Thinking of retiring to Greece? From a more affordable cost of living to an abundance of sunshine, we’ll look at why Greece is such a wonderful place to retire to.
Following the festive break, many of us have returned to work. It might be that you have already decided that 2023 will be your final year of working. Alternatively, as you sit at your desk waiting for your next cup of coffee to be ready, you may be feeling that you can only stand a couple more years.
So, retirement is in reach, but what does retirement look like?
Retirement has the potential to be a whole new chapter. Not just a chapter where you live the same life, minus the 9 to 5. But a chapter where you have the sense of adventure that you did as a youth, only with money this time – what’s not to love?
So, why not move to Greece?
Turn your memory of a brilliant holiday to Crete into your day-to-day life. Indulge in souvlaki, feta, and dolmades. Drink olive oil straight from the source – okay, maybe that is a little extreme. Make up for years of missing out on the sunshine because you were tied to your desk and bask in the beautiful Grecian sunshine. If you are a historian, what better place than Greece? Get that nose in a book and those eyes on some of Greece’s magnificent ruins. Beach lovers will also adore island-hopping to some of the world’s greatest beaches. Recently, Greece was voted as being in the top ten of the world’s best places to retire in 2023 by International Living. We’re here to not only unpack why that it is, but how to do it.
Your sunshine chapter
Naturally, the climate in Greece varies from place to place, but wherever you are, you can expect much more sunshine than you would in the UK.
Athens is the hottest capital city in Europe. In August, temperatures can exceed 38 degrees. Nonetheless, winters can be cold and wet. Corfu, one of Greece’s most beloved islands, experiences warm and dry summers but can be quite wet during the winter. This has led to it being home to luscious green vegetation. Santorini has a semi-arid climate with extremely warm summers and mild winters.
A more affordable cost of living
The rise of the cost of living in the UK has made many of us grit our teeth. Your Overseas Home have just released an index on the Overseas Cost of Living 2023. It compares the prices across the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, and Italy. Usefully, the index compares data that applies to living in the country, not just visiting. So, it compares the price of electricals, furniture, supermarkets, and healthcare. It also compares British essentials like teabags and gin. Out of these countries, Your Overseas Home ranked Greece as the sixth (out of seven) least expensive places to live.
Having said this, fluctuations in the exchange market can have an enormous impact on the money that you shift to Greece from the UK. To ensure that you do not lose out financially because of this, it is best to rely on a currency exchange specialist, such as Smart Currency Exchange.
Amazing properties to choose from
Greece has a true range of properties to choose from. If you are on a lower budget, maybe because you would like to keep your home in the UK for visits or would just like a bigger pot of savings, there are options for you too. On our property portal, prices start from just €50,000.
When it comes to property in Greece, you’ll be able to find affordable one-to-two-bedroom city apartments in Athens, gorgeous villas in Crete, and luxury properties in Mykonos, and everything in between.
How do I retire to Greece?
Since Brexit, Brits hoping to spend time in Greece have had to work around 90-day rule, which permits non-EU members to stay in the Schengen Area for no more than 90 days out of every 180. But if you are hoping to spend longer stretches of the year there, then you will need a visa. If you are not planning to work there at all, you should look into an independent financial means visa. For this visa, the Greek government requires that you be financially independent, with a monthly income of sufficient means, which is currently set at least €2,000 per month.
Alternatively, the Golden Visa is a means to gain residency through investment. It used to be that you needed to purchase a property of €250,000 for a Golden Visa. However, as of this year, Greece has changed the rules, and the price minimum is set at €500,000 in many areas. Read our article on how the rules around the Greek Golden Visa have changed.