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10 Best Places to Retire in Netherlands

Spending your retirement days in the “Land of Tulips and Windmills” will be great and to see why to continue reading our list of best places to retire in the Netherlands.

Located in Western Europe, the Netherlands is a country with a mild climate, high social tolerance and high level of happiness. It became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001 and has a progressive policy when it comes to drugs. Maybe it is due to all marijuana smoking, but according to the World Happiness Report, the Netherlands is the 6th happiest country in the world. To put things in context, Norway is the happiest country, the United States are ranked on the 14 place while the Central African Republic is dead last.

10 Best Places to Retire in Netherlands


In terms of healthcare, the Netherlands tops all other European countries. According to Euro Health Consumer Index, the Netherlands is the country with the best healthcare in Europe and has been in top three since the first report from 2005. Health insurance is mandatory for all citizens and residents. Each person is part of the government’s health insurance system when it comes to long-term health issues. For short-term health issues, the person has to obtain health insurance from one of the numerous private companies. The country has more than 160 primary care centers with 24 hours/ 7 days a week open surgeries. Due to this, the country doesn’t have a large number of hospitals, so you should have that in mind when looking at our hospital to population ratio. If you would like to settle in the Nordic region, but still want a quality healthcare, check out our list of 10 Best Places to Retire in Sweden.

According to The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report from World Economic Forum from 2017 the Netherlands finds itself in 19th place when it comes to safety and security. The Crime and Safety report from The United States Overseas Security Advisory Council tells us that violent crimes are uncommon in the country, but they still occur in cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Pickpocketing, frauds and petty thefts happen often especially in public transportation and around touristic attractions. The burglaries are one of the common crimes, and burglars often scout the residencies for a longer period of time, engaging in crime when the residents are out.  Protest and demonstrations are common all over the country, but they are mostly peaceful.

In order to create our list of best places to retire in the Netherlands, we decided to think more outside of the box than usual. Since we only found recommendations for a small number of high profile cities, we decided to turn to The Atlas voor Gemeenten report (second source on English) about the best Dutch cities to live in. The ranking was based on numerous factors like the cultural offer, safety, and proximity to nature among others. We then took the first 10 cities we could obtain the cost of living index for and gave them points for ranking on the list, cost of living index (Numbeo) and hospital to population ratio (Google Maps). After summing all up in our IM score, we got our list. Although provided, weather averages (World Weather Online) didn’t contribute to the final score, since there isn’t much of a difference between the cities.  You should note that the cost of living index is to be compared with New York and its index of 100.00 while hospital to population ratio tells us (in theory) how many people are assigned to one hospital. Weather averages (temperature, rainy and sunny days) can tell you the lowest and highest monthly averages in the past year. Let’s get on with the list of best places to retire in the Netherlands.