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It’s Official: South Africa is the Cheapest Country to Live in and Retire

South Africa

SA tops the list of countries with the lowest cost of living.

South Africa is currently undergoing massive economic and cultural shifts, which are causing a bit of civil unrest, so some good news about our beautiful country is always a welcome reminder that things in the Republic aren’t that bad.

So, to make you (and your wallet) feel better, it’s now official: South Africa is the cheapest country to live in and retire.

According to a new report from GoBankingRates, which ranked 112 nations by four key affordability metrics provided by online pricing database Numbeo, SA comes out tops in terms of bang for your buck. The four metrics were:

  • Local purchasing power index: Measures the relative purchasing power of a typical salary in that country, compared to New York City. A lower purchasing power buys fewer goods, while a higher purchasing power buys more.
  • Rent index: Compares typical rental prices in the country to New York City.
  • Groceries index: Compares typical grocery prices in the country to New York City.
  • Consumer price index: Compares costs of local goods and services — including restaurants, groceries, transportation and utilities — to New York City.

The report compared prices with those in New York and said of South Africa:

  • Local purchasing power is 26.9% higher
  • Rent is 87.5% cheaper
  • Groceries are 71% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 65.8% cheaper

“South Africa is the cheapest country to live or retire. It’s also the world’s largest producer of platinum, gold and chromium, which goes far to enrich the country and its economy.

“This resulted in a local purchasing power that’s significantly higher than what New Yorkers face, which is the most favorable factor that puts South Africa at No. 1,” GoBanking Rates said.

It said that along with a higher local purchasing power, South Africa also offers lower prices on consumer goods and groceries, and rent costs that are typical of the 50 cheapest countries.

In the major city of Cape Town, for instance, monthly expenses total just under $400 while the average rent costs are reflected by the typical price to rent a one-bedroom in Durban of around $280 a month, the report said.

The second cheapest country, India has a local purchasing power of 20.9% lower than New York, while rent is 95.2% cheaper, groceries are 74.4% cheaper, and local goods and services are 74.9% cheaper.

Top 10 cheapest countries to live and retire

  1. South Africa
  2. India
  3. Kosovo
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. Kazakhstan
  6. Zambia
  7. Oman
  8. Paraguay
  9. Czech Republic
  10. Macedonia
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