This article will look at the 15 best places to retire in Germany. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis on retiring to Germany, you may go to 5 Best Places to Retire in Germany.
On Retiring Comfortably
On average, Americans need an estimated $1.8 million to retire comfortably, according to a new survey by The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW). Marci Stewart, director of communication consulting and participant education for The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW)'s Workplace Financial Services, notes that the impact of inflation and market volatility has raised this estimate from $1.7 million a year ago. A “retirement gap” is also partly to blame, depicting the gap between what potential retirees have saved and what they will need when they retire.
A Vanguard study further notes that, on average, Americans aged 65 or older only have $233,000 saved in their retirement accounts. The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) study further highlights that fewer workers are now confident whether they will have enough savings to last them through their retirement years. Only 37% now believe they can save enough for retirement, a 10% drop from the previous year.
While there are many possible ways that potential retirees can use to boost their savings for retirement, the Motley Fool recommends investing in proven winners that have dominant market share positions and stellar balance sheets, such as The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Investing as little as $5,000 can work wonders for retirement.
Unsurprisingly, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) accounts for 3% of all drinks consumed globally. Q2, 2023 saw The Coca-Cola Company's (NYSE:KO)'s organic sales rise by 11% while the operating profit margin rose by 32% as well. Meanwhile, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) generated an operating profit of $24 billion in the company's Q4, 2023 quarter, up 21% year on year. Investing in proven stocks can help retirees save up the magic number they need for their retirement years.
Retiring to Germany
Potential retirees are exploring new options, considering where to spend their retirement years. Many flock to the Caribbean, while others go where they can to further stretch their retirement savings, such as Mexico, Panama, and cities in Central America. Another country on many retirees' wish list is Germany. Nestled in the heart of Europe, the country is the epitome of historical charm and contemporary living.
There are many pros and cons of retiring to Germany. The healthcare system in the country is certainly one of the finest, and all residents have access to world-class healthcare facilities. Moreover, the quality of life is exceptionally high. The country is clean and green, the infrastructure is well-developed, and people respect the environment. The cities within offer diverse cultural experiences and picturesque beauty that captivates people from around the world.
However, language is a prominent barrier for those who cannot speak German. Learning the language is an important factor when retiring here. Otherwise, accessing services, integrating into the community, and performing simple tasks such as grocery shopping may be challenging. As such, the best places to live in Germany for English speakers include Munich, Dusseldorf, and Bremen.
For those wondering how to retire in Germany, or specifically, how to retire in Germany as an American, the country doesn’t have a specific retirement visa. An American can live in Germany without a visa for a period of 90 days. Staying longer in Germany will require you to apply for a temporary residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) during the initial 90 days. The German visa requirements for residence include a passport, proof of German address, proof of health insurance and evidence that you can financially support yourself without working.
To compile the list of the 15 best places to retire in Germany, we began by exploring expat forums such as Quora, Expat.com and Expat Forum to assess the best places recommended by expat retirees living in Germany.
We also looked at other sources (1,2,3,4,5,6,7) recommending the best German places. After listing out all sources, we allotted each place a point based on the number of times they were recommended by each source.
Points were added, and total scores were used to pick the top 15 places with the highest scores. Places were then ranked in ascending order from the lowest to the highest scores.
Costs of living for an individual expat retiree, apartment rents, and the price of a one-bedroom apartment have been sourced from websites such as Cost of Live, and Nomad List, amongst others.
Here are the best places to retire in Germany:
Insider Monkey Score: 2
Tübingen, a charming university town nestled in the Swabian Alps, stands out as one of best places to retire in Germany. Retirees love to stroll around the wine taverns, explore the numerous sidewalk cafes, and explore the picturesque old town. There is a surrounding countryside for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore. The city is also revered for its welcoming community, so retirees will have little trouble adjusting here. The quality of life and standard of living is high , as evident from its cost of living, which is 2% higher than the national average. One-bedroom apartment rent can cost anywhere between $300-$800, while other living costs average around $1,000.
Insider Monkey Score: 2
The sunniest, warmest, and friendliest city in Germany is undoubtedly Freiburg. Tucked away in the heart of the Black Forest region, the green city offers retirees a beautiful backdrop consisting of lush forests, hills, and the Dreisam River. The city is also committed to sustainability, comprising an extensive network of bicycle paths, public transportation, and other green initiatives. There is a rich cultural scene as well, and the healthcare system is amazing as in the rest of the country. A single expat retiree can expect to pay $800-$1,000 on rent for a one-bedroom apartment, while other costs of living take an average of $1,035.
Insider Monkey Score: 3
Home to one of the largest share of expats in Germany, Aachen is another bustling and vibrant university town offering a high standard of living, good cuisine, and lots of green spaces. The city carries a deep historical significance as it was the former residence of Charlemagne and the famous Palatine Chapel. The cultural scene is just as vibrant, with plenty of museums, theatres, and galleries to explore. Aachen also boasts an affordable cost of living as compared to other cities. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment costs around $518, while total cost of living including rent for an expat retiree hovers around $1,640.
Insider Monkey Score: 3
Bonn is one of the best places to retire in Germany, owing to its historical significance, cultural attractions, and high quality of life. Monthly rents for a one-bedroom apartment are around $780 while buying the same can cost around $162,000 on average. The cost of living is around $1,670, on average. Bonn ranks high in terms of quality of life, boasting clean streets, a close-knit community, and low crime rates. There are lots of green spaces and parks to explore, such as the Rheinaue Park.
Insider Monkey Score: 3
For retirees who wish to live an affluent lifestyle, Darmstadt is one of the best places in Germany that can fulfil this need. Nevertheless, this city still manages to be more affordable as compared to the big cities like Hamburg or Munich. A single expat retiree can expect to live here on $2,163 per month. The cosmopolitan city is quite welcoming to expats, and there is a significant international community living here. Healthcare is as top-notch as the rest of the country, and there are lots of green spaces around to relax and enjoy. The public transportation is also very efficient, and retirees won’t have trouble moving around the city.
Insider Monkey Score: 4
Expats can also choose Nuremberg as their home for its bustling cultural scene, ample opportunities for leisure, and high quality of life. The city holds a fascinating history, boasting the famous Nuremberg Castle and the beautiful Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche). There is a thriving arts and culture scene as well, boasting many galleries, theatres, and cultural events. Retirees also have access to high-quality healthcare support here in the city. Moreover, parks and greenspaces such as the Pegnitz River Valley and the Tiergarten are good places to relax and rejuvenate. Its efficient transportation system makes it easy to get to these places. A single person can expect to spend $2,105 on living expenses.
9. Cologne (Köln)
Insider Monkey Score: 4
Cologne, one of the oldest cities in Germany, is one of the best German cities to retire to. The great climate, vibrant culture, and rich cultural heritage make it an appealing choice for many retirees. The Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), a UNESCO World Heritage site, is also found here and reflects on the city’s rich cultural heritage. The city also boasts a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, parks and green spaces, and a welcoming community. It plays host to many festivals and events such as the Cologne Carnival, the Cologne Christmas Market, and the International Film Festival. A single expat retiree can expect to spend around $2,140 on average living here.
Insider Monkey Score: 5
Steeped in history, Bremen is another one of the best places to retire in Germany that has made it to our list. The city boasts a beautifully preserved old town (Altstadt), along with historical sites such as the Town Musicians of Bremen statue and the Bremen Town Hall. Bürgerpark and the Wallanlagen are some of the city's many green spaces and parks that retirees can explore. Moreover, the city itself is located near the North Sea coast and the beautiful landscapes of Lower Saxony, providing a chance to be close to nature. There is a sizeable English-speaking community as well. The cost of living in Bremen is around $1,860 per month on average, with an average of $700 spent on rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre.
Insider Monkey Score: 6
One of the most popular places to retire in Germany, Leipzig has much to offer retirees. Not only is the cost of living reasonably affordable compared to other cities, but Leipzig also offers a slow pace of life and a rich cultural heritage. The city is also immaculate, safe, and has a strong sense of community. There are plenty of parks, the city is full of music and culture, and there are renowned institutes such as the Leipzig University where retirees can engage in lifelong learning. A single expat retiree can expect to live here for an average of $1,830 monthly.
Insider Monkey Score: 7
Stuttgart can be one of the best places to retire in Germany owing to its famous wine culture, vibrant cultural scene, and historical significance. Historical sites such as the Stuttgart Palace and the Old Castle (Altes Schloss) make it appealing to retirees, and so do its many music venues, galleries, and museums. There are numerous parks and green spaces, and the Swabian Alps and the Black Forest add to the charm, providing opportunities for scenic drives and outdoor activities. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs $983 per month, while the overall cost of living averages $1,927 per month.
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Disclosure: none. 15 Best Places to Retire in Germany is originally published on Insider Monkey.