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 top European countries for retirees based on several key factors.

Country

Rank

Crime Index

Cost of living index

Over the age of 65 (% of population)

House price

Life expectancy

Final score

Finland 1 27.01 77.46 21.61 8.64 81.73 3.83
Spain 2 33.13 59.09 19.7 9.59 83.43 3.7
Slovenia 3 21.79 59.38 19.65 10.89 81.37 3.7
Netherlands 4 27.22 78.64 19.16 7.35 81.81 3.68
Italy 5 44.37 73.11 23.31 9.52 83.34 3.65
Denmark 6 26.72 91.67 19.84 6.66 80.95 3.63
Portugal 7 29.89 52.88 21.89 12.65 81.32 3.62
Estonia 8 23.38 56.45 19.73 9.11 78.24 3.6
Germany 9 35.42 70.62 21.66 9.12 80.89 3.57
Austria 10 25.23 75.49 19.38 10.4 81.69 3.5
Switzerland 11 21.35 131.75 18.63 8.42 83.75 3.32
Iceland 12 24.13 96.77 14.79 6.31 82.86 3.32
Greece 13 44.14 60.96 20.59 10.13 81.78 3.31
Bulgaria 14 38.12 40.92 21.07 8.97 74.93 3.25
Belgium 15 44.17 78.52 18.76 6.91 81.59 2.23
Sweden 16 47.2 79.17 20.08 8.56 82.55 3.21
Romania 17 28.35 38.5 18.28 10.66 75.35 3.12
Croatia 18 24.91 56.36 20.12 14.2 78.07 3.12
Latvia 19 37.21 52.87 19.98 8.48 74.78 3.08
Malta 20 38.93 73.61 19.85 12.5 82.44 3.08
Czech Republic 21 25.31 49.18 19.47 15.46 79.02 3.07
Norway 22 33.35 106.09 17.01 8.49 82.75 3.01
Hungary 23 34.81 42.75 19.51 11.6 76.06 3.01
United Kingdom 24 45.26 71.03 18.65 9.57 81.25 2.99
Lithuania 25 33.84 47.66 19.16 10.97 75.68 2.98
Poland 26 29.32 42.04 17.34 14.03 77.6 2.83
Slovakia 27 29.74 49.08 15.6 11.14 77.26 2.82
Bosnia And Herzegovina 28 43.01 38.56 17.01 10.75 77.64 2.79
Ireland 29 45.02 83.11 14.27 7.4 82.25 2.71
France 30 49.2 80.62 20.05 13.48 82.72 2.7
Luxembourg 31 32.15 88.28 14.48 12.17 82.29 2.57
Serbia 32 38.26 39.19 17.89 17.08 75.89 2.26
Montenegro 33 41.61 41.43 15.25 14.12 76.77 2.23
Russia 34 40.13 33.17 14.61 11.14 72.65 2.22
Ukraine 35 48.28 29.21 16.76 10.77 71.58 2.22
Albania 36 41.64 40.25 13.59 14.78 78.45 2.15
Belarus 37 60.27 30.69 15.04 16.79 74.17 1.37
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 65s

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