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The best countries for pensioners to live in - the European Union

The content of the article:

  • Old age is a joy: the benefits of retirement age 
  • Portugal is a popular destination for a quiet life
  • Maltese retirement life
  • Spain — two ways to get a pension residence permit
  • Cyprus — programs beneficial for pensioners


In our youth, in the frenzied rhythm of life, we do not think much about how and where we will meet our old age. That's probably why they say that youth is selfish. With age comes the realization that a good warm climate, a safe and decent standard of living are the components that every person aspires to in his declining years. Although this is not the main thing. As noted by psychiatrist, academician Natalia Bekhtereva: "As long as a person has goals and aspirations, he does not just exist, but lives a full life. Old age is just a state of consciousness from which you can always free yourself by filling your life with a new inspiring meaning." 
On the one hand, it is scary and difficult to change your place of residence in your declining years, and on the other hand, these are new opportunities: to learn an unfamiliar language, start traveling, take care of your health, devote more time to your hobby. Therefore, today's article is devoted to countries where elderly people live comfortably. We will reveal the ranking of European countries in which pensioners from all over the world have confidently settled. 
       Portugal occupies one of the leading positions among the countries chosen by people of retirement age. It attracts with its climate, relatively inexpensive accommodation, healthcare system and the opportunity to travel freely. To obtain a pensioner's residence permit in Portugal, you can use two government programs: 
D7 visa — the main conditions are to provide proof of passive income (must exceed the minimum wage in Portugal, for 2024 — 820 euros per month), and income can be combined from different sources of income of the applicant: pension, rental housing, deposit, etc. The second prerequisite is your place of residence. It can be an apartment, a house or an apartment — which can be confirmed by official documents. You can arrange a purchase and sale and become the owner of the property, or you can rent it for a long time. When applying for a residence permit under this visa, mandatory medical insurance is also required, which can be done directly in Portugal or get such insurance at home, with a guarantee that it will be valid in Portugal. Such a visa can be considered for several months, so it is very important to apply for it in advance.
The second program is an investment one. The opportunity to invest in real estate of historical value and cultural heritage of the country in the amount of at least 350,000 euros. You can also invest your funds in the restoration of real estate that need major repairs, again in the amount of at least 350,000 euros. Well, or open a deposit in the amount of one and a half million euros. 
According to the country's legislation, pensioners in Portugal also have their own tax benefits. They can be used for 10 years (with an open residence permit and permanent residence in the country). And pensioners of non–permanent residence (NHR - Non-Habitual Resident) are offered tax exemption on foreign packages and pensions. In addition, Portugal has agreements with many countries to avoid double taxation. It is important that planning additional expenses: property tax, maintenance costs and utilities — help to avoid any financial surprises at retirement. 
According to customer reviews, we can say for sure that Portugal has become one of the most popular destinations for people of the golden age. If you consider this country as a “retirement destination” or your children want to give you such an opportunity, be sure to consult: how to get the necessary visa; what benefits as a pensioner you can use; explore cities and real estate options in them; medical institutions where you need specialists; get important information for you so that you do not just live, and enjoy your well-deserved rest.
        Malta is a small island country located in the southern part of Europe. This country has become popular among the elderly relatively recently, especially among the British. Firstly, Malta is located not far from the UK (only 3 hours of flight); plus, you do not need to learn a new language - many people in Malta speak English perfectly, and thirdly, unlike native British England, Malta is warm almost all year round. The country has a “Maltese Pension Plan”, which offers a favorable tax rate of 15% for EU citizens and residents. In general, the Malta Retirement Program (MRP) was created to attract pensioners from EU countries. But after a while, the authorities revised the requirements, and now foreign pensioners from different countries can use this program to obtain a residence permit and settle in Malta permanently. When applying for a residence permit in Malta, a pensioner must provide data on pension accruals, which must be at least 75% of the applicant's total income. In addition, the applicant for a residence permit must purchase or rent a place to stay. The minimum purchase price is from 275,000 euros (or 220,000 euros, depending on the location), rent — the minimum annual fee is 9600 euros (or 8750 euros, again, depending on the region of the property). Medical insurance costs will also be annual (from 750 to 1,500 euros). Income received from the applicant's foreign sources is taxed, as we have already noted above, at a rate of 15%, and the minimum annual tax on the main applicant is 7,500 euros, plus another 500 euros for each family member. However, any other income earned already in Malta will be taxed at a rate of 35%. In order to maintain their pension residence permit, the applicant must annually confirm the level of income, pay an annual tax and reside in the country for more than 183 days a year. At the same time, the Malta program for pensioners does not provide an opportunity to apply for permanent residence and citizenship after five years of residence. In reality, you need to live at least 10 years to master the language, culture and history of the country in order to obtain a second passport (dual citizenship is allowed in Malta). Therefore, most pensioners choose an alternative option — to stay at the stage of permanent residence. Our staff can provide you with information about all real estate in the Republic of Malta, while applying for a residence permit in Malta can be submitted remotely. 
         Spain is no less popular with people of retirement age. And why not? Spanish resort areas — Costa Blanca, Costa Brava, Costa del Asajar are often chosen by European pensioners who want to improve their health due to the warm marine climate. In Spain, there is no specific program for obtaining a residence permit for pensioners, but we can identify 2 types of obtaining a residence permit, which can also be used by retired people.
Visado de Residencia no Lucrativa (residence permit based on proof of income). Pensioners with a passive source of income can use this method. With this residence permit, there are no specific requirements for investing in the economy or real estate. But it is necessary to provide a document on long-term rental housing or a document on ownership, while buying real estate greatly simplifies the process of obtaining a residence permit. When applying for such a visa category, the most important condition will be confirmation of your monthly or annual passive income. This is not just a certificate from the pension fund, it is a document confirming the availability of finances in your account. In Spain, a certain minimum is set - 2,130 euros per month. Thus, you must have at least 25,560 euros in your account annually. If family members join you when you move, then in addition it is 6384 euros per year for each.  
The second way to obtain a residence permit in Spain for pensioners remains the “golden visa”To open such a visa, you need to invest in real estate (at least 500,000 euros), in government bonds (about 2 million euros for 5 years), invest in shares of local state-owned companies (from 1 million euros) or open a deposit in a Spanish bank for one million euros (this amount must remain on the balance sheet throughout the entire period the golden visa period).
These methods can lead you to your cherished goal — to meet old age with dignity. It should be noted that many pensioners seek to Spain not only for the excellent climate, but they also aim to receive high-quality medical services. 
In 2019, according to American experts, Spain took the first place with a high score of the “global health index”, leaving behind Italy, Iceland, Japan and a number of other countries. American experts particularly noted the high level of diagnosis, treatment and service in Spanish both private and public clinics. It is significant that in Spain they do not really like fast food and pay a lot of attention to the eating habits of citizens. Olive oil, nuts, and a large intake of fresh fruits reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, which, in turn, affects life expectancy. She has been in Spain for more than 82 years. Pensioners choose this country according to their preferences and based on various factors. In any case, she is beautiful for a serene old age.

Cyprus is another popular destination for many European pensioners. Of course, the advantage, as always, is the climate, proximity to the sea, and the leisurely lifestyle of the local population. Many elderly people tend to leave their cold northern countries to spend the second half of their lives enjoying more than three hundred sunny days a year. As many experts note, after changing the situation, older people seem to gain a "second wind", immersing themselves in the diversity of culture and history of another country. Citizens of EU countries can freely reside in Cyprus and buy real estate, they only need to provide information about their residence address to government agencies. For retired immigrants from third countries, it is necessary to obtain a residence permit. They can get it in two ways.
The most popular method is a category F visa. According to this program, the applicant must have a guaranteed annual income of at least 9568 euros. An additional 4,613 euros per year is added for each family member. Income must be received from abroad, as it is impossible to work in Cyprus on this visa. And the income itself can be a component from different sources of the applicant — rental business, pension, additional income from foreign investments. The validity period of such a visa is not limited, however, in fact, after 10 years it must be extended or issued citizenship. When applying for such a residence permit, housing for living can be either rented or own, there are no cost restrictions. 
According to the second program, pensioners can immediately obtain permanent residence in Cyprus for investments:
buy a property worth at least 300,000 euros (excluding VAT). In this case, the entire purchase procedure must be carried out through a bank account in Cyprus. If you are buying a property for personal use and residence, VAT can be reduced from 19% to 5%;
provide documents on a guaranteed annual income (at least 50,000 euros per year), while for the second spouse this income increases by 15,000 euros per year, and for a minor child — by 10,000 euros.  
One of the disadvantages of living in Cyprus for pensioners, perhaps, is that it is difficult to live here without your own car. Public transport is not available in all regions, and taxis are quite expensive. The good thing is that the Cypriot authorities allow migrants to import cars from their countries and, after certain simple procedures, legalize their current driver's license. The import of cars from the EU and the UK is not taxed. In general, life in Cyprus is wonderful, no matter how you look at it! And if you decide to spend your retirement time here, contact experts who will help you understand all the intricacies of paperwork.
       Retirement is a certain period when you can already relax and devote this time to yourself. And why not do it in those countries that you have long dreamed of.


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