Living the Greek life

Retire in GreeceBeware of buying or renting property at the height of the summer when you will be so hot and maybe think that the winters will be warm too. They can be very cold, so make sure there is some form of heating, you will need it. The days can be warm and sunny but temperatures fall fast in the evenings.

Eating out in Greece is much cheaper than eating out in England. We have a friend who visits us every year, he is always amazed how cheap things are. He is forever asking us; “do you know how much that would cost in England?

Shopping for food here is wonderful: so many kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables, local olive oil, cheeses and honey.

Every town has its weekly street market where locals sell their fresh produce. Go early to grab the freshest and towards the end for bargains, nobody wants their fresh produce left over!

Greeks are very family orientated and all eat lunch together at around two o’clock. It is the main meal of the day. Most of Greece comes to a standstill at lunch time, after which comes the siesta until around five o’clock when everything comes to life again.

Most things that you will need can be found in the supermarkets, especially if it’s in a tourist area.

I’m not a tea drinker but friends tell me the tea here is not up to much, they bring their own tea bags with them to make a good British cup!

For any of you who smoke, and I hope you don’t, cigarettes are very cheap, three to four Euros for twenty. Greek brands of cigarettes are even cheaper.

Telephone and internet connections are excellent.

Retire in GreeceGreek television leaves a lot to be desired, apart from the language problem. There are quite a few English and American films and series with Greek subtitles. Nova satellite has many of the English and American channels and is very reasonably priced. Together with an internet connection it can be as little as thirty Euros ($30) a month.

Honestly though, living in Greece you won’t be watching much television, you’ll be living mostly outdoors!

My Summer evenings are spent in the garden with friends and family, having a home-cooked meal or a couple of drinks and mezes(yummy little tidbits that accompany drinks).

And when in Greece don’t forget to try the ouzo with octopus meze!

Communication is not a problem here, the majority of Greeks speak English and there is always the international sign language, you can always make yourself understood.

If you are going to live here permanently I would not recommend bringing your car with you from England. The right hand drive causes problems, not only when overtaking but at the toll booths of which there are many, it is very tiresome to have to jump out and run around the car to pay! Believe me, I know, I’ve done it!

The Greek people are so helpful, friendly and hospitable, you should manage just fine. Someone is always willing to help.

Just a few practicalities, Greece is a full member of the E.U so things are quite straight forward.

You must apply for a registration certificate after spending three months in Greece. You go to the local police station to apply for this.

Retire in GreeceBritish nationals can drive in Greece with a valid British E.U license. US citizens can drive up to 6 months with their US license and an international driving permit. After 6 months the license must be converted into a Greek one.

The U.K basic state pension is payable in Greece. As is US Social Security.

Britain and the US have a double taxation agreement with Greece, to make sure tax is not paid in both countries on the same income.

There are very good citizen service centres (KEP) throughout Greece. They provide excellent service in dealing with all public departments in Greece.

Would I recommend living in Greece?

Yes, without hesitation, I love it here.

I wouldn’t be anywhere else!

Even though it’s mid October, the weather is glorious so I’m off to the beach!

Come and visit Greece and you may never leave.

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1 Comment

  1. I am interested in retiring in Thessaloniki. Can I rent an apertment there easily? Is there a visa requirement? I am American. Where can I find lots of specific information? Thank you.

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