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Retirement on the Greek Islands

Buying property in the Greek Islands and retiring there is not about making a stack of money but is about investing in a lifestyle. From an entirely financial perspective, Greek property is a slow but steady gainer so, if you want a holiday home to use every year or an idyllic place to retire, it is one of the best possible destinations to choose. Quest Greek Islands looks at why the Greek isles are a good bet for those considering retirement in the sun and what considerations you should take for making the most of your finances.


A perfect retirement destination

With affordable property, a wonderful climate and one of the most sought after destinations in the world, the Greek Islands really is a perfect retirement destination. Fortunately, the Greek government has discouraged the big property speculators and introduced strict building controls, protecting the beauty of the isles and prevent over-development much seen elsewhere. The government also actively promotes the islands and the mainland as not only a tourist spot but a retirement destination and this is reflected in the improvement in infrastructure for retirees.

Property Prices. Still affordable although some of the islands can be expensive. There are hidden bargains and it is perfectly possible to buy your lovely home for under 100,000 euros.

Lifestyle. An ultimate lifestyle with one of the healthiest diets in the world. Fab cafe culture to integrate with the locals. Life is easier and more simple. Sunshine, beaches, dramatic inland locations and a rich culture.

Climate. Great climate for nearly all of the year.

Access. Easy to get to from anywhere in Europe. Excellent ferry links from / to the mainland and between islands. You can even spend your time just going from island to island, Turkey, Italy and elsewhere with the ferries.

The People. Greeks are hospitable and friendly people so you will soon feel part of the community.

Cost of Living. The Greek Islands are still a cheap place to live compared with many European countries. Make the most of the fresh fruit and veg, which are inexpensive.


Already a million Brits draw their state pension overseas, it is clear that living on a pension in the UK is becoming increasingly difficult.

The Greek Islands offers a cheaper lifestyle than Britain but there are still financial considerations for those looking to retire, whether of retirement age or much earlier. The most common reason for expats to return to their homeland is lack of money.

Buying a property on the Greek isles can certainly release money from your home in your own country, which can then be used to supplement income or top up your pension. However, professional advice should be taken before moving to the islands regarding taxation. With sound advice you'll be able to avoid any potentially  difficult financial strains. You will be looking forward to a better life, so the last thing you will need are any financial worries. Property buyers who are looking to a permanent move are often caught out by sunbeams, blue skies and sandy beaches, failing to think through the real costs. Avoid this trap, budget properly and you will be able to enjoy your future life.

Before you move to your chosen Greek Island, contact the Department of Social Security in Britain to tie up any necessary administration. If you are going to be moving your pension money on a monthly basis to your new home country, then it is a good idea to talk to a currency specialist. They will be able to advise you on the cheapest way to regularly move money and are highly competitive to your normal high street bank. Often regular movements of money can be done at very little or even no charge.


Make yourself a budget, yearly and monthly. Keeping your budget strictly in control will keep worries at bay. Fluctuations in currency need to be kept in mind: it is only recently that 25 to 30% has been wiped off some expats pensions through the fall in the pound. Once you are actually living on the Greek Islands, then day to day cost of living becomes increasingly important. To help, make a list of all your annual costs which are vital such as house and car insurance, property maintenance, etc., and allow a year on year increase.

You will spend less on many items, not least fresh food, fruit, vegetables and getting about. However, you might take up new hobbies and spend more on electric in the winter as you are likely to be in your property more than you were back home.

Include a contingency element or "emergency fund" in your budget to cover any costs which arise unexpectedly. Finances are dull and potential expats are keen to move on to their new home, but by giving plenty of consideration to money this will allow you to avoid the most common mistake for expats: letting you enjoy your new life and every centime of a euro which you've worked for.