Gone are the days when an individual with an average income can only dream about exotic locations that only rich people can afford to spend their vacation or retirement period. With increasing desire to travel around the world and to explore destinations.

We can also see a big movement now after this pandemic, where people have started quitting their jobs to live a life that suits their interests.

We know that countries like the U.S, European countries, Canada, and Tokyo offer great experiences at a high cost. But there are also many other destinations like Panama, Costa Rica, etc. where people can have a fulfilling experience, comparatively at a lower level of cost.

Live life like a Millionaire

There is also a term for this type of living called Geoarbitage, where people would use the arbitrage level in prices between different countries, to live a comfortable life at the same level of pricing.

According to the living costs and other criteria, we have picked the top 5 countries where you can live like a millionaire with your modest income. The 5 countries are:

  • Panama
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Thailand
  • Ecuador

Panama – A Piece of Heaven

Located in-between Costa Rica and Colombia with the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean on either side as its coastal border, Panama is home to a 4 million population and has a rich biodiversity.

Although a tropical country, on average the temperature here doesn’t exceed above 32℃, and if you are looking for a country with a warm climate, this could be a good choice.

Being covered 40% with forest area, this place has its own flora and fauna. There are many different things to explore here, it also contains volcanoes, hilly mountains, and waterfalls to kick-start your adventurous journey.

When it comes to the cost of living, Panama is best suited for U.S ex-pats as living in Panama is a lot cheaper than in the US. Here, one can cover all their major expenses with just $2000/month.

Boquete, Panama – Photo by Kelly L 

To attract foreign visitors, they also have tax exemptions for people earning income outside their borders.
Saves you money, doesn’t it? Since it’s closer to the U.S, the healthcare facilities available here are the best. Also, you don’t have to worry about language as most people here can speak English.

Global Peace Index shows 1.92% as its safety score, which means you don’t have to worry about safety here. Also, people here are friendly and warm just like their climate, so you can easily get along with them without feeling alienated.

Costa Rica – A land that is affordable

Another Central American country that is not so far away from Panama and is known for its vibrant culture and nature in Costa Rica.

Normally called “the Switzerland of Central America”, this place offers the best quality of life to people coming from other countries.

The nature here ranges from beaches to chilly mountains which makes it ideal for outdoor activities. Besides being famous for ecotourism, this place consists of a population that is highly educated and there are many industries, pharmaceuticals, and corporate services that have made its abode in Costa Rica making the country favorable for Human Development.

Costa Rica – Photo by Jose Acevedo

So even if you quit your job and move here, you don’t have to worry about your career change, you can easily get a job according to your skills and expectations.

Although, Costa Rica is a highly favorable place for human development, the cost of living here is much lesser than you anticipate.
You can lead a comfortable life with just 1500 USD per month and you can also enjoy the best medical care facilities that the country offers in collaboration with the US.
In general, the cost of living is 30.4% lower than that of the U.S. The Global Peace Index shows 1.69 as its safety score, making Costa Rica a safe haven to live like a millionaire.

Mexico – Majestic land

The next on our list is a North American country that lies closer to Panama and Costa Rica, Mexico – the land that holds a rich history and the most notable civilizations such as Mayans and Aztecs.

Bordering with the United States, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, Guatemala, Belize, and the Pacific Ocean – it is emerging to be a newly industrialized state according to some state analysts.

Mexico has rich biodiversity and many tourists attractions. This has encouraged nearly 39 million tourists to visit the country so far.
The two major attractions in Mexico are Cancun and Riviera Maya well-known for its beach resorts and scenic views, include these in your go-to list when you move to Mexico.
The transportation charges, rent, health care facilities, and other expenses are affordable and you can expect a good living here with 1500 USD per month.

Unlike Panama, the Mexican government imposes a tax on people earning their income out of their borders.
The Global Peace Index score is 2.57, but it is still the most sought out place for ex-pats moving in from the United States, Canada, and European countries.

Thailand – A testimony of ancient culture

Thailand is inarguably one of the best places to live in South Asian countries. The land has exquisite ancient architecture and rich culture that dates back to the 6th century BCE as mentioned by the Chinese in their records.

Just like any other country, Thailand has evolved to be the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia. The major sectors that earn revenue from the government are manufacturing industries, agriculture, and tourism.

Thailand – Photo by Russ Bowling

Thailand is known for its best ancient medicinal practices, so medical tourism is one of the major contributors to its GDP. Thai massages are widely known all over the world and this has encouraged over 2.5 million people to visit Thailand in 2018 alone.

So, in terms of culture, history, and nature, Thailand seems to be one of the best places to live your dream millionaire life.

The cost of living comes under 1600 USD on average, this is 34% lesser than the cost of living in the U.S.
The modern medical facilities are available but not as much as you would expect in the USA. Nevertheless, Thailand is popular for its ancient medical facilities and medical tourism.

The tropical climate is another notable factor that makes this place ideal for ex-pats. The Global Peace Index Score is 2.25, and that doesn’t make this place any less safe. If you would like to sip warm tea in a luxurious resort facing the sea, then Thailand is your place.

Malaysia – The Modern Jungle

Ever heard of this tourist slogan in advertisements – “Malaysia truly Asia”? Yes, it is also one of the South Asian Countries that strives to offer a higher standard of living for its people, the cost of living here is also affordable and there are also many exciting experiences offered by the country.


Although a small country, the land is filled with top tech industries having a global presence. The native language spoken here is Malay but many people are widely familiar with the English language, which can make your stay here comfortable.

Besides, there are also applications that could help you with the translation of the local language – just in case you decide to live in the outer city where English is not spoken much.

The health care facilities and education system available here are really of high standards. In fact, many people all around the world seek private, modern health care treatments that are much more affordable compared to many other countries.

The average cost of living rate is under 1500 USD per month (including rental, internet services, food, and other miscellaneous expenses). The rent here is 75% lesser than that what we see in the USA. The Global Peace Index score is 1.53 because the country gives a high level of importance to its law and order.


This in-depth analysis of each of the above countries would have given you a good idea about the level of living you can expect from these countries. This could also help you in choosing your ideal destination to lead your millionaire lifestyle at an affordable cost.