World’s cheapest places to retire
As anyone approaching retirement age will testify, there are two quite distinct questions with which one continually grapples. First, where would I like to retire? Cue fantasies about French chateâux, villas in the Caribbean, infinity pools in Bali, and medieval palazzos with views of Florence. Second, where can I afford to retire? This a far more prosaic line of inquiry, leading inexorably to a bungalow in Swanage or a flat above a funeral parlour in Torremolinos. That is, of course, assuming that retirement remains a possibility. The Government now says it wants to increase the average age at which we down tools by six months every year.
My Australian wife and I live in Oxford, but frequently drive through south-west London. “Could we afford to live here?” she asks, in her innocent way, as we pass multimillion-pound properties in Barnes or Wandsworth. I give a bitter laugh and tell her that semis in Inverness are said to be surprisingly affordable at the moment. Ditto, Senegal. Ditto, parts of Siberia.
Assessing your priorities as you near retirement age is one of the most complicated juggling acts you will ever have to perform. Selling up in the UK and buying a retirement home thousands of miles away is rarely practical, except for those with few or no family ties. But can you live well on a modest pension in an agreeable location? In an attractive property for which you have not had to pay a fortune? Yes and yes.
Here are 20 places where property prices are ridiculously low compared with England and where day-to-day living costs are correspondingly modest. You may have
Plain sailing: Honfleur in Normandy offers properties you can drive to from the UK