6 Affordable Places to Retire In India: How to Live on a Budget?

India has always been a paradise for tourists of all kinds and a cheap place to retire too. Enjoy the color, vibrant culture, language and its array of traditional diversity.  Having traveled many times to India let me share this knowledge with you.

Over the last 10 years India has come forward in leaps and bounds and looks to be the new global hub for technology and manufacturing.  The influx of money into the Indian market means that the price of their dollar will continue to rise and this makes for a great investment for your retirement.  Honestly speaking, staying there you will always feel like your second home.

The quality of living continues to rise with locals wanting the same amenities as most other countries overseas.  You will find shopping malls and housing comparable to most other places in the world for a fraction of the price.

The most affordable places in India to retire are:

  • Puducherry
  • Kasol
  • Kodaikanal
  • Goa
  • Itanagar
  • Darjeeling

Now that you know of some great places you could go to retire let’s dig in a little deeper and I will tell you exactly why.

What You Have To Know To Retire In India

There are definitely things you would expect as a retirement destination so let’s talk about the must know to retire in India.  We will discuss Visa’s, Health Care, Security, Utilities, Housing, Food, Alcohol, Transport and more.


The first thing you will need to know about is what retirement visas are available for you to retire to India.  There is a massive amount of Visa types which you will see at the link below and you will notice there is no Retiree Visa.  The right visa to retire is a visa with which you can stay about 90 days per visit. It is valid for a full year (365 days) from the date of issue.

But there is also one visa option available for you and that is a 5-year Visit Visa. Being a retiree this visa type will allow you to stay a maximum of 180 days. Besides having this visa you can also have multiple entries in India. They have an e-tourist visa service for your convenience. 

LINK: Indian Online Visas

Health Care

India is a world-class healthcare provider compared to other Asian countries. The central government of India looks after comprehensive health policies for the people. Facilities like clinical trials, medical equipment, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance are very affordable.  

Here is a list of Healthcare providers you can look at to compare prices:


In my first trips over 16 years ago until today I have never felt unsafe in India.  The people are nice and polite and always willing to help.  Since most universities teach and business is done in English you will always find someone that can help you.  At the edges of the bigger towns you will find shanty towns and I would not go into them.  Not because you are a risk but you don’t want to put yourself in a risky situation just like travelling anywhere in the world.  No dark alleys late at night flashing gold watches.


The Indian rupee is the official currency.  If you are dealing with larger amounts of money due to the small value of one rupee they do have terms for larger currency amounts like lakh (pronounced lack).  It is basically 100,000 rupees and you will talk about this if you make any big ticket items like cars and houses.  You will often see the abbreviation Rs = Rupee.


The official language of India is Hindi but with such a large country and each state having its own dialects it is hard for even the locals to find a common tongue.  This is why even the locals use English.  It is kind of the unspoken common tongue across the country which is a great advantage if you retire there.


India is a big place and from the north to the south, the east to the west they all have their own styles of food.  One thing you can be sure of is that spice is in everything and you will have to keep that in mind when you do your first exploratory trip there.  I am personally not a big fan of food that is too spicy and I can constantly have to remind wait staff to tone down the spices.  If you love spicy food then this is definitely the country for you.

Here are some examples of common dishes:

  • Butter chicken
  • Aloo gobi
  • Chole (Chickpea Curry)
  • Biryani
  • Fish curry

Now don’t be scared if you don’t like spice there are plenty of other options or just let them know when you are ordering out.  Remember that while India is a huge exporter of cattle they don’t actually eat beef in the country so you won’t find it on most menus and get ready for your chicken big mac.

IMPORTANT: Water is not generally drinkable in India so always be sure to ask about any water sources and carry a bottle when you go for a walk.  You can purchase it from local stores for next to nothing in price as well.  You will always have a large bottle of water in your house.


With a booming economy and so much development there are properties to suit everyone from retirement villages to units and secure housing estates.  The cheapest accommodation you can find on Facebook Marketplace.  There you can find shared accommodation all over India.  Change your filter location to one of the places below in the article and search for “Property to rent” or click on that link on the left-hand side.  You will also find whole units and houses to rent on there as well.

Next you may wish to rent through a rental agency to make it easier for you and there are ones that specifically cater to English-speaking foreigners.

Here are some you could have a look at:

Like with any country in the world it all depends on which city you are in as to how much a unit or house will cost you and we will talk about these in the locations below.


Water, Gas and Electricity as well as body corporate for units and houses.  Americans call this HOA or Home Owner Association fees. However, in India, the energy is provided by both government and non-government companies. The cost of electricity is around $38.2 MWh (Rs 2.62 per unit). And a domestic cylinder will cost you 809 Rs. You can recharge online and pay the bill very quickly through your smart device. 

For more general information on how much it costs to retire in India see the article below for a table of costs.

LINK: How Much Does It Cost To Retire To India?

What To Consider When Picking A Location 

Remember me saying that India is a big place?  Well that means you have lots of different climates to pick from.  You can also choose city, country, beach or mountains.  Below is a list of things you should consider.

Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself first with

  • Types of places – city, beach, mountains or countryside 
  • Weather – yearly rainfall, temperature, wind, humidity
  • Amenities – Shopping Centers, Entertainment, Restaurants, Night Life, Supermarkets
  • Proximity to Hospitals
  • Local Transportation
  • Nearest Airport
  • Go tight in your budget or go beyond
  • Try regular track or try something exceptional throughout the wild

So now you have a general understanding of life in India let’s look at what you came here for which are the most affordable places to retire too.

The Most Affordable Places To Retire 

There are plenty of places you can select for your destination. All you need is perfect research and plan accordingly about the places. Planning does not come easy as budget is the primary concern for you.  As it is in India, this will not be a great issue for you to travel vast sea beaches and hilly destinations within your limit. In this blog, we have listed here some of the best places to retire in India for your affordable retirement. 

Puducherry – A Mixture of French And Indian Beauty

Pondicherry, is commonly known as Puducherry.  is one of the most popular seven territories (Seven Sisters) located in the Southern part of India. The local language is Tamil and English is widely spoken as well.

This city was once a popular French territory and also has an interesting trade and war history.  This is now a  place filled with cozy cafes and stores where traditional items are sold. If you are interested in French food then this is the place for you.

Average Costs 

Accommodation (2 bed / 1 bath unit):  140 USD / month

Food:  200 USD / month

Utilities (Water / Gas / Power):  44 USD / month

Other Useful Information

Best time to visit Pondicherry: October-March

Places to visit in Pondicherry: Place Auroville, Aravind Ashram, Paradise Beach

Nearest Railway Station/Airport: Puducherry Railway Junction/Chennai International Airport

Average Temperatures:  Day time – 27.8°C and Night time – 21°C

Kasol – A Valley of Green Beauty

Kasol is a popular village located in the district of Kullu of the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated near the valley locally named Parvati Valley.  This is a great place for hikers and ramblers who like to be a little closer to nature. The easy mesmerizing views and beautiful landscapes combined with the fantastic weather will relax you and are great for those that paint.  Commonly called “The Amsterdam” of India due to the natural wonder of the location from pine trees and rivers to snow capped mountains.

Average Costs 

Accommodation (2 bed / 1 bath unit): 160 USD / month

Food: 180 USD / month

Utilities (Water / Gas / Power):  50 USD / month

Other Useful Information

Best time to visit Kasol: September-November

Places to visit in Kasol: Manikaran Sahib, Nature Park, Parvati River, Kheer Ganga Peak

Nearest Railway Station/Airport: Joginder Nagar railway station/Bhuntar Airport

Average Temperatures: Day time – 6°C and Night time – 4.7°C

Kodaikanal – Lash Greenery Between Lake and Mountains

Kodaikanal is located in the Dindigul district which is in the state of Tamil Nadu. The scenic beauty has never failed to mesmerize travelers throughout the world. It is a place common for locals to have their honeymoons as well as explore South Indian nature.

Kodaikanal has a very wonderful climate and there are many gorgeous lakes and greenery and the view of the snowy mountains. Due to the regional nature of Kodaikanal, you will find accommodation and lifestyle expenses a lot cheaper than in the bigger cities. This is another great place for nature lovers.

Average Costs 

Accommodation (2 bed / 1 bath unit): 250 USD / month

Food: 190 USD / month

Utilities (Water / Gas / Power):  38 USD / month

Other Useful Information

Best time to visit Kodaikanal: October-March

Places to visit in Kodaikanal: Kodaikanal Lake, Silver Cascade Falls, Coaker’s Walk, Berijam Lake

Nearest Railway Station/Airport: Kodai Railway Station/Madurai Airport

Average Temperatures: Day time – 19°C and Night time – 12°C

Goa – Beach and Cheap Seafood

If you are looking for a budget-friendly location in India then this is the place for you. Goa has been the hot favorite among retirees from around the world. Being the smallest state of India it is located on the western coast of the Indian peninsula. It is a perfect beach paradise for couples or solo travelers. 

Average Costs

Accommodation (2 bed / 1 bath unit): 390 USD / month

Food: 180 USD / month

Utilities (Water / Gas / Power):  18 USD / month

Other Useful Information

Best time to visit Goa: October-March

Places to visit in Goa: Panaji, Calangute, Anjum beach, Chapora Fort, Basilica of Bom Jesus

Nearest Railway Station/Airport: The Vasco-da-Gama Railway Station/Dabolim Airport

Average Temperatures: Day time – 34°C and Night time – 21°C

Itanagar – Lake, Fort, and National Park 

An interesting city and the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar in northeastern India. Based at the bottom of the Himalayas this city has stunning views. The extraordinary environment, exemplary Buddhist engineering and culture, shimmering streams, and the green scenery  around will make you hopelessly enamored with the area. 

Average Costs

Accommodation (2 bed / 1 bath unit): 220 USD / month

Food: 170 USD / month

Utilities (Water / Gas / Power):  25 USD / month

Other Useful Information

Best time to visit Itanagar: October-April

Places to visit in Itanagar: Ita Fort, Geker Sinying (Ganga Lake), Theravada Buddhist temple, Namdapha National Park

Nearest Railway Station/Airport: Harmuti Railway Station/Lilabari Airport

Average Temperatures: Day time – 33°C and Night time – 21°C

Darjeeling – Revealing of the Snowy Mountain 

Darjeeling is one of the popular must-go places in India and it has lots of recreational activities. As you can probably guess from the name this place is famous for its tea. From Darjeeling you can ride the railway up through the Himalayas to the Ghum Railway Station to the lookout.  You will find many Chinese inspired dishes.  And you can even visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute if you think you are up for it.

Average Costs

Accommodation (2 bed / 1 bath unit): 170 USD / month

Food: 120 USD / month

Utilities (Water / Gas / Power):  40 USD / month

Other Useful Information

Best time to visit Darjeeling: March-May, October-November

Places to visit in Darjeeling: Ghum Railway Station, Indian Mountaineering Institute, monasteries, bazaars, tea estates, and pagodas

Nearest Railway Station/Airport: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station/Bagdogra Airport

Average Temperatures: Day time – 22°C and Night time – 15°C

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