Retirement is a phase of life that opens the door to new adventures and possibilities. Many retirees seek relaxation, affordability, quality healthcare, and a rich cultural experience.
Are you considering retiring abroad? Here are the top six countries that offer enticing incentives for retirees. Let’s study each of them in detail – the perks, incentives, cost of living, taxation scenario, and the cultural vibe offered when you move to one of these gems during your second innings:
1. Greece: The Mediterranean Paradise
Greece is a dream retirement destination with its stunning islands, rich history, and Mediterranean climate. The Greek Golden Visa program allows retirees to obtain residency by investing approximately EURO 500,000 in real estate, which grants five-year permanent residency.
You are required to earn at least €2,000 a month from a permanent source of income, which is usually a pension or trust fund. You may also need to show a clean police record and a medical certificate.
2. Portugal: A European Allure
Nestled on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal’s biodiversity includes World Heritage Sites, such as the Douro Valley wine region, the historic city of Porto and Sintra Centre.
The country offers 2 kinds of residency programs: Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program and the Portugal Golden Visa.
The former is a tax incentive program primarily aimed at attracting foreign individuals, including retirees, professionals, and entrepreneurs, to become tax residents in Portugal. The latter is a program that allows non-EU citizens to obtain residency in Portugal by making qualifying investments in the country.
While both programs provide opportunities for residency in Portugal, the NHR program primarily focuses on tax advantages for individuals, including retirees. On the other hand, the Golden Visa program offers a pathway to residency through investment.
These programs have varying purposes, so seeking advice from our team of experts is highly recommended to ensure a smooth transition when retiring and moving to Portugal.
To be eligible for the country’s Golden Residence Permit Program, applicants must invest at least EUR € 280,000 in real estate. This investment should be maintained for at least 5 years. Additionally, permit holders are required to spend a week/year in the territory of the nation.
3. Malta: Historic Charm and Lifestyle
This archipelagic nation welcomes retirees with a range of benefits, including tax incentives and access to Malta’s vibrant culture. The nation currently extends two specific programs, which are listed below.
- Malta Retirement Program (MRP)
The Malta Retirement Program (MRP) is a unique program which allows EU/EEA/Switzerland non-EU nationals intending to retire in Malta.
You need to be a minimum of 55 years old. You should have at least €12,700 of income, or the pension needs to be a minimum of €9,600. Plus, you should own real estate worth Є275,000 situated in Malta (different in different regions)
The applicant cannot be an employee of any business. However, there are allowances to be a non-executive on the boards of companies, foundations, or other organisations.
- Malta Global Residence Program
Individuals who can establish a solid and consistent source of income are eligible for the program. Applicants must have proper health insurance and evidence of residence in the nation’s territory.
The qualifications of the program include having a net worth of at least €500,000; having a yearly income of €100,000, derived from outside of Malta; having a permanent residence worth Є300,000 or a long-term lease worth Є10,000; paying an annual flat tax of €15,000. (No other income is taxable in Malta under the GRP.); and paying a non-refundable application fee of €6,000.
4. Spain: Sanctuary of Super Sunny Shores
Spain provides retirees with a combination of beaches, a rich culture and affordability. Retirees have the option of availing their Spain Non-Lucrative Visa (NLV).
Let’s delve deeper into the program to help you make informed decisions.
The nation’s Non-Lucrative Visa (NLV) was created for non-European Union citizens to have the financial means to live in Spain without having to work. Being the most popular type of visa for retirees, a great benefit of this visa is that it allows you to bring along your entire family, provided that you can meet the minimum financial requirements: A monthly income of €2,400 or an annual income of €28,000. For each extra family member, the amount of annual income required is €7,200.
5. Panama: Tropical Paradise
Panama, located in Central America, offers retirees a tropical paradise with a range of retirement visa options. The Friendly Nations Visa and Pensionado Visa provide retirees with easy residency and discounts on various services.
- Friendly Nations Visa
Designed to encourage citizens of “friendly” nations to live and invest in Panama, EU and Latin Americans looking for a favourable retirement place are eligible for this beneficial program.
Employment Contract & Residency: To obtain provisional residency, applicants need to secure a job from a Panamanian company since a permit application is submitted alongside the residency application.
Real Estate or Deposit Option: You must either own a Panamanian property worth $200,000 or maintain a fixed-term, $200,000 deposit in a Panamanian bank for 3 years.
- Pensionado Visa
If you’re interested in retiring in this country, you can consider applying for a Pensionado visa. This particular visa allows foreigners to become residents of Panama, provided they’re willing to move there and have a steady monthly income of at least $1,000.
While it is commonly known as a retirement program, this visa is open to anyone 18 years old or older.
To be eligible for the visa, you need to demonstrate an income of at least $1,000 for the rest of your life. This income should come from a source like a pension or annuity, from a government, company or insurance provider. There is also a requirement to invest $100,000 in real estate.
6. Switzerland: Alpine Serenity
This well-known country’s pristine landscapes and the healthcare system make it an ideal retirement destination. Being one of the costliest nations to move into, its high quality, lavish life, and welcoming environment make it all worthwhile.
Retirees moving here have a choice regarding how they’ll be taxed when they arrive in the country. You can choose to be taxed like everyone else, cutting a percentage of your monthly income. Or you can choose to pay a lump-sum tax.
Planning Your Retirement Adventure
As you contemplate your retirement destination, consider your personal preferences, financial situation, and healthcare needs. Research and visit these countries to get a feel for their lifestyle and culture. Consult with experts today who can help you navigate the legal and financial aspects of retiring abroad.