A hidden gem in Southeastern Europe, with rugged mountains, medieval villages, and beautiful beaches along the Adriatic coastline, Montenegro makes a retirement paradise. Recently, the country has become popular among foreign retirees who want to move to a place with a low cost of living.
Typically, if you want to move to Montenegro long-term and become a retired resident of the beautiful Balkan country, you would need a retirement visa. Unfortunately, Montenegro does not issue retirement visas, but the country offers other alternatives that can lead to permanent residency.
How Can I Retire in Montenegro?
Considering that you cannot get a retirement visa in Montenegro, there are a few other options that can serve as a route to retirement in Montenegro. One of them is getting a Montenegro residence permit that will allow you to stay in the country for a longer period of time. However, to get a residence permit, you need to obtain a Montenegro long-stay visa beforehand.
There are a few ways that can lead to permanent residency in Montenegro:
- Montenegro Temporary Residence Permit.
- Montenegro Golden Visa.
What Are The Eligibility Criteria For Retirement in Montenegro?
You must meet the following criteria if you want to retire in Montenegro:
- You must have enough means of subsistence to support yourself and your dependents (if any) during your stay in Montenegro.
- You must have a clear criminal record.
- You must cherish good health conditions.
- You must not be considered a threat to the country of Montenegro or its citizens.
Temporary Residence Permit As a Montenegro Retirement Visa
A temporary resident permit is needed if you want to stay in Montenegro for longer than six months. This type of residence permit will allow you to stay in the country for 12 months (one year) and can be extended once it expires.
After five years with a temporary residence, you can be eligible for permanent residency, which will be valid for another five years and can be extended indefinitely.
The Golden Visa As a Montenegro Retirement Visa
Montenegro launched the citizenship by investment program in 2019 for wealthy people who want to invest in Montenegro. This type of visa leads to permanent residency and Montenegro citizenship.
You can apply for a Montenegro Golden Visa by investing in one of the government-qualifying investments such as:
- Real estate,
- Travel and tourism,
- Gas, etc.
The investment amount is from €250,000 (real estate) to €450,000 (business or real estate developments).
NOTE: Montenegro has decided to close the Golden Visa Program by the end of 2022 due to Montenegro joining the European Union.
Can I Bring My Family Members As a Retiree to Montenegro?
If you obtain a Golden Visa, you are allowed to bring your dependents
- children under 26
- parents 65 years or older) with you and
Your family will benefit from the same rights as you and will have the right to reside permanently in Montenegro but will not be obliged to.
What Is The Duration of a Montenegro Retirement Visa?
The validity period depends on the path you choose for retiring in Montenegro. For example, a temporary residence permit is valid for one year with the possibility of extension, whereas a golden visa is valid for 1-2 years and can be extended indefinitely.
How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Montenegro?
Montenegro belongs to the group of most affordable countries in Europe, which makes moving to Montenegro an easy decision.
You should expect to spend more if you decide to reside in the coastal part of the country, such as in Budva, Kotor, or Herceg Novi. However, you can still find cheap and expensive apartments for renting or purchasing.
You would need around $500 to cover basic living expenses such as groceries, electricity, heating and cooling, and water bills.
If you want to rent an apartment, your monthly amount for rent would be around $255 to $1530 for apartments in the city center. Rent for apartments outside the city center costs less, and you can find apartments starting from $180 to $1320.
In conclusion, if you live alone, you can cover everything you need for $800 to $1000 per month, whereas if you live with your dependents, the monthly costs will be higher.
Here is a presentation of the average living costs in Montenegro:
|ACCOMMODATION (rent)||Monthly Cost|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$350|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$270|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$730|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Center||$520|
|ACCOMMODATION||PRICE per m2|
|Price for purchasing an apartment in City Centre||$1700|
|Price for purchasing an apartment Outside of Centre||$1260|
|UTILITIES||MONTHLY COSTS (85m2)|
|Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage||$100|
Healthcare For Retirees in Montenegro
Healthcare in Montenegro is provided at three levels: primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary level of healthcare should cover 80-85% of healthcare needs and is a priority in the development of the health system. The secondary level is provided through specialist outpatient clinics and hospital wards, the same as the tertiary level with subspecialist outpatient clinics.
Public services in Montenegro are financed by the Health Insurance Fund, and ⅔ of healthcare is paid through government expenditure, whereas the rest is paid via household expenditures (30%) and other sources (3%).
Montenegro has 19 health centers and 10 hospitals you can seek medical treatment at. However, the medical facilities in Montenegro have 199 doctors and 554 nurses and midwives per 100,000 people, and there is a shortage of pharmacists per head.
The healthcare system in Montenegro is based on a social health insurance system that covers more than 95% of the population. However, you can always opt for private health insurance if you want insurance with international coverage.
Why Should I Retire in Montenegro?
Here is why you should choose Montenegro as your new retirement home:
- Living Costs. Montenegro is an affordable country where you can live well without spending much. Prices for basic products are lower than in most other countries, including real estate prices ranging from $915 to $2540 per meter square.
- Safety. Spending your retirement in a safe environment is crucial when choosing where to locate. The overall crime rate in Montenegro is fairly low, and there are no high risks that you should be aware of.
- Low Tax Rate. Montenegro is not considered to be a tax haven, but the tax rate is still low compared to other countries. Montenegro adds VAT (value added tax) on most goods and services and usually includes it in any bill or quotation you receive. VAT in Montenegro is among the lowest in Europe and the world, with just 7% VAT.
- Healthcare. Citizens of Montenegro are entitled to high-quality healthcare. The country offers medical services on three levels, and around 95% of the population is covered by public healthcare. Although Montenegro deals with a low number of doctors, you will still get some of the best services and treatments in any medical facility.
- Quality of Life. All the reasons mentioned above have a part in the quality of life Montenegro offers to its citizens. Montenegro makes a great place to live due to its location and accessibility, life quality, desirable tax rates, and beautiful natural surroundings.
- Food. Being a small country does not stop Montenegro from being a star in the kitchen. Montenegro’s traditional cuisine is served in many delicious flavors. Each region in Montenegro has its specialties. Still, a great representation of what Montenegro’s food is like would be the Njegusi prosciutto dish, which is part of its cultural legacy.
What Are the Best Places for Retirees in Montenegro?
Choosing where to live in Montenegro is like choosing which flower to pick in a garden. Montenegro has some of the best cities you can retire in, and each city has its own unique history and can meet your basic needs for a comfortable retirement.
To help you make the right choice, here are some of the best places to retire in Montenegro.
Surrounded by the beautiful waters of the Adriatic Sea, with stone wall buildings, Budva is definitely an expat’s dream location. The town is known for its sandy beaches and dynamic nightlife. Basically, living in Budva is all about having fun and enjoying the great things the town has to offer.
Budva is not necessarily expensive, but during the summer season, prices can go higher due to the huge number of tourists from all over the world; therefore, you should consider your budget before moving here.
If you like Budva but want to see a mountain view when you wake up, Kotor is a great alternative. You will get almost the same vibes in the fortified town. Kotor is characterized by winding streets and squares and its medieval old town. The town is one of the best things to see in Montenegro, and the Bay of Kotor is a breathtaking beauty that is worth visiting.
An old town in the Bay of Kotor situated a few kilometres northwest of Kotor, Perast is a natural gem of Montenegro. Perast is one of the best-preserved towns on the Adriatic coast, with an idyllic view, ancient architecture, and some jaw-dropping views.
Perast is a 20-minute drive away from Kotor, much smaller, and you can have a more laid-back lifestyle. Different from Kotor, Perast is very quiet during the night.
Tivat is another coastal town located in southwest Montenegro, in the Bay of Kotor. Whether you are looking for luxury, outdoor activities, or just a relaxing time on the beach, Tivat offers you everything. The great central location makes it easy to access places like Kotor and Budva, and the evenings are quiet and perfect for late-night walks.
Ulcinj is known for having some of the most impressive beaches in Montenegro and is packed with tourists all year round, especially during the summer months. It is one of the oldest towns on the Adriatic coast.
Ulcinj is a place where young people can have fun and live their lives during the long summer nights with loud music and a great atmosphere. But who says a retired person cannot do the same?