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9 destinations in Europe where retirees are happy and housing is affordable

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty ImagesWho wouldn’t want to retire to a warm European seaside town?
  • Retiring in Europe is both a glamorous and realistic option for Americans.
  • Live and Invest Overseas, a resource for people who want to live, retire, and invest overseas, put together a list of the best places in Europe for American retirees.
  • The ranking is based on cost of living, safety, local expat community, and more.

After working several decades in a cubicle, who wouldn’t want to retire to a warm European seaside town?

Luckily, it’s not as overwhelming as it might seem to figure out the best places to retire in a foreign country.

Live and Invest Overseas, a resource for people who want to live, retire, and invest overseas, put together a list of the best retirement destinations in Europe for American retirees.

They based their list on 13 criteria, including cost of living, crime and safety, whether English was spoken there, entertainment, environmental conditions, the expat community, health care, infrastructure, recreation, residency options, taxes, and the affordability and restrictions on real estate.

“Retiring in Europe is about launching a new life in a new country, starting over in a unique place with Old World culture,” said Kathleen Peddicord, author and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas. “But there’s no one way to determine the best place to retire for every person. That’s why we have identified the best destinations in Europe that are each special for their own reasons.”

We also included the costs of rent, transportation, and groceries in each destination, based on figures cited by Live and Invest Overseas. All amounts are in US dollars and are current as of December.

Here are the best European destinations for American retirees in 2017.


9. Paris, France

Paris is a multicultural and international hotspot that would make a perfect retirement spot for anyone who can’t part with city life. Of course, on the downside, the cost of living is more expensive there than other locations on the list.

Monthly cost in Le Marais neighbourhood of Paris, France:

Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment: $US1978

Monthly metro/bus pas for 2: $US160

Groceries for 2: $US684


8. Bled, Slovenia

Bled is a resort town on Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia. The area has turned into a major tourist attraction for its beauty and abundance of outdoorsy activities.

Monthly cost in Bled, Slovenia:

Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment or house near lake:$US708

Taxi, train, bus for 2: $US89

Groceries for 2: $US236


7. Chania, Crete, Greece

Crete is one of the most beautiful locations in Greece. Most of the tourist spots and cities on the island, including Chania, have a significant number of people who speak English, making it easier for expats to get around. Plus, the cost of living is relatively low.

Monthly cost in Chania, Crete, Greece:

Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment: $US472

Bus/metro pass for 2, occasional taxi: $US83

Groceries for 2: $US295


6. Citta Sant’Angelo, Italy

Citta Sant’Angelo, about an hour’s drive from Rome, is a small town in the province of Pescara of Abruzzo Italy with a population of 15,000. It has beautiful historic churches, and the surrounding area has olive trees and vineyards.

Monthly cost in Abruzzo, Italy:

Rent: $US760

Groceries for 2: $US443

Internet: $US35


5. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest has some of the most beautiful architecture in Europe, and world famous thermal spas. The city is also not that far from other European cities like Vienna, for those who like to travel around.

Monthly cost in Budapest, Hungary:

Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment in 5th or 6th district:$US846

Cost of monthly metro pass: $US36

Groceries for 2: $US301


4. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is home to one of Europe’s lowest crime rates, and has a high quality of life. Plus, it’s relatively cheap compared to other capitals on the continent like Paris and London – but has much better weather.

Monthly cost in Lisbon, Portugal:

Rent: $US768

Monthly pass and taxi rides: $US59

Groceries for 2: $US325


3. Saint-Chinian, France

Saint Chinian, now a well known region for its wines, is made up of 20 communes. The region is calm and is perfect for outdoorsy activities like hiking and cycling. Plus, Mediterranean beaches are just 20 minutes away.

Monthly cost in Saint Chinian, France:

Rent: $US650

Transportation: $US47

Groceries for 2: $US413


2. Valletta, Malta

Malta may be one of Europe’s smallest countries, but it does not lack in beauty, culture, and history. Valletta, the capital, is getting a makeover right now because it’s set to be the European Capital of Culture for 2018. The city has a rich history with beautiful old buildings and coastlines.

Monthly cost in Valletta, Malta:

Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment: $US915

Bus/metro pass for 2, occasional taxi: $US71

Groceries for 2: $US354


1. Portugal’s Algarve

Flickr/uctnl

Portugal’s Algarve region is the best place in Europe to retire to today, according to Live and Invest Overseas.

The area has an established expat community; good medical facilities and health care; and an affordable cost of living for the quality of life. The region also has a new retiree residency program for foreign pensioners, and English is widely spoken.

Monthly cost in the Algarve region of Portugal:

Unfurnished, 2-bedroom apartment: $US1005

Bus/metro pass for two, occasional taxi: $US89

Groceries for 2: $US295

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