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The easiest countries for Britons to retire

Analysis has found the easiest countries for British retirees, taking into account culture, visa requirements, cost and more - with Ireland coming out top.

Tuesday, 21 May 2024 - News

For many Britons, retirement means moving somewhere new.

New analysis from relocation experts Property Guides has found the easiest locations for retirees, taking into account culture, visa requirements, cost and more. 

Landing in the number one spot is Ireland, with a lack of visa requirements, English-speaking residents and relatively "safe and happy" environment.

Spain, Portugal and Cyprus claim the next three spots on the list.

However, Spain is high on the minimum annual income requirement.

"Spain's is one of the most expensive. It is currently around €27,000 (£23,000) per year for the first applicant. Just over the border in Portugal, it is less than €8,500 per year. Turkey's is the cheapest, working out at a little over £5,000, while Italy requires over €30,000," Property Guides says.

Turkey also came out well for the low cost of living - unlike New Zealand.




European countries in general offer visas aimed specifically at those receiving pensions or investment incomes, according to Property Guides.

Commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada, however, actively restrict those over 55 from moving there, even if they have a high passive income (income such as pensions, that doesn't require a job). 

It becomes easier if retirees have children who are already legal residents.

"Golden visas", which encourage wealthy people to invest in a country, are becoming less common. 

"Most countries are now cancelling their residential investment option, including Cyprus and Portugal, and Spain will soon be closing its own. However, for now, you can still get one in Spain, Greece and Turkey, for as little as a €250,000 property, and these we have judged the easiest to retire to."

Property Guides also looked at health services. They took rankings from a Legatum Prosperity Index. 

"Top scorers were Germany, Italy and France, in that order. Bottom of the pile was the USA."

The research noted that state pensions are not uprated for retirees in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

It also factored in "sunshine hours", with the top three being Cyprus, Portugal and the US. Ireland came last here.



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