $2.50 a meal, and there is a wide assortment of culture to be found here. Like my #2 city Kuala Lumpur, Cuenca isn’t the city you want to visit for a vacation. It’s a place you’ll want to go to retire. A strong expat community also makes the fact that most people don’t speak English here, a bit better.

The only thing about Cuenca that I’d love to see? It needs a better cab system. In Quito there was Cabify and Uber. Nothing exists like that in Cuenca. Maybe better plumbing too. Ecuador is a country where you have to throw used toilet paper in the garbage not the toilet.

LINK: One month in Cuenca

It’s been a big year for me in 2017 and I love this travel blogging, thank you so much for your support of it! If you have any questions about which countries to retire cheap the best way is to message me on facebook. Happy 2017 everybody!

And if you want more? Head to LINK: Best Countries to Retire Cheap