Retiring in India: a complete guide

1 min readLast updated April 30, 2024by Rachel Carey

Discover the allure of retiring in India and explore this destination's advantages, drawbacks, top retirement spots, and essential considerations.


  • Retiring in India offers significant cost savings, with a staggering 82% lower cost of living compared to the United States. 

  • Renting a comfortable apartment in a desirable area could range from $300 to $600 per month, while a modest meal at a local restaurant might cost around $2 to $5.  

  • Let Unbiased connect you with a qualified retirement advisor who can help you navigate your retirement planning journey with confidence. 

Is India a good place to retire? 

India has long been a favorite among expats for its warm climate, vibrant culture, and welcoming people.  

Retiring in India offers a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern amenities, making it an appealing destination for retirees seeking a new beginning.  

The cost of living is significantly lower than in the United States, allowing retirees to stretch their retirement savings further.  

India also boasts a robust healthcare system and a plethora of recreational activities to enjoy during retirement. 

What are the pros and cons of retiring in India? 

Like any major life decision, retiring in India comes with its own set of pros and cons.  


  • Cost of living: India offers a significantly lower cost of living compared to the United States, and retirees can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle on a modest budget. 

  • Cultural experiences: India is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, diverse traditions, and vibrant festivals, and retirees can immerse themselves in the country's ancient history, art, music, and spirituality. 

  • High-quality, low-cost healthcare: India boasts world-class medical facilities, highly skilled healthcare professionals, and quality healthcare services at a fraction of the cost compared to Western countries.  

  • Diverse cuisine: Indian cuisine is celebrated worldwide for its bold flavors, aromatic spices, and diverse regional dishes. Retiring in India allows you to indulge in a wide array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, street food delights, and traditional recipes. 


  • Culture shock: Cultural differences in language, social etiquette, and daily routines may lead to initial culture shock and adjustment difficulties for some retirees. 

  • Language barriers: India’s linguistic diversity may present language barriers to retirees, especially in rural areas or non-English speaking regions. 

  • Pollution in urban areas: Retirees residing in metropolitan cities may experience pollution-related health concerns and environmental stressors that impact their quality of life. 

  • Visa and residency hurdles: Retirees may encounter administrative hurdles, paperwork requirements, and regulatory delays when applying for visas or extending their stay in the country. 

What are the best places to retire in India? 

When contemplating the best place to retire in India, remember that there are many destinations, each with its own unique charm.  

Here are some popular destinations: 

  • Chandigarh: As India’s first planned city, Chandigarh is a senior citizen’s haven, with a pollution-free environment, low crime rate, and proximity to the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. 

  • Goa: Known for its pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, and relaxed lifestyle, Goa is a popular retirement destination for expats seeking a beachside paradise. 

  • Pune: Pune is a cosmopolitan city renowned for its pleasant climate and thriving cultural scene, blending modern amenities and traditional charm. 

  • Mysore: Mysore offers retirees a serene environment, retiree-friendly infrastructure, and a vibrant cultural scene. 

  • Dehradun: Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Dehradun offers retirees a tranquil and picturesque setting, a moderate climate, and a low crime rate. 

What age can you retire in India? 

The retirement age in India is lower than that of most countries, and it varies depending on the sector and occupation.  

Generally, the retirement age for government employees is 60 years, while it may range between 58 and 60 for private sector employees.  

Retirees can also enjoy additional benefits such as pension schemes and senior citizen discounts on various services. 

What is the average cost of retirement in India? 

Retiring in India offers significant savings, as the cost of living is a staggering 82% lower on average than in the United States.  

While the exact expenses can vary depending on lifestyle choices, location, and individual preferences, retirees can generally expect a considerably lower cost of living in India.  

For instance, monthly expenses for accommodation, groceries, transportation, and healthcare are typically a fraction of what they would be in the US. Renting a comfortable apartment in a desirable area could range from $300 to $600 per month, while a modest meal at a local restaurant might cost around $2 to $5.  

Healthcare costs, including doctor consultations and prescription medications, are substantially lower compared to the US, with quality medical services available at a fraction of the cost.  

Do you pay taxes after retirement in India? 

Retiring in India may still make you liable for certain taxes, such as income tax on any pensions or investment income.  

However, India has a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with the United States, which helps prevent double taxation for retirees receiving income from both countries.  

Additionally, retirees may be able to access their retirement funds and Social Security benefits while residing in India. Still, it's essential to consult with a tax advisor to understand the specific implications. 

What programs are there for emigrating to India? 

There's no specific retirement visa available for those who want to emigrate to India. Retiring is generally simpler for Indian citizens or those with Indian family ties than it is for foreigners. 

Permanent Residency Status (PRS) will be granted to a foreign investor investing a minimum of Rs. 10 crores ($1.2 million), but this investment must result in employment for at least 20 resident Indians. 

What visas do I need to retire in India? 

Depending on your status, you can apply for one of three types of visas to retire in India: 

  • Person of Indian Origin (PIO): Eligibility requires meeting specific criteria, such as being born in India or having Indian-born parents or grandparents. PIOs can apply for a five-year entry visa, subject to annual renewal. 

  • Overseas Citizen of India (OCI): Indian citizens living abroad can apply for a multiple-entry, lifelong visa, allowing indefinite stays in India, even with dual citizenship. 

  • Foreign Nationals: Retirees with no ties to India face visa challenges. The only option is a tourist visa, allowing stays of up to 180 days, with renewals processed outside India. 

What are my healthcare options in India? 

India boasts a robust healthcare system with world-class hospitals and medical facilities.  

Retirement in India allows for access to a wide range of healthcare options, including public hospitals, private clinics, and specialized healthcare centers. 

Get expert retirement advice 

Retiring in India offers a unique blend of affordability, culture, and adventure for retirees seeking a new chapter in life. However, it's essential to carefully consider all aspects of retirement in India, including visa requirements, healthcare options, tax implications, and financial planning.  

As you explore the possibilities of retiring in India, remember to seek personalized retirement advice to tailor your plans and take advantage of this unique opportunity.  

Let Unbiased match you with a financial advisor who can help you plan for a financially secure future.  

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.