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This Is the Most Affordable Country to Retire in Europe

Retirement is a significant life milestone. And if you are considering living out your golden years abroad, then factors such as cost of life, safety, and healthcare are probably at the top of your list. While countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands have recently been in the news as some of the most affordable places in Europe, according to Property Guides, a real estate assistance company, the cheapest place to retire is actually Turkey. 

The company’s data shows that retirees need, on average, 488 euros ($527) per month to live there. Located in southeastern Europe/southwestern Asia, the country is home to about 85 million people and has some of the lowest crime levels among any European country.

Turkey has also seen an impressive surge (70 percent) in visitor numbers since the pandemic, according to a recent WTM Global Travel Report, making it the second most visited country on the Old Continent after France. This status has transformed it into a bustling meeting place of nations and a vibrant cultural destination, all factors that are important to expat retirees. (Its capital, Istanbul, is also on Travel + Leisure‘s Best Places to Go in 2024 list).

Istanbul, Antalya, and Bodrum are some of the most popular destinations with retirees in Turkey, according to Can Turken, chief operations officer of Türkiye Sotheby’s International Realty.

Istanbul has some of the most sought-after properties of all Türkiye, being the branded residences, villas, and waterfront properties. The amenities often range between recently renovated or new kitchens and bathrooms, private parking, indoor pools, sauna, and Turkish hammam,” Turken told T+L.

Antalya, a scenic resort city on the country’s Turquoise Coast on the Mediterranean, is home to sun-drenched beaches, restaurants, hotels, and a historic downtown with many Roman and Ottoman landmarks. Turken explained that the area’s almost year-round warm weather and the blend of its beautiful natural setting and urban amenities make it a popular choice, where seaside properties with hotel-style amenities are of the highest demand.

And Bodrum, the trendy luxury vacation spot on the Turkish Riviera, famous for its crystal-clear waters, high-end resorts, designer shopping, and chic eateries, is the top choice for retirees seeking exclusivity and privacy.

The second country on Property Guides’s list of best places to retire is Germany, for its many green spaces and the highest number of hospital beds available to its residents. And Greece is third, scoring high in affordability. You’ll need about $1,108 on average per month to cover your expenses in the Hellenic Republic, which also stands out with low crime levels.