Where Should I Retire in Europe?

Every year, swathes of Britons move overseas to retire in places with better weather, more investment opportunities, and less stringent tax laws. 2022 seems to be no different thus far, even since the Brexit legislation came into full effect in January of last year.

There have been some changes to visa schemes for British nationals looking to relocate. However, many EU countries are still keen on welcoming British expats. Specifically, Spain and Portugal are very much continuing to encourage immigration. (These countries have made changes to their non-lucrative and passive income visas. It is imperative you understand how you will meet the new criteria before relocating.)

What to consider before moving

The most important decision when making such a significant life change is to determine where to move. There are various places across Europe that would be suitable for retirement. Some may be more ideal than others depending on one’s financial circumstances and, of course, their own particular preferences.   

When choosing a country to move to, some of the top factors one may want to consider are:

  • the cost of living. Housing will likely be your biggest expense. The cost of groceries, healthcare, taxes, etc. will all contribute to one’s regular expenses. 
  • if you want to live in a small town, coastal city, or metropolis. Choosing what type of area you will relocate to depends on what you are looking for in your retirement. If you have spent most of your life in amongst the hustle and bustle of London, you may want a more relaxed life by the sea. Contrastingly, if you have previously lived somewhat of a quiet life, you may desire more opportunities for cultural experiences and entertainment. This is all dependent on the individual.
  • what the climate is like. For many, the weather is the most important factor. By the time Britons reach old age, they are often tired of the gloomy weather and want to settle somewhere with more sun. Therefore, the rainier cities in Europe may not be a viable option for such a demographic.
  • whether the residents have a similar mindset to you. It is important to some for their interests and values to be aligned with those of the residents in the place they retire. Therefore, it would be beneficial to learn about the cultural and political attitudes of the region, along with the lifestyles of those who inhabit it.

What European country should I retire to?

Spain, Portugal, Malta, and France have all made International Living’s top 10 countries to retire in for 2022. Out of what the entire world has to offer, these four were marked as being the top contenders for a comfortable retirement. This is not only because of their sun-soaked seasons. Many regions throughout these countries are as affordable as they are beautiful.

image 18 jordyn


Spain’s popularity as a retirement destination is growing consistently. Recently, the population of people born in another country reached record levels. Amongst the English-speaking world, it is a popular location because there are many pockets of English-speaking communities throughout the country.

Some other benefits are the cost of living is average to low depending on your lifestyle, quality healthcare is offered (both public and private), and their property prices are reasonable (with coastal areas being more expensive, naturally).


What many take away upon visiting Portugal is how kind the people are. In addition to a welcoming atmosphere, the country is very accessible to English speakers. Many Portuguese speak some English, as it is taught in schools, and Portuguese language classes are free for immigrants.

Of course, the healthcare, beaches, and low cost of living are also major draws for retirees.


Malta is not just an ideal holiday destination. It is also a great place to both live in and retire to. In fact, it is estimated that 15% of the population is comprised by expats. English is widely spoken in Malta, making it easier for English-speakers to adapt. Additionally, it is so beautiful that one would perhaps assume the cost of living on this small, picturesque island would be costly. On the contrary, actually—Malta is quite an affordable place to live.


When one thinks of France, the mind perhaps goes immediately to Paris (although the wine and exceptional cuisine are likely a close second). However, if one were to look past the more populated areas of Paris and Lyon, France has quite a few affordable metropolitan areas and coastal cities that may be attractive to retirees.

In addition to this, the World Health Organisation ranked France number one for healthcare systems in the world.

Consult with an adviser upon moving

image16 jordyn

Luckily, Private Client Consultancy has offices in Spain and Portugal. We also have network members operating in France, companies that operate from Malta, and we are fully licensed to function throughout the EU. Therefore, you do not need to go at it alone. We will be with you every step of the way as you get your retirement plans in order.

We also have a large community of expatriate clients. Because of this, we understand the needs of the expat, and our main aim is to provide them with the financial stability they are looking for in their new home. 

With the help of one of our Wealth Managers, you can make informed investment and pension decisions. Contact us today.