Planning to Retire Abroad? Here's How Much You Need to Live the Good Life


A volcanic eruption, a global pandemic, and a super typhoon are only some of the things that have plagued 2020. And if we’re learned anything this year, it’s that you only get one life, so you might as well enjoy it. Enter retirement: the end game for every struggling millennial trying to hustle their way from paycheck to paycheck. Retirement abroad? That’s an even more enticing fantasy, one that might leave a huge dent in our wallets, but it’ll be worth it.

A report by Audley Villages, which specializes in luxury retirement properties (aka, the dream), has broken down how much you’ll need to retire in the happiest cities in the world. No surprise, the Philippines is not on that list.

Helsinki tops the happiness index, but in order to retire in the happiest place on Earth, you’ll have to earn an average annual salary of P1.74 million, and save at least P12.2 million in a retirement fund. The cost of living is also around P60,700 per month.

Meanwhile, the most expensive place to retire on the list is none other than Geneva, Switzerland. Looks like those scenic landscapes straight out of a fairytale will cost you. You need at least P20.3 million to retire there, and make an annual income of P3.7 million to meet your goal.

Prague might be the “cheapest” retirement spot on the list at “only” P7.4 million in retirement savings and “only” P764,568 in annual salary.

Maybe it is true what they say? Money can make you happy if you choose to move to the happiest city on the planet.


Cost of Retirement in the 20 Happiest Cities in the World


Courtesy of Audley Villages
Courtesy of Audley Villages


As for the cost of retirement in the top 25 cities for retirement, the number one retirement spot Melbourne will cost you P12 million in retirement savings and an annual salary of P2 million.

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Good news for us though, Manila happens to be on the list of top 25 retirement cities, landing in 16th place. We’re also the cheapest retirement location on the list, requiring P2.9 million in retirement savings and an annual salary of at least P257,399. Living costs are low in Manila at P40,700 if you want to live comfortably.

Cost of Retirement in the Top 20 Cities for Retirement


Courtesy of Audley Villages

Courtesy of Audley Villages

The one place retirees should absolutely avoid? Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and Seoul. All stunning places to visit when you’re young, Audley Villages does not recommend the hustle and bustle (and extraordinary cost of living) for life in retirement.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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