There are countless good reasons to think about living and retiring in another country –  an enhanced quality of life, maybe a better climate, healthier way of living or advantageous tax rates . Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Italy, the island of Malta offers the ultimate home for those seeking a slower more relaxed pace of living, a long rich history, vibrant culture, unique architecture, safety and almost year-round sunshine! Malta also offers an attractive retirement scheme for pensioners, known as the Malta Retirement Programme (MRP) where tax is applicable at a rate of only 15% on condition that applicants declare a minimum of 75% of their pension.

Whatever your reasons for choosing your retirement destination, we have put together a list of our top reasons why you should choose Malta to retire.

CLIMATE

Boasting an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, Malta is one of the sunniest countries in Europe. The superb weather encourages almost year-round tourism. The long hot summers are dry, spring brings sunny and mild weather, autumns are mellow and the winters are cooler with a bit of rain, but never freezing. The average temperature of 23 degrees and over  3,100 hours of sunshine per year makes for an ideal climate to retire in.

LOCATION

Malta is situated in the heart of the Mediterranean about 160 kilometres south of  Sicily. Its location gives you easy access to the rest of Europe with flights to most European destinations being two to three hours. Besides regular and convenient flights, the island is easily accessible by sea. This mediterranean island offers an incredible charm, from its crystal-clear aquamarine waters to its stunning historic cities.

CULTURE AND HISTORY

The Maltese islands share a rich history spanning thousands of years,  The island has been ruled by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans and British, each of these past cultures have offered a window into the past by leaving a social, religious and political mark on the Maltese people. Malta’s own unique culture have been formed from all those traditions and beliefs  influencing their traditions, religion and food of the island. Are you wanting to explore historical sites during your retirement? Malta has the greatest density of historic sites than any other country in the world, with a total of 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the entire city of Valletta, the Ggantija Megalithic Temples preceding Stonehenge and The Egyptian Pyramids and the mysterious Hypogeum, an underground sanctuary which dates back to 3000 B.C.

ARCHITECTURE

Cultural influences on the island are an eclectic mix, reflecting architectural elements from Baroque, Sicilian and Arabic styles. 17th century Baroque has a particularly everlasting impact on the architecture of Malta, especially in Valletta, which showcases luxurient colours, large scale frescos, spectacular ornate domes and arches. During the British period, Malta saw a huge rise in British classicism in architecture with Malta’s natural limestone being the perfect material for this style. Property in Malta offers an array of architectural styles for you to choose from, including distinctively Maltese Houses of Character, traditional Townhouses with Victorian-style bay windows, charming farmhouses set in the countryside or inherently historic period Palazzos found in towns and villages.

LIFESTYLE

Despite being the smallest nation in the European Union, Malta has a lot to offer its residents including history, culture, art, sports and recreation. The narrow streets of old villages are the perfect spots to take a stroll and discover the plentiful chapels and gardens. The superb weather allows plenty opportunity enjoy many water related sports like swimming, snorkelling, sailing and kayaking in the most amazing blue waters of the Mediterranean. Make the most of the surrounding seascape during your retirement and take up scuba diving, enjoy discovering the world of shipwrecks and underwater caves. For sports and recreation, Maltese residents have access to an array of private membership clubs dotted all around the island – including the Royal Malta Golf Club, Royal Malta Yacht Club, The Royal Malta Polo Club  and The Marsa Sports Club which offers its members many sports from padel, cricket, tennis and squash. Enjoy the huge sailing and yachting community on the island, sail around the island in your own yacht or charter one in several of the luxury yacht marinas. If you enjoy the arts, Malta hosts Europe’s third oldest working theatre, the Manoel theatre, with a range of cultural evenings taking place throughout the year.

LANGUAGE

English is one of the country’s two official languages, the other being Maltese. Malta was ruled by Great Britain for 150 years, leaving behind a significant legacy of architecture, culture and its language. English is most widely used among residents. All signs and official documents are in English, making life as an expatriate a much easier experience.

MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE

The food in Malta is hearty, rustic and delicious.  The island is rich with an abundance of natural produce from its famous golden yellow honey, from which the Greek word ‘Miel’ meaning honey gave rise to the origin of the word ‘Malta” to local sheep cheese ‘gbejna’, cold-pressed olive oil and pure sea salt from the surrounding seas. An island rich with Mediterranean style, the local cuisine has influences from Italy, Spain, North Africa and British. The typical cuisine of the island is traditional healthy, balanced Mediterranean diet consisting of seafood, delicious fresh fruit and vegetables, and infamous Maltese bread from the traditional bakeries. You will be spoilt for choice when eating out in Malta, from Michelin-starred restaurants, popular trattorias, trendy brunch spots, upmarket bakeries and authentic hidden gems.

HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

Despite its tiny size, Malta is widely known for having some of the best healthcare in the world, consistently ranked well among all countries for overall healthcare services. There is public and private medical healthcare available. The main hospital is Mater Dei, which opened in 2007, offers a full range of hospital and specialist services.

SAFETY

Malta serves as a safe, peaceful haven’t for those who live on the island. Violent crime is rare. Malta is consistently ranked as one of the safest islands in Europe, with very low crime rates and frequent police patrolling. According to the 2019 Wealth Migration Review, Malta was ranked as the second safest country in the world for women, and the safest in Europe.

EXPATRIATE COMMUNITY

Malta attracts people from all over the world so the international multicultural community is large in Malta. Unlike other larger countries, there is a feeling of community here, providing a sense of belonging and making the idea of being in a foreign country much less daunting. It is easy to make friends here with a cosmopolitan community of like-minded expats and retirees.

For any more information regarding retiring in Malta, kindly contact us on +27 (0) 83 264 2281 or send us an email mandy@maltainvest.co.za