Retiring in the Greek Islands – Why it’s Healthy and Affordable

Travelling to New York

If you’re thinking about your retirement, you may be interested to note that the average weekly income for pensioners in the UK was £304.

This works out at approximately £15,080 in net income per annum, which isn’t a great deal and may not be enough to fund your dreams of retiring in the Greek Islands or similarly warm weather countries across the globe.

But is Greece a viable destination to retire to, and how can you fund your retirements overseas? Let’s find out!

How Many Brits Live in Greece and Why is the Destination so Popular?

According to Statista data from 2019, some 17,230 Brits lived in Greece, making these islands the 14th most popular EU member state for UK expats.

This number is continuing to rise too, thanks to the innumerable benefits that are associated with residing in Greece and similar, warm weather locations.

Certainly, Greece can unlock an excellent quality of life and healthcare, while it’s also among the most affordable EU states from a cost-of-living perspective.

To this end, Greece has managed to avoid the worst fallout from the war in Ukraine and contracting macroeconomic climate, especially when compared to fellow EU states. Earlier this month, the European Commission forecast 6% GDP growth for Greece through 2022, with this more than double the Eurozone average.

Further, albeit more modest, growth of 1% is predicted for 2023, and while this may seem nominal, it should be noted that Greece will avoid the recession that’s predicted to rip across the globe next year.

This is a far cry from the last financial crisis, when Greece became the so-called “sick man” of Europe, youth unemployment soared and fellow EU states were compelled to participate in a lucrative bail out for the country.

How to Plan for Your Retirement in Greece

The question that remains, of course, is what steps can you take to play for retirement? Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

#1. Liaise With Financial Planners: While the cost of living in Greece is thought to be some 30% cheaper than the rest of Europe, you’ll still need to manage your funds well and strive to optimise your retirement income prior to relocating. At this stage, we’d recommend that you liaise with an industry expert or wealth manager and maximise your returns through financial planning, as while you’ll have to pay for this service, it can result in higher returns from an existing financial portfolio.

#2. Invest in Health Insurance: Like many EU nations, Greece has eschewed a national health service in favour of a private, insurance-based system. This means that you’ll need to be able to fund any health care that you need when living in Greece, so we’d recommend either buying an international health plan or acquiring insurance from a Greek provider. This is certainly cheaper that funding treatments directly, which is ideal when dealing with capped or restricted retirement funds.

Understand How Much Money You’ll Need in Greece: When costing a move to Greece, you’ll need to appraise the wider cost of living alongside the price of flights, temporary accommodation (if required) and securing real estate. Of course, the latter is also much cheaper in Greece when compared with UK and other EU member states, but having a completing understanding of your financial burden helps you to plan and budget in the best way possible.

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