Retire in New Zealand
Last updated on Nov 27, 2021
Summary: Retirees share their experiences living in New Zealand. What are the challenges and rewards of retiring in New Zealand?
How do I meet people in New Zealand?
When we asked people living in New Zealand about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:
"Kapiti Coast is an hour north of Wellington, so you can access Welly events. Wellington has a very lively nightclub, arts and theatre scene. It also has more cafes per capita than NYC. In Kapiti itself, you'll find lots of ecology groups - volunteer planting groups that take care of the local estuaries and keeping native species alive inland that are a haven for local wildlife. There are yoga classes and tai chi and many cycling groups. Horseback riding is popular. In the Waikanae area, there's lawn bowling and bridge popular with retired people. There's a great Paraparaumu golf course, and up in Otaki there's a horse racing track," said another retiree in living in Kapiti Coast , New Zealand.
"A Newcomers Network has just been established for new immigrants in Mid-Canterbury. Anyone who is new in the region and has no support of friends or relatives can join. There is an informal social get-together every month, and room for additional activities such as sports, toddler group, English conversation group etc. It is an excellent way to get to know other people in the region. Contact Evelien: 03-3083053," explained a retiree in Mid Canterbury.
What is life like in New Zealand?
When we asked people living in New Zealand what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:
"In Kapiti I'd say people's lives revolve more around family, sports, socializing; it's perhaps less business oriented than Wellington. The beach and nature reserves are a big tourist draw here, and are well enjoyed by people living here too," said another retiree in Kapiti Coast .
"Family time is very important, as well as sports (rugby!!) and outdoor activities such as tramping, fishing, skiing," commented one retiree living in Mid Canterbury, New Zealand.
What do I need to know before retiring in New Zealand?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to New Zealand, they said:
"There are tons of unspoiled beaches and bush walks. With all the beach property available, unless you want to live directly on the water, you'll find homes within walking distance of the sea cost about the same as homes further inland. Housing is a lot chepaer than in Wellington, so you have access to a big city but more affordable property (although if you commute to Welly, gas prices are about 5 times the cost in the US). Health care is extremely cheap even with no insurance. The pace of life is slower. Children are still able to play out in the streets and walk from school. It's a bit like the US many years ago. Drawbacks include the relatively high cost of general goods and food. The houses are often very poorly insulated and get quite cold in the winter," said another retiree in Kapiti Coast .
"It's a great place to live. It's beautiful and interesting. I would stock up on all the products you love. You won't be able to buy them here, or they will just be too expensive to purchase. New Zealand is an island. The cost of shipping goods in, is pricey," commented one retiree living in Wellington, New Zealand.
About the Author
Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.
Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.
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