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Best Places to Retire in New Zealand in 2022

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand in 2022

If you are looking to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

Introduction

You might be scouring for the best places to retire in New Zealand, holding with you the belief that Middle Earth has been calling you and that it’s time to respond. I mean, if you’re a fan of Tolkien and got hooked with the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy you were probably inspired and had set your eyes on this European country from the get-go.

Even if you don’t have the slightest clue about what I just said, New Zealand is a gorgeous – almost magical – destination. In fact, the country took the second spot in the most beautiful places in the world ranking based on the Natural Beauty Report from the website money.co.uk.

The study sought to rank the 50 most beautiful countries globally through an analysis of the number of natural wonders in every destination – from coral reefs and tropical rainforests to glaciers and volcanoes, among other things.

New Zealand is renowned for its towering peaks, undulating hills, untamed rivers, and green pastures.

There are several towns in New Zealand that are ideal for retirees, however due to the country’s rising housing costs as a result of the COVID-induced pandemic, these areas are now more expensive than ever for new retirees.

The large amount of sunshine hours and relaxed lives in Tauranga, the Kapiti Coast, the Bay of Islands, the Coromandel, and the Rodney District just north of Auckland have historically made them attractive retirement destinations. Many retirees are no longer able to migrate to these places with lots of sunshine because the average price of a home is now $1 million.

There are still lots of locations where retirees looking for a home that is simple to maintain can find nice weather, a slower pace of life, and inexpensive, smaller homes.

We also included great spots on this list for those who have more leeway in terms of cost of living and merely want to relax and spoil themselves with whatever the country could offer.

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Whangarei

Whangarei, which is in Northland, is more than a couple hours’ drive from Auckland, a sizable metropolitan city in the North Island of New Zealand.

Whangarei has a comparable oceanic climate with Auckland, and both summer and winter temperatures are generally moderate. Due to the high humidity throughout the year, winters are damp and daily temperatures are cold.

Whangarei, which some real estate agents refer to as Tauranga of the past decade, is a fantastic alternative for retirees who are priced out of the Coromandel or Tauranga real estate markets.

Cost of Living in Whangarei

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Whangarei is estimated to cost 40 New Zealand dollars (as of the time of writing), while a mid-range restaurant can charge 120 dollars for a three-course meal for two, according to global cost of living data aggregator Numbeo.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment within Whangarei’s city center costs 1,200 dollars per month and 1,000 dollars outside that area. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach 3,131 dollars and 4,062 dollars per square meter, respectively.

best places to retire in New zealand marlborough
Marlborough wineries

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Marlborough

Marlborough is increasingly gaining popularity among seniors over 60 who are searching for a sunny climate in the South Island to retire to. Blenheim, a town in this region, have everything you require without being overly busy or monotonous. Blenheim also has its own airport which is a good deal since it makes flying in and out of the area way more convenient.

The weather is undoubtedly one of the perks of retiring to this wine-producing area. Even though the Marlborough region has a little bit more rain than Nelson-Tasman, the days are still warm, and the winters are generally not too harsh.

Marlborough is very appealing thanks to its scenery, fresh seafood, varied landscapes, wide array of vineyards, walking and bicycling paths, camping spots, and secluded bays and beaches to explore.

Cost of Living in Blenheim

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Blenheim is estimated to cost 21 dollars, while a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost 100 dollars, according to Numbeo.

Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside Blenheim’s city center costs 1,600 dollars on average per month. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach 6,000 dollars and 4,400 dollars per square meter, respectively.

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: West Coast

The West Coast of the South Island is one of the most surprising locations that is seeing a rise in the number of retirees. Even though it has a reputation for being remote and damp, this lengthy region boasts a variety of climates and checks a lot of the right boxes if you are seeking breathtaking scenery, reasonably priced accommodation, and a more peaceful way of life.

Moving to the West Coast is a terrific choice if you want to get the best value for your money. There are many houses available, so you might not even need to downsize while still having money in your pocket for any renovations you might want to perform.

There are three districts that make up the West Coast, namely the Buller, Grey, and Westland districts. Each has a slightly varied climate. In comparison to the Grey and Westland districts to its south, the Buller district receives less rain and slightly warmer temperatures on average because it is the furthest north.

Due to its high annual sunlight hours, which are comparable to those of Blenheim, Karamea is growing in popularity as a travel destination. Additionally, it receives twice as much rainfall, so you won’t ever need to worry about watering your yard or conserving water during a drought.

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Queenstown

It should come as no surprise that Queenstown ranks as the top destination in New Zealand. It is a beautiful location that is accessible all year long and offers a variety of activities, including skiing in the winter. There are folks here from all different backgrounds.

Nevertheless, because it is the most expensive area in the nation and recently surpassed Auckland in terms of property costs, people choose the suburbs and take advantage of the gorgeous nature.

Cost of Living in Queenstown

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Queenstown is estimated to cost 25 dollars, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 60 dollars for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment within Queenstown’s city center costs 2,050 dollars per month and 1,833 dollars outside that area. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach 15,000 dollars and 10,000 dollars per square meter, respectively.

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Napier

Napier is an excellent location to think about because it is located smack in the middle of Hawke’s Bay. This area is more desirable and appealing because the cost of living is cheaper than in larger cities like Auckland. The town is really warm and welcoming, and there is sunshine most of the time. You would discover some of the best vineyards, stunning coastlines, fantastic golf courses, and cycleways here, so there is pretty much a lot to do.

Cost of Living in Napier

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Napier is estimated to cost about 22 dollars, while a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost 155 dollars, according to Numbeo.

Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside Napier’s city center costs about 967 dollars on average per month, while those outside that area costs roughly 817 dollars. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach 5,300 dollars and 4,000 dollars per square meter, respectively.

best places to retire in New zealand rotorua
A thermal lake in Rotorua

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Rotorua

Rotorua is a tourist destination and one of the best places to retire in New Zealand. The city also has a booming job sector. Rotorua is well-known for its geothermal attractions, which make it a popular winter destination. It is incredibly accessible thanks to its central location on the North Island. The distance from Auckland, Napier, the Coromandel Peninsula and Mt. Maunganui, as well as the ski areas of Mt. Ruapehu, is merely a few hours by car.

Cost of Living in Rotorua

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Rotorua is estimated to cost 20 dollars, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 70 dollars for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment within Rotorua’s city center costs 1,533 dollars per month and 772.5 dollars outside that area. The cost for buying apartment outside the city center can reach 7,500 dollars per square meter.

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Auckland

Auckland, dubbed City of Sails, is the largest and most varied city in New Zealand. It is a very well-known location in the country and is more than just a city brimming with employment opportunities. It features one of the nicest waterfronts in the entire globe and is one of the best places to live. Around here, there are lots of beaches, dining options, regional parks, and water activities. One disadvantage is the bad traffic, which is in addition to the relatively high housing costs.

Auckland is a big hit for expats. Although the city has a higher cost of living due to its size, it also boasts the greatest employment opportunities across the broadest range of sectors. There may be five times as many jobs in Auckland as there are in Wellington, the city capital of New Zealand, and three times as many as there are in Christchurch city.

Auckland has beautiful scenery, beaches, and a mild, temperate climate. You could lounge by the beach during the weekends or go on day outings to surf, sail, or climb mountains. The city’s public transportation system, meanwhile, is effective and constantly developing.

The neighborhoods of Auckland offer all the dining, shopping, exercise, and entertainment options you could want. The theaters and a sizable stadium in central Auckland host performances by international musicians. Meetups and events are available for every group of expats too.

Auckland’s rents and real estate prices contribute to the city’s high cost of living.

Asset management firm Mercer listed Auckland as the 95th most expensive city in the world for expats in its 2022 Cost of Living City Ranking.

If you enjoy living in the city, try the apartments in central Auckland as they are amazingly cheap.

Cost of Living in Auckland

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Auckland is estimated to cost about 25 dollars, while a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost 120 dollars, according to Numbeo.

Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside Auckland’s city center costs about 2,095 dollars on average per month, while those outside that area costs roughly 1,853 dollars. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach 13,425 dollars and 9,821dollars per square meter, respectively.

The overall cost of living in the city for a family of four can reach an estimated average of 5,875 dollars per month, while a single person can live off 1,617 dollars a month, both excluding rent.

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Tauranga

Tauranga has become a well-known destination for expats in recent years due to its popularity. The beautiful waterfront city, which is situated on North Island’s east coast, provides some of the best occupations because it is a bustling port city. Its magnificent beaches and incredible nightlife make it one of the most well-liked vacation spots as well. Taupo, Rotorua, and the Coromandel are all in close proximity to this city.

Cost of Living in Tauranga

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Tauranga is estimated to cost 27 dollars, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 135 dollars for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment within Tauranga’s city center costs 1,405 dollars per month and 1,050 dollars outside that area. The costs for buying apartment inside and outside the city center can reach 8,833 dollars and 6,667 dollars per square meter, respectively.

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Wellington

Wellington is one of the most remarkable capital cities globally. It is somewhat small and yet bustling with activity. The waterfront setting is superb, and the Oriental Bay is popular and luxurious. Connectivity is rather good with a robust train and bus network in the area. Additionally, the nearby suburbs are quite cool. One of the best places nearby is the national museum called Te Papa.

Many people compare it to San Francisco because of the hillside residences and scenic views. However, Wellington has a significantly more affordable cost of living when compared to other New Zealand cities like Auckland.

Wellington ranked as the 120th most expensive city in the world for expats in Mercer’s Cost of Living City Ranking in 2022.

Downtown Wellington is packed with boutiques selling New Zealand-made design, chic bars and restaurants, as well as book and record shops. Wellington’s numerous suburbs had a retail resurgence following the 2020 pandemic, with the opening of fresh cafes and gourmet stores catering to the work-from-home community.

Cost of Living in Wellington

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Wellington is estimated to cost about 20 dollars, while a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost 100 dollars, according to Numbeo.

Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside Wellington’s city center costs about 2,262.5 dollars on average per month, while those outside that area costs roughly 1,801 dollars. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach 8,506 dollars and 6,928.5 dollars per square meter, respectively.

The overall cost of living in the city for a family of four can reach an estimated average of 5,262 dollars per month, while a single person can live off about 1,464 dollars a month, both excluding rent.

best places to retire in new zealand New Plymouth
New Plymouth

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: New Plymouth

New Plymouth sits on the southwest corner of New Zealand’s North Island. The city has a thriving art scene with several galleries and a bohemian air, and the number of hipsters has significantly jumped. The beaches here are among the greatest, and you can also find a lot of surfing and other activities going on.

Given that it is a smaller and quieter New Zealand city, New Plymouth may be among the greatest places to retire in the country for families wanting a more tranquil daily routine. Here, jobs in teaching, oil and gas engineering, or food technology are frequently obtained by expats. People who relocate to New Plymouth are rewarded with a lovely area and a cost-effective way of life. Although rentals may be a little challenging to obtain, housing is reasonably priced overall.

The area is home to a vibrant local comedy and music culture as well as numerous outdoor festivals and events. Families adore the lovely parks and playgrounds as well as the convenient beach access. With surf schools to help you get started, New Plymouth’s beaches are home to numerous excellent surfing areas.

Cost of Living in New Plymouth

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in New Plymouth is estimated to cost 19.5 dollars, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 97 dollars for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment within New Plymouth’s city center costs 870 dollars per month and 762.5 dollars outside that area. The cost for buying apartment outside the city center can reach 2,000 dollars per square meters.

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Hamilton

Hamilton is located on the banks of the Waikato River, which runs through the center of the city and provides a stunning setting for it. Hamilton is just a few hours’ drive from Auckland but is considerably different from Auckland. Here, you may have a beautiful central location for less money than in other parts of New Zealand, backed by lower cost of homes.

Due to its proximity to Taupo, Rotorua, and the Waitomo Caves, Hamilton offers lovely greenery and a variety of activities. The inland town of the city was once a calm regional hub. Hamilton received workers and families from outlying areas. Its biggest draw was, and still is, Hamilton Gardens, a renowned park that takes advantage of Hamilton’s warm, temperate environment.

Cost of Living in Hamilton

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Hamilton is estimated to cost about 30 dollars, while a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost 110 dollars, according to Numbeo.

Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside Hamilton’s city center costs 1,487.5 dollars on average per month, while those outside that area costs 1,071 dollars. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach 7,700 dollars and 6,500 dollars per square meter, respectively.

The overall cost of living in the city for a family of four can reach an estimated average of 4,954 dollars per month, while a single person can live off 1,362 dollars a month, both excluding rent.

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Dunedin

Due to its inexpensive housing options, feeling of community, and elevated level of safety, Dunedin is such a good option when retiring in New Zealand. The Otago Peninsula, which is close by, is home to the city’s best fauna and the country’s lone castle. They have the most gorgeous gardens and a wonderful old train station. It is regarded as one of the hippest locations to call home.

The South Island city of Dunedin in New Zealand is frequently enjoyable for families and business travelers. Dunedin, which has four distinct seasons, is nestled on hills surrounding a crystal-clear harbor. Kiwis and expats alike are drawn to Dunedin by its Edwardian villas and modest cost of living.

Cost of Living in Dunedin

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Dunedin is estimated to cost 32.5 dollars, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 110 dollars for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment within Dunedin’s city center costs 1,100 dollars per month and 464 dollars outside that area. The costs for buying apartment inside and outside the city center can reach 5,000 dollars and 3,000 dollars per square meters, respectively.

The overall cost of living in the city for a family of four can reach an estimated average of 4,761 dollars per month, while a single person can live off 1,320 dollars a month, both excluding rent.

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Christchurch

The largest city on the South Island is a beautiful metropolis that is currently undergoing reconstruction and has a sizable expat community. It’s one of the best places to retire in New Zealand because of the vibrant local community. On the banks of the River Avon, this tranquil city is close to some stunning beaches. One of the most well-known summer tourist sites is here in Sumner, a coastal seaside suburb.

The cost of living in Christchurch is less than it is in London or Tokyo. The European city’s affordable and well-built housing attracts both international residents and local families in New Zealand.

The cuisine of Christchurch makes the most of the flavors of New Zealand, particularly those of cattle, lamb, and fruit from the adjacent Otago region. Additionally, all of the South Island’s activities are reachable from Christchurch, with skiing, hiking, and touring craft breweries and vineyards being a few among them.

Cost of Living in Christchurch

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Christchurch is estimated to cost about 21 dollars, while a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost 100 dollars, according to Numbeo.

Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside Christchurch’s city center costs 1,582.5 dollars on average per month, while those outside that area costs 1,457.5 dollars. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach about 5,593 dollars and 3,367 dollars per square meter, respectively.

The overall cost of living in the city for a family of four can reach an estimated average of 4,922 dollars per month, while a single person can live off about 1,357 dollars a month, both excluding rent.

Upsides of Retiring in New Zealand

  • One of the world’s safest locations
  • Calm and relaxed atmosphere
  • First-rate public services, such as those for healthcare, education, and safety
  • Has one of the best work-life balances in the world (Kiwis prioritize their personal lives)
  • There are four distinct seasons, a lot of sunshine, and snow in the winter

Drawbacks of Retiring in New Zealand

  • A little cut off from other nations
  • For some people, New Zealand’s slow pace of life may be too dull and uninteresting
  • The public transportation system is terrible
  • Living expenses are expensive overall, with cities like Auckland having soaring real estate costs
  • Natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, and avalanches are common

Best Places to Retire in New Zealand: Bottom Line

Never forget that no location is perfect, whether you decide to spend your retirement years in one of the places on this list or somewhere else. Educate yourself about the benefits and drawbacks of various residence options. Ultimately, consider your own degree of tolerance, your fundamental needs, and what you can live with and without when selecting a place to retire. Evaluate both the advantages and disadvantages of a potential site before choosing it.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

This website is not designed for American resident readers, or for people from any country where buying investments or distributing such information is illegal. This website is not a solicitation to invest, nor tax, legal, financial or investment advice. We only deal with investors who are expats or high-net-worth/self-certified  individuals, on a non-solicitation basis. Not for the retail market.

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