How Much Does It Cost To Retire To India?

Are you thinking about retiring to India and wanting to know how much it will cost?  Then this is the article for you.  We will discuss all the local costs and provide you with the resources to tailor it to your personal needs.

India is a country that is known for its exciting culture, love for food, famous architectural monuments along with the series of colorful festivals that makes it an ideal option to retire. There are a number of things that you must be aware of before retiring in India. India offers a number of visas to individuals that are planning to retire in India.

The retirement costs for India are:

Monthly ExpenseUSD Cost
Rent – 3 bedroom (85m2)$530 (Rs 40,000) 
Rent – 1 bedroom unit $170 (Rs 12,800)
Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Rates)$53 (Rs 4,000)
Internet$18.50 (Rs 1,400)
Maid Service$106 (Rs 8,000)
Groceries$100 (Rs 7,500)
Dining Out (2 people) x 4$53 (Rs 4,000) 
Healthcare$200 (Rs 15,000)
Fitness or Social Club Membership$26.50 (Rs 2,000)
Total Expenses (3 bed)$1139 (Rs 85,900) 
Total Expenses (1 bed)$645 (Rs 48,700)

NOTE: These are approximate costs only and if you only needed a smaller property or a unit it could be much cheaper.  This is based on the most expensive prices and where you live in India will also change these costs.  It also depends on the services you need or don’t need.

Can You Own Property In India?

Legally speaking, a foreign national can’t buy property in India. So if you want to buy property you have to have a partnership with an Indian citizen. Foreigners can however rent homes in India. Funnily enough you can inherit property to India even as a non citizen just to make things a little more confusing. 

General Information 

Most people like to plan about their retirement. There are a number of factors that are to be kept in mind while deciding where to retire? These significant factors are; the proximity of family and friends, a safe and quiet environment, climate, living costs including day to day expenses and other necessary services such as health and transportation services. All these factors must be taken into account before reaching a final decision on where in India you want to retire.

Westerners often lack the natural resistance to bacteria that is commonly found in the water, so they have to be careful about their food and drinks to avoid personal health concerns.

India can be an ideal option for settling down post-retirement. It has beautiful scenery, rich history and culture. There are many popular places for retirement in India such as Dehradun, Goa, Shimla, Dalhousie, Dharamsala, Coimbatore and Puducherry (formally Pondicherry).

LINK: 6 Affordable Places to Retire In India: How to Live on a Budget?

Getting a retirement visa

There are no specific retirement visas offered in India.  It is much easier for an Indian citizen or person having family ties with an Indian to retire as compared to a foreigner.  So what visa can you use to enter and stay in India?  Below you will find a link to the official Indian visa’s page.


There are three types of visa you could apply for:

  • Person of Indian origin (PIO)
  • Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)
  • Tourist Visa (180 days requires 2 months out after)

Having looked at these three visa’s you will notice that there are no real visas that work for retirees.  There is a long term visa but they are hard to get as well.  I don’t necessarily think that India has thought much about non-financial visas that most other countries have for retirees. 

Person of Indian origin (PIO)

In order to attain this visa, you are required to fulfill one of these requirements:

  • you were born in India
  • your parents or grandparents were born in India
  • your spouse was born in India

You can apply for a five year entry visa, as a PIO. However you will be required to renew to it every year.

Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)

In case if you’re a citizen of Indian that is living abroad that wishes to settle down in India after retirement then you can apply for multiple entry, lifelong visa. This will grant you the right to settle in India as long as you like.

Foreign Nationals

A long term visa for foreigners of non-Indian origin is classified as one that allows the holder to stay in India for longer than 180 days. For a long-term visa, it is necessary to complete a registration at the Foreign Regional Registration Office in the area of residence within 14 days of arriving in India.

If you’re a foreign national thinking of retiring in India then you should keep this thing in mind that is very difficult to get a visa in India. The only option you have is that of a tourist visa, that will allow you stay in India for a period of 180 days at a time. Once that period is over, you’ll need to stay out of India for two months before you can reapply.

Visa application process and costs

In case you’re planning to apply for a visa then you are required to contact Indian Embassy in your home country. You’ll be required to fill in the application form along with the required document that needs to be submitted. The required documents will depend on your nationality, citizenship and the type of visa you’re applying for. More information regarding this can be obtained from The Indian Embassy in your home country.

In order to apply for E-visa application you are required to do the following things:

  •  Visit
  •  Now you will proceed to the E-visa application process and apply online.
  • You will be required to upload your photo along with the passport page.
  • Then, you will need to pay an E-visa fee online using your debit/credit card or payment wallet.
  • After verification Electronic travel authorization will be sent to your email.
  • Print ETA and present at Immigration Check Post where E-visa will be stamped on passport.

A multiple entry visa for a period of one year from the UK costs £109.44, whereas in the US, you can get a five or ten year multiple entry visa for $153.

Healthcare in India

Public health care in the government sector in India is free for everyone. However, public hospitals are often overcrowded, and the care on offer may not be up to the standard you’re used to in your home country. There will be no language barriers as most doctors and nurses in India can fluently speak English.

India’s healthcare system is underfunded by global standards and ranks in the lower half of the World Health Organization list of national healthcare systems. As a result, most of the highly trained healthcare workers tend to leave the country to work elsewhere. 

The hospitals are largely understaffed as most of the time going abroad is the preferred option. India’s private-sector health system is way better in terms of standards and is much closer to western standards. Private healthcare and health insurance are recommended for visitors to India. 

Luckily, there are private hospitals in all major cities. They provide standardized and excellent levels of care. Private health insurance is also very affordable, so many expat retirees choose this option.

Private insurance

Most health insurance policies that are offered in India are favorable for senior citizens. You may qualify for one of these policies if you’re as young as 46 years old. However, some providers may also have an upper age limit above which you won’t qualify.

The top providers of health insurance for senior citizens in India are:

Most policies cover basic expenses such as hospitalization costs, treatment costs and all kind medical expenses incurred. In India health insurance policy depends on a number of factors such your age, general health, the sum insured, the level of cover you choose and even your location. If you’re an Indian citizen over 60, you’re eligible for a tax rebate of up to INR 30,000 per year on your insurance premium.

Recent Posts