Maintaining your finances after you move
The financial considerations of an international move don’t just stop the minute the property is purchased. Here we outline the key financial considerations for after you purchase.
Even after your property purchase is complete, there remain a number of important financial considerations you’ll have to plan for. You’ve made the move you’ve always dreamed of, now you need to take the right steps to manage your finances post purchase.
Your income in Greece will be taxable in Greece if you live there for 183 days or more and will need to be paid into a local bank account (you will have opened an account anyway if you have bought a property). Even if you are renting a home you will be receiving an income that will taxable in Greece. Your financial advisor should have explained the most tax-efficient way of receiving income from the UK before you left, but if not, now is the time to speak to a financial advisor or accountant in Greece who is expert on international exchanges. The rules and tax rates will depend on your age, nationality and where your income is derived.
The rule for now is that British pensions paid in Greece rise in line with pensions paid in the UK
Claiming your pension in Greece
Many of us choose to retire to Greece because its warmth and light are beneficial to health. Our pensions go considerably further than in the UK and some other countries too. But how much will your pension be worth in the future? The good news is that while this will be part of the Brexit negotiations, the rule for the time being is that British pensions paid in Greece rise in line with pensions paid in the UK. The British government pledged to maintain until at least 2020 a “triple lock” that raises pensions each year by whichever is higher: inflation, average earnings or 2.5 percent. You will, however, not be entitled to receive the winter fuel payment if you live in Greece.
For most people receiving a pension, knowing how much they will get each money is essential for any kind of budgeting, planning and peace of mind. If your pension is being paid into a UK bank account, the best way to draw this money out is to set up a Regular Payments Plan with Smart Currency Exchange. This is a no-fee service and all you will need to do is set up a standing order that automatically sends your funds at a pre-agreed exchange rate at pre-agreed intervals.
Paying into your pension from Greece
Just because you’re working in Greece doesn’t mean you want to fall behind with your pension payments. You have three options:
1. Leave your pension in the UK pension plan. When you are 55 you can ask for an early payment and receive 25 percent of the value as a lump sum.
2. Transfer your UK pension to an overseas pensions as part of a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).
3. Pay into your UK pension scheme from abroad. There is no limit to how much you can pay, although you may miss out of tax relief.
Greece is a country where a UK pension goes a long way, especially if you use Smart Currency Exchange
The cost of living in Greece is around a third less than in the UK. Some costs, such as accommodation, are much cheaper while others, such as cars and petrol, are more or less the same. While looking for a property you can pay as little as €20 per night for a budget hotel and under €300 per month for an apartment. Given that the average salary is less than €600 per month, Greece is a country where a UK pension goes a long way, especially if you use Smart Currency Exchange to save on your currency changes.
To gain the full advantage of the price differences it helps to live like a Greek. That means buying local fruit, vegetables and meat from the market, avoiding tourist restaurants and making good use of the local buses (car and petrol prices are no cheaper than the UK). In your new life in Greece, many of the good things in life are free: the beach, the beauty of the countryside and the friendliness of the people.
The Greece Buying Guide takes you through each stage of the property buying process, with practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves. The guide will help you to: