10 REASONS TO RETIRE IN MALTA
There are many good reasons to think about living and retiring in another country – better weather, healthier lifestyle, advantageous tax rates and an enhanced quality of life. Located in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Italy, the island of Malta offers the perfect home for those seeking a relaxed pace of living, rich history, vibrant culture, unique architecture, safety and almost year-round sunshine! Malta also offers an attractive retirement scheme for pensioners, known as the Malta Retirement Programme (MRP) where tax is applicable at a rate of only 15% on condition that applicants declare a minimum of 75% of their pension and 25% of their income.
Whatever your reasons for choosing your retirement destination, we have rounded up a list of our top reasons why you should choose Malta to retire.
HISTORY & CULTURE
The Maltese islands share a rich history spanning thousands of years, with past inhabitants leaving astounding relics that offer a window into the past. The island has been ruled by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans and British, each of these cultures left a social, religious and political mark on the Maltese people. All those traditions and beliefs have all combined to create a culture all of its own unique to Malta, influencing the traditions, religion and food of the island. A perfect place to explore during your retirement, Malta has the greatest density of historic sites than any other country in the world, with a total of 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the entire city of Valletta, the Ggantija Megalithic Temples preceding Stonehenge and The Egyptian Pyramids and the mysterious Hypogeum, an underground sanctuary which dates back to 3000 B.C. You can truly trace the history of human civilization that inhabited these ancient islands.
The food in Malta is hearty, rustic and delicious. The origin of the word ‘Malta’ is derived from the Greek word Miel, meaning honey. The island is rich with an abundance of natural produce from its famous golden yellow honey, local sheep cheese ‘gbejna’, cold-pressed olive oil and pure sea salt from the surrounding seas. An island rich with Mediterranean flair, the local cuisine has influences from Italy, Spain, North Africa and British. The typical cuisine of the island is traditional healthy, balanced Mediterranean diet consisting of seafood, delicious fresh fruit and vegetables, and infamous Maltese bread from the traditional bakeries. More recently, Malta has gained Michelin recognition, elevating the dining scene. You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to eating out in Malta, from Michelin-starred restaurants, popular trattorias, trendy brunch spots, upmarket bakeries and authentic hidden gems.
Boasting an average of 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, Malta is one of the sunniest countries in Europe – and by some counts, the world. The pleasant weather encourages almost year-round tourism. The springs are sunny and mild, the long summers are hot and dry, autumns are mellow and winters are cooler but never freezing. With over 3,100 hours of sunshine per year and an average temperature of 23 degrees, Malta offers the perfect climate to truly enjoy your retirement.
For those who seek beauty in their surroundings, the architecture on the island offers much to be admired, combining an eclectic mix of cultural influences from around the world and reflecting elements from Baroque, Sicilian and Arabic influences. 17th century Baroque has a particularly enduring impact on the architecture of Malta, especially in Valletta which showcases opulent colours, large scale frescos, magnificent ornate domes and arches. During the British period, Malta saw a huge rise in British classicism in architecture with Malta’s natural limestone being the perfect material for this style. Property in Malta offers an array of architectural styles for you to choose from, including distinctively Maltese Houses of Character, traditional Townhouses with Victorian-style bay windows, charming farmhouses set in the countryside or inherently historic period Palazzos found in towns and villages.
Despite being the smallest nation in the European Union, Malta has a lot to offer its residents including history, culture, art, sports and recreation. In the warm weather months, there’s plenty of opportunity to swim, snorkel, sail, kayak in the amazing blue waters of the Mediterranean. For sports and recreation, Maltese residents have access to an array of private membership clubs dotted all around the island – including the Royal Malta Golf Club, Royal Malta Yacht Club, The Royal Malta Polo Club and The Marsa Sports Club which offers its members many sports from padel, cricket, tennis and squash. Make the most of the surrounding seascape during your retirement and take up scuba diving, enjoy the fascinating world of shipwrecks and caves. If you love all things nautical, there is a big sailing and yachting community on the island, with several luxury yacht marinas to charter a yacht or berth your own and enjoy sailing around the islands. The narrow streets of old villages are the perfect spots to take a stroll and discover the plentiful chapels and gardens. If you enjoy the arts, Malta hosts Europe’s third oldest working theatre, the Manoel theatre, with a range of cultural evenings take place throughout the year.
Malta is situated in the heart of the Mediterranean. The island is easily accessible by land, sea, and air, and if you fly with Air Malta from one of its European destinations, it will not take you any longer than three hours to arrive. Furthermore, flights are regular and convenient so despite its southerly location, you are within easy access to the rest of Europe, should you need to travel at short notice. Situated just 100 miles south of Sicily, the Mediterranean island offers an incredible charm, from its crystal-clear aquamarine waters to its stunning historic cities.
Malta was ruled by Great Britain for 150 years, leaving behind a significant legacy of architecture, culture and its language. English is one of the country’s two official languages, the other being Maltese, but English is most widely used among residents. All signs and official documents are in English, making life as an expatriate a much easier experience.
The international community is large in Malta – a cosmopolitan hub for people from around the world. A multicultural hub for people of all ages, Malta attracts people from all around the world. Unlike other countries, there is a small community feeling, providing a sense of belonging and making the idea of being in a foreign country much less daunting. It is easy to make friends here with a cosmopolitan community of like-minded expats and retirees.
Despite its tiny size, Malta is widely known for having some of the best healthcare in the world, consistently ranked well among all countries for overall healthcare services. There is public and private medical healthcare available. The main hospital is Mater Dei, which opened in 2007, offers a full range of hospital and specialist services.
Malta serves as a safe, peaceful haven’t for those who live on the island. Violent crime is rare. Malta is consistently ranked as one of the safest islands in Europe, with very low crime rates and frequent police patrolling. According to the 2019 Wealth Migration Review, Malta was ranked as the second safest country in the world for women, and the safest in Europe.