2 Countries You Can Retire On Social Security Alone

The hardest part of retiring is finding a way to live comfortably on a limited income. 

The average American retiree needs at least $45,000 to live well in retirement.

The typical retiree living on Social Security alone can’t exist comfortably on those terms. The average monthly Social Security benefit is $1,625, or about $19,500 annually.

If you are willing to move to another country, here are two countries where you can retire comfortably on less than $19,000 annually.


Ecuador is located on the northwestern corner of the South American continent. The country is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to its west, Peru to its south, and Columbia to the north.

Ecuador has a temperate climate with cool weather in its elevated cities, magnificent beach towns on its pacific coast, and rainforests in the east.

You should learn Spanish if you move here, but the low cost of living is worth it. 

If you are 65 years old, you can apply for senior citizen benefits known as Tercera Edad (Third Age), which allows you to pay half for most amenities and prices. If you are 65, make $800 monthly, and can pass a background check, then you can get a permanent retirement visa

With an Ecuadorian retirement visa, you can work, invest in, or own properties and even launch a business. The American dollar is used as an official currency too.

It’s possible to retire with ease in Ecuador on $18,000 annually.

The Philippines

The Philippines was the country with the fastest-growing economy before the pandemic. And the country is already pressing ahead with its economic improvement.

The Pacific Ocean island chain is upgrading its national infrastructure and is very welcoming of retirees and investors. The cost of living is low, and the standard of living is relatively high in major cities such as Manila, Cebu, or Davao City.

The country has a hot and rainy season, but the major cities have infrastructures that are very welcoming to foreigners. The private health system in the major cities provides excellent health care. And the Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia where English is a second language in major city centers.

Rent can range from $500 to $800 in major cities. The cost of living in the Philippines is about half that of the United States.

You can live a Western world-comparable lifestyle in a major Philippines city for $19,000 annually.