Is that good idea to stay in Medagascar after retirement ?

i live in france, age 43 yrs old, at present Europe living financial conditions is very stressfull. I think to spend my remain life in Medagascar because there people speak english and french. and low cost living.  can anybody guide in this matter ?  thanks


It's interesting you have not received a response in six months.  There are not many people that speak English here, but you can get by with French.  There are also a lot of hassles in living here, unless you are going to toss money around like it was nothing. Foreigners cannot own property here, so you will rent, but long-term arrangements can be made. Keep in mind that it is still a Third World country, with all the political/economic disorder that accompanies that status.

If I had a good stream of income for retirement, I would definitely consider Madagascar, but hey, I've been here many years and have learned to deal with the complications.

sanju    1972--so you have several years till you retire?  Not enough information in your question to give a detailed answer.
In general, I would suggest that you come and live here for two to three years before you decide to settle down. It takes a few years to open your eyes to the realities of life in Madagascar or any country you choose to live in.
You might like to start your journey by living in Nosy be, which has a large ex pat community, mostly French ex-pats.  Many of the Nosy be locals also speak French making it easy to adjust to the first transition of Madagascar life.  The further you move away from the ex pat community you will need to learn to speak some basic Malagasy and learn some of the customs to be able to integrate into the  Malagasy community.
Also adopting the Malagasy lifestyle will be less stressful and even less expensive than the ex pat community.
I think living in an over-developed world is much more stressful than living in an underdeveloped world.  It certainly does not cost much to live here when you consider a local can live here for about $100 a month and raise a family on that income.
I am curious as why you are choosing Madagascar over other Francophone countries or the  Philippines for example.

I'll hijack sanju1972 thread with my own ideas why I'm thinking of a retirement in Madagscar.
My major reasons which all together makes it in my top list.
- total cost of living
- the nature with all reptiles, animals, insects
- the daily challenges in madagascar
- move somewhere most wouldn't "go"
- visa rules
- weather
- bring something back to Madagascar (volunteering)

There is still 7 years until retirement but have planned a trip to Madagscar in october, Hope it will give me some more insight if Madagascar are able to deliver !

Sounds like a solid plan to visit the country first before you decide your retirement.  There are at times flights out of Europe, Italy I think that fly direct into Nosy Be international which is  a large Ex pat community. 
From here you can travel the country and see where it is best for you to consider retirement.
To get a good feel for the country at first blush, it would be to stay here for three months, and try to travel as much as a local might, with Taxi Bush for example.  traveling like a tourist in air con 4x4 jeeps will not give you the best insights to a country.   
Good Luck. 
When I used to come here some 15 years ago I used to get my Visa stamped into my passport prior to arrival to Madagascar and make entering the airport and customs smoother and faster and easier after a long flight.

Thank You TropicAlex for the answer.
The closest Madagascar Visa office is in Germany. This means we need to send the passport by mail. I can't say that is a comfortable action !

I have sent them some questions regarding the retirement rules regarding the pension I'll would receive at a bank account in Madagascar and how the calculate which tax I need to pay. But no answers after 2 months....
It's not that easy to find any information at all when I google this. Do you have knowledge of this or can you point me in a direction where this info could be?


You can still get your visa at the airport. I was never  comfortable sending my Passport through the mail even in my own country even though it was  registered mail but I did it anyway because I bought my Air Madagascar tickets with these same people-About 15 years ago.

I do not receive a pension now but will be getting one in about four years so I do not know the answer to your question about taxes.  I do send money from my bank account in the USA and onto Madagascar bank without any tax , though there is a small bank fee and I will continue do  so in the future as I will have my pension deposited into my USA bank account first.

Not receiving answers in two months is normal. You will need to contact them again and again or best to ask your question in person when you arrive.  Not only do the rules change here very often, even from week to week.  Also part of the reason is that the workers do not know all the rules to be explained in one visit.  Also government agencies here work like a small business where you will need to contact someone in the office who you will work with, and they will handle your case thus you being their client who you will pay for them to handle your problems.  I have tried to change workers and couldn't as I have been told I am not their client and I could not change in mid-course, so pick your initial worker wisely. 

Best you meet people in person , when you arrive, as they do not do well over the phone. Example with the bank I had.
I talked with them on the phone asking what forms and documents I need to open a bank account. She told me a list which I wrote down and when I said is that all, she said you come in and we will see what else you will need.  They could not give me all the details up front and she had to go ask someone else who was not there. And, this is big---> if the person who has the information is on Vacation, you could have to wait up till a full month to start to get answers or work done.
Now this the normal, making multiple trips to do the same work.

Since you have seven years before you are thinking of retiring here, I would not be concerned about how to handle retirement issues until 6 to 9 months before you are committing to Madagascar.  Government will change hands at least once or twice before you want to settle here thus rules will change.  Though you most likely will want to check out the immigration office in Antananarivo to get a feel for what you will be up against in the future.
And no matter how incompetent the workers are in Antananarivo and you will walk away shaking your head, well it is far worse as you travel to towns outside of the Capital.

This actually works to your advantage as you come to terms of how to live in a loosely constructed society, in other words don't bring with you your way of life and expect the same outcomes. Also in other words- life here is also much less stressful once you learn the local habits.
How does this work to your advantage- you pay $1 you go to the head of the line, you pay $5 and a taxi ride and they will come to your house to fill in the paperwork. 

Example: My resident visa is for me to be reunited with my family, and has been the same way for several renewals. Though  8 years ago, Government changed hands and my renewal of resident visa to be reunited with my family was not enough to get  a visa, I also had to open a business of which I could close once I got my visa. My last resident which I got last year, went back to the simple family reunion ( no business needed) and is good for 9 more years.

Hello Jorgen,

I think most retired people from our part of the world prefer moving to Spain, Costa Del Sol or Turkey when they hit retirement - probably because it is easier, more ''civilized'' and they can hang out with other people and drink tequilas on the beach front. Mind you, I think this can be done in Madagascar too but there are definitely some other challenges to contend with. But if your motive is really to kind of ''get away from it all'', and you don't mind the challenge of living in a more undeveloped society, then Madagascar is the perfect place!

I think it is a good idea that you are planning to come here and scout the place out. It is always better to put boots on the ground before making the final decision. There were definitely some things about Madagascar which surprised me when first landing here. It's not something that would have made me change my mind, but we all have different perspectives on what we think is important.

I hope you will take time to go around and see the island. The worst thing you could do is stay put here in the capital of Antananarivo. It will not give you a full picture of Madagascar, and it will probably not make you want to come back! Go and see other places.

Of course, I would also recommend taking the time to learn the Malagasy language. I know that many people manage to live here without speaking the language, but in order to really engage with the local people, it is absolutely necessary.

I hope you will visit Madagascar, and I hope you will choose to make your life here.

Cheers from a fellow Scandinavian.



You should have your pension transferred to a German bank account and from there make a regular (monthly) transfer to a bank account in Madagascar, for ex. BNI, which is a French bank what makes it easier.

You still have 7 years to go. Well - this is approximately the period of time when things may change very much in Madagascar. It is an extremely unstable country which is zigzagging between Merina and coast governors... and many (or even most) of the government changes did not happen by election.

Visit the country for 2-3 months, but not only as a tourist in the nicest and spectacular places, but living there "normally" like a resident.

Since when BNI became a French Bank? They are in the same group with Galana and Telma and same owner no? They even advertise as "First Malagasy Bank"

BNI MADAGASCAR is the most Malagasy bank. This affirmation of Alexandre Mey, Managing Director of BNI Madagascar, is verified by the figures since more than 32% of the shares of the bank belong to the Malagasy State. 
Interview. … s-banques/

You are right - the French BNI sold its shares in 2014: … -agricole.

Until then it was French; the BNI (Credit Agricole) is (or was?) represented in all former French colonies.

Hi Alex i will look in to about the flight from Italy to Nosy Be that sound very interesting ,and about about the visa everyone tells me that i can a visa at the Airport when i get get there,do you know how long will take for that..I appreciate that ...

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I just read that now you can get the visa online here:

I am not sure if this is already active - the info said that it will be activated in January 2019 or so.
So give it a try!

has anyone used the Evisa as per the link above ?

I am interested to know if it works - and do you still get the full page sticker in your passport ?

I have only ever requested the 30 days visa at the airport - has anyone gotten the 60 or 90 day visa at the airport ?

As I heard you only get 60 days max. at the airport, and the procedure for extending by another 30 days seems to be very complicated.

Hello there,
My family and I are looking to move to madagascar and gain residency. I heard this is difficult. It is My husband and I, my mother, daughter 13, 2 sons, one who is 5 and the other 7 months. Please help us. It is so hard to find info. I have read about starting a business, and we are game to do whatever it takes, but do not know what that entails there. Also if my mother gains residency from retirement, would we be able to also gain residency because she lives there? Lets say you cannot get residency..Do they check often to see if your visa expired? What if it does expire? We plan on at some point not living in an expat area. We are not with any group, just a family. Thank you so much!

Hi blessthispeople,

1. Why do you want to live in Madagascar? Have you ever spent some time there?
2. If your mum gets residency, this has no (positive) influence upon your visa. Your
    option would be to either find a paid job (which is quite difficult, unless you can't
    work for the US Embassy or some company), or found a company. If you never had
    one in the US or worked as a freelancer, I would not advise to test this in
    Madagascar - having to do with very different target groups, marketing and buying
    behavior. Which professional experience do you have/in which field?
3. Unfortunately there are - this happened at least during the 11 years I lived there -
    rather frequent controls in the street by the Immigration Police. You definitely
    should not take that risk.
4. The procedure is more complicated than in other countries: You would have to
    apply for a transformable visa of 1 month, if you want to apply for a long-time visa.
    Withing this 1 month you have to find a house, open a bank account and should
    have brought along all required documents, translated to French. This month may
    be damned short!
5. Please do NOT come to Madagascar with your whole family, hoping to get a visa
    somehow. Visit the country at least with two of you for 1 or 2 months, then decide
    which type of visa you want (or can) apply for and prepare everything meticulously!
6. Check out the school options for your kids. The capital has an International School
    which is crazy expensive, and the traffic is even beyond crazier - you lose many hours
    just to get from A to B. If you want to live "not in an expat area", your kids will sit
    in the single classroom of a public school with 70 pupils between 6 and 16...
7. The crucial question is: how do you intend to finance your life there?