Retiring to New Zealand

Friendly food, dramatic natural landscape, and laid-back lifestyle - these are the main reasons why people would love to retire in New Zealand. If you’re planning to retire in this country, you need to know these essential facts to help you transition to New Zealand living seamlessly.

What does retiring to New Zealand look like?

Unlike other countries, New Zealand doesn’t have a mandatory retirement age. Though some people there aim to retire at 65, the government doesn’t impose restrictions for those who still want to be gainfully employed despite their old age. 

If you are receiving your pension from a foreign country, know that you might not be entitled to receive a monetary subsidy from the NZ government through the NZ Super program.

And in some cases, even if you’re receiving a pension from a foreign country, you’ll need to pay income tax. New Zealand’s Inland Revenue department has all the necessary information. Since this is a complex, case-to-case basis, it’s best to consult with a professional financial advisor.

Things to enjoy doing in New Zealand

If you’ve been to New Zealand before, chances are, you’ve experienced its exceptional beauty, laid-back lifestyle, adventure activities, and moderate climate. Any or all of these might have influenced your decision to retire in this country.

If you’re looking for activities that will keep you active even after retirement, the country’s hugely diverse geography offers a plethora of outdoor activities like morning surfing, afternoon kayak, evening redwood forest biking, and more. 

If you love aquatic animals, you can also take a watch tour to see the whales in the morning. After that, you can also visit some of the country’s fine vineyards. The point here is you’ll never run out of things to do even if you’re enjoying a laid-back, after retirement lifestyle in New Zealand.

Retiring to New Zealand

Cricket is a popular and well supported sport in New Zealand

What are the requirements for retiring to New Zealand?

While many retirees dream of settling in New Zealand, only a few can afford to live there because of its stringent financial requirements in getting a visa. Aside from that, it also has a higher cost of living.

If you have planned your finances well to start a new life in New Zealand, here are some of the things you need to know. 

Temporary retiree visa

If you have an adult child residing in New Zealand, you might be qualified for another type of visa. However, if you’ll be coming there by yourself, you will have to apply for a temporary retirement visa. This specific visa is valid for two years and once it expires, you can just have it renewed.

To apply for this visa, you’ll need to pay at least NZ$70 as an application fee.

You also need to satisfy these requirements:

  1. Must be 66 years of age at the time of the application;
  2. Must be capable of investing NZ$750,000 in the country within the first two years of  your visa period;
  3. Must be able to show that you have NZ$500,000 as maintenance funds and a yearly income of at least NZ$60,000
  4. Must satisfy all the character and health requirements 
  5. Must be able to present comprehensive health and/or travel insurance within the duration of his stay. 

When your visa expires after two years, you still need to satisfy the same requirements to have your visa renewed. On top of that, you have to show that you were able to maintain your investment funds in an acceptable investment and your health and/or travel insurance.

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What is the cost of retiring to New Zealand?

New Zealand’s cost of living is almost the same with most cities and states in the US except New York. According to, an online database that provides a comparative analysis of the cost of living between cities, New Zealand’s consumer price index (CPI) is higher by 3.64% compared to the entire United States.

This means that the cost of consumer goods like utilities, transportation, restaurants, and groceries in New Zealand is higher than all the cities in the United States. The average rent in the country is lower by 21.27% compared to the average rent in the US, though. 

Renting - City Central
a one-bedroom apartment in the country’s central district could cost you around $968.25. If you want a bigger space, say, a three-bedroom apartment, you can expect to pay a monthly rent of $1,585.

Renting - Suburban Areas
The rent outside the metropolitan areas is cheaper. One-bedroom apartment may cost $785 per month and $1,308 per month for a three-bedroom apartment.

If you want to purchase a property in the country, you need to secure the approval of the Overseas Investment Office if such property costs over NZ$10 million, or if the location is in a sensitive area, if the land is near a coastal area, island, or lake, and if it’s rural land.

If you only want to buy a house where you’ll live, there are no restrictions whatsoever. 

Indeed, the financial requirement for the issuance of a temporary retiree visa is notably high. But this is for your protection, too. Living in a foreign land when you’re no longer gainfully employees can mean chaos if you’re not financially sound.

However, if you have the financial capacity as required by the government, you’ll enjoy New Zealand just the way retirees who spent years of labor should be.