Are you considering a fresh start? Thinking about making Aliyah in your golden years? Israel stands out as a welcoming environment for retirees and Olim, offering a blend of historical richness and vibrant community life. It's a place where you can connect with fellow olim, immerse yourself in the culture, or enjoy the tranquillity of a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle.

Photo by Din Ahahroni Rolland

Additionally, the Israeli government supports new Olim retirees with a wide range of social programs and a comprehensive subsidized healthcare system, ensuring a secure and comfortable lifestyle.

From scenic landscapes to bustling cities, Israel provides a diverse backdrop that caters to every interest. Whether you’re drawn to the ancient streets of Jerusalem, the modern vibes of Tel Aviv, or the serene beauty of the Galilee, Israel offers a retirement filled with discovery and community.

The Absorption Basket for Retired Olim

The retirement support you’ve always envisioned in Israel begins the moment you arrive. The Ministry of Aliyah and Integration provides a financial safety net through an Absorption Basket (Sal Klita). This may include assistance with living expenses and help with housing costs. Tailored specifically for those who qualify under Israel’s retirement age, this initiative ensures that your transition into Israel’s society as a retiree is as smooth as possible.

Eligibility for Sal Klita requires a new Oleh identification card (Teudat Oleh) and meeting the full criteria for new Oleh status. Additionally, those who have lived in Israel for up to 24 months, whether in one stretch or cumulatively over the 3 years prior to obtaining new Oleh status, can also access these benefits, making your move to Israel more comfortable.

Special Old-Age Benefit for Retirees

Israel further ensures the well-being of its retired Olim through the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi). This system offers a special old-age benefit for those who might not be eligible to receive the standard old-age pension, ensuring that all retirees have access to financial support.

This benefit, funded by the Ministry of Finance, is designed for new Olim who made Aliyah after reaching the required retirement age (67 for men and the retirement age for women) without qualifying for old-age insurance.

In order to receive this special benefit, eligibility is based on the following criteria:

  • Marital Status and Allowances:
    •  A married woman becomes eligible for this benefit upon reaching the age for an old-age pension as mentioned above, assuming her spouse does not receive a pension under the law.
    • Eligibility extends to retirees whose spouses are not beneficiaries of any allowance from Bituach Leumi. This includes men whose spouses may receive an old-age or work disability pension, provided the spouse has reached the pension age.
  • Income Test:
    • The special old-age benefit is contingent upon passing an income test, differing from the regular old-age pension, which does not apply an income test after reaching pensionable age.
    • For those under 70, eligibility depends on whether their work income falls below a certain threshold, which varies based on family composition. As of January 2024, the threshold is set at NIS 9,208 for singles and NIS 12,277 for couples.
    • Non-work income eligibility is determined if the combined non-work income of an individual and their spouse does not exceed the amount of the old-age pension (Havtachat Hachnasa) entitled to them, based on family composition and age.


Long-Term Care Benefits

After making Aliyah, adapting to a whole new healthcare system might seem a bit challenging, especially for those in need of long-term care. Thankfully, Israel is committed to supporting its elderly and those with health challenges by offering long-term care benefits.

This benefit is designed for retirees who require assistance with daily activities or need supervision for personal and public safety. The aim is to alleviate the burden on families by providing the necessary care and support through both the public and private sectors.

To apply, Olim must meet the criteria and fill out a specific claim form to access these benefits. This form requires information about any income from abroad and must be accompanied by relevant medical documentation. The completed claim should be submitted to Bituach Leumi, which is responsible for evaluating and granting long-term care benefits.

Beneficiaries have the flexibility to choose the type of care that best suits their needs. Options include residing in a nursing home or receiving care at home from in-home care workers or foreign workers. The National Insurance Institute facilitates this assistance, ensuring that individuals receive the care they require within the comfort of their homes.

Receiving Retirement Benefits From Your Country of Origin

Regarding retirement benefits for Olim, particularly those from the U.S., there’s good news. Contrary to common misconceptions, U.S. citizens who make Aliyah can typically continue receiving their Social Security payments while living in Israel. However, there’s an important caveat for those aged between 62 and their full retirement age (which varies based on birth year): if you work more than 45 hours per month, your Social Security benefits may be temporarily suspended until you either reduce your working hours or reach full retirement age.

Find out more about Social Security while abroad


Although there’s no doubt that Israel’s warm sunshine and refreshing sea breeze contribute to a healthy lifestyle, the country offers an exceptional healthcare system accessible to all, regardless of age or pre-existing health conditions. Let’s get into the details.

In Israel every Israeli citizen has the right to join 1 of the 4 major health maintenance organizations (Kupat Cholim) that operate nationwide, including:


Membership in these Kupot Cholim is guaranteed by law for every Israeli resident, ensuring no one is excluded due to medical history or health status. Each provides medical services through its network of facilities, allowing members to choose their preferred healthcare professionals.

Please note that an individual who receives a senior citizen’s pension without an additional income supplement will be charged NIS 223 for health insurance. In cases where a man receives a senior citizen’s pension that includes an extra amount for his wife, or when both spouses each receive their own old-age pensions, the health insurance fee deducted from the man’s pension will be NIS 321.

Visit our page on healthcare for more information

Public Transportation

Navigating through Israel becomes significantly easier and more affordable, especially for seniors. Israel offers remarkable travel discounts for its elderly population to ensure mobility and independence. Individuals aged 75 and above are entitled to free travel on all public transportation modes, a gesture that underscores the country’s commitment to supporting its senior citizens. Additionally, senior citizens, defined as women over 62 and men over 67, benefit from a 50% discount on fares once they obtain their senior citizen ID.

To access these benefits, seniors need to have a Rav-Kav card (the Israeli train/bus pass) or set up a dedicated 75+ profile on the mobile app, known as a Zahav Kav. For those who do not yet possess a Rav-Kav card, it can be easily acquired through various public transport payment apps, some being available only in Hebrew, such as Moovit, Pango, Rav Pass, or Cello. Existing Rav-Kav cardholders must update their profile to “2” to enjoy free travel.

Explore travel fares and discounts


Assistance from the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration

As you embark on your retirement journey in Israel, finding the right home is key to enjoying your new chapter in life. Whether you prefer the independence of an apartment, the community spirit of retirement villages, or the comprehensive care of assisted living facilities, Israel offers a diverse range of housing solutions. The range of options is available to ensure your golden years are as enriching and comfortable as possible

To be eligible for housing solutions and assistance from the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, a retiree must meet the following criteria:

  • Be recognized as “elderly” by the Ministry at the time of their application
  • Possess an ID card (Teudat Zehut) with an “elderly” status issued by the Ministry of Housing and Construction
  • Be recipients of an old-age pension and income supplements from the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi), or a disability allowance from the Ministry of Finance, which may qualify them for housing assistance.
  • Fulfill the criteria for being considered “without housing”: An individual or each family member who, at the time of application submission, has not held any rights—either individually or jointly with others—to an apartment, a part of an apartment, or an apartment under construction within the past 10 years.

Funding for Your Living Arrangements

In Israel, the journey into your retirement is supported by a system designed to alleviate the financial burden associated with elderly housing and care. Recognizing the challenges some seniors face in affording proper care and living arrangements, Israel offers a variety of financial assistance programs. The goal is to ensure that aging is a phase of life marked by comfort and without financial strain.

This support ranges from financial aid for placements in retirement homes or hospitals to monetary reimbursements for care-related expenses and assistance for those choosing to age gracefully at home. Reflecting a shift towards home-based care, recent initiatives emphasize the importance of enabling seniors to remain in their familiar environments as long as possible, in line with the principles of the Long-Term Care Insurance Law.

Here’s an overview of the available funding sources and conditions for eligibility:

  • Independent Living or Retirement Homes – Financial support for seniors who cannot live independently is available through the Ministry of Welfare and local municipalities. Eligibility and the amount of assistance depend on the economic capacity of the elderly person, following the Ministry of Welfare’s guidelines.
  • Assisted Living Facilities – The Health Ministry provides financial assistance for seniors needing nursing care or mental assistance, covering costs in nursing homes or geriatric facilities. Eligibility depends on the individual’s functional condition, availability of space, and meeting health, social, and financial criteria. The allocation is prioritized by the Health Ministry, with families contributing based on their financial ability.
  • Complex Nursing Homes and Supported Housing – Tailored for those requiring nursing care or preferring a community living arrangement with support services.
  • Rehabilitation or Post-Hospitalization Recovery Funds – Offers financial aid for seniors needing rehabilitation or recovery services after hospitalization.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance – Provides coverage for various long-term care services, helping to offset the costs associated with extended care needs.
  • Community-Based Assistance – Supports seniors living at home, promoting aging in place through services like home care and supportive community programs.
  • Reverse Mortgage – A financial solution that allows seniors to convert part of their home equity into cash, providing additional income while retaining home ownership.

In Israel, seniors are also eligible for various discounts and benefits on services and products aimed at enhancing quality of life while easing financial burdens.

Renting a Home in Israel

New Olim are entitled to a monthly rent subsidy of 400 NIS (approximately $103). Additionally, the government has increased its financial support for elderly Olim living alone, with the amount adjusted based on their age and family situation.

The Ministry of Aliyah and Integration administers the rental assistance program available to all immigrants regardless of their income. Eligibility for this support kicks in from the 8th month after arrival in Israel.

The extent of assistance provided is determined by various factors, including the Olim’s length of stay in the country and their family composition.

Arnona discount for Olim

The municipal property tax (Arnona), levied by the local municipality or council where your residence is situated, is calculated based on the property’s size, location, and whether or not it’s residential or commercial. The property renter is responsible for paying this tax, which funds essential local services like street cleaning, garbage collection, and park maintenance.

However, for new Olim who have made Aliyah to Israel, there’s a silver lining- you’re eligible for a significant Arnona discount. This discount ranges from 70-90% for properties up to 100 square meters and can be applied during the first or second year after Aliyah. The exact discount rate may vary depending on the municipality.

It’s important to note that this tax break is not automatic; new Olim must actively apply for it. Additionally, senior citizens may qualify for property tax discounts, with eligibility criteria set by the Interior Ministry. This provision ensures that Olim and seniors can enjoy some financial relief as they settle into their new homes or manage their expenses in Israel.

Social & Recreational Activities

Israel offers a vibrant scene for its retired community for social and recreational engagement. The OU Israel Center in Jerusalem and the AACI’s Seniors Division across major cities provide a variety of activities ranging from choral ensembles, handicraft clubs, drama circles, folk dancing, and exercise classes to Yiddish-speaking gatherings. These platforms offer retirees opportunities to stay active, engage with peers, and enjoy a fulfilling post-retirement life in Israel.