How to retire in Croatia - a guide for foreigners?

Šime Unić
How to retire in Croatia - a guide for foreigners?

Croatia is not "reserved" only for its citizens, but also offers foreigners the possibility of retirement. If you want to retire here, you must first take certain steps and fulfill the given conditions.

Retirement in Croatia is becoming an increasingly popular option among foreigners looking for a sunny and peaceful destination for their golden years. The beautiful coastline, rich cultural heritage and affordable way of life make Croatia an attractive destination. In this guide, we provide basic information that will help you better understand the retirement system in Croatia. In addition, we will share some important tips and list important things that you should also take care of.

How to obtain a residence permit?

The most important item that foreigners should take into account if they want to retire in Croatia is related to obtaining a residence permit. There are several types of residence permits you can consider, depending on your specific circumstances.

So you will need temporary or permanent residence status for retirement. Contact the competent authorities, such as the Ministry of the Interior, in order to obtain all the necessary information and initiate procedures for obtaining a residence permit.

Overview of the pension system in Croatia

Before starting your retirement plans in Croatia, it is important to understand how the country's pension system works. Croatia has a combined pension system that refers to the mandatory state pension and voluntary pension funds. The first and second pillars of the pension fund are mandatory for all employees in the country. Foreign citizens can exercise the right to a pension if they have paid into the pension system of the republic or are insured through bilateral agreements on social security.

Tax system of the Republic of Croatia

The tax system in Croatia plays an important role for foreigners who plan to retire in the country. Croatia offers favorable tax conditions for retirees, including a low income tax rate for pensions. It is important to consult with tax professionals to understand all your tax obligations and rights to avoid possible tax problems in the future.

The most important advice on retirement in Croatia

Check your retirement eligibility

The first thing you need to do is check whether you meet the retirement age limit according to Croatian laws. Currently, the minimum retirement age in Croatia is 65 for men and 63 for women. However, there are other conditions that may apply, such as a minimum number of years of service.

Secure your health insurance

In order to retire in Croatia, you must have health insurance. If you come from a country that is a member of the European Union or a country with which Croatia has an agreement on social insurance, you can transfer your health insurance to Croatia. If you come from a country outside the EU, you should investigate whether there are any bilateral health insurance agreements between your country and Croatia.

Location research and property purchase

Croatia is a country with a beautiful coast, interesting historical cities and natural beauties. Before you decide to retire here, explore the regions and cities in Croatia to find the one that suits you best. Consider climate conditions, cost of living, proximity to the sea and so on.

Therefore, one of the most important items that foreigners should take into account in the case of retirement in Croatia is related to the purchase of real estate. When choosing, it is important to take into account various factors such as location, infrastructure, proximity to shops and other facilities. Seek the help of local real estate agents or lawyers to ensure that the buying process is legal and proper.

Do not forget about cultural differences and integration into society

Adaptation to a new culture and integration into society are important aspects that foreigners should also pay attention to if they decide to spend their golden years on the Croatian coast. Croatia has a rich cultural heritage and tradition that can be very interesting for foreigners. Getting to know the language, customs and traditions will help you feel comfortable and accepted in the local community. Being open to new experiences and meeting people from different cultures will also allow you to make new friends and connections.

Consider financial planning

Before you retire in Lijeba Naša, be sure to check your sources of income and the funds that will be available to cover your living expenses. In addition, consider how you will manage your finances and assets in Croatia, whether you want to open a bank account, and it is also important to familiarize yourself with and understand the tax system.


Retirement in Croatia sounds like the perfect plan for all foreigners looking for a peaceful life on the beautiful coast of the Adriatic Sea or in its continental parts. As you could read, there are a lot of things to take care of, such as obtaining a residence permit, understanding the pension system of the Republic of Croatia, buying real estate, having health insurance, and so on. It would be best to consult with experts to make sure that your retirement plans are in line with Croatian legislation and regulations and that you can enjoy your well-deserved retirement in peace.

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