25 Reasons Retirees Are Flocking to Ireland

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: March 4, 2024
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The United States and Ireland share a very special bond that extends back for centuries. It is based on both common ancestral ties and on shared human values. Ireland played a vital role in the American War of Independence and millions of Americans can trace their roots their. This makes the Emerald Isle an attractive prospect as a retirement destination. Here we list just a few of the reasons for retiring to Ireland.

Lower Cost of Living

Money goes further in Ireland.

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Depending on which measure you look at, the cost of living in Ireland is anything from 2 percent to 12 percent lower than the US. That means that your pension will buy you a better standard of living in Ireland.

Cheaper Rents

Rents are cheaper in Ireland than in the US.

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Even if you choose an expensive area of Ireland, such as Dublin, you will find that rents are cheaper. If you buy, however, costs are similar to those in the US.

Gorgeous Countryside

The countryside in Ireland is stunning.

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No matter where you live in Ireland, you are never far from the stunning countryside where you can keep fit by walking in your retirement. It is not called the Emerald Isle for nothing!

Free Public Transport

Single Track Coast Road at Slea Head in Ireland

Travel for free on public transport.


People aged over 65 years travel for free on public transport. This means that you can explore your local area (and further afield) for nothing!

Try It Out before Moving

You can try Ireland out for three months.

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Moving to a different country is a big commitment. The Irish authorities will let you remain in the country for up to three months as a tourist. This is enough time for you to figure out if you want to live there.

Apply for Residency

You can apply for residency after 10 years.

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Once you have lived in Ireland for a decade you can apply for permanent residency. This will save you having to apply for five-year visas.

Private and Public Healthcare

You can choose public or private healthcare.


Ireland offers both private and public healthcare. An emergency room visit costs around $97 and a doctor’s visit can cost as little as $24.

US Taxes

You may not be taxed in Ireland on retirement income.


It is important that you seek professional financial advice but retirement income generated outside Ireland is generally not taxed. You will need to file your US taxes though.


Shot Focused on Yellow Tape Showing Text "Police Line Do Not Cross". Tape Used to Restrict a Crime Scene Where Forensics, Detectives and Policemen are Working on Solving a Homicide Case

Ireland is a safe country.


Ireland is the 12th safest country in the world whereas the US is the 37th so you are moving to a safer country. Some of the larger cities do have pickpocketing issues but petty crime is more common than serious crime.

Mild Climate

The climate in Ireland is generally mild.


If you are fed up with the harsh winters in some parts of the US, the generally mild Irish climate will be a relief. It rains quite a lot but avoids the extremes of temperature experienced in the US.

Learn a New Language

Learning a new language is beneficial in retirement.

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If you want to keep your brain cells active in retirement in Ireland, you can learn Gaelic. It is spoken by about 40 percent of the country.

Base to Explore Europe

Man standing by a window and waiting his flight, Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Canada.

Exploring Europe is easy from Ireland.

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If you have dreamt of exploring Europe in your retirement, Ireland is a great base to do it from. Fights to Paris take just one hour 45 minutes and to Rome take just three hours.

Regular Flights to US

It’s easy to get home to the US from Ireland.


Getting back home to the US from Ireland is easy and not that expensive. There are regular flights to several US cities – a flight from Dublin to New York takes about seven hours and 45 minutes.

Quality of Life

Pets Best pet insurance

You can enjoy a high quality of life in Ireland.

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Ireland is ranked 15th in the world for quality of life whereas the US ranks 23rd. This is based on factors such as economic and political stability and a well developed public health system.

Superb Restaurants

Ireland has some amazing restaurants.

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If you are planning on eating out a lot during your retirement, Ireland will not disappoint when it comes to superb restaurants. They combine innovative techniques with the finest ingredients and you will be spoilt for choice.

The Home of Guinness

Close-up of two hands toasting each other with Guinness beers on a central Dublin street having a good time on a beautiful autumn morning

You can enjoy a pint of Guinness in Ireland.

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Arthur Guinness started brewing the famous drink In Ireland in the late 1700s and it has been enjoyed there ever since. It would be rude not to give it a try!

Atmospheric Pubs

The company of young people celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Irish pubs are legendary.

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Irish pubs are famous throughout the world for their atmosphere (craic), hospitality and warmth. They have got to be one of the top reasons for retiring to Ireland – one of these could be your local!


Book in library with open textbook,education learning concept

Ireland has a rich literary tradition.

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Ireland has a literary tradition dating back to early tales of mythical heroes such as Cú Chulainn. As a retiree, you will have the time to explore the works of the many poets, playwrights, writers and storytellers and visit where they lived!

Fresh Food

Oysters are just one of Ireland’s famous foods.


There are so many delicious foods grown, harvested, and produced in Ireland that you will never be short of inspiration at mealtimes. Soda bread, shellfish, and cabbage are just some of the reasons to retire to Ireland!

Varied Music

Irish folk music is famous throughout the world.

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From Irish traditional folk music, often played spontaneously in cozy bars, to large stadium gigs, there is something for music-lovers of all tastes in Ireland.

Clean Air

Retirees can enjoy clean air in Ireland.

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With a swift breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean and plenty of wide-open spaces, Ireland enjoys a higher air quality than many of its European neighbors.

National Parks

Ireland has more than its fair share of national parks.

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Ireland has six stunning national parks and 77 registered nature reserves. Here you can spend your leisure time in nature and learn more about the natural world.

Unique Wildlife

A young Red deer stag.

You can spot red deer in Ireland.

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Spend your time spotting some of Ireland’s very special wildlife. The Irish hare, badger, and red deer all make their home on this beautiful island.

Stunning Coastline

Ireland has a stunning coastline.


Ireland has around 1,970 miles of coast making it one of the main reasons to retire to Ireland. There’s something for everyone including craggy headlands, soaring cliffs, mountain-backed beaches, and quaint fishing villages.

Empty Roads

Many of Ireland’s roads are quiet.

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Getting stuck in traffic is something that happens rarely in large parts of Ireland. Outside of the large towns, you are likely to have the rural roads all to yourself!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Oleksii Liskonih

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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