Although luxury real estate is by nature expensive in any country, there can be a huge variance from place to place. I had a bizarre juxtaposition illustration of this a couple weeks ago when I watched two House Hunters International shows back to back. In the first, a couple was looking for a beachfront home in Ecuador. All three choices were fabulous and all were under $200,000. The next show I watched had a couple looking for a French home in Provence. Their budget was $1.2 million and every place was a fixer-upper dump. Once didn’t even have a bathroom!

Most of Latin America falls somewhere near the bargain end of that scale. Apart from a few exceptions like Rio de Janeiro and maybe Santiago, what you get for your money is going to be a better value than what you could find in the U.S. or Canada when it comes time to buy a luxury vacation home or a retirement home. Sometimes a much better value.

Apart from real estate though, what’s it really cost to live in these places? Answering that question is not as simple, but International Living is doing its best to help. They have just released a series of detailed budgets which give a break-down of all the major outgoings on a monthly basis in some of the world’s favorite overseas retirement hotspots.

All of them are places we cover here in Luxury Latin America: Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize, Panama, Ecuador and Roatan in Honduras.

They include information on things like rent, utilities, entertainment, health care and groceries, as well as tips and pointers on how to make retirees’ money stretch further.

“Most of us think about living the good life abroad but things rarely develop beyond a daydream,” said International Living magazine editor Eoin Bassett. “Resources like this can help equip readers with the information they need to bring those dreams to reality.”

The figures were put together by International Living contributors on the ground in each of the seven retirement hotspots, so this info is much more reliable than what you’ll find in a Mercer cost of living study, for instance.

“This 4,000-plus word article is a massively useful tool for anyone considering retirement overseas,” added Eoin. “But it’s really just one among many must-read resources we provide on everything from budgeting for a life abroad and buying a beachside bargain property, to getting the best deal on dental treatment or setting up a small business.”

I’m a subscriber to International Living and think it’s well worth the money. This report is free though. You can see the entire article here: Seven Easy, Affordable Retirement Spots.