News Release

UAE Claims the Top Spot for the Happiest Place to Retire

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News Release, (2021, November 19). UAE Claims the Top Spot for the Happiest Place to Retire. Psychreg on Developmental Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/uae-claims-top-spot-happiest-place-retire/
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Retirement is a big part of life for so many. It should be an opportunity to enjoy life freely without work commitments and be as happy as one can be. But how much does it cost to retire in the countries that have the highest happiness levels? Which benefits do these countries offer? Is it worth moving there for retirement?

Our Life Plan has taken the 95 happiest countries from across the world, according to the World Happiness Report, and has ranked them across six categories, including the number of sunshine hours and the cost of living, to reveal what place is most likely to ensure a happy retirement.

The study reveals that the United Arab Emirates is the happiest place to retire with an overall score of 7.76. It comes as no surprise that with the average yearly temperature being 27°C and 3,508 hours of sunshine, they came out on top. A medium cost of living and a high average monthly salary of more than £2,000 also contributed to this.

Following the Emirates, in second place, is Australia. Scoring an impressive 7.137 on the happiness index category and with an overall score of 7.51, Australia is a great option if you’re looking to retire further afield. The UK ranked 47th out of 95 countries. 

5 Happiest countries to retire

CountryHappiness Index 2020Average monthly salary (£)Cost of living indexAverage life expectancyAverage yearly temp. (°C)Number of sunshine hoursHappy retirement index
UAE6.4582,002.7358.9478.4627.633,508.707.763
Australia7.1372,669.9880.7583.9421.942,813.707.505
Israel7.1951,943.2984.7783.4920.513,311.007.424
Bahrain6.1731,145.3457.1677.7328.233,3507.312
Saudi Arabia6.561,262.9349.675.6925.473,2487.305

Best European countries for a happy retirement

If you’re looking to retire in Europe, then Cyprus is a great choice. With sun all year round, average yearly temperatures of 19.6°C (temperatures reach 35°C in the summer months), and a happiness index score of 6.26, it’s the right option for retirees to enjoy while soaking up the sunshine. Cyprus is well-known for its combination of stunning beaches, seaside restaurants, cafes, and Old Towns.

Other good options in Europe include Spain and Malta. Spain is known to be a popular choice for retirees, especially the British, with thousands of over 65s moving there to enjoy the Mediterranean sun, beautiful beaches, and rural Spanish towns.

Our Life Plan gave Spain an overall score of 6.79, naming it the second happiest country in Europe to retire to and the 7th worldwide. Very close behind Spain is Malta, who scored 6.74. 

5 Happiest European countries to retire

CountryHappiness Index 2020Average monthly salary (£)Cost of living indexAverage life expectancyAverage yearly temp. (°C)Number of sunshine hoursHappy retirement index
Cyprus6.261,048.6461.6481.5119.633,314.107.039
Spain6.5021,147.5356.6483.9913.932,7696.788
Malta6.157955.1072.9283.0619.613,0546.735
Spain6.5021,147.5356.6483.9913.932,7696.788
Italy6.4881,223.2169.9984.0112.812,4736.392

Retiring further afield

The study reveals that outside of Europe, the UAE, and Australia are the best places for a happy retirement. However, other good options include Bahrain, Thailand, and Egypt. 

With the cost of living being low, meaning your pension and retirement savings can go further, Thailand is a popular destination for retirees. The country is thriving with culture, delicious cuisine, stunning beaches, and friendly people. The weather is sunny for the majority of the year and there’s plenty of options for both active retirees and those wanting to relax, with numerous hikes and temples to visit as well as several beaches to lay back on, scoring 6.68 points and landing the 10th position in the ranking.

Out of the 95 countries, Egypt is the third country that has the most hours of sunshine throughout the year (3,541.8 hours), so if you’re looking for somewhere that has substantial sunshine and warmth, Egypt is the place. The first options belong to Namibia (3,605 sunshine hours) and Jordan (3,602 sunshine hours) 

As well as a low cost of living and sunshine, Egypt is perfect for retirees who are interested in culture and history. The country has no shortage of picturesque sights and it’s known for its pyramids, the Nile, and Egyptian villages. Egypt scored 6.49 on the overall score. 

5 Happiest countries to retire, further afield

CountryHappiness Index 2020Average monthly salary (£)Cost of living indexAverage life expectancyAverage yearly temp. (°C)Number of sunshine hoursHappy retirement index
UAE6.4582002.7358.9478.4627.633,508.707.76
Australia7.1372669.9880.7583.9421.942,813.707.51
Israel7.1951,943.2984.7783.4920.513,311.007.42
Bahrain6.1731,145.3457.1677.7328.233,3507.31
Saudi Arabia6.561262.9349.675.6925.473,2487.31

The least happy places to retire

The least happy countries to retire in include Russia and African countries like Zimbabwe or Ivory Coast. Many of the countries that scored lower have low salaries and a lower life expectancy when compared to the other countries. Russia, for example, has an average monthly salary of only £461.4, a life expectancy of 72.99 years old, and an average yearly temperature of –5.16°C.

The cost of living is an important factor when it comes to guaranteeing our happiness. Iceland has an exceptional happiness index of 7.575. However, the cost of living is also one of the highest, thus having a negative impact on their overall score. As a retiree, the further your pension and savings go, the better. 

5 Least happy countries to retire

CountryHappiness Index 2020Average monthly salary (£)Cost of living indexAverage life expectancyAverage yearly temp. (°C)Number of sunshine hoursHappy retirement index
Russia5.495457.3436.7672.99-5.161,9014.651
Zimbabwe3.16239.2547.3562.1621.833,010.904.939
Ivory Coast5.257409.9850.9557.7826.762,092.005.07
Ukraine5.27335.4231.272.59.251,9555.254
Latvia6.229680.1150.4175.736.861,7545.33

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