How Much Does It Cost to Live in Seoul, South Korea?

Seoul is a large city located in South Korea with a metropolitan area population of 10,349,312. A couple could live a moderate lifestyle in Seoul on a budget of $2,755 per month, or $33,062 per year.

Cost of Living in Seoul, South Korea

As noted above, the cost of living in Seoul, South Korea is $2,755 per month for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. This budget consists of $1,366 for housing related costs, $807 for food, and $582 for other costs, all of which will be broken down below.

Housing

  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Seoul is estimated to cost $1,104
  • Basic utilities including electricity, water, and gas will run about $233
  • High-speed internet averages $28

Food

  • Typical grocery costs of $589 per month include things like bread, eggs, milk, cheese, rice, chicken breast, bottled water, fruits, and vegetables
  • Alcohol including beer and wine for moderate home consumption costs about $118
  • Frequent coffees in a neighborhood café are estimated to be about $101

Other

  • Meals out are estimated to be $279 per month, including 4 meals in mid-range restaurants and 8 in inexpensive restaurants
  • Transportation costs of $116 for public transport passes and occasional taxis
  • Fitness center memberships of $140
  • Cinema tickets of $47 include several outings for international releases

Note that Seoul, South Korea is a very walkable city with a Walk Score of 100/100, which means you won’t need a car if you are living in the city center and you may even save some money by not using public transportation and taxis very often.

Amount of Money Needed to Retire in Seoul, South Korea

Many people searching the internet for the cost of living in Seoul, South Korea are doing so to see if and when they can quit their jobs and retire. A popular and easy way to calculate your retirement number is using the 4% Rule.

The 4% Rule estimates that a person(s) could withdraw 4% of their retirement nest egg and never run out of money. Using this calculation, a couple would need an investment portfolio of $826,560 to live a moderate lifestyle in Seoul, South Korea.

Annual expenses of $33,062 ÷ 4% = $826,560 portfolio needed.

Of course, everyone’s financial situation is different, and the above calculation could change based on any other sources of passive income and social security income.

Summary

Overall, the cost of living in Seoul, South Korea is affordable coming in at $2,755 for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. Those seeking to retire could do so comfortably with a retirement portfolio of $826,560.