What You Need to Know to Retire in Berlin


The growing trend for Americans retiring abroad has ranked Germany as the fourth choice of country to live in with more than 18,000 choosing Berlin as their destination. Opting to retire here offers the foreigner plenty of perks which range from the capital's high quality of living, affordability and efficient healthcare, all of which are principle factors for those intending to retire in Germany. While there are many dos and don’t about moving to Berlin, it’s important to have a clear outlook of what retiring to a new city entails so the transition is as smooth as possible. If you’re thinking of choosing Berlin to relocate and retire to, here’s some essential information to consider.

Funding your retirement

One of the most beneficial aspects of retiring is that you no longer have to choose where to live because of work. However, this does mean you have to be able to support yourself and prove to the authorities that you have sufficient funds so you can live there. While you can rely on your pension income and any savings, the cost of living and your expenditure will depend on how much you have to make the move. You may need to take out a reverse mortgage or another loan, especially if you want to retire early so that you can build your nest egg to maximize earnings. Whichever way you find to save money, start planning early and do your research on how much you need to live comfortably.

Choosing a home

The cost of living in the German capital will largely depend on your lifestyle choices and which neighborhood you intend to live in. Known as one of the cheaper cities to live in Germany, Berlin has ample opportunities to find affordable options for rentals. Alternatively, if you choose to buy a property in a local neighborhood such as the historic area of Potsdam, it’s likely to reduce your monthly expenses enormously but is still a short journey into the center. Although the majority of German people rent rather than own property, Berlin has seen a rise in new senior buildings and communities coming together.

Opportunities for leisure

There’s no doubt that as one of the most popular cities in Europe, Berlin has an abundance of things to do and see in the capital. With its fantastic architecture, festivals, international cuisine, museums and galleries, there won't be a shortage of activities to participate in while enjoying your retirement. If it’s nature you desire, head to the neighborhoods of Oranienburg or Wandlitz which both have nature reserves nearby so there will be plenty of opportunities for hiking. While rental prices might be on the increase, the affordability of eating and drinking out, buying groceries, cultural activities and transport costs are considerably lower than in London or Paris.

Many people from all over the world are enjoying their decision to retire in Berlin so whatever type of lifestyle inspires you, it's very likely that the city and it's people will welcome you into the community.

By Jane Sandwood
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