Not everyone is cut out for life in the tropics or the developing world. Some people considering retirement overseas would opt for Europe if that were a realistic and affordable option, and it can be. In the current climate of crisis, economies, markets, and values are down as they have not been in decades in some of Europe's most appealing places to spend time and retire.
Here are five of the Old World's most tempting retirement havens where you could own a retirement home of your own for less than $100,000:
Euro Bargain #1: The medieval town of Penne (think pasta) in Abruzzo, Italy is only 30 minutes from the Adriatic Sea and an international airport. Here you could buy a two-bedroom apartment of about 1,000 square feet for 50,000 euro (about $65,000). This could serve as your ideal base for discovering this region of Italy that is as beautiful and historic as Tuscany but less discovered and therefore less expensive. A hillside townhouse would put you within walking distance of the market square, restaurants, and shops.
Euro Bargain #2: The French town of Estagel is 30 minutes from the Mediterranean Sea outside Perpignan. On offer is a two-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot, loft-style apartment, ready to move into for 68,000 euro (about $88,000). The in-town location would mean you wouldn't have to invest in transportation of your own.
Euro Bargain #3: The town of Youghal is on the border between Country Cork and Country Waterford, Ireland. On the strand of this picturesque seaside town, you can buy a modern one-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot apartment for 49,000 euro (about $64,000) that would put you within walking distance of the beach.
Euro Bargain #4: In Spain, the number of properties available right now for less than $100,000, including in this country's most appealing corners, is great. One quaint option is a one-bedroom apartment in Jerez de la Frontera near Cadiz. The completely updated property sits on a small courtyard with shops nearby. The Atlantic Ocean is 30 minutes away, and the historic fortified city of Cadiz is just 40 minutes from Jerez. The list price is 69,000 euro (about $90,000). As this is a bank foreclosure, special financing options are possible.
Euro Bargain #5: In the coastal town of Santa Maria in Lagos, Portugal you could buy a furnished two-bedroom apartment in a modern building for 75,000 euro (about $97,000) within walking distance of the ocean. You'd even have a bit of a sea view.
Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her book, How To Retire Overseas--Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.