Retiring to New Zealand
Retirement in New Zealand offers expats a high quality of life and an opportunity to enjoy their retirement in a spacious, pollution-free environment that has an abundance of natural resources and beauty hot spots. In addition to its well-developed infrastructure, New Zealand is one of the most beautiful and peaceful nations in the world.
New Zealand’s policy for retirees
The rules for retiring to New Zealand have changed in recent years; previously anyone over the age of 58 would not be allowed to emigrate to the country, now anyone wishing to retire has to apply for a temporary retirement Visa or Parent retirement Visa.
The Temporary Retirement category includes a series of minimum requirements which must be met. The minimum age for an application in this category is 66 and for the duration of your stay in New Zealand you must be in possession of travel or health insurance. As a temporary retirement applicant you will not be able to claim any form of benefit or pension from the New Zealand government so you will need to have independent means. This is a minimum of $750,000 which should be invested in the country for a minimum of 2 years. You should also have $500,000 as funds for living and have proof of an annual income of at least $60,000 per year. You will also need to prove that these funds are yours or owned jointly with a partner.
The Permanent category requires you to have family already living in the country and will need to invest at least $1million over a four-year period
Quality of Life
The Quality of life for retirees is excellent in New Zealand with the country offering many opportunities for an active lifestyle with a reasonable cost of living when compared with the UK. New Zealand has regularly been voted one of the best places in the world for expats to move to due to the quality of life available there. New Zealand very popular with English-speaking expats as there is no requirement to learn another language and thanks to the ongoing Euro crisis has become the most popular destination for British Expats.
The laid-back lifestyle is perfect for those who want a more relaxed way of life and the climate is another factor. For those who are from the UK the climate is very similar with few extreme temperatures.
The reciprocal agreements in place mean that pensions can be claimed in New Zealand, although if you are entitled to a state pension in your home country there should be no problem in claiming it directly and having it transferred to you in New Zealand. This does depend a great deal on the country that you are from. The pension may need to be paid to a bank account in your home country so that you can then arrange transfer of the funds yourself.