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FIVE OF THE BEST PLACES TO RETIRE ON THE CONTINENT

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While most people tend to retire in their home countries an increasing number of people are choosing to do so in foreign countries. Some seek hotter climates, a new culture, the chance to be closer to nature or a slower pace of life. The reasons abound and it’s becoming clear to most people that retiring abroad can be a great option for people seeking their dream lifestyle at an affordable price.

Select African countries offer retirees the high-quality lifestyle, value for money and climate that they’re looking for, and thus it comes as no surprise that there’s been an increase in the number of retirees opting to settle on the continent rather than the traditional first world destinations. These five destinations in Africa are sure to spark your motivation to get packing for a retirement adventure.

MAURITIUS

Mauritius is considered a dream retirement destination and is our top pick for retirement in Africa. It has all the necessary conditions in order to cater to foreigners wanting to enjoy a piece of paradise. The high quality of life, a warm climate throughout the year, wonderful beaches and turquoise lagoons, political and economic stability and low taxation will ensure a stress-free seaside retirement. Also, English is widely spoken in Mauritius. Regarding health, Mauritius offers well-equipped hospitals and clinics. In fact, thanks to its world-class facilities Mauritius is now a major centre for medical tourism, attracting patients from around the world.

To become a resident retiree in Mauritius, one must be at least 50 years old. The retired applicant will also have to prove their ability to make an annual bank transfer amounting to $40,000 during their stay in Mauritius. Those two prerequisites filled, a resident permit valid for three years will be granted to the applicant. After the three years, the Mauritian authorities shall evaluate the bank transfers. A resident permit of ten years can then be granted to the applicant if they fulfilled the requirements.

However, those procedures may be avoided by acquiring an IRS or RES property. In fact, by buying real estate at a minimum cost of $500,000 an individual will be granted permanent residence.

The Mauritian capital Port Louis is a diverse and bustling city with beautiful architecture and relatively few tourists. If you prefer a slower pace of life and to be closer to nature and the wild scenery, there are a number of smaller cities, towns and villages such as Bois Cheri, Flic-en-Flac and Bras D’Eau.

SOUTH AFRICA

Perhaps the most practical place to retire on the continent, South Africa has a number of amenities and policies that exist to make immigrants feel at home. Top of the list being friendly immigration laws and excellent healthcare. A major attraction is the fact that there’s already a large expat community. The retired visa has no age restriction if the minimum requirements are met. South Africa is also retiree tax friendly. It has numerous double taxation agreements, no tax on foreign sourced pensions schemes and a very low capital gains tax rate.

A retired permit application is made by showing a guaranteed monthly income of R37,000 (about $2,650) per month. It is valid indefinitely, but the holder must visit South Africa at least once every three years to maintain it.

Healthcare is unmatched on the continent with many world-class facilities that serve locals and foreigners seeking the level of care they can’t find in their countries. You can retire to South Africa with the knowledge that you can have access to excellent medical care.

Infrastructure is highly developed with thousands of kilometres of pristine roads, several high-speed Internet providers, the Gautrain (Gauteng’s 80 kilometre commuter system) and rapid transport systems.

Shopping facilities are second to none on the continent. Whether it be basic necessities or luxury brand name items, there’s nothing you won’t be able to find in South Africa.

In 2018 Durban was ranked as the most liveable city in South Africa and 89th in the world by the Mercer Quality of Living Report. Other popular locations include Pretoria and the metropolis of Johannesburg. From the naturally beautiful Cape Town to the university city of Grahamstown (Makhanda), there’s a town or city to satisfy your needs.

MOROCCO

Morocco is an attractive retirement destination for many reasons: low cost of living, low crime rates, stable government and rich culture. Located on the Strait of Gibraltar where Africa meets Europe, Tangier is an ancient city hugely popular with expats offering a rich cultural heritage for locals, expats and retirees alike. Morocco’s medina, bazaars and souks are colourful and vibrant places and the beaches are excellent. 

The French are the largest expat group in Morocco with nearly 60,000 retired French citizens living in Morocco. There are many online expat groups to facilitate networking, share information, seek advice and organise events and get-togethers. If you stay for at least three years in Morocco you can then apply for a Residency Card of five or ten years. Although Morocco is an affordable country and you can easily live with your pension, the cost of living can significantly change depending on which city you will be living in. Rabat and Casablanca are the most expensive cities in Morocco.

CAPE VERDE

Cape Verde is yet another island nation we highly recommend. Situated off the coast of West Africa, more and more Americans and Europeans have chosen to make Cape Verde their new home. Cape Verde has a small population of about 550,000 and most inhabitants have a mix of African and Portuguese heritage. The rich culture is a reflection of the mixed population.

The small island economy has grown steadily over the years and in 2008 Cape Verde was named a middle-income economy, attaining this status faster than any other non-extractive sub-Saharan African country.

Cape Verde is considered one of the top destinations in the world for real estate investments. Property prices are a major draw for foreigners. House prices range from $50,000 to $112,000 but you can find a house for even under $30,000. Even at the higher end the cost is significantly less than you would have to shell out for a home on other idyllic African island nations. Options range from apartments to luxury villas.

With good infrastructure, reliable Internet services and high standards of living in urban areas, retirees can enjoy a comfortable life. Another draw is that crime rates are relatively low. The country is malaria-free and boasts a stable democracy along with warm weather throughout the year. Cape Verde is made up of ten different islands which all have similarities but each with their own distinct vibe. So much so that each island will provide you with a unique experience.

Praia, the capital city, and Mindelo have the largest hospitals. Smaller medical facilities are dotted around the country. It is important to consider this when deciding which part of Cape Verde to settle in.

SEYCHELLES

The Seychelles has a reputation for high lving standards and the good life that has attracted many expats historically.  The country is politically stable and democratic. The capital is Victoria and there are approximately 80,000 residents that live on the islands. Medical care on the Seychelles is adequate but some isolated islands do not have medical facilities. Keep this in mind when deciding which part of the country you would like to settle.

Foreigners are allowed to buy a home but there is a catch, they must live in it. There is a transfer restriction that prohibits you from renting or leasing out the property.

If you’re looking for natural beauty and a non-commercial feel, Seychelles easily impresses. Though you may not always find luxury brand items you can easily find all your basic necessities. The Seychelles is the perfect place for anyone looking for a simple life that comes with relaxation, sun and tropical beauty.

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