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27 Jul. 2023


Where to live well in retirement: the best countries for retirees



Where to live well in retirement: the best countries for retirees

Choosing the best place to retire primarily depends on your personal preferences. However, there are many opportunities to explore different cultures and countries that are suitable for this period of our lives. Here are the best countries for retirees

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine

Retirees are divided into two types: those who will never leave their home and those who want to spend their old age abroad, enjoying the warm climate and the benefits of foreign medicine.

To make your dreams come true, you should thoroughly research the countries that accept immigrants. VisitUkraine will help you compile a list of the most hospitable countries for foreigners.

How to start planning immigration for retirees

First, you should understand the types of immigration. Immigration is divided into permanent, temporary, seasonal, episodic, and pendulous according to the duration of a person's stay abroad. Each country has its own conditions for accepting immigrants for a certain period of time, so understanding the time in immigration will help you choose the right country.

The decision to immigrate is driven by certain socioeconomic factors in the country of residence. Usually, people move abroad in search of better conditions, so we recommend that you carefully analyze the following aspects in the countries you are considering:

● General standard of living;

● accessibility and quality of medical services;

● the mentality of the local population;

● climate;

● the difficulty of obtaining a residence permit;

● security;

● infrastructure;

● possibility to receive a pension.

The next step is to obtain grounds for legal residence abroad and a residence permit. Usually, the following events are grounds for pensioners:

● Purchase of real estate;

● reunification with relatives;

● marriage;

● participation in a pension program, if any, in the desired country.

Recommendation! Do not choose a country for immigration based on your impressions from tourist trips. Permanent residence in a country is different from a short trip. Find Ukrainians living in the country you are considering and learn about all the pitfalls firsthand.

Obtaining a visa for immigration

A type D visa is the basis for living abroad. Only its holders can apply for a permanent residence permit. This document is usually legal for one year, but it can be extended later. It should be added that a residence permit opens the door to social rights that immigrants enjoy on an equal footing with residents.

Of course, each country has its own rules for issuing residence permits. However, the general approach is roughly the same everywhere. You need to:

● Open a bank account;

● take out an insurance policy;

● obtain a certificate of no criminal record;

● provide proof of residence;

● prepare a certificate of income in your home country.

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The best countries for immigration of the elderly

Ukrainian retirees often choose the countries of the European Union. Residents of these regions are more similar to Ukrainians in terms of mentality compared to residents of Asia, America or Australia. In addition, living in certain European countries is relatively inexpensive. The cost of food, housing, and transportation is extremely important if an immigrant is to receive a pension from Ukraine.

At the same time, more distant countries support immigrant pensioners through programs that provide people with the best possible experience in adapting to new conditions. 

Let's take a closer look at each continent.


Portugal, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and countries on the Adriatic coast are among the most comfortable countries for immigration in old age.

To move to Portugal, you need to have a legal source of income in this country, purchase housing worth more than 80 thousand euros and live in the country for more than 183 days during the year. Although Portugal attracts Ukrainians with its warm climate, coastline and large diaspora, it is worth remembering the country's disadvantages. Among them are high utility rates, queues in hospitals and a shortage of doctors.

To legalize residence in Spain, it is enough to invest more than 500 thousand euros in real estate. Spain will thank foreigners with its climatic and geographical features: choose to live in areas ranging from mountains to beaches. It should be added that the level of medicine in Spain is high, and foreign pensioners can receive free consultations and medicines. Another undeniable advantage is low food prices, especially for fruits and vegetables, which are available all year round.

Italy attracts retirees with social programs. However, permanent residence can be obtained only after five years of residence in the country. It is not possible to obtain Italian residency through the purchase of real estate.

Interestingly, Ukrainians often choose Bulgaria. This country attracts with its mild climate, food prices similar to those in Ukraine, and affordable housing. 

Serbia and Montenegro are also budget options. Real estate in these countries is considered affordable. In addition, many retirees are looking to live by the sea.


This region attracts those who want to live by the sea in eternal summer. Thailand is among the leaders. In this country, retirees will find friendly people, a relaxed lifestyle, quality healthcare, and affordable prices.

Immigrants also choose Malaysia, where food and housing prices are low. You can buy an apartment in Kuala Lumpur from $100 thousand.

Turkey, which is familiar to Ukrainians, is also a great option for retirees. Real estate prices are at the level of Ukrainian ones, and healthcare is better. However, keep in mind the big drawback - the wave of tourists in the summer.


84% of people living in Australia consider themselves happy. This is confirmed by statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation. It is not surprising that Ukrainians are also considering Australia.

The country takes special care of retirees. In 2023, the government launched a program to resettle pensioners. Australia is advertised by emphasizing its advantages:

● Security;

● developed infrastructure;

● clean environment;

● high level of healthcare.

Retirees can get a special visa - Investor Retirement Visa. To obtain it, you need to meet certain criteria:

● Be over 55 years old;

● have your own funding and no dependents;

● have more than AU$ 750 thousand in your account and an annual income of AU$ 65 thousand or more (for urban residents);

● have more than AU$500 thousand in assets and an annual income of AU$50 thousand or more (for rural areas).

The Investor Retirement visa is issued for four years with the possibility of extension.


On this continent, retirees will be attracted to Egypt and Morocco. These countries are relatively close to Europe and have low housing prices. However, the downside of these countries should be understood. The majority of the population is Arab, so Ukrainians will experience significant cultural differences.

North and South America

To move to the United States, a retiree needs to win a green card or obtain a family reunification visa.

However, in recent years, the popularity of Central and South American countries has been growing. Most of the countries in the region have overcome the economic crisis, and progress has become noticeable in all areas of life. Colombia is worth highlighting. The temperate climate, friendly people, and inexpensive rental costs make the adaptation of retirees quick and pleasant.

In Ecuador, pensioners enjoy discounts on air travel, cinema and theater tickets, and public transportation. One and a half thousand dollars a month is enough for two people to live comfortably in the country.  

It's up to you to choose countries similar to Ukraine or radically different for emigration. You can fulfill your dream and live in an exotic country or move to a conservative European state. The main thing is to follow the call of your heart to make immigration a pleasant experience.

Ryanair recently announced plans to resume flights from Ukraine. Read here to find out whether the Ukrainian sky will be opened and where the planes will fly.

Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip: 

Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;

Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;

Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;

Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.

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