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Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway
Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway
Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway

Retire in Norway

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is it like to retire in Norway? Retirees share their experiences living in Norway.

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William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

How do I meet people in Norway?

Live in Norway? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Norway about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"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," said a retiree who moved to Tromso, Norway.

"Orienteering is big here and I had never heard of it before. There are groups that go out twice a week. There are many, many sports clubs you can join to meet people. I met many people through an adult education course on the Norwegian language which also helped assimilate me into the culture. Swimming at the pool Pirbadet is popular for families and those in the 20-30's at the last hour it is open when the rates drop. Hiking in the mountains and skiing (both alpine and cross country) of course are also popular," said another retiree in Trondheim.

"AWC of Oslo, Petroleum Women's Club, International Forum...there are classes offered in language, culture, arts, yoga, pilates...the list continues," commented one retiree living in Oslo, Norway.

"American Women's Club is available, but not really functioning. After trying several churches we have found a Church with an American core to be the friendliest place in town! In southern Norway, (we lived in Oslo for 10 years my husband is Norwegian), the culture is tough to break into. It is almost stereotypical small town closed," explained one retiree living in Kristiansand.

What is life like in Norway?

Live in Norway? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Norway what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"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," said another retiree in living in Tromso, Norway.

"Lives revolve around the outdoors and family. People work from 8-4 and after 4pm, the office is cleared out. There is a great emphasis to do something fun every day and it seems like they spend most of their time outdoors, at least in the spring, summer and fall. They hang out by the fjord and bbq and play volleyball and sun tan on the weekends. There is a saying here that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing, which seems to sum up their attitude towards the outdoors! Family is definitely a priority with the one year maternity leave and love of children here," explained a retiree in Trondheim.

"The people's priorities are money, status and beautiful houses. Daily lives revolve around sports, socializing and family activities. They spend their money on big boats, big houses and keeping up with each other and taking the boat or drive to neighboring countries to buy cheap meat and alcohol. Public drunkness and disordliness is socially acceptable. Where ever you travel in the nordic countries, if there is a drunk staggering the odds are he/she is Norwegian," explained one retiree living in Kristiansand.

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What do I need to know before retiring in Norway?

Live in Norway? Answer this Question

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Norway, they said:

"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," explained one retiree living in Tromso.

"Norway is really an expensive country overall, but at the same time, all of the beauty is outdoors which is free to enjoy! If you enjoy hiking, skiing, fishing, biking, etc. then you will really like Trondheim," said another retiree in living in Trondheim, Norway.

"Absolutely take this opportunity... what a beautiful country and great experience. You make what you want out of it... Take advantage of a country that offers incredible outdoor activities/sports. I was never into skiing, hiking, cycling, but I am a convert...at 45 years old and ejoying what the outdoors has to offer here and have yet to see anywhere else like it in the world," explained a retiree in Oslo.

About the Author

Joshua Wood 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.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Norway GuideNorway Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Norway.

Norway Forum Norway Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Norway on our Norway forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Norway Index Norway Index
An index of all of our site's Norway information.

Contribute to Norway Network Contribute
Help others in Norway by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Norway.

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Expats in Norway offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Norway.

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Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Norway.

Guide to Real Estate in NorwayGuide to Real Estate in Norway

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Norway.

Pros Cons of Living in NorwayPros & Cons of Living in Norway

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Norway.

Cost of Living in NorwayCost of Living in Norway

Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Norway.

Moving-to-NorwayMoving to Norway

Expats in Norway report a life abroad in a country to which it can be difficult to adapt. However, if you have the right situation and persevere, the natural beauty and hard won quality friendships can be quite rewarding.

Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Norway GuideNorway Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Norway.

Norway Forum Norway Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Norway on our Norway forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Norway Index Norway Index
An index of all of our site's Norway information.

Contribute to Norway Network Contribute
Help others in Norway by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Norway.

Expat Healthcare Advice in NorwayHealthcare & Health Insurance in Norway

Expats in Norway offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Norway.

Real Estate in NorwayReal Estate in Norway

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Norway.

Guide to Real Estate in NorwayGuide to Real Estate in Norway

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Norway.

Pros Cons of Living in NorwayPros & Cons of Living in Norway

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Norway.

Cost of Living in NorwayCost of Living in Norway

Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Norway.

Moving-to-NorwayMoving to Norway

Expats in Norway report a life abroad in a country to which it can be difficult to adapt. However, if you have the right situation and persevere, the natural beauty and hard won quality friendships can be quite rewarding.

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