Top 5 best countries for a comfortable retirement in 2023



Top 5 best countries for a comfortable retirement in 2023

The trend of moving to other countries is gaining popularity among people of retirement age. Find out which five countries are among the best for a comfortable retirement

Get free  information about 200+ countries
Get free information about 200+ countries
Click here

12% of American retirees live abroad, as well as representatives of Germany, France, Great Britain and many other countries of the world. In recent years, the idea of moving to other countries after retirement has become increasingly popular. When choosing a country, most foreigners pay attention to the cost and quality of life, as well as the level of cultural development.

What are the best countries for retirement? Top 5 further.

How was the rating created?

US News and World Report surveyed more than 17,000 people and ranked countries according to their perceptions among the 45+ segment. The following factors were taken into account: affordability of prices, favorable tax environment, friendliness of the local population, climatic features, respect for property rights and the level of development of the health care system. The summary question is whether this country is a place where you would move.

5th place – Australia

In 2022, Australia again entered the top 5 ranking of the most comfortable countries for retirement (in 2021, the country occupied the third step). Among the respondents, the state is highly valued due to its friendly people, as well as picturesque landscapes and a moderate climate, including mild winters. Although the high cost of living in big cities can be a deterrent for many foreigners. Australia has many small cities and country towns where prices are lower and the quality of life is high. This is where foreign retirees are increasingly moving.

For those planning to retire in Australia, two visa options are available:

● The standard pensioner visa is a temporary visa for pensioners, you must be over 55 to apply for it. Having enough money to live on, good health and no criminal record are also important. You also don't have to support other family members other than your partner.

The Standard Retirement Visa initially allows you to live in Australia for 4 years and can be renewed every two years after that 4-year period.

● A permanent pensioner visa is a type of investor visa that requires a more complicated procedure. To be eligible to apply for this visa, you need to invest a certain amount of money in the country's economy. It depends on the region you choose to live in:

- in a region with a high rate of development: assets worth $750,000 + $500,000 for each family member;

- in a region with an average rate of development: assets worth $500,000 + $250,000 for each family member.

Most applicants invest in real estate. For your application to be accepted, you must have owned the property for at least two years at the time of submitting your visa application.

Healthcare in Australia

Health and social services are very good in Australia. However, you can only access Australian health services if you are a citizen or have permanent residency. Therefore, it is better for temporary visa holders to take out a health insurance policy before moving to Australia.

The best cities to retire in Australia

When choosing a city, most expats pay attention to the level of development of the transport network, the availability of housing, as well as the number of sunny days. Australia's best cities for retirees are:

- Sunshine Coast, Queensland

- Coolangatta, New South Wales

- Hunter Valley, New South Wales

- Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

- Huon Valley, Tasmania

- Kadina, South Australia

- Geraldton, Washington

4th place - Portugal

Portugal rose from fifth place to fourth in this year's list of the best countries to retire. Most of the respondents noted the pleasant climate of Portugal, and many respondents said that Portugal is exactly the country where they would like to live.

Along with a relatively low cost of living, Portugal also has tax laws that have made it easier for expats to retire in the country.

Obtaining a residence permit is the easiest way to retire in Portugal. There are two main ways to become a resident of Portugal:

● The D7 or Type 1 visa allows expats to ease the retirement process in Portugal. You can apply for a D7 visa if you have a permanent income, such as a pension or social security payments, sufficient to support yourself in Portugal.

● The "Golden Visa" of Portugal allows investors to obtain a residence permit in exchange for certain investments in the country's economy. The following investment options are available:

- Buy a property in Portugal worth at least €500,000 (the amount can be reduced to €400,000 or €250,000 in areas with a low population density).

- Transfer capital of at least 1.5 million euros to Portugal.

- Investment of at least €500,000 in a Portuguese company or fund.

- A donation of €250,000 for the preservation of Portugal's national heritage or €500,000 for Portuguese research and development programmes.


Serviço Nacional de Sade is a government-funded national health care program in Portugal that offers reduced-cost or free medical treatment. However, for faster and more comprehensive medical care, you can take out a health insurance policy.

The best places to retire in Portugal

- Lisbon

- Cascais and Estoril

- Central Portugal

- Porto

- Algarve

3rd place - Spain

Spain is not only considered one of the most friendly countries in Europe, it also has a pleasant climate, good transport accessibility and a rich culture. Most respondents note that it is much easier to move here after retirement than to many other countries in the world.

The Spanish "Golden Visa" program is available for expats from different countries. To get a golden visa to Spain, you must make one of the following investments:

- Investment of at least 500,000 euros in real estate in Spain.

- Buy shares of a Spanish company or fund worth at least 1 million euros.

- Put at least 1 million euros on deposit in a Spanish bank.

- Buy Spanish government bonds worth at least 2 million euros.

Healthcare in Spain

There are two health care systems in Spain: public and private. Access to state treatment is granted to foreigners who pay appropriate taxes. However, the waiting period in state institutions is quite long. If you prefer fast service, you may want to consider purchasing private insurance.

The best cities to retire in Spain

- Barcelona

- Granada

- Madrid

- Malaga

- Valencia

2nd place – Switzerland

Switzerland is a small Central European country, one of the richest in the world. Thanks to its economic stability, well-developed health care system, low level of corruption, favorable tax environment and level of security, Switzerland is an ideal country for a comfortable retirement.

The procedure for obtaining a Swiss visa depends on your citizenship:

● EU citizens – confirm that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in Switzerland and take out health insurance.

● Citizens of other countries of the world:

- confirm that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in Switzerland;

- live in the country for most of the year;

- own real estate in the country, have Swiss origin or reside in Switzerland for a long time;

- take out a health insurance policy.

Healthcare in Switzerland

In order to have access to Switzerland's excellent healthcare system, you must register and pay monthly fees. The amount you pay depends on your insurance plan.

The best places to retire in Switzerland

- Wo

- Zurich

- Train

- Appenzell-Ausserroden

1st place - New Zealand

New Zealand is a picturesque country and a place where most of the respondents would like to live. That is why the state ranks first in this year's ranking.

New Zealand offers two visa options for those who want to move there as a retiree.

● For Temporary Retirement - This visa program requires you to be 66 years of age or older. To apply, you must invest NZ$750,000 into the country's economy and prove you have the means to live in the country and comprehensive insurance.

● Parent visa – to be eligible for this visa, your child must be a citizen or resident of New Zealand. In addition, you need to invest 1 million New Zealand dollars in the country's economy. A parent visa allows you to stay in New Zealand indefinitely.

Healthcare in New Zealand

The health care system of New Zealand is represented by public and private hospitals. Residents of New Zealand can use discounted or free medical care. Health care is financed by taxes.

The best places to retire in New Zealand

- Marlborough

- Bay of Islands

- Central Otago

- Kapiti Coast

- Oakland

The ideal country for retirement largely depends on the applicant's individual needs, preferences and financial circumstances. Someone is attracted to a quiet life by the sea, others choose bustling cities.

Choosing the right city for retirement will allow you to enjoy this phase of your life to the fullest. Also, make sure that you have a health insurance policy, because most countries require this document for obtaining a residence permit, and the policy will also ensure that you receive the highest quality medical services, which is very important for retirees.

Photo: Getty Images

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Medical insurance all over the world;

Legal advice from a local specialist on visa and migration issues (to receive the service, select the country of interest and citizenship).

More articles on the topic:

Top destinations for adventure travel abroad to visit in 2023-2024.

Find the cheapest countries to live in in 2023 here.

The safest regions of the world: which country will be the best if World War III happens?

Recommended articles

3 min

Residence permit Immigration to Turkey: what you need to consider before moving to Turkey from the UK

Immigration to Turkey: what you need to consider before moving to Turkey from the UK

Turkey is one of the best places to live and work. The country is attractive due to its modern infrastructure and simple procedures for obtaining residence and work permits. Find out more about why so many Brits are moving to Turkey and whether a Briton can get citizenship in exchange for investment

18 Aug. 2023

More details

2 min

Expats Europe's best countries to live In for Expats 2024

Europe's best countries to live In for Expats 2024

Europe is a coveted destination for expats due to its diverse cultures, history, and high standard of living. However, the prospect of moving to a new country can be both exciting and intimidating. Here are the 10 best countries in Europe for expats to live in in 2024

21 Mar. 2024

More details

2 min

Insurance How to choose health insurance: a step-by-step guide

How to choose health insurance: a step-by-step guide

You usually have a limited amount of time to choose the best health insurance plan for your family, but rushing and choosing the wrong coverage can be costly. Find here a step-by-step guide to help you choose the right health insurance for your trip

23 Aug. 2023

More details

3 min

Popular Top 10 US cities with the best quality of life in 2024 (updated)

Top 10 US cities with the best quality of life in 2024 (updated)

When choosing a city to relocate to, it is important to consider many factors, such as quality of life, job prospects, crime rates, education and healthcare, etc. Learn more about the top best cities to live in the US in 2024

22 Mar. 2024

More details