It is amazing how many blogs nowadays write about Ideal destinations for retirement and Malta remains an oversight spite being featured as the Best Climate in the World, being amongst the Top Ten in the Quality of Life Index and so on and so forth. Malta is one of the only countries with a great climate where one can wake up in the morning and order a cappuccino in English. A cappuccino may cost anywhere from 80 cents to € 1.40 in the main town but if you are going to be a local you’ll find that cost drop drastically. (a glass/ cup of tea can cost even 35 cents)
With all due respect, Equador, Panama and even Nicaragua sound exotic and for some very cheap but if you are looking for a quality destination where you can speak your native language, eat exquisite and affordable cuisine, benefit from an advantageous tax rate (if qualified), have the sun shining practically more months than you have fingers than Malta will fit in to your “to check out first” list.
So why choose Malta?
The Maltese islands have a daily average of five to six hours of sunshine in winter. In summer, it’s more than eight solid hours of sun, sun and sun! Compared to most neighbouring countries, also with Mediterranean weather, Malta enjoys an all-round much better climate.
Typical of a Mediterranean climate are the short spells of rain fall. Rain is generally experienced during the cooler winter months, namely in December, January and February. However, you can experience some occasional rain during Autumn too
What visitors find most alluring about Malta’s weather is the fact that it is quite steady and weather forecasts could be depended on most of the time. It’s no secret that many expats and tourists alike have chosen the Maltese islands as a destination to escape the dreary weather back at home.
Hospitality and Language
But Malta isn’t just about fine weather. The Maltese people are very hospitable and friendly and are eager to accept different cultures and traditions, while the environment is very safe. The mother-tongue language is Maltese, however the majority speak English and Italian as well, except for the obstinate few.
Wining, Dining and Shopping
From casual to fine dining, Malta and Gozo can boast of an array of restaurants, also serving tasty Maltese cuisine (Kcina Maltija). Malta also hosts various shopping malls such as the centrally located newly built lavish The Point Shopping Mall located at Tigné Point, Sliema. There are a number of High Street as well as Outlet shopping alternatives and village core shopping.
There is practically a sandy or rocky beach near every town across the islands, or a short distance from every town’s centre. One can opt to dive or snorkel in the clear, deep and inviting waters and in the depths of the surrounding coves.
History and Culture
From the Phoenicians and the Romans to the Knights of St John and the British, many cultures have made Malta their safe harbour, home, fortress or trading place. Lying at the near geographical centre of the Mediterranean, it is not surprising that the islands acted as a magnet to so many settlers. Malta’s natural, deep harbours and position on major shipping routes made this small archipelago an attractive proposition from earliest times.
A result of this continuous settlement is a wealth of artefacts and architecture from the greater part of these periods in the islands’ history. Malta’s national collections are a voyage of discovery of man and his environment from his earliest settlement here in caves some 7,400 years ago to his present-day cultural ideas articulated in modern art. So culture vultures stand to gain as well.
The Manoel Theatre in Valletta hosts a number of events throughout the year, especially during wintertime. The Maltese Islands have a rich and fascinating cultural history spanning some 7,000 years. This legacy, unique in the Mediterranean, is reflected in the country’s national collections which can be found in a number of heritage museums like the National Museum of Fine Arts which hosts an array of paintings by renowned artists and exhibitions by Maltese artists are held on a monthly basis.
And for war enthusiasts… expect plenty of memorabilia charting Malta’s seafaring past. The Malta Maritime Museum and the National War Museum relate the stories and document the facts.
A number of cultural and musical events are held annually. One cannot not mention the highly reputable Malta Jazz Festival. And why not visit Birgu By Candlelight? Birgu forms part of one of the three cities found in the south of Malta.
And while on the Three Cities, Birgu hosts a lovely yacht marina and breath-taking views. Over the past few years the Maltese, as well as foreigners, have turned their eyes towards this charming area which is quickly becoming a property hotspot. From a previously neglected part of the island, it has become a sought-after address.
Malta has many senior care facilities and an accessible and truly professional healthcare system, including a state-of-the-art hospital – Mater Dei – which is very central.
The island has reciprocal medical care agreements with a number of countries – especially for EU citizens.
If you are an active senior, you can enjoy cycling along the long-winding roads in the countryside.
Cost of Living
The cost of living is like one would expect in any European country – it is not as cheap as some competing countries however is not as expensive as mainland European countries. Of course if you venture into the main city for dinner every night your cost of living will rise but what is nice about Malta you do not have too.
Companies are investing in solar energy systems while private home owners are following suit. Same as its European counterparts, solar energy has become one of Malta’s top priorities.
The Island of Gozo
Gozo, Malta’s sister island, can easily be reached by ferry and one can also opt to take his or her car along. The trip is barely half an hour and once you’ve reached Gozo, you won’t ever look back. Gozo is very laid back in terms of lifestyle and hosts a number of quaint beaches and breath-taking views. Gozo hosts a vast array of farmhouses. Comino is a stone’s throw away and hosts the crystal-clear waters of the Blue Lagoon.
Real Estate in Malta
Real Estate is relatively still affordable in Malta considering the cost to run a property in Malta. There is no yearly Housing (Council) tax and one can still find a reasonably priced apartment in Malta that will be close to the sea. Depending on your lifestyle requirements there are many options one may choose that also accommodates the more lavish luxury style living in areas such Special Designated Areas. It is always recommended to find a reputable real estate agent to guide you in the right direction. A knowledge based decision is always the best way forward when future planning.