Warm weather, free healthcare and low taxes are just some of the things available to those who decide to wave goodbye to Winter blues and retire to their dream place in the sun. But where’s best?
Extensive research was carried out by Yahoofinance.co.uk in conjunction with prominent US insurance company Castle Cover in which countries popular for retirement were surveyed on the bases of rainfall, hours of sunshine, property prices and property tax, petrol costs, expats, criminality rates, healthcare available, healthcare costs, distance from home and grocery index. And out of all these, Malta was given the number one spot for multiple reasons.
With over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, an average year round temperature of 19 Celsius and English as a national language, it is no surprise that Brits and foreign nationals alike flock to the Mediterranean archipelago making Malta the top, all-round retirement destination.
This time round, Malta has affirmed itself as the best retirement option, beating Portugal, Barbados, Australia, Jamaica, Greece, Spain, Thailand, Morocco and other front-running destinations for the top spot as these countries also made the list. Furthermore, the ranking has delineated the effect of the economic turmoil in many countries such as Britain, and with Malta taking the top spot, one realises the need for retirees to reside in a country that conveys peace of mind, away from the economic distress and rain of the British Isles.
In 2011, Malta was voted the country with the best climate on earth in the Quality of Life Index published by the International Living magazine. In the same study, it was also voted 3rd place for overall quality of life. Eoin Bassett, the editor of the magazine, had said that of the two Malta was the magazines favourite. “With 5.2 hours of sunshine a day, a stable government and economy, Malta is a very strong draw for expats. And it’s English-speaking,” he said.
2011 also saw Malta being announced as the safest nation on earth by the United Nations in its annual World Risk Report. The Maltese are also among the happiest people in Europe, placing 6th in the European Quality of Life Survey carried out in 2008.
Malta has always been a hot-spot with retirees looking at moving to a warmer country. However today such move is not governed just by the climate and the beauty of the destination. This was confirmed by Joseph Lupi, Managing Director of Frank Salt Real Estate, a leading estate agency in Malta. “Healthcare, education, accessibility and costs all play a key role, and Malta passes all tests with flying colours. Another significant factor is the island’s positive disposition towards foreign nationals visiting the island. Inhabitants are friendly and helpful by nature, making it so much easier for those relocating to the islands to settle in. And as with anything else, money and security talks.
Malta not only provides a piece of heaven on earth for retirees, but a sound investment and good value opportunities, with a property market that has not only withstood the international economic crisis, but matured further.