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Complete guide to obtaining a Germany retirement visa, the required documents, and the best places for retirees

Having one of the best standards of living in the world has helped Germany become a favorite destination for expats. The clean environment, high-quality healthcare, low crime rates, reasonable living costs, and infrastructure are the best indicators of what life in Germany is like. The European country is currently home to more than 250,000 foreigners.

Germany has become popular amongst retirees, and the country welcomes everyone who wants to reside permanently and does not rely on a salary to make a living.

How Can I Retire in Germany?

Considering that Germany does not have a retirement visa dedicated to foreigners who want to make Germany their retirement home, there are other ways you can reside permanently in Germany. The most convenient way to move to Germany is by getting a German residence permit.

Nationals from EU countries do not need a visa to enter the country and can simply move to Germany and reside there for the rest of their retirement. On the contrary, non-EU nationals wishing to retire in Germany need to get a Germany Visa first to enter the country and can apply for a German residence permit after entering Germany.

There are two types of residence permits available for Germany:

  • Temporary Residence Permit. This type of residence permit is issued to people who need to reside in Germany for a limited period of time. There are a few types of temporary residence permits, and each has its own requirements.
  • Long Term EU Residence Permit (permanent residence permit). This type of residence permit is permanent and is issued to individuals who have lived in the European Union country where they are applying (in this case Germany) for at least five years.

NOTE: Check the requirements for each type of residence permit before starting the application process, and make sure you meet the criteria to avoid any inconvenience.

What Are The Requirements for Retirement in Germany?

To be eligible for retirement in Germany, you must meet certain criteria such as:

  • You must have sufficient financial funds to support yourself during your stay in the territory of Germany.
  • You must have health insurance.

Can US Citizens Retire in Germany?

US citizens can enter Germany without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. During this time, you can apply for a residence permit for retirement. Once you prove that you have adequate financial means and health insurance, you are issued a residence permit and can stay in Germany for the issued period and spend your retirement there.

How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Germany?

Compared to other European countries, Germany is not considered expensive. In fact, it can be quite affordable for many people, although the are exceptions.
Overall, a single person can live comfortably with a monthly amount of $830 (without including rent), but everything depends on your financial strategy and lifestyle requirements.

The place of residence plays a huge role in your savings; therefore, affordable cities like Frankfurt, Bielefeld, Halle, or Krefeld should be considered if you do not want to spend much.

In general, with an amount of $1500 – $2000 per month, you can cover your living expenses and enjoy a nice life in Germany.

Here is a presentation of the average living costs in Germany:

ACCOMMODATION (rent)Monthly Cost
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$890
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$640
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$1620
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Center $1220
ACCOMMODATIONPRICE per m2
Price for purchasing an apartment in City Centre$6980
Price for purchasing an apartment Outside of Centre$4990
FOODCOSTS
Milk$0.95
Rice $1.99
Eggs$2.50
Tomato$1.20
Potato$1.60
Apples (kg)$2.40
UTILITIESMONTHLY COSTS (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$250

Healthcare for Retirees in Germany

The German healthcare system is divided into two sectors: public (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) and private (Private Krankenversicherung). Being rated as one of the best healthcare systems in the world, the German healthcare system offers a flexible range of choices and substantial coverage.

Since 2009, Germany has made it compulsory by law that everyone, including foreigners (students, workers, refugees, or asylum seekers), must have health insurance. The country offers a wide range of health insurance packages that you can choose, depending on your income and medical needs.

You can get public health insurance and private health insurance by cooperating with health insurance providers and private companies that offer health insurance in Germany. 

You can get health insurance by cooperating with public health insurance and private health insurance providers in Germany.

Why Retire in Germany?

Here is why Germany is the perfect destination for retired foreigners.

  • Healthcare.  Germany has made it mandatory for everyone to have health insurance (public or private), and citizens are entitled to universal health insurance coverage and many healthcare benefits.
  • Life-quality. The quality of life in Germany is considered to be one of the highest in the world, which is no surprise considering the many factors that contribute to the high ranking. The country is clean and orderly, has a good infrastructure, and is easily accessible.
  • Economy. Germany has one of the largest national economies in Europe. Being a highly innovative country with a strong focus on export and industry, Germany has seen rapid economic growth and development, which affected the quality of life for the better.
  • Safety and security.  Ranked at 22 out of 163 countries as one of the most peaceful countries in the world, and at 20th according to the Societal Safety and Security domain, Germany is marked as a safe place for expats. There is a low rate of criminal offenses, and the country does not experience a high risk of natural disasters either.
  • Nature. Germany is famous for its magnificent landscapes, lakes, mountains, seas, rivers, and parks. You will be surprised to see the beautiful natural sceneries throughout the country, such as rock formations and turquoise waters.
  • Food. One thing Germany is known for is definitely its delicious chocolate. Considering that the country borders Switzerland and Belgium, it is no surprise that Germany makes tasty chocolate treats. 

What Are the Best Places for Retirees in Germany?

Germany has many cities that excel in offering a great lifestyle to their citizens and rank high on the quality of life list. So, if you have doubts about where to reside for retirement, here are some of the best places to spend your retirement in Germany.

Munich

The beautiful city of the Federal Republic of Germany is one of the most populated cities and the 11th largest city in the European Union. In Munich, you will find a blend of history and culture with modern technologies and an absolute love of art.

One of the best things Munich has to offer is the green spaces. The city has over 20 big parks, including the famous Englischer Garten, which is one of the world’s largest urban public parks.

Düsseldorf

If you want to reside in the western part of Germany, then Düsseldorf is the right place. Düsseldorf is considered one of the best places in Germany to live. The mesmerizing city is divided by the Rhine River and is famous for its fashion industry and art scene. 

Thanks to the location, impressive architecture, high standard of living, and affordable real estate prices, Düsseldorf has become home to many foreigners.

Frankfurt  

Home to the most impressive skyline, world-renowned museums and galleries, cathedrals, and stunning views, Frankfurt makes a perfect place to start a new phase of your life. With a great location and connection to other German cities and European countries, a great train network, and an autobahn system, Frankfurt is home to 763,380 inhabitants.

The beautiful German city is known for producing high-quality and delicious sausages. 

Berlin   

The capital city, is the largest and most populous city in the territory of Germany. Berlin is full of contrast with historical buildings combined with a touch of modern architecture and flourishing cultures. Berlin is famous for its museums, such as the Dahlem Museums, the Egyptian Museum, the Berlin Cultural Forum, and many more. It is by far the cheapest city in Western Europe, with cheap food, crazy nightlife, and affordable accommodation.

Hamburg 

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany after Berlin and is a great city to meet new people because the city is very welcoming towards foreigners and tourists. The city has many green spaces and plenty of canals, lakes, and rivers throughout and around the city. 

Hamburg is also ranked within the top 20 best cities for quality of life.

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