Retire in Croatia

Novosti - Tekstovi o REC-u

As is the case with every country, Croatia has its pros and cons.

When it comes to retiring in Croatia, the pros outweigh the cons, especially when you factor in the cost of living, healthcare benefits, and the mild climate. 

There are some things you should be aware of, though.

Regulations and Restrictions Regarding Retirement in Croatia

Let’s start with the good news: since Croatia got admitted into the European Union, EU citizens are permitted residence in Croatia automatically, no holds barred.

However, if you are not an EU citizen i.e., a third-party national, there are quite a few limitations and hoops you’d have to jump through to obtain permanent residence.

If you are a non-EU citizen, you can, however, apply for temporary residency (a prerequisite for permanent residency) based on one of the following options.

Bases for Applying for Temporary Residence in Croatia


If you have signed a rental agreement (lasting at least one year), have prepaid rent for a full year (and have proof), and have registered the address as your place of residence, you can apply for temporary residence at the nearest police station.

Owning a property

If you own real estate in Croatia, you are legally allowed to live in this home for 6 months out of the year. You can also apply for the usual tourist Visa that lasts 3 months. So, you would effectively be able to live in the country for 9 months of the year. 

The only restrictions here are that, after your 6 months are up, you must leave the country for at least 90 days. Also, you must wait at least 6 months after the expiration of this permit to apply for a new one.

However, the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European affairs, allows for permanent residence for third-party nationals that have “been granted temporary stay for three years at a stretch until the date of submission of the application”.



If your country has a double taxation treaty in place with Croatia, you’re exempt from paying taxes in Croatia.

If you buy anything in Croatia, which you surely will, you should be aware of the value-added tax (PDV) which currently stands at 25% on most products and services, though medical care, bank, and social services are tax-free.

The Pros of Retiring in Croatia

Cheap Rent and Property

If you’re not living on a Croatian paycheck, you’ll find the rent and property prices rather low.

For example, a 60 m2 apartment in Zagreb (the capital, and one of the most expensive cities) is €568. The rent in London is 327.12% higher than that in London, according to Numbeo.

In 2020, the average price in Croatia of property (for sale) was €1,678 per square meter. In London, it’s £8.091 (roughly €9,413).


Croatia is one of the safest countries in Europe.

In 2018, Croatia had just over 0.58 registered crimes per 100.000 inhabitants. This makes it one of the safest countries in Europe with an even lower rate than Switzerland and the Netherlands. For comparison, the rate in England and Wales was 1.14, 1.16 in France, and 1.63 in Finland.


Croatia offers free state health insurance for its residents. You would have to pay a symbolic amount for some things that aren’t covered by this “mandatory (obvezno in Croatian) health insurance.

However, if you pay about 40 - 80kn p/month for additional (dopunsko) you can forget about most additional healthcare costs, most notably doctors’ visits and medication.


Given Croatia’s fantastic climate, clean air and water, and typically healthy lifestyle and diet, it’s no wonder that retirees all over the world have started to see this country as their no. 1 option for retiring.

When you tack on free health care, easy transportation, a small population, and a pretty great quality of life index on Numbeo, as well as cheap real estate and rentals to get yourself started at, retiring in Croatia seems like a pretty great idea!



If you want to get answers to practical questions about retiring in Croatia (applying for residency, taxes, healthcare) and the pros of this decision, look no further!

Izvor: CPS  - Croatia Property Sales
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