Safety, Life Expectancy and Healthcare: Global Retirement Guide for British Expats

British retirees contemplating a change in surroundings are being urged to consider one of five top countries for expats

British retirees contemplating a change in surroundings are being urged to consider one of five top countries for expats.

Luxury cruise specialist Panache Cruises has named its top five locations for retired Brits seeking a new life out of the UK.

Life expectancy, safety, healthcare and amenities in each country were analysed to provide retirees with the most comfortable post-job life.

Life expectancy in Italy is nearly four years older than in the UK, with Italians living on average 84.01 years, almost four years longer than UK citizens at 81.77 years.

The country also offers a well-rounded transport infrastructure for residents, spanning buses, trains and air travel with senior discounts helping it secure the top spot.

With a reputation as one of the safest countries in the world, experts rank Canada at the number two spot for retirees.

Retirees hoping to spend their post-work years surrounded by sunshine and sandy beaches should consider New Zealand, placed at the number three spot. British expats would be joining 60,000 retirees already living in the country.

Also included in the top five list are Greece and Monaco, both renowned for their quality of life and top healthcare facilities.

Here are Panache’s top five locations for retired expats: 

  1. Italy 

In a country where the average life expectancy is four years older than in the UK, British expats in Italy can be assured to experience a fuller and longer retirement. Italy offers its residents pleasure which can be experienced at a leisurely rate, with stunning views, beaches, food and wine all on offer. The travel infrastructure across the country spans bus, train and airline travel, with senior discounts offered in most areas. Cost of living in the country is also favourable for expats, especially within the southern areas of the country. After Brexit, Brits can visit any European country for 90 days in any 180 day period without difficulty.

  1. Canada 

With a reputation for being one of the safest countries in the world, British retirees moving to Canada can expect a quiet and peaceful life. Home to some of the best landscapes and views the world has to offer, the country is the perfect spot for wildlife-watching expats. Like the UK, Canada offers free healthcare to its citizens and permanent residents. The quality of life offered to citizens and expats alike are what makes it such a good option for retiring Brits. Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada but emigrating can be complex.

  1. New Zealand

Those dreaming of spending their post-work years surrounded by sunshine and beaches should consider New Zealand. The stunning country welcomes expats and retirees from all over the world, with over 60,000 retirees living there. New Zealand has a reputation for offering peaceful, laid back lifestyles for all visitors and residents. Their universal public healthcare system is also rated highly against others around the world. It is the perfect destination for outdoor loving retirees, with an abundance of opportunities for hiking, sailing and walking.

  1. Monaco

Thanks to its tax haven status, there is a thriving expat community in the country with many retirees from across the world. Retirees in Monaco will experience a luxurious lifestyle, stunning mediterranean coastline and cultural attractions. As of 2022 data, Monaco has the oldest population in the world, with 36% of people over the age of 65. These numbers are assisted by the favourable healthcare and safe environment in the country, making it even more favourable for British retirees. Recreational activities popular around the country include golf, tennis, swimming and sailing. Moving to Monaco is not cheap though given that a deposit of 500,000 Euros must be made in a local bank account before applying to become a resident.

  1. Greece

This sunshine-filled Mediterranean country has long been a hotspot for travellers and retirees alike. The Greek islands offer expats a life of blue skies and sandy beaches. The affordable cost of living, warm hospitality and stunning scenery are all part of what makes the country so attractive for retirees. With on average over 250 sunny days per year, Greece is the perfect spot for retired sun-seekers. As Greece is part of the EU, the standard Schengen rules apply i.e. 90 day stays in any 180 day period.  Of course, Brits residing in any EU country prior to 1 January 2021 have the right to live in any other EU country under the EU’s Withdrawal Agreement.

To find out more about travelling during retirement, visit