Retire in Norway
Last updated on Feb 03, 2023
Summary: Retirees are attracted to Norway for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and excellent quality of life. Norway is known for its breathtaking fjords, majestic mountains, and picturesque coastline. The country also offers a wide range of activities for retirees, such as skiing, hiking, fishing, and sailing. Additionally, Norway has a strong social safety net, providing retirees with access to quality healthcare and a generous pension system. The weather in Norway varies greatly depending on the region, but generally the summers are mild and the winters are cold. Temperatures in the summer range from 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit (10-21 degrees Celsius), while temperatures in the winter range from 20-40 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to 4 degrees Celsius).
What is it like to retire in Norway?
"Retiring in Norway generally offers a high quality of life. Norway offers a comprehensive public pension system that provides elderly citizens with retirement benefits and security. The country also boasts a social healthcare system that is universally accessible, with a high standard of service, as well as an efficient transportation network for easy mobility. Norway is a picturesque nation with stunning natural beauty and a variety of outdoor activities and cultural attractions to explore. It also offers year-round mild temperatures and an incredibly friendly local culture. Many retirees benefit from the lower cost of living, especially with regards to healthcare, although there can be prohibitively high prices on certain items such as alcohol and tobacco. Overall, Norway is an excellent choice for retirees seeking a secure and beautiful home," explained one retiree living in Norway.
What are the most challenging aspects of retiring in Norway?
"Retiring in Norway can be quite expensive due to the high cost of living. It can also be difficult for retirees to live comfortably on a low pension, as many benefits and discounts are only available to those who are still working. Healthcare services can also be a bit more limited than in other countries, as there can be a lack of options for those with special needs. Additionally, language barriers can be quite challenging as English is not widely spoken, meaning many official documents will be in Norwegian," said a retiree who moved to Norway.
What are the most rewarding aspects of retiring in Norway?
"Living in Norway features excellent pension plans, health care and social services which help retirees enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Retirees can access world-class cultural attractions and plenty of recreational activities to keep them busy. Additionally, the country is particularly beautiful, boasting stunning natural attractions and unspoiled landscapes. There are many opportunities to engage in outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, and fishing, as well as thrilling cultural festivities and events. Norway also regularly ranks as one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world," said another retiree in Norway.
What are healthcare services like in Norway?
We asked retirees if they have access to good medical care in Norway. They wrote:
"Healthcare in Norway is organized and run largely by the state, through four regional health authorities. All Norwegians and legal foreign residents are entitled to free care through the public health scheme, though some services require payment of a moderate fee. Treatment by general practitioners and specialists is free of charge, including visits, prescriptions, and hospital stays. All necessary medical treatment is provided in state and university hospitals, many of which are affiliated with research institutes. Pharmaceuticals are subsidized by the state and dispensed by pharmacists. Care services can be provided either at home or in a nursing home, and Norway also has a hospice system. Health insurance coverage is mandatory and is managed through two private, intersectoral mutual health insurance associations," added another person in Norway.
How do I meet people in Norway?
When we asked people living in Norway about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:
"Norway is an excellent place to meet people with its friendly locals and bustling cities. There are many ways to build relationships with locals, such as joining a club or attending community events. Spending time at cafes or bars is also a great way to make connections with people, as Norwegians are generally very approachable and open to conversation. It's also easy to meet people through online communities, such as Meetup groups or Facebook groups, or by using language exchange websites. Finally, it's often easy to make connections through university or work," said another retiree in living in Norway.
"I haven't been able to find an organization, club, etc.There are no expat clubs to welcome you or anything of that sort. My child goes to an International school so I have met parents (from other countries) who have become good friends. Norwegians are not easy to befriend if you don't know them through someone else. and from what I have heard northern Norwegians are not as welcoming as southern, so we have that up hill battle as well. Its been really hard to find anything if you don't speak Norwegian," explained a retiree in Tromso.
What is life like in Norway?
When we asked people living in Norway what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:
"Living as an expat in the area is filled with unique experiences. The local culture is vibrant and the people are friendly and welcoming of outsiders. There is an abundance of activities to be done in the region ranging from exploring nature, enjoying the beaches and islands, experiencing the exciting night life, or trying out various cuisine in the various restaurants, and more. Living in this part of the world can offer a balance of relaxation, culture and adventure. Additionally, there are many opportunities to immerse oneself in the local culture, learn the language and make friends. With the right mindset, one can find life as an expat in the area to be incredibly fulfilling," added another person in Norway.
"In general, it seems to me everyone for his own. Family is important because no one steps out of the box they live in. Socializing is for who you know. And work ethic is just different from what I am used to. When clock hits 4:00pm the desk is empty if you are Norwegian. All projects take forever to get done due to this mentality. Sports events are rare and again hard to find if you don't speak or read Norwegian, so you really have to be an extrovert to find out what is happening on the island for the weekend. Tourist center helps if you go by once a week," remarked another retiree in Tromso.
What do I need to know before retiring in Norway?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Norway, they said:
"Before retiring in Norway, it is important to familiarize yourself with the country and its laws/regulations regarding immigration and retirement. You must ensure that you are eligible and meet all requirements necessary for retirement in Norway. Furthermore, it is important to consider the cost of living in Norway and the availability of public services such as healthcare. You must also research the necessary paperwork and documents that must be submitted in order to apply for retirement. Additionally, you should check to see if there are any tax benefits or incentives available to retirees in Norway. Additionally, it is important to consider the social and cultural aspects of Norway and how it may impact your experience of retiring as an expat in Norway," remarked another retiree in Norway.
"I would tell them that they should have to like a closed off culture of people. When you walk down the street people do NOT smile or say hello. A man will push you out of the way to get through the door first. If you are lazy and don't have a good work ethic, then this place will be perfect for you. There are plenty of expats that love this place, however its not for us," said a retiree who moved to Tromso, Norway.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
- What do I need to know before moving to Norway?
- How do I find a place to live in Norway?
- What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Norway?
- What is the average cost of housing in Norway?
- Should I buy or rent a home in Norway?
- What should I pack when moving to Norway?
- What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Norway?
- Why do people move to Norway?
- How are healthcare services Norway?
- What are medical services in Norway like?
- What are typical rents in Norway?
- What appliances are typically included in a rental?