Not everyone wants to live in a bustling city with a vibrant social life. Many expats want to head to a quiet destination, especially if they are approaching their retirement years, where they can enjoy a peaceful life. The European continent has some carefully preserved rural areas where you will find all the natural beauty you could desire, although fibre optic high-speed Internet may be harder to come by.
If you are looking for a stress-free life, close to nature, look no further than:
- The Black Forest, Germany
The Black Forest in southwest Germany got its name from the lush evergreen vegetation that leaves very little room for sunlight to filter in. Here you will find over 6000 square kilometres of wonderful natural landscape with thick forests, parks, lakes and rivers. Even if you are living in Baden-Baden or one of the more populated spa towns that attract visitors to their thermal baths, isolated natural beauty is just a short walk or bike ride away. Just because you are isolated, doesn’t mean you have to cut back on fine cuisine. This region is renowned for its food – especially its Black Forest cake and ham.
- Hérault, France
Hérault is a wonderful region in the South of France that attracts many expats who are drawn to the Mediterranean beaches and the mountainous coastlines that are ideal for hiking. Most of this area is unspoilt by tourists and has many lakes and rivers for plenty of boating, fishing and water-based activities. Look out for the Lac du Salagou, an eye-catching lake with vivid orange and red colours.
- Ardennes, Belgium
Ardennes is situated in the south-eastern corner of Belgium and is renowned for having one of the lowest population densities in Europe. Here in the valleys of Ardennes, you will find beautiful medieval villages filled with ancient castles and monasteries. Added to this are spectacular forests and river valleys that are ideal for hiking, climbing, cycling, fishing and hunting.
- Sicily, Italy
Sicily is a beautiful island off the southern coast of Italy, with a rich culture and history. Secluded beaches, rustic towns, farms and vineyards make this a wonderful island for both visiting and living in. Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna, is located on the Eastern coast and for nature-lovers and historians alike, Sicily boasts seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Along with plenty of peace and quiet and long bike rides, hiking and exploring, you can also enjoy the local Mediterranean cuisine, which features plenty of fresh shellfish and wine.
- Drenthe, Netherlands
If long bike rides are one of your passions, look no further than the pristine countryside of Drenthe, which is often termed the “Cycling Province” of the Netherlands. The scenic countryside is filled with many small towns and villages and part of the region is the Dwingelderveld National Park, Western Europe’s largest wet heathland that creates an incredible purple carpet in late summer.
Retire in peace…and comfort!
If you have recently retired abroad or are thinking about doing so in the future, it’s important to know that you can turn your retirement annuity and various other South African-based savings and investments into cash, even before you turn 55 – and these funds can be used for any purpose. This opportunity exists because of a change to South African tax legislation in 2008. However, getting your money out of South Africa involves navigating a series of administrative and regulatory hurdles.
At FinGlobal, we simplify this complex process, and have helped free thousands of South Africans from the red tape and time-consuming obstacles. For more information about cashing in your retirement annuities, contact us today.