Social Security Benefits: How You Can Thrive Without Any Other Income in Retirement

This strategy could lower your cost of living and actually raise your quality of life!

Brian Stoffel
Brian Stoffel
Apr 26, 2015 at 8:08AM
Investment Planning

A view of the author's balcony in Costa Rica. Rent for the house, including water, electricity, and Internet, is just $450 per month.

Let's not beat around the bush -- we aren't good at saving for retirement. All too often, we spend more than we earn and have nothing left to invest for our future. We know this, and yet the very thought of surviving on Social Security benefits alone in retirement scares the daylights out of many.

Should it, though?

The average retired worker receives about $15,500 in Social Security benefits each year. If you and your spouse collect the average, then that bumps up to $31,000 -- which isn't too bad. But for many, that sounds like far too little to survive on, especially when considering medical costs.

But what if there were a way to not only lower your cost of living significantly, but also raise your quality of life at the same time -- and be able to do all of it while surviving solely on Social Security benefits, no retirement savings or pensions necessary?

I'll be the first to admit that the solution I propose isn't for everyone. Calling upon my own experience living in Costa Rica for four months of every year -- and combining that with official government data -- you'll see that retiring in a foreign country can be a cheap, and enjoyable, affair.

Photo s: Drumguy8800, DruKelly