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10 European Countries That Are Perfect For U.S. Retirees In 2024

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Summary

  • The Netherlands: Enjoy an active retirement in the Netherlands with a high pension index score and affordable cost of living. Popular places to retire include The Hague and Amsterdam.
  • Germany: Germany offers a mix of affordability, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes. Consider smaller cities like Leipzig or villages in southern Germany for a slower pace of life.
  • Italy: Abruzzo in southern Italy is the cheapest and most beautiful region to retire. Enjoy a low cost of living and retire in style in a villa surrounded by olive groves or on the beach. Popular places to retire include Tuscany and Le Marche.

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Retiring from that stressful 9-5 and entering the golden years of retirement is a dream come true for many. The question is, where is the best place to settle down? For some, moving abroad to a country that offers sunshine, relaxation, a slow-paced way of life, and a suitable pension is the dream retirement scenario. European countries high on the Global Pension Index, like Finland or Denmark, can offer retirees a low cost of living and an attractive pension, allowing them to live out their best years in peace and comfort.

In 2024, retiring abroad is becoming more appealing to American retirees, and not to mention more affordable, than retiring in the U.S., particularly in European countries! If retiring to a cottage in the countryside or settling down in the foothills of the Alps sounds like the perfect situation, then read on! Thanks to Go Banking Rates‘ findings, these are the top 10 European countries that are perfect for U.S. retirees in 2024.

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10 The Netherlands

Perfect for an active lifestyle and the best pension system

River cruise in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Shutterstock

River cruise in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

With an astonishing Global Pension Index rating of 85.0 and a relatively affordable monthly cost of living, it’s no wonder why the Netherlands is one of the best places to retire in Europe. Retirees can enjoy a comfortable retirement surrounded by the Netherlands’ stunning landscapes, friendly locals, and an active lifestyle that will keep them healthy and happy during their golden years. The Netherlands also offers affordability, a high quality of life, and a high-ranking public healthcare system for retirees.

  • Cost Of Living:
    $1,835 per month
  • Safety Index:
    73.89
  • Global Pension Index Score:
    85.0
  • Popular Places To Retire:
    The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Groningen

9 Germany

Whether it’s in a big city or a small village in the Alps, Germany is an attractive retirement spot

Schloss Elmau, In Elmau, Krün, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Photo by Peter Steiner 🇨🇭 1973 on Unsplash

Schloss Elmau, In Elmau, Krün, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Due to its reasonable cost of living, vibrant culture, and beautiful variety of landscapes, Germany is becoming not only a popular tourist destination but an ideal country to retire to in 2024. Bigger cities like Munich, Hamburg, or Berlin are typically safe to live in, but also more expensive. For a slow pace of life, better affordability, and vibrant culture at every turn, retirees would be best suited in cities like Leipzig and Bremen or villages in southern Germany like Oberammergau or Füssen. Retirees looking for a safe and beautiful place to live out their golden years will find it in Germany. Plus, they’ll get to enjoy delicious food, quiet days in the countryside, and beautiful architecture around every corner.

  • Cost Of Living:
    $1,519 per month
  • Safety Index:
    61.10
  • Global Pension Index Score:
    66.8
  • Popular Places To Retire:
    Hamburg, Heidelberg, Munich, Bremen, Leipzig

8 Italy

Abruzzo is the cheapest and most beautiful region in Italy to retire

Moltrasio town on Lake Como with S. Agata church, Province of Como, Lombardy region, Italy, Europe
Shutterstock

Moltrasio town on Lake Como with S. Agata church, Province of Como, Lombardy region, Italy, Europe

Everyone dreams of visiting Italy at some point in their life, but what about living there full-time? Like Germany, Italy has a wide variety of cities, quiet country towns, and even vineyards where retirees can settle down and enjoy a retired life. They can easily retire in style and luxury in Italy for a low cost of living. In fact, the cheapest place to retire in Italy in 2024 is Abruzzo. This region in southern Italy is nestled in the Apennine Mountains and is relatively unknown, which is perfect for retirees looking for a quiet retirement. Plus, it’s the cheapest place to buy property. Nothing beats retiring in a villa in an olive grove or on the beach in Italy.

  • Cost Of Living:
    $1,388 per month
  • Safety Index:
    52.71
  • Global Pension Index Score:
    56.3
  • Popular Places To Retire:
    Tuscany, Abruzzo, Le Marche, Lombardy

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7 Denmark

Retirees can’t go wrong with choosing Denmark as their retirement destination

Copenhagen downtown city skyline, cityscape of Denmark
Shutterstock 

Copenhagen downtown city skyline, cityscape of Denmark

Known as the world’s second-happiest country with a strong work-life balance and generous welfare system, Denmark is truly the dreamiest country to retire to. Denmark is also highly regarded for its balance between a collective active lifestyle and an emphasis on slow-paced living and prioritizing personal interests and well-being. On top of that, while living in Denmark may be more expensive than other European countries, Denmark boasts a fantastic healthcare system and a high safety index. Denmark is the perfect retirement package!

  • Cost Of Living:
    $1,890 per month
  • Safety Index:
    73.74
  • Global Pension Index Score:
    81.3
  • Popular Places To Retire:
    Aalborg, Odense, Copenhagen, Aarhus

6 Croatia

Stunning landscapes, fine dining, and a balanced lifestyle await retirees in Croatia

Dubrovnik West Harbor and its ancient city walls as people kayak in the sea, Croatia
Shutterstock

Dubrovnik West Harbor and its ancient city walls as people kayak in the sea, Croatia

Croatia is well known for being one of the least expensive countries to travel to in Europe. The same goes for retirees! The cost of living in Croatia is 40% lower than in other European countries, with guarantees of high quality of life, vibrant culture, and breathtaking views 24/7.

There’s no right answer when it comes to where to retire in Croatia. Whether it’s on an island or a popular city like Dubrovnik, retirees will no doubt enjoy a mix of nature and luxury while living in Croatia.

  • Cost Of Living:
    $1,089 per month
  • Safety Index:
    74.06
  • Global Pension Index Score:
    62.3
  • Popular Places To Retire:
    Split, Zagreb, Zadar, Dubrovnik

5 France

 A bridge over a river in a mountainous area in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France
Photo by Tom Podmore on Unsplash

 A bridge over a river in a mountainous area in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

When considering France, most imagine living in Paris or Nice, where there are fine dining, fashion, and major attractions to enjoy. But there is so much more to France than its major cities. There are hundreds of villages and peaceful countryside towns that are perfect for retirement in 2024.

Retirees will find both relaxation and adventure no matter what region of France they choose to settle down in. They may have to wrestle with higher taxes and the language barrier outside touristy cities, but France’s beauty, culture, and proximity to surrounding countries continue to be appealing factors for retirees in 2024.

  • Cost Of Living:
    $1,517 per month
  • Safety Index:
    44.74
  • Global Pension Index Score:
    62.0
  • Popular Places To Retire:
    Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse, Dijon

4 Spain

Spain’s colorful and eclectic atmosphere is a big draw for retirees in 2024

A view of square Portal de la pau, Port Vell marina, and Columbus Monument at night in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Shutterstock

A view of square Portal de la pau, Port Vell marina, and Columbus Monument at night in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

There’s definitely a theme across Europe when considering a retirement destination- good food, vibrant culture, and high quality of life, and Spain is no different. This is the perfect country for retirement for those seeking a year-round warm climate, a laid-back lifestyle, and excellent healthcare.

Retirees will also experience a low cost of living here in Spain, regardless of what town or city they choose to live in. Whether it’s the bustling nightlife of Seville or the quiet seaside life in Alicante, retirees are sure to experience the best of their golden years in Spain.

  • Cost Of Living:
    $1,302 per month
  • Safety Index:
    63.75
  • Global Pension Index Score:
    61.6
  • Popular Places To Retire:
    Seville, Valencia, Barcelona, Alicante

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3 Portugal

One of the top retirement destinations in Europe

Lisbon, Portugal
Shutterstock

Lisbon, Portugal

Say goodbye to that draining 9-5 job and start retirement the right way in Portugal! Without even considering Portugal’s other amazing qualities, it has become the top-rated country for retirement based on its excellent healthcare options.

Portugal is the perfect retirement destination for those seeking a laid-back lifestyle, a hassle-free process, a low cost of living, and a scenic atmosphere, which is why it’s one of the best places to retire in 2024.

  • Cost Of Living:
    $1,160 per month
  • Safety Index:
    68.83
  • Global Pension Index Score:
    67.4
  • Popular Places To Retire:
    Porto, The Algarve, Lagos, Lisbon

2 Ireland

A little more on the pricey side, but one of the best places to retire in Europe for slow-paced, country living

Part of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
Shutterstock

Part of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

For those dreaming of a cozy retirement out in the countryside or the coast with surrounding farmland and castles, they will find no better place to retire than Ireland. The country is known to be one of the happiest in the world, brimming with character, a rich culture, and charm. While Ireland may be a more expensive retirement option, many would argue that it’s worth it for the slow-paced lifestyle. Scoring in the B category on the Global Pension Index, Ireland’s pension system is adequate for U.S. retirees. The Irish countryside is a little more affordable than Dublin or Galway and an exceptional place to settle down in Europe.

  • Cost Of Living:
    $2,337 per month
  • Safety Index:
    53.49
  • Global Pension Index Score:
    70.2
  • Popular Places To Retire:
    Killarney, Cork, Dublin, Kinsale

1 Finland

Finland’s stunning beauty and happy locals make this Nordic country an ideal place to retire

Rovaniemi, Finland
Unsplash

Rovaniemi, Finland in winter 

Hands down, one of the best, safest, and happiest places in Europe to retire is the Nordic country of Finland! People are flocking to Finland in 2024 because of its high safety index, pristine beauty, and strong healthcare system. The only thing retirees have to consider when moving here is the weather, particularly the harsh winters, and the higher cost of living. Besides that, retirees are looking at spending their golden years in one of the safest and happiest countries in Europe.

  • Cost Of Living:
    $1,543 per month
  • Safety Index:
    73.67
  • Global Pension Index Score:
    76.6
  • Popular Places To Retire:
    Rovaniemi, Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere
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