A Guide to Retirement in Switzerland 

A guide to retirement in Switzerland for those who are enchanted by Europe’s Alpine jewel. The country has plenty to offer expats looking for somewhere in the mountains to spend their retirement years.  

Where are the Best Places to Retire in Switzerland? 

For the Culture – If incredible cuisine, art and culture is your thing then you might want to take Zurich into consideration. The old neighbourhoods in Zurich offer unique architectural designs and there are various museums and art galleries in the area too. As the city consistently ranks high when it comes to the quality of life, living in the city centre does not come cheap but the city is easily accessible from the outskirts in the countryside. 

For the Old World – Searching for that old European feeling? Mark Switzerland’s capital, Bern, down as one of your options. In this city you can expect a more relaxed lifestyle than some of the larger more modern cities like Zurich. There is an abundance of sightseeing excursions to take advantage of the stunning views and the city has been made into a UNESCO world heritage site.   

For Village Retirement – If disappearing into the Swiss mountains and finding a picturesque village to live in seems like a bit of you, then Gimmelwald could be the right place. Across the country there are plenty of little hamlets to choose from, but Gimmelwald is a traffic free village and a great choice for the outdoor adventurer looking to fully immerse themselves in a natural and active lifestyle.  

The Cost of Retiring in Switzerland 

Switzerland is one of the richer countries in Europe and shows this through its high standards of living, cleanliness, safety and culture. Although the cost of living does vary throughout the country, it is still higher than in the UK therefore it may not be a feasible option for every expat.  

Those looking to purchase a property in Switzerland or to have a comfortable retirement want to be receiving an income that comes close to six figures or have several hundred thousand in their savings. However, with that being said, the amount you will need largely depends on the type of retirement you want. While the big cities can be costly to live in, the smaller towns and countryside areas offer more economical options. 

The Swiss Franc is used as the country’s currency in place of the Euro as Switzerland is not part of the European Union. At the time of writing, 1 Swiss Franc equates to 0,93 in Pounds Sterling or 1,06 in Euro currency. 

Visa Requirements for Retirees Relocating to Switzerland 

EU citizens, British expats included, can stay for up to 90 days in a six-month period without a visa. To stay for longer, those looking to retire there need to meet various criteria, such as the proof of financial resources and a health insurance policy, to be able to obtain a residence permit. Switzerland and the UK have a double taxation policy to avoid being taxed in both countries on the same income. An annual tax return still needs to be filed though, even if all your income is coming from outside of the country. Expats might have to complete additional paperwork, contacting a tax expert may be necessary to avoid any complications or unnecessary taxation. 

Get your Dream Retirement  

With the help of a financial adviser, you can make your dream retirement come true. Find out more about how to get a visa to retire in Switzerland and how to plan for your retirement. Get in touch with one of our Wealth Managers today to begin your financial planning journey. 

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