Island benefits | Everything Property
19 August 2023

Island benefits


Wanting safety, an ideal climate, healthcare and tax benefits in your later years? Look no further than Mauritius, where you can retire without having to buy property.


Wanting safety, an ideal climate, healthcare and tax benefits in your later years? Look no further than Mauritius, where you can retire without having to buy property.

Mauritius is rapidly becoming one of the top retirement destinations in the world. For South Africans seeking a safe haven with a great climate, excellent healthcare and a tax-friendly regime, it should be number one on their list.

Philippe de Beer, CEO of leading Mauritian real estate agency Park Lane Properties, established on the island 18 years ago, notes that the number of people worldwide who are relocating for retirement is growing exponentially as they seek out more temperate climates than the summer-winter extremes they might be used to.

“Mauritius is a great option because it is generally warm and pleasant throughout the year. It has a tropical climate with mild temperatures, making it comfortable for retirees. As a bonus, it is also renowned for its natural beauty, with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, lush forests and breathtaking landscapes,” he says.


Another major consideration for retirees is finding a safe and politically stable destination so that they can enjoy their retirement in peace. De Beer highlights the island’s long history of political stability and social harmony, which together with its low crime rate makes it attractive for retirees.

“Despite being an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius also offers a high standard of living, with modern infrastructure, quality healthcare facilities and a wide range of dining, shopping and other leisure amenities, golf courses, water sports, cultural events and festivals. Retirees can enjoy a fulfilling and active lifestyle here.” De Beer says many retirees also appreciate that Mauritius is a multicultural society, with a rich blend of different cultures and traditions.

“The island’s population is made up of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Indian, African, Chinese and European, which adds to the vibrant and tolerant nature of the country and provides retirees with opportunities to explore and appreciate various traditions and cuisines. At the same time, Mauritius is only a four-hour flight from SA, which means that retirees can more easily maintain their existing social connections and return for those all-important family occasions and reunions with old friends.”


For most retirees, he says that a transition with favourable tax and financial outcomes holds significance. In this context, Mauritius presents alluring tax advantages tailored to retirees. Retirees can potentially diminish their tax obligations through the island’s non-double taxation accords with numerous nations. Moreover, the country’s absence of capital gains, inheritance and wealth taxes can offer retirees a strategic advantage in upholding their financial matters.

“What is more, it is relatively easy to retire in Mauritius and you don’t actually need to buy a property to do so. You just need to be over 50 years old and prove that you have a pension or investment income from outside Mauritius of $1,500 a month (or $18,000 a year) paid into your Mauritian bank account. “You can then apply for a Retirement Residence Permit (RRP) that is valid for 10 years and renewable, and that also covers your spouse and any minor children living with you,” says De Beer.


However, in the Mauritius National Budget Speech 2023-2024 earlier this year, the finance minister announced the removal of this financial requirement meaning that applicants will only have to show proof of funds from their bank in their country of origin when applying for the RRP.

According to the Economic Development Board, the government agency that manages and approves these applications, this policy was expected to be enacted into law by the end of July 2023. “The other salient features stay the same: that is, application for the permit is made online on EDB’s platform, and the process takes about 30 minutes to complete. A determination is made within two weeks,” says Rukshar Mutty, a member of the EDB’s residency team.


The one restriction is that you cannot work or run your own business in Mauritius if you have a retirement visa. Ian Chambers, tax consultant with JurisTax, notes in a webinar that people who choose to live in Mauritius on an RRP may not work in the Mauritian market. “What does happen, especially with individuals who have elected to live here, but still have commitments outside Mauritius, is that they are employed by the foreign company and render services to them while living in Mauritius,” he says. “So, they won’t have a Mauritius-based company, but they will be employed by a foreign-based company.” De Beer adds that the RRP is “strictly for retirement living, but there are several other residence options open to those who do want to work here or relocate a business to Mauritius and, as one of the top local property companies, we are always happy to assist anyone with plans to relocate.”

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