Retiring in Malta: a complete guide

1 min readLast updated May 31, 2024by Unbiased team

Dive into the details of what to expect from retirement in Malta and what makes it such a popular destination for those living out their golden years.

Summary  

  • To retire in Malta, you will need a permanent resident visa, which requires a net worth of at least $40,000 or an annual income of approximately $27,000.  

  • Private healthcare in Malta is very accessible, and the standard and quality of care is high. 

  • According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Malta is 40% lower than in the US. 

  • To plan your retirement, it’s best to find a financial advisor who can offer expert advice and guidance. 

What are the pros and cons of retiring in Malta? 

The five-island archipelago of Malta is part of the European Union and is considered one of the most luxurious retirement destinations in the world. Malta may be a prime retirement destination, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain drawbacks to consider. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of retiring in Malta from the US:  

Pros 

  • Beautiful weather: Malta’s year-round temperature average is 73 °F. It rains seldom, and the many beaches provide somewhere to cool down in warmer months.  

  • Low cost of living: Although Malta is an island that needs to import many of its tradable products, the cost of living is still significantly lower than in most other countries.  

  • Affordable private healthcare: Private healthcare in Malta is very accessible, enhancing the sense of safety and security for retirees.  

Cons

  • Underdeveloped roads and public transport: Malta's quaint infrastructure can make travel challenging, especially if you don’t have a car.  

  • Limited entertainment options: Malta is a small island with a small entertainment scene, which some expats may find limiting.  

  • Regular tourist influx: Retiring in Malta can be a tranquil experience during the off-season, but summertime can result in a high volume of tourists that can be frustrating to deal with. 

What are the best places to retire in Malta? 

Malta offers a rich variety of Mediterranean landscapes, many of which have beautiful architecture and housing opportunities. Some of the best places to retire in Malta include:

  • Valletta: Close to the capital of Malta is Valletta, an upmarket suburban area that features high-end but surprisingly affordable apartments and houses to rent, many of which have pristine beachfront views.  

  • St. Paul’s Bay: This large town in the northern region of Malta has one of the largest expat populations on the island and offers a range of exquisite housing options.  

  • Victoria: Victoria is the capital of Gozo, one of Malta’s smaller sister islands. Its peaceful atmosphere and serene beaches make it a beautiful, albeit slightly isolated, place to retire.  

At what age can you retire in Malta? 

To retire in Malta, you must be at least 55 years old.  

This allows you to go through one of the easiest emigration and retirement programs for permanently living in Malta, the Malta Retirement Program (MRP).  

What is the average cost of retirement in Malta? 

If you emigrate to Malta, it costs about €1,500 to €2,000 per month to live, which is the US equivalent of $1,600 to $2,160.  

Do you pay taxes after retirement in Malta? 

Foreign income remitted to Malta is taxed at 15%, but there is no worldwide income tax.  

All income issued to Malta is taxed at a standardized rate of 15-30%.  

If you are receiving retirement income from a foreign country, you will need to pay an annual tax of €7,500.  

What programs are there for emigrating to Malta? 

The main way to emigrate to Malta as a US retiree is to obtain Maltese permanent residence via the Malta Retirement Program (MRP).  

To obtain it, you need to be at least 55 years old, be in receipt of a retirement income, own or lease property in Malta, and have private health insurance.  

What visas do I need to retire in Malta? 

To retire in Malta, you need a Maltese permanent residence visa. This visa allows foreigners to live and not work on the islands. As an expat with this type of visa, you are allowed to collect your US retirement income but cannot earn a living from work in Malta.  

To obtain a Maltese permanent residence visa, you need to have a net worth of at least $40,000 or earn an annual income of approximately $27,000.  

Once you receive your visa, you will need to purchase some form of Maltese property. You will also need a clear criminal record and an active Maltese bank account.  

What are my healthcare options in Malta? 

The quality of healthcare in Malta is exceptional and significantly more affordable than US healthcare.  

Public healthcare is free to Maltese citizens, but retired residents must make Maltese Social Security contributions to benefit from it.  

Private healthcare options range from €150 to €200 per month for retired individuals.  

Is it safe to retire in Malta? 

Malta is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world.  

There is a very low crime rate, and crime that does occur is managed effectively by authorities. It is considered very safe to retire in Malta.  

Is Malta a good place to retire? 

Although there are many other more cost-effective options available, Malta is considered a very good place to retire.  

It offers beautiful weather, a high quality of life, a strong and accessible healthcare system, and low crime rates. It also has a healthy, thriving community of retired expats, many of whom are English-speaking.  

Get expert financial advice 

Many people decide to retire to Malta because of its warm climate, quality services, and tranquil environment. The high standards of living and excellent healthcare are also major draws.  

If you would like to learn more about emigrating to Malta or managing your money to ensure a comfortable retirement, Unbiased can match you with a financial advisor who will offer expert retirement and financial planning advice.  

Writers

Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.