The World’s Second Best Place To Retire Overseas
Taking up just 122 square miles of southern Mediterranean and with a population of just 416,000, the Maltese archipelago (made up of three main islands) is one of Europe’s smallest countries.
Malta may be little, but this island nation has a lot to offer.
Malta’s rugged coastline boasts dramatic cliffs and tiny coves dotted with ancient forts and quaint fishing harbors. Inland, stone walls separate fields of olives, wheat, and potatoes. Wine production is also popular, and, in season, vines hang heavy with grapes all over the island.
From its weather and food to its history and culture, Malta is not only the best of Mediterranean Europe but also one of your most affordable options for embracing this lifestyle.
At the same time, Malta is a modern, First-World, and EU-member nation with a long-standing, stable democracy. Its second official language is English, and the entire country speaks it fluently.
The country’s health care systems and standards are considered the fifth best in the world.
The Maltese government has invested heavily in education in recent decades, and the result is a multilingual, highly productive population. The economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade, and Malta acts as a freight distribution and docking point for the region. The financial services sector is also well developed, and the country is a key player in cross-border fund administration.
It’s not unusual to see massive, super-luxury pleasure crafts docked around the island, and the government is making a big push right now to develop its super-yacht servicing facilities in a bid to attract more of these vessels and their owners.
Meantime, Malta’s tourism board has been working hard to raise the country’s profile internationally. The latest big win on this front was confirmation that the country’s capital, Valletta, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2018.
Living in Malta you wouldn’t need a car, as the small country has a fairly developed bus system for intra-island travel and plenty of ferries to take you off island.
Thanks to its position as a key trading and transport point in the Mediterranean and its important military and colonial history, Malta has long experience with foreigners, and the Maltese are accustomed to living alongside big numbers of expats. They are a welcoming people, and, as there’s no language barrier, it’s easy to slip into life among them.
Perhaps the best news is that all that Malta has to offer is available at a very affordable cost. A couple could live comfortably in Valletta on less than US$2,000 per month at the current rate of exchange between the euro and the U.S. dollar. Eating out, groceries, entertainment, and all other day-to-day costs are considerably cheaper than in most of the rest of Europe.
Residency, too, comes at a very affordable cost. Malta does not have a pensioner visa; however, it offers what it calls a Global Residence Program for non-EU citizens, a unique program that amounts to the best residency deal in Europe. You can qualify by renting a place to live for as little as 800 euros per month.
This is the only country in the EU that grants residency for simply renting a house. Access to the EU doesn’t come easier or cheaper.
Because Malta ticks so many boxes—thanks to its affordable cost of living, superb health care, low crime rates, fantastic climate, friendly locals, and super-easy and affordable path to residency—this is a country with broad appeal.
Malta, therefore, can be an ideal choice if you dream of a classic Mediterranean lifestyle.
Days spent sipping espresso outside a café overlooking an historic cobblestoned square… exploring olive groves and vineyards… dining on freshly landed seafood washed down with local wine…
Does life get any better…
Overseas Retirement Letter Contributor
P.S. We named Malta, specifically Valletta, the second best place in the world to live or retire overseas right now in our just-released Retire Overseas Index.
We graded Valletta “A” overall; specifically, here’s how this charming and historic city stacks up:
Health care: A+
Cost of Living: A
Affordability of Real Estate: C
Process of Buying Real Estate: A
English Spoken: A+
Expat Community: A
Environmental Factors: C