What is the idea of early retirement on Gotland, or in any touristic area? There are a number of clear benefits.


While working, it pays off to live in an urban area. Large companies tend to have their offices in major cities, which means more and often better-paid jobs. The down-side of this is the higher cost of living, especially housing. However, for most people, higher salaries should outbalance the higher expenses.

After early retirement, that balance tips. A pension pays exactly the same, no matter where in the country I live. The important question is what I can buy from that pension. And when it comes to living costs, sparsely populated areas with fewer jobs are often preferred.

So basic rule number 1 is:

Work where everyone works, retire where no one works.

Just like any other simple rule, this is not true in all aspects. Check this post for a few more considerations.

Follow the tourists!

Why a touristic area? For once, that area is popular for a reason. Probably there is any combination of great weather, great scenery, closeness to the sea, mountains, history, culture etc. So that area should simply be a great place to live.

Second, tourism often follows a seasonal pattern. At least in middle and northern Europe, many touristic areas are packed during a few weeks in summer, while almost deserted during the rest of the year. This gives a nice synergy with rule number 1: During most of the year, touristic areas are where no one works. But during those few peak weeks, they behave almost like an urban area with skyrocketing population, employment, and housing prices. This gives me a potential income after retirement: renting out my property for a price far above my costs.

So basic rule number 2 is:

Retire where working people spend their holiday.

Again, there are a few exceptions to that rule, see here

Do what you like!

Why Gotland then? This is just a matter of taste. I like the sea, especially the Baltic sea. The Hanseatic city of Visby reminds me of my home town. But it stayed much smaller, therefore its medieval core is much better preserved and more prominent. The geography of Sweden comes with long, dark winters; something which might be less desirable for many pensioners. But I personally like the change of the seasons, and I prefer staying in a country the language and culture of which I know. More considerations on Gotland are found here.

That brings me to rule number 3:

Retire at a place you personally like.

Check the list

Now we know the basics of plan-G: Move to an area of low living costs, preferably a touristic area, and an area you will enjoy during your many years of retirement. Next, let us dive into the details. Continue to the checklist of essential consideration.

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