10 Things Travel

Want to retire outside of the US? Avoid these expensive cities of the world

Living abroad can be relatively inexpensive.

We’ve all heard stories of finding an island retreat overseas, where an oceanside resort home with full staff, food, utilities will run you just $500 per month — who wouldn’t want to live like royalty for just $6,000 per year for the rest of your lives?

The Plain Truth About Living in Mexico: The Expatriate's Guide to Moving, Retiring, or Just Hanging Out
The Plain Truth About Living in Mexico:
The Expatriate’s Guide to Moving, Retiring, or Just Hanging Out

On the other hand, those inexpensive places to live may be getting fewer and fewer.

Because when you take into account THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES, as compiled by Mercer in their annual COST OF LIVING SURVEY, you’ll see that there are a few places in the world that you may want to avoid.

Mercer looked at different cost points, such as housing, food, transportation and more to determine the ranking of over 210 different cities around the world.

The most expensive place in the United States, New York City, only clocked in at #16 on the list.


  1. Angola
  2. Chad
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Singapore
  5. Switzerland

Some of the other United States locations that were in the top of the list besides NYC were:

  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Chicago
  • Washington DC
  • Honolulu
  • Morristown, NJ
  • Atlanta
  • Seattle
  • Cleveland
  • Winston-Salem, NC

You’ll have to click through to see the full list of 21 different US cities that were represented.

So keeping costs in mind when you retire, how much does that cost of living come into play when you decide where you’re thinking of moving to?  Does it matter how expensive Rome is vs really wanting to live la dolce vita?