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Retirement Planning: Frugal Retirees May Want to Avoid These Cities

What are the world's most and least expensive cities in which to live?

| BY Donald Liebenson

One of the key components of retirement planning is where to live, and according to the Economist Intelligence Unity’s new ranking of the world’s most expensive cities, Americans looking to relocate and for whom cost of living is a consideration should steer clear of Singapore.

Singapore now occupies the top spot in the EIU’s biannual rankings that was held last year by Tokyo, which dropped to No. 6 on the list. Coming in at No. 2, mais bien sur, is Paris, followed by: Oslo, Norway; Zurich, Switzerland; Sydney, Australia; Caracas, Venezuela; Geneva, Switzerland; Melbourne, and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The EIU, a provider of country intelligence and is part of the organization that publishes The Economist, gathers information on the cost of living in more than 130 cities in nearly 90 countries. Considered are the costs of more than 160 products and services divided into several categories, including food, alcoholic beverages, household supplies, personal care, tobacco, utilities, clothing, domestic help, recreation and entertainment and transportation. Also considered, but not included in the index calculation are housing rents, and schools.

Copenhagen, No. 10 on the list, jumped five spots from last year’s EIU report, while Sydney dropped two spots. Other highlights from the report:

·         Singapore is the most expensive city to have a car and to buy clothes

·         Tokyo is the costliest to buy everyday food items

·         Geneva, at least, enjoys the lowest gasoline prices (less than $2)

·         European cities are more expensive than their Asian counterparts when it comes to leisure and entertainment.

Only 12 percent of Affluent Americans would consider retiring overseas, according to a 2011 survey conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. Respondents under 40 are keenest on considering retirement overseas (34 percent), followed by those between the ages of 41-50 (27 percent).

Related story: Retiring overseas is more mainstream says international living expert

If relocating overseas still figures in your retirement planning, you might want to consider as an alternative these cities ranked by the EIU as the world’s most inexpensive (in descending order):


·         Kurachi, Pakistan

·         New Dehli

·         Kathmandu, Nepal

·         Damascus, Syria

·         Algiers, Algeria

·         Bucharest, Romania

·         Panama City, Panama

·         Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

·         Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


About the Author

Donald Liebenson


Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.