Great guide to the popular countries in the sun


Here are the five countries that pensioners are most curious about, according to the pension authority.

(The figures in parentheses refer to how many pensioners who stated that they live in the country and who have received a request for a certificate of life at the latest mailing in August 2016.)

SPAIN (6,418)


• Spain is a classic country for Swedes to move to. Here are several Swedish organizations, including the Swedish Church.

• For those seeking heat and sunshine, Spain is a good alternative. The winter is mild and the summer is warm – with temperatures of up to 35–40 degrees.

• The cost of living is in several areas cheaper than in Sweden. For those who want to be able to put an extra gold edge on life, for example, fresh fruits and vegetables are often cheap all year round.


• After the financial crisis in 2008, Spain struggled with major financial problems. In recent years, the country has begun to recover somewhat, but the housing market is still swaying.

• Spain is not considered a classic low-income country for pensioners. This means that you do not earn as much from living there as you can in other European countries.

• The “genuine” Spain is not always easy to access, as there are several “Swedish areas”.

This applies to the tax:

• Inheritance tax is levied as well as some wealth tax.

• Some deductions can ease the tax burden.

• Your pension is taxed progressively.

FRANCE (3,510)


• Affordable taxation for those who are retired.

• The French cuisine is world famous for its quality.

• When the air travel takes between two and three hours, it is relatively easy to get back to Sweden for anyone who wants to stay in touch with the fatherland.


• The Fransos must be known for their kitchen – but they are notorious for their poor knowledge of English. Therefore, basic knowledge of French can be good.

• Generally speaking, the cost of living in France is comparable to that in Sweden, so you do not earn much from that aspect.

This applies to the tax:

• A rule of thumb is that if your income is taxed at 30 percent in Sweden, you can come down to a tax level of around 10–15 percent. But then you have to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the rules, which you may need help to get.

• France withdraws from wealth and inheritance tax.

Portugal (1 448)


• The climate in Portugal is in many ways reminiscent of the Swedish summer.

• For those who receive occupational pensions from work in the private sector, one can save a lot, as it is not taxed for ten years.

• Portugal generally has a low crime rate compared to other countries.


• Housing prices in Portugal fell after the financial crisis in 2008, but recently the market has recovered. This has led to housing prices rising.

• Today, not many Swedes live in Portugal, which makes it more difficult to get a “Swedish context”.

• The economic crisis hit Portugal hard, which had a negative impact on the country’s welfare system. The government that took office in 2015 has tried to restore certain social benefits.

This applies to the tax

• No wealth tax and no inheritance tax.

• Those who have a occupational pension from the private sector do not need to tax it.

• General pension, occupational pension in the private sector and private pension insurance are taxed according to Sink, which is 20 per cent.

MALTA (195)


• English is the official language.

• Malta is a small island, which means that the distances are short.

• There is no property tax in Malta.


• In Malta, the left-hand traffic applies. The roads are often busy.

• The Maltese buses are a tourist attraction, but for those who depend on them, it can become problematic when they do not arrive in time and are painful.

• When buying a home, one must be prepared for the bureaucracy to make the process take longer than in Sweden.

THAILAND (1 118)


• The Thai climate is warm and pleasant all year round.

• The cost of living is considerably lower than in Sweden, around half the cost.

• No wealth tax.


• When Thailand is not in the EU, you do not have the right to healthcare in the same way as in an EU country and you are also not entitled to any guarantee pension.

• The trips to Thailand are long.

• The political situation in Thailand is uneasy.

Marc Jacobs

Author: Marc Jacobs

I am a journalist by profession. I have been working as a journalist for 15 years, first as a reporter and eventually as an Editor. I finished Journalism from the University of the Philippines. I have a Master's Degree in Literature from the University of Santo Tomas, where I graduated cum laude. I am currently taking my PhD in Literature also in UST.