Retirement Rankings

Overall Ranking

Quality of Life

Integration and Acceptance

Economics

13th

93.84 pts

12th

75.13 pts

5th

83.88 pts

10th

72.46 pts

Category Rankings


Weather

3rd


Healthcare
15th


Flight Distance

12th

Security

9th


Migrant's Acceptance

10th

Cost of Living

10th


Tax Optimization

2nd

Country Population: 356,397

Weather

Malta enjoys a Mediterranean climate with distinct seasons that cater to diverse preferences, making it a year-round destination. Spring in Malta is characterized by mild temperatures ranging from 13°C to 20°C (55°F to 68°F), ideal for outdoor activities as the islands burst into bloom. Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F), perfect for beach and water activities, while autumn sees a gradual cooling with occasional rainfall, providing a refreshing change in the landscape. Winter is mild compared to other European countries, with temperatures rarely dropping below 10°C (50°F), though it’s the season when Malta receives most of its rainfall.

Across Malta’s main islands – Malta, Gozo, and Comino – the climate is relatively consistent, with minor variations where Gozo can be slightly cooler and windier. Annual temperatures average around 18°C to 19°C (64°F to 66°F), with precipitation concentrated in the winter months, amounting to an annual average of 500-600mm. This climate contributes to Malta’s appeal, offering a range of experiences from enjoying the vibrant life in summer to exploring the lush, rejuvenated outdoors post-rainfall in winter.

Healthcare

Malta’s healthcare system is celebrated for its high standards and efficiency, often ranking impressively in global healthcare indices, including being considered the 5th best healthcare system by the World Health Organization (WHO). This system, blending public and private sectors, provides comprehensive care to residents and expatriates. In the public sector, healthcare is accessible to all Maltese citizens and residents, including EU nationals, thanks to reciprocal healthcare agreements. Funded through taxation and national insurance, it offers a wide array of services at no direct cost to eligible individuals, with facilities providing. specialist and emergency care. The private sector, complementing the public one, offers quicker access and personal care, often preferred for shorter waiting times and the presence of English-speaking staff.

Expatriates in Malta find a welcoming healthcare environment: EU citizens can use their European Health Insurance Card or register in the Maltese system, while non-EU expats typically need private insurance. This ensures accessible healthcare for all, further underscored by Malta’s prestigious WHO ranking, which reflects the island’s commitment to quality healthcare and its status as an attractive destination for global residents.

The harmonious coexistence of public accessibility and private healthcare excellence encapsulates Malta’s dedication to maintaining one of the world’s top healthcare systems. Health insurance costs for expats over 65 in Malta can vary, with basic coverage starting from approximately $200 to $400 per month, offering essential healthcare services but possibly with higher deductibles. Mid-level coverage typically ranges from $400 to $800, providing a balanced mix of comprehensive services and affordability. For those seeking extensive benefits, including dental, vision, and medical evacuation, comprehensive plans can exceed $800, reaching up to $1,500 or more per month. These tiers reflect the diversity in coverage options to cater to different healthcare needs and budgets.

Flight Duration

Direct flights from the United States to Malta are not typically available on a regular basis. Most flights from the US to Malta require at least one stopover, commonly in European hubs like London, Frankfurt, Paris, or Rome. However, the availability of direct flights can vary based on the airline schedules, season, and any recent changes in flight routes.

From the East Coast, like New York or Boston, the journey usually spans 10 to 15 hours, while flights from the West Coast, such as Los Angeles or San Francisco, can take between 14 to 20 hours. These durations can fluctuate depending on the layover length and the specific route.

Economically, round-trip tickets in economy class generally range from $600 to $1,200, influenced by factors like the season and booking time. For those preferring more comfort, business class fares can vary from $2,500 to $5,000 or higher.

Security

malta

Malta is widely recognized for its safety, with the US Department of State assigning it a Level 1 travel advisory, indicating that it’s among the safer destinations for travelers. The country boasts relatively low crime rates, with incidents mainly limited to non-violent petty crimes such as pickpocketing in crowded tourist areas.

Migrants’ Acceptance

While Malta ranks 89th among 138 countries in the Migrant Acceptance Index, indicating a moderate level of acceptance towards migrants in general, the experience tends to differ for expatriates. Expats often report a favorable integration environment in Malta, highlighting the welcoming nature of the local community towards foreign residents. This discrepancy suggests that while the broader societal attitude towards migrants might be mixed, expatriates, particularly those from Western countries, usually find Malta a conducive place for integration and building a new life. The island’s use of English as an official language, its strong expat communities, and the local population’s familiarity with international visitors all contribute to this positive environment for expats, facilitating easier adaptation and a sense of belonging in Maltese society.

English Proficiency

One of Malta’s official languages is English, which significantly eases the integration and adaptation process for expatriates. This widespread use of English in governmental, educational, and business sectors ensures that English-speaking expats can communicate effectively, conduct their daily activities, and immerse themselves in the local culture without facing substantial language barriers. The familiarity and prevalence of English not only facilitate a smoother transition for new residents but also foster a more inclusive environment, enabling expats to establish connections, participate in community life, and navigate the nuances of living in Malta with greater ease.

Cost of Living

Living costs in New York, NY significantly surpass those in Valletta, Malta, across various categories. Consumer prices in New York are 59.8% higher than in Valletta when excluding rent, and this disparity widens to 110.8% when rent is included. Specifically, renting in New York costs 225.4% more than in Valletta, reflecting the stark contrast in housing expenses. Dining out in New York is also more expensive, with restaurant prices 50.9% higher. Groceries see a notable difference as well, being 84.5% more costly in New York. Despite these higher living costs, New York offers a substantially greater local purchasing power, 114.2% higher than Valletta, which may mitigate some of the financial strain associated with the city’s elevated expenses.  

Dining out and grocery shopping in Valletta, Malta, are considerably less expensive than in New York City. For instance, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant cost $21.42 in Valletta compared to $30.00 in New York City. Similarly, a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is $80.33 in Valletta versus $130.00 in NYC. Even daily essentials like a loaf of fresh white bread and a gallon of milk are cheaper in Valletta, priced at $1.38 and $4.44 respectively, compared to $4.30 and $5.91 in New York. The price differences extend to beverages too, with a cappuccino costing $2.70 in Valletta and $5.60 in NYC.

When it comes to housing, the disparity in costs becomes even more pronounced. Renting a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center of Valletta costs about $1,083.02 per month, significantly lower than New York City’s $4,189.81. A more spacious 3-bedroom apartment in the center is $2,476.97 in Valletta, compared to a steep $8,250.20 in New York. The purchase price per square foot in the city center also reflects this trend, with Valletta at $746.32 versus New York’s $1,644.57. These figures highlight the substantial cost savings in living and dining in Valletta compared to the bustling metropolis of New York City.

Tax Optimization

taxes report

Malta has a progressive income tax system. However, retired expats who receive a pension can benefit from certain tax concessions. Pensions from abroad are typically taxed at a flat rate of 15% when remitted to Malta, provided that the pension is not less than a specified minimum amount per annum.

Malta has a double taxation agreement (DTA) with the United States. This agreement is designed to prevent the same income from being taxed by both countries. It helps clarify the tax obligations of individuals and businesses that have ties to both the US and Malta, ensuring that they are not taxed twice on the same income.

The DTA between Malta and the US covers various types of income, including wages, pensions, business profits, and investment earnings. It specifies which country has the right to tax specific types of income and provides mechanisms for relief from double taxation, typically through tax credits, exemptions, or reduced tax rates.