This report covers, the biggest obstacle to retiring overseas on $1000 per month.
People often ask me, Dan, where should I retire if my social security is only $1000 per month?
Here is my problem with this question. Given any two people in the same town, they will not have the same cost of living. You see, we are not all the same.
So if I name a place in the world, one person will be able to move there and live on $1000 per month, and another person will need $2500 per month. The first person will be happy with me and the second will be angry. Yet they moved to the same town.
The ability to live frugally is something you can learn if you are highly motivated. But that is not the biggest obstacle to retiring overseas on $1000 per month. But I will share that too!
So I will share (1) skills you will need to develop to retire cheaply overseas, (2) where I would retire overseas if my social security check was only $1000 per month, and finally, (3) the biggest obstacle to retiring overseas on $1000 per month.
What skills would you need to learn to live on $1000 per month?
Here is why many of you will not be able to live overseas for $1000 per month. You see, I don’t know what kind of house or apartment you will rent, I don’t know what kind of food you will eat, I don’t know what kind of transportation you will use, or how you will entertain yourself.
So when I am asked this question, I rarely know anything about the person asking or what limitations they have. So, instead, I will tell you where I would live if my social security was only $1000 per month.
You see, I know all about myself. I have been to 67 countries over the last 16 years. I can say what I would do. But, you should also know that I have spent years living overseas and I know how to live cheaply when I need to.
But, if you have never lived outside your home country, you would probably need time to develop these new skills before you would be able to live on $1000 per month overseas. So before I tell you where I could live on $1000 per month, I will explain what skills I would use to live cheaply.
I want to make you think about this before booking a flight overseas.
For the average person leaving their home country for the first time, $1000 per month will not be enough. But they may be able to develop a set of skills that will help them bring their initial budget down substantially. How low, depends on how quickly they are able to live like the locals who are often living on much less than $1000 per month.
But, do you have any of the following skills and qualities?
I know how to cook so I would not have to spend much of my budget on restaurants. I know how to buy healthy food from open-air markets from locals. Some of you may only know how to shop in air-conditioned supermarkets with shopping carts.
I am not better than you. I just want to make sure you don’t assume you can live on $1000 per month overseas until you learn some additional skills. So give yourself some breathing room in your budget so you can learn these skills.
I have spent so much time outside my home country, I know I could live in local-style accommodations. That might be a challenge for some of you. I know how to put my feet on the ground and find cheap long-term living without using the Internet. You may feel overwhelmed, but I have a report to help you learn that also.
I know how to communicate with people when we don’t speak the same language. Have you ever tried to have a conversation using Google Translate? This one is not too hard. You could probably get the hang of this fairly quickly. I have some tips on that too.
I know how healthy I am so I am not worried about having a heart attack or stroke. I get annual medical tests to keep an eye on that. And, I am willing to accept the risk of dying overseas. If I get sick, I will feel comfortable being treated by the best doctor qualified to treat me in a medical tourism country, somewhere in the world, and I am ready to pay for it out of pocket.
I don’t even have health insurance overseas. You should probably get health insurance instead. That extra expense is likely to push you over $1000 per month.
I have learned how to ride public transportation all over the world. I don’t have the expense of my own vehicle. I ride on buses, trains, and tuk-tuks, motorcycles taxis, ferries, bicycles, horses, car taxis, and even camels. But mostly, I walk everywhere in my flip-flops and run in my sneakers, unless I am moving to a new town.
I am not keeping up with the Joneses. I left the USA 16 years ago. I don’t even know what the Joneses drive anymore. My ego is mostly silent at this point. However, many new people retiring overseas buy a car, motorcycle, scooter, or truck. I don’t. Plus, I don’t pay car insurance, fuel, or repairs.
There is more about me that is different than the average retiree overseas. But this video is about where I would retire if my social security was only $1000 per month.
Finally, someone out there listening to this is living on $1000 per month in their expensive western-style home country. I am inviting them to come on this channel as a guest and help us understand how they are able to do it.
The reason is that I get comments from people that say, “If my income was only $1000 per month I would stay in my home country. That is not enough money to live overseas.” But when I read those comments, I always think, wouldn’t I have a better life overseas on $1000 per month than my expensive home country?
So, instead of just making the comment to stay home, I just think it would be better if someone would explain how to stay home on $1000 per month.
Then people would have more options when planning their retirement. Guests who are able to live cheaply in retirement whether overseas or in their home country are invited on this channel. Just send me a message at https://vagabondbuddha.com/contact/
Where I would retire overseas if my social security check was only $1000 per month
If my social security check was only $1000 per month I would likely retire in the Philippines. I will name a few great spots in a moment. Other than the larger more expensive cities and high-end tourist zones around the Philippines, I would be able to use my skills to find affordable rents, food, transportation, and entertainment.
However, there are a few reasons I would not retire overseas if my social security check was only $1000 per month. First I will share those, and then I will share the biggest obstacle to retiring overseas on $1000 per month.
I would not retire overseas on $1000 per month if I did not have significant savings in case of emergency. We can never know what challenges we will face in life. What if I suffered a significant illness or accident? I would not retire overseas without emergency savings.
I would want to have significant money set aside to pay for healthcare overseas. I already explained that I don’t have health insurance overseas. I will put a link below explaining the two biggest risks of retiring cheap overseas and how to be ready when they happen.
I would not want to retire overseas if my $1000 per month income was not increasing annually with inflation. We are presently in an inflationary cycle that could wipe out my emergency savings if my income was not adjusted to inflation annually. However, I might be willing to retire overseas without a pension cost of living increases, if I had another growing income source, such as taught in my hobby income course.
I would not want to retire a great distance from a proper healthcare facility if I was not in good physical condition.
After naming a few spots in the Philippines where I would retire on $1000 per month, I will share the biggest obstacle to retiring overseas on $1000 per month.
Since my health is great, I would retire in either Puerto Galera, Dumaguete, Baguio, Siquijor, or Panglao/Bohol. If my health were to deteriorate, I would retire in Baguio or Dumaguete.
Okay, here is why the Philippines automatically overcomes the biggest obstacle to retiring overseas on $1000 per month.
The Biggest Obstacle to Retiring Overseas on $1000 per month
The biggest if your social security check is only $1000 per month is when the minimum pension requirement to qualify for a retirement visa is more than $1000 per month.
That means your social security check is not large enough to qualify for the retirement visa. So how does the Philipines automatically overcome this obstacle? Because almost nobody I know applies for a retirement visa in the Philippines.
You see, residents of most countries can stay in the Philippines lawfully for up to 36 months just by extending the visa-free entry stamp they receive upon arrival in the Philippines. They just visit the immigration office in the Philippines and renew at the rate of about $30 USD per month.
So people just fly to the Philippines and stay for 36 months with monthly extensions of $30 per month. Then after 36 months, they just exit the Philippines and fly to a nearby country. Then fly back to the Philippines. This is called a visa run.
Then when they fly back to the Philippines, the process starts all over again. They can get 36-month one-month extensions all over again. There is no age requirement, no income requirement, and no other requirements.
Just keep paying your monthly extension fees of around $30 per month and do a visa run every 36 months. So the amount of your monthly income plays no role in the Philippines’ decision to keep extending your tourist stamp for 36 months.
Thailand Retirement Visas
There is also a way you can get a retirement visa in Thailand if your monthly pension does not meet the minimum monthly requirements of about $2000 per month. Thailand allows you to also qualify by putting about $22K USD in a Thai bank. I have also heard rumors that some Thai visa agents can get you a visa even if you don’t qualify for either of these. Just join any of the “Facebook Expat” groups and ask the ex-pats there if they have a visa agent that helps with other visa options.
So I know what you are thinking. What other countries can I retire if my social security check is only $1000 per month? Funny you should ask. Watch the video that appears in the upper right corner of your screen when this video ends.
That video shares The easiest retirement visas around the world. Here is another video sort of related to that topic that you should watch, How to retire for 14 years on a tourist visa.
Please feel free to grab a free copy of my eBook, How I Fired my Boss, and Traveled the World for 16 Years. This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thanks for stopping by. The world is your home, what time will you be home for dinner?