12 Best Places to Retire in Netherlands (2024)

This article looks at the 12 best places to retire in Netherlands. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis of how the Netherlands can pave the way for a healthy retirement, go to the 5 Best Places to Retire in Netherlands.

Netherlands: An Attractive Economy

According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the population of Netherlands is expected to reach 20 million by 2056. This population continues to expand despite a negative natural increase, primarily driven by significant immigration flows into the country. Q1 2023 recorded an influx of 27,400 people into the country following the outbreak of war in Ukraine. While immigrants from Ukraine have been coming into the country in large numbers, they aren’t the only ones. In fact, our research on most popular overseas retirement destinations reveals that as of 2022, over 4,000 Americans have been receiving their Social Security benefits from the country.

This doesn't come as a surprise, considering that the Netherlands scores the highest in terms of quality of life. According to Numbeo, a large online database, the Netherlands has the highest quality of life with an index of 196.7, followed by Denmark (194.7) and Switzerland (193.6). Besides the high quality of living, the country offers a stable macroeconomic and political climate, strategic location, highly developed financial sector, strong labor force, and resilient infrastructure.

After a strong GDP growth in 2022, the economy of the Netherlands has slid into a recession, with real GDP decreasing by 0.4% in the first quarter and 0.3% in the second quarter. Due to high inflation rates eroding purchasing power, consumer spending has been declining as well. Nevertheless, the country remains focused on attracting foreign companies, with as many as 327 investment projects in 2022. The focus of attracting such foreign companies remains to strengthen ecosystems and contribute to sustained economic growth.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Micky Adriaansens states:

"Foreign companies are important to the Dutch economy. More than a quarter of the money in the Netherlands is earned there. Also, 20% of employees in the business sector works for a foreign company. That is why I wholeheartedly welcome foreign companies, especially if they can make our economy stronger, more innovative and more sustainable."

In this context, the iShares MSCI Netherlands ETF (EWN) provides a compelling avenue for investors to navigate the intricacies of the Dutch equities market. EWN has delivered a notable 1-year return of 23.14%, outperforming the S&P 500's 17.44% for the same period. However, the iShares MSCI Netherlands ETF (EWN) has delivered a 3-year return of 11.4%, while the S&P 500 has outperformed with a 3-year return of 16.37%, reflecting varying performance dynamics in the Dutch and U.S. markets.

Investors considering investing in the iShares MSCI Netherlands ETF (EWN) should exercise practical diversification strategies and not concentrate their investments solely on the Netherlands' equity market. Complementing their portfolio with exposure to U.S. equities, particularly those represented by the S&P 500 index, can help mitigate risk and capture opportunities in Dutch and U.S. markets both.

Expatriates in the Netherlands

Owing to a high quality of life, prospects of economic growth in the future, and a diverse population, more and more expatriates are considering a move to the Netherlands. Those who wish to move to the country will be pleased to know that retirement in the Netherlands for expats is very much possible. Americans, particularly, are allowed visa-free entry into the country for 90 days. Those who wish to stay longer must apply for a permit.

While there is no specific Netherlands retirement visa available, one can obtain a residence permit at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) after arrival. After the requirements are fulfilled, an individual can obtain a permit valid for five years. Retirement income for individuals must be sustainable to allow them to stay in the country. It must also be noted that an individual needs to have lived and worked in the Netherlands for five years before gaining permanent residency. This goes for both EU/EFTA and third-country citizens.

To retire to the country, individuals must also fulfill certain conditions. One requirement when retiring to the country is proof of sufficient funds. So, how much do you need to retire in the Netherlands? Overall, income for an individual retiree must be above or equal to the Dutch minimum wage. The current minimum wage in the Netherlands is €1,995.00, or $2,100 per month in 2023. Moreover, proof of health insurance is also a requirement when retiring to the country. There are two types of health insurance in the Netherlands: basisverzekering (basic health insurance) and aanvullende verzekering (additional health insurance).

While basic health insurance takes care of your GP costs, pharmacy bills, and emergency procedures, additional health insurance exists to cover less general procedures such as dental procedures, vision, and mental healthcare. Thehealth ministry forecasts reveal that health insurance premiums will rise by an estimated €12 a month, taking the monthly average to around €150 for an adult. The rising cost of healthcare, particularly the pay of hospital staff by 13 to 15%, is the notable reason behind the increase. Individuals must check the new fees of all such insurance providers before choosing one.

12 Best Places to Retire in Netherlands (1)

Copyright: jenifoto / 123RF Stock Photo


To compile the list of best places to retire in the Netherlands, we have used many sources such as Adam Fayed, Plan a Retirement, and Expats on the Move, amongst others. We also relied on forums such as Quora and Reddit to analyze the best places suggested by expat retirees living in the Netherlands.

A consensus approach was used to rank the places. A point was awarded to a place each time a source recommended it. Scores were summed up, and places were then ranked in ascending order from the lowest to the highest scores.

The cost of living figures discussed pertain to an individual retiree living in the Netherlands, including the rent of a one-bedroom apartment in the city/town center. The figures are sourced from International Living, Cost of Live, and Nomads List, amongst others.

Here are the best places to retire in Netherlands:

12. Maastricht

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Maastricht, located on the Southern tip of the Netherlands, is revered for its high quality of life, modern healthcare, and rich cultural heritage. The thriving city is home to 1,677 national heritage buildings (rijksmonumenten), the second-highest number in the Netherlands. Museums, galleries, theaters, and annual festivals keep retirees busy all year long. The scenic hills of Limburg and the Maas River add to the beauty and charm of Maastricht and offer plentiful recreational opportunities. The cost of living for an individual retiree is $1,270 on average.

11. Leiden

Insider Monkey Score: 3

Famous for its centuries-old architecture, charming city center, and rich cultural heritage, Leiden is a popular retirement destination in Netherlands. Retirees here can engage in lifelong learning at Leiden University, enjoy strolls in the city's cobblestone streets, and explore the many galleries, music venues, and theaters. The city is conveniently located between the Netherlands's largest cities, Amsterdam and The Hague, providing easy access to both. An individual retiree can live in Leiden on an average of $2,000 per month, with $1,000 spent on rent.

10. Delft

Insider Monkey Score: 3

The little university town of Delft, with its beautiful canals, historic buildings, and charming historic center, is one of the best places to retire in Netherlands for foreigners. It has access to modern healthcare facilities and services, a well-connected transportation system, and many parks and natural areas. Since Delft is a compact city, it's quite walkable and bike-friendly too. On average, an retiree can anticipate spending $1,800 monthly in Delft.

9. Tilburg

Insider Monkey Score: 4

Retirees are drawn to Tilburg for its vibrant culture, quality healthcare, and many cultural attractions. It is conveniently located near cities such as Eindhoven, Breda, and 's-Hertogenbosch, providing access to a wider range of amenities. Retirees can engage in lifelong learning at Tilburg University, socialize with the expat community, or relax in the city's natural landscapes. An individual retiree can expect to live in Tilburg for $2,806 on average.

8. Almere

Insider Monkey Score: 5

Almere, the youngest city in the Netherlands, has a lot to offer to retirees. The city boasts modern, well-planned infrastructure, an excellent healthcare system, and educational institutions that offer opportunities for lifelong learning. The city's small-town atmosphere, complimented by natural features such as lush forests, serene lakes, and winding waterways, makes it one of the best places to retire in the Netherlands. Retirees can relish nature and culture in De Kemphaan, enjoy strolls in Almere Haven, appreciate performances and events at the KAF (Kunstlinie Almere Flevoland) Theater, and even relax on the scenic Almere Beach, an artificial gem that boasts stunning vistas. On average, an individual retiree can expect to live here on $2,400 per month.

7. Amsterdam

Insider Monkey Score: 6

Amsterdam holds a strong allure for retirees owing to its unique Dutch way of life; with beautiful canals, tall buildings, and many bicycles. Retirees love it for its vibrant arts and culture scene, relishing world-class museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Numerous parks and green spaces offer a tranquil environment to relax in. The city also boasts a highly-regarded healthcare system. Being one of the most popular places to retire to, Amsterdam has a high cost of living. An individual expat needs an average of $4,000 to retire here.

6. Groningen

Insider Monkey Score: 6

An ancient city with a lively spirit, Groningen promises retirees an active lifestyle, a vibrant environment, and a haven to call home. It is one of the Netherland's most bike-friendly cities, and individuals can explore the city and the surrounding countryside on their bicycles. Peaceful retreats such as Noorderplantsoen and Stadspark offer relaxing opportunities, while the charming villages and serene lakes add to the beauty and charm of retiring here. On average, individual expats can anticipate monthly living costs to be around $2,656.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Places to Retire in Netherlands.

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Disclosure: none. 12 Best Places to Retire in Netherlands is originally published on Insider Monkey..

12 Best Places to Retire in Netherlands (2024)


Is the Netherlands a good place for Americans to retire? ›

And, perhaps most importantly, where do you want to live in retirement? Well, if you're someone who's looking for the best of the best in retirement, then it's time to consider The Netherlands, which was just named the best place to retire, according to the Mercer CFA Institute's Global Pension Index.

How much money is needed to retire in the Netherlands? ›

One requirement when retiring to the country is proof of sufficient funds. So, how much do you need to retire in the Netherlands? Overall, income for an individual retiree must be above or equal to the Dutch minimum wage. The current minimum wage in the Netherlands is €1,995.00, or $2,100 per month in 2023.

What is the world's #1 retirement destination? ›

Costa Rica is the best country to retire in the world 2024, according to a new study from International Living. For many, retirement is exciting.

Where do most expats live in the Netherlands? ›

Living the Dutch life: These are the best cities for expats in the Netherlands
  • Amsterdam: The roaring capital of the Netherlands. ...
  • Rotterdam: Start your Dutch life in the vibrant port city. ...
  • Utrecht: Living among the peaceful canals. ...
  • Maastricht: Living the expat life in the sunny south. ...
  • Delft: The best tech hub for expats.
Sep 19, 2023

What is the downside of moving to Netherlands? ›

Cons: Cost of living: The cost of living in the Netherlands can be high, especially in larger cities like Amsterdam. Housing costs, in particular, can be very expensive. Weather: The weather in the Netherlands can be cloudy and damp, and the long, dark winters can be a challenge for some people.

How hard is it to move to the Netherlands as an American? ›

However, when you wish to emigrate or move to the Netherlands you are required to obtain a residence permit and, when this option becomes available to you, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. U.S. citizens who want to work in the Netherlands or simply live here are required to apply for a residence permit.

What is the best country to retire in from USA? ›

The list of the best countries for retirement includes:
  • Slovenia.
  • Japan.
  • Malta.
  • France.
  • Estonia.
  • Singapore.
  • Cyprus.
  • Portugal.
Apr 27, 2024

How much money do you need to live comfortably in the Netherlands? ›

The cost of living in the Netherlands for a single person = ~ €1,782 per month and ~ €21,384 per year. Average cost of living in the Netherlands for a student = ~ €1,250 per month and ~ €15,000 per year. Cost of living in the Netherlands for a family = ~ € 4,102 per month and ~ €49,224 per year.

How much is a full Dutch pension? ›

The basic pension benefit for a single person equalled EUR 1 334.94 per month in 2022. For couples, the amount per person is EUR 914.15 for a total amount of EUR 1 828.30 per couple.

Where do the happiest retirees live? ›

Top 20 Happiest Cities to Retire
  1. Barnstable, MA. Coming in at the top of the happiest cities to retire in the U.S. list is Barnstable. ...
  2. Naples, FL. Those who want to live by the water and enjoy warmer weather can head south to Naples. ...
  3. Ann Arbor, MI. ...
  4. Durham, NC. ...
  5. Boulder, CO. ...
  6. North Port, FL. ...
  7. Olympia, WA. ...
  8. San Jose, CA.
Jan 8, 2024

What is the easiest European country to retire to from USA? ›

Best European Countries to Retire
  1. Portugal. Portugal has been deemed a secret hot spot for a European retirement. ...
  2. France. The close second to Portugal for retirees came to France. ...
  3. Slovenia. Making its way close to the top of the list for countries in Europe to retire went to Slovenia. ...
  4. Italy. ...
  5. Montenegro.

What is the cheapest and safest country to retire in? ›

7 of the most-affordable places to retire abroad
  • Malaysia.
  • Mexico.
  • Panama.
  • Philippines.
  • Portugal.
  • Thailand.
  • Vietnam.
Mar 1, 2024

Is it better to live in the Netherlands or the US? ›

One of the biggest draws of Holland is their happy people and high quality of life. According to the World Happiness Report, the Netherlands ranks as the #5 happiest country in the world. From very friendly people to an extremely good work life balance, it's no wonder the people living in the Netherlands are so happy.

Which city in the Netherlands has the best quality of life? ›

The ranking not only examined countries' quality of life but also that of 195 cities across the globe. A staggering four Dutch cities made it into the top 10. The Hague took the number one spot, followed by Eindhoven in second and Luxembourg City in third.

Where do the richest Dutch people live? ›

Wealthiest municipalities are Bloemendaal and Laren

The data shows that most millionaire households live in Bloemendaal or Laren - this is largely unsurprising, as these municipalities are known for their wealth and high property prices. In Bloemendaal and Laren, around three in every 10 people are millionaires.

Is it cheaper to live in the Netherlands or the United States? ›

United States is 12% more expensive than Netherlands. May 2024 Cost of Living.

Are the Netherlands friendly to Americans? ›

In general, the Dutch are welcoming to foreigners and make an effort to engage newcomers into the community. They are known for their egalitarianism and are a fairly liberal society. Expats moving to the Netherlands will have plenty of opportunity to meet people in the Netherlands.

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