The best European countries for retirement

Every year, millions of hard-working employees finally close their laptops, put down their toolbox or shut up shop to embark on a well-deserved retirement. To help them choose the best retirement destination, we’ve ranked the best European countries for retirees based on numerous ranking factors.

Country

Rank

Crime Index

Cost of living index

Over the age of 65 (% of population)

House price

Life expectancy

Final score

Finland 1 23.3 70.3 21.6% 8.35 81.4 4.06
Slovenia 2 21.1 53.4 19.7% 10.49 81.2 3.96
Spain 3 32.0 53.8 19.7% 9.37 83.3 3.80
Estonia 4 23.1 50.9 19.7% 9.06 77.6 3.74
Denmark 5 25.1 83.0 19.8% 7.45 80.9 3.72
Portugal 6 29.6 49.5 21.9% 12.7 81.1 3.63
Netherlands 7 27.6 73.8 19.2% 7.51 81.6 3.61
Germany 8 34.8 65.3 21.7% 9.38 81.0 3.61
Austria 9 23.7 70.4 19.4% 10.88 81.6 3.56
Italy 10 44.3 67.3 23.3% 9.71 83.2 3.45
Switzerland 11 21.6 122.4 18.6% 8.68 83.6 3.37
Croatia 12 24.7 49.7 20.1% 13.73 78.0 3.27
Greece 13 40.3 55.7 20.6% 10.6 81.4 3.26
Bulgaria 14 38.5 36.7 21.1% 8.52 74.8 3.22
Poland 15 28.5 40.0 17.3% 11.38 77.9 3.21
Czech Republic 16 25.5 46.2 19.5% 15.42 79.0 3.18
Iceland 17 23.4 100.5 14.8% 6.74 82.2 3.17
Romania 18 27.6 35.3 18.3% 11.33 75.3 3.12
Malta 19 39.0 67.5 19.9% 12.32 82.5 3.07
Belgium 20 44.0 71.8 18.8% 6.91 81.4 3.06
Slovakia 21 29.2 44.5 15.6% 10.25 77.2 3.03
Latvia 22 37.0 47.9 20% 8.85 74.6 3.02
Sweden 23 47.1 69.9 20.1% 9.27 82.3 3.00
Lithuania 24 33.1 44.3 19.2% 10.9 74.7 2.95
United Kingdom 25 43.7 67.3 18.7% 10.09 81.2 2.87
Norway 26 35.4 101.4 17% 8.77 82.4 2.77
France 27 46.8 74.1 20.1% 13.04 82.5 2.71
Hungary 28 35.1 40.9 19.2% 14.77 76.1 2.66
Luxembourg 29 33.4 81.9 14.5% 11.61 82.7 2.58
Ireland 30 45.4 75.9 14.3% 7.49 81.7 2.55
Belarus 31 25.0 34.7 15% 14.65 73.8 2.51
Bosnia and Herzegovina 32 43.0 36.0 17% 12.58 76.9 2.47
Montenegro 33 41.2 38.2 15.3% 13.23 77.1 2.32
Serbia 34 37.4 35.7 17.9% 18.94 75.7 2.22
Albania 35 39.5 36.4 13.6% 15.49 78.3 2.19
Russia 36 41.1 39.2 14.6% 10.77 71.7 2.06
Ukraine 37 48.9 33.2 16.8% 12.23 71.5 1.88
Finland is the best European country for retirees.
With breath-taking views, fresh lakes, vast forests, and quaint cities; it’s no surprise that Finland draws millions of retirees to their border each year. The friendly locals, relaxed way of living, and beautiful changing seasons make it the perfect destination for anyone who’s looking to wind down and enjoy life in their ‘golden years’.

Best country for house prices

The Balkan country of Serbia has the lowest house prices on average across Europe. This beautiful nation has so many things going for it, including its delicious cuisine, and unique culture, which is a fusion of central and South-eastern Europe.

Best country for over 65’s

Italy has the largest population of over 65s in Europe, meaning retirees will be surrounded by people of a similar age range. Famous for its gorgeous scenery, charming lakes, and delicious cuisine; retirees who move here definitely won’t be short of things to do.

Best country for life expectancy

Switzerland tops the list, with the highest life expectancy rates across the entirety of Europe. Here, the average person lives for over 83 years. With its peaceful and relaxing mountain landscapes, and wealth of outdoor activities such as skiing; Switzerland is the perfect location to both relax and stay active.

Best country for cost of living

Ukraine has the lowest cost of living across all of Europe. A beautiful country with a rich history, it boasts stunning architecture, picturesque beaches, and a great café culture. Whilst it’s often overlooked as a retirement destination, it’s a great option for those who are looking to get more for their money.

Methodology:

To calculate the index, we first normalised the data categories individually from 0 to 1 and then summed the results.

On this scale, for

  • Crime – The country with the highest rate of crime would be weighted closer to 0
  • Cost of living - The country with the highest cost is weighted closer to 0
  • 60 and over – lower % of population is weight closer to 0
  • Property prices – Higher property prices are deemed less desirable so are weighted down
  • Life expectancy – Lower life expectancy is less desirable so weighted down