How to Retire in the Netherlands - SmartAsset (2024)

How to Retire in the Netherlands - SmartAsset (1)

With just under 4,000 retired Americans getting Social Security benefits in the Netherlands at the end of 2019, this Western European country may not stand out as an obvious choice for retirement among some of its neighboring countries, but its high standard of living, universal health system and centuries of rich traditions, culture and food could make this the ideal retirement place for you.

If you want to retire in the Netherlands, a financial advisorcan help you create a retirement plan to reach all of your goals and needs.

Cost of Living and Housing

Thecost of livingdatabaseNumbeosays that consumer prices in the Netherlands are 9.9% higher than the U.S., when you exclude rent. And if you compare the overall cost of rent between both countries, American retireescan save a small amount — the Netherlands is 4.19% cheaper than in the U.S. But when you compare rents between specific cities, your Social Security dollars could go in some cases a lot further in this Western European country than in the U.S.

For a specific comparison, let’s take a look at Amsterdam, which has just over 1.1 million people. Average rent in the Dutch capital is41% lowerthan inNew York City. A one-bedroom apartment in Amsterdam’s city center averages $1,932.64, while a similar apartment in the Big Apple could cost you $3,269.65.

If you want to compare the average cost of rent in Amsterdam with other U.S. cities, the Dutch capital is 19.72% cheaper than in Los Angeles and 2.32% lower than Miami. However, Amsterdam rent is 3.54% higher than in Chicago, 41.80% higher than inHouston and 53.65% higher than inPhoenix.

So while the Netherlands may not be as affordable as other European countries, it may still be a reasonable choice depending on your financial options.

Retire in the Netherlands: Visas and Residence Permit

How to Retire in the Netherlands - SmartAsset (2)

The Netherlands, like other European countries, is part of the Schengen Agreement, which means that American retirees are allowed visa-free entry into the Dutch country as tourists or for business purposes up to 90 days. If you plan on a longer residency, you will have to apply for a permit. Requirements will differ, depending on the reason for your stay. However, you should note the Netherlands has no specific option for retirees. So your pension income needs to be sustainable.

You can apply to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) for your residence permit once you have arrived in the Netherlands. In some cases, you will need a sponsor, such as an employer or partner, who will also need to submit an application (TEV). Once the IND approves your permit, it will be valid for up to five years.

Retire in the Netherlands: Healthcare

Universal healthcareis mandatory in the Netherlands — the country’s system makes health insurance compulsory for all residents, and expats are no exception to this rule. So American retirees who are permanent residents living in the Dutch country for more than three months will have to purchase private insurance. And to do so, you’ll need to register with your local council and receive a service number (BSN).

The basic insurance plan costs between $121 to $146 out of pocket, which will then become a monthly recurring payment. The government also reviews the mandatory deductible account and adjusts it yearly when needed. For example, in 2019, this amount was $493. In addition, consumers can pay a voluntary deductible on top of the mandatory payment in exchange for a lower monthly premium.

Retire in the Netherlands: Taxes

How to Retire in the Netherlands - SmartAsset (3)

If you are earning money in the Netherlands, then that income is subject to taxes. Those employed by a company will have the amount automatically deducted from their salary through a wage tax. But if you are self-employed, you will have to calculate and pay your income tax on the annual tax return.

The Dutch tax office divides income tax into three categories based on income bracket, worldwide income, individual gross salary and pensionable age. Non-residents are only subject to a tax on the income they earn from sources in the Netherlands.

Beyond the Netherlands, you should keep in mind that American citizens are still required to file tax returns with the U.S. government, independently from where they reside. However, expatriates in the Netherlands could get some relief thanks to a tax treaty between both countries that eliminates double taxation. On top of that, expats can also benefit from the 30% ruling. This policy allows employers to pay their foreign-born workers 30% of their income tax-free continuing for up to 10 years.

Retire in the Netherlands: Safety

While the Netherlands can be picturesque from the windmills to the tulips, general safety precautions are advised, as in other countries, to safeguard against crimes that could target tourists and other expats.

The U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisorysays that the Netherlands is a low-crime threat, butputs the Dutch country at a Level 2 due to possible terrorism threats. The Netherlands raised its own threat level as well in 2019 and put forth counterterrorism measures to address the situation.

But while individuals are urged to exercise caution, the average traveler in the Dutch country has a generally safe experience, even in major cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.

Bottom Line

While the high standard of living in the Netherlands could be challenging for budget-savvy retirees, the Dutch country’s universal health system and rich culturecould make it the ideal retirement place for you.

Tips on Affording Retirement

  • Use a professional to make a sound plan. Retiring to the Netherlands can create a lot of financial complications. Afinancial advisorcan help you navigate the nuances to achieve your goals.SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors for free.
  • Diversify your retirement income. The Netherlands is one of the more challenging European nations to rely on your Social Security benefits alone. SmartAsset’sSocial Security calculatorcan help estimate your benefit amount and compare it with the costs of living that you will have to pay during retirement.
  • Take advantage of tax-friendly retirement accounts. Whether you want to retire comfortably abroad or in the U.S., both anIRAor a401(k)plan will offer you tax benefits, and help you grow your retirement savings with compound interest.

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How to Retire in the Netherlands - SmartAsset (2024)


How easy is it to retire to the Netherlands? ›

You need to have lived and worked in the Netherlands for five years before you can gain permanent residency. This goes for both EU/EFTA and third-country citizens. There are also exceptions to this. EU/EFTA citizens can apply for permanent residency if they have retired after living in the country for three years.

What is the $1000 a month rule for retirement? ›

One example is the $1,000/month rule. Created by Wes Moss, a Certified Financial Planner, this strategy helps individuals visualize how much savings they should have in retirement. According to Moss, you should plan to have $240,000 saved for every $1,000 of disposable income in retirement.

Is $1,000,000 enough to retire at 65? ›

A recent analysis determined that a $1 million retirement nest egg may only last about 20 years depending on what state you live in. Based on this, if you retire at age 65 and live until you turn 84, $1 million will probably be enough retirement savings for you.

Is $6,000,000 enough to retire on? ›

If you save up $6 million by age 50, you'll position yourself for a long, comfortable retirement. However, you'll still need to navigate taxes, income calculations and economic forces, all of which can create financial pressure during your golden years.

What is the downside of moving to Netherlands? ›

The Netherlands has a high cost of living, which includes everything from accommodation, groceries, and services. On average, the cost of living in the Netherlands is 10.7% higher than in the UK. Owning a car is particularly expensive, with high road tax and expensive repair costs.

How hard is it for a US citizen to move to Netherlands? ›

Immigration. As a third-country national who does not possess EU, EEA, or Swiss nationality, you will need a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days. There are different types of visas, residence permits, and work permits depending on your employer and your specific case.

How long will $500,000 last year in retirement? ›

You can retire at 50 with $500,000; however, it will require careful planning and budgeting. As the table above shows, if you have an annual income of either $20,000 or $30,000, you can expect your $500,000 to last for over 30 years. This means you will run out of retirement savings in your 80s.

Is $2,000 a month enough to retire on? ›

Retiring on a fixed income can seem daunting, but with some planning and commitment to a frugal lifestyle, it's possible to retire comfortably on $2,000 a month. This takes discipline but ultimately will allow you to have more freedom and happiness in your golden years without money worries.

Can you live off $3000 a month in retirement? ›

That means that even if you're not one of those lucky few who have $1 million or more socked away, you can still retire well, so long as you keep your monthly budget under $3,000 a month.

Can I live off the interest of 1 million dollars? ›

Once you have $1 million in assets, you can look seriously at living entirely off the returns of a portfolio. After all, the S&P 500 alone averages 10% returns per year. Setting aside taxes and down-year investment portfolio management, a $1 million index fund could provide $100,000 annually.

How many people have $2000000 in savings? ›

Among the 47 million households headed by someone age 60 or older, 7% had household investable assets of at least $2 million, Drinkwater said. Only 6% of the 89 million households in the U.S. headed by someone 40 to 85 years old has that amount, Drinkwater said.

How many people have $1,000,000 in retirement savings? ›

According to the Federal Reserve's latest Survey of Consumer Finances, only about 10% of American retirees have managed to save $1 million or more. This leaves a significant 90% who fall short of this milestone. Don't Miss: The average American couple has saved this much money for retirement — How do you compare?

What is the net worth of the top 2 percent? ›

Top 2% wealth: The top 2% of Americans have a net worth of about $2.472 million, aligning closely with the surveyed perception of wealth. Top 5% wealth: The next tier, the top 5%, has a net worth of around $1.03 million. Top 10% wealth: The top 10% of the population has a net worth of approximately $854,900.

Can you live on $800,000 in retirement? ›

Yes, $800k provides a healthy nest egg that allows for annual withdrawals of around $60,000 or below, spanning 20 years.

How long will six million dollars last? ›

Even without returns of any kind, just coasting on principal, a $6 million portfolio can pay you $120,000 per year for 50 years. For someone who retires at 55, that will give you retirement savings to live until you're 105 years old and this is even before we account for Social Security.

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 many years do you have to work in the Netherlands to get a pension? ›

You can build up a full AOW pension if you live and work in the Netherlands for 50 years before you reach your AOW pension age.

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

Happy and High Quality Living

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.

What is the average pension in the Netherlands? ›

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. There is an additional holiday allowance of EUR 69.30 per single person and 49.51 per person for couples.

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