Retiring to North Cyprus
Retiring to North Cyprus. IF YOU ARE about to retire to North Cyprus or are planning ahead for such eventuality you will undoubtedly have daydreamed about the possibility of spending your work-free days in warmer climes. For those of you who have already dismissed this idea on the basis of cost and inconvenience then you definitely need to rethink your dream retirement in the sun – it’s cheaper and easier than you think and here’s how in the North of Cyprus.
For decades the only expats living in the North were a tiny, close-knit community of people who had lived through the 1974 civil troubles but been well rewarded with the exclusivity, tranquility, and beauty this side of the island had to offer them. The North has no doubt been overlooked by the majority of prospective expats because of the previous lack of job opportunities and historic under-development in many areas. However, in recent years, following significant investment from commerce and tourism, there has been marked progress within the North’s entire infrastructure including employment, housing, transport links, utility services and healthcare. In turn, the number of expatriates moving to North Cyprus to set up home here has seen steady progress.
Whilst employment opportunities will not be high on your list of priorities if you are retired, all you would-be retirees can now expect a well-established and welcoming community of expats, activities, events, pubs, and clubs. You can also expect a standard of living on par with that in the UK. And for those of you after some well earned R&R, the North remains one of the Med’s best-kept secrets with picturesque scenery, perfect weather and a quality of life that even a relatively low pension income can cover.
The balance here for retirees has never been better. The untouched beaches, nature trails, quaint harbours and historic sites are just a few of the free attractions available to those who enjoy the outdoors – and with over 300 days a year of sunshine, it’s difficult to imagine how anyone would want to stay inside. And for those of you with some recreational spending power and a bit of get-up-and-go, there is the fabulous Korinium Esentepe Golf and Country Club with an 18 hole international course or the luxury Karpaz Gate Marina and International Beach Club.
Needless to say recent development has had some knock-on effect on property prices for buyers, although you can still expect to pay a mere fraction of the price of a retirement property in the UK (and in the south of the island too). Moreover, once here the cost of day-to-day living is more than affordable. The key is to live as the locals do, buying fresh seasonal products from local markets whilst still allowing for some well-earned dining out. The restaurants and cafes are more than reasonably priced and given that you’ve retired it’s definitely your time to treat yourself.
As for the practicalities of living here permanently, there is, of course, a procedure to follow but for anyone with an EU passport, this is by no means complicated. To take up residency the process needs to be started within three months of arrival, with a medical check at an authorised clinic and production of paperwork at the main police station including proof of address and independent financial means. It is also possible to employ somebody to sort out the administrative side of things for a reasonable set price.
So, home or away? For those retirees already settled here, the answer is a resounding North Cyprus. And for all you would-be expatriate retirees, we think its time for a holiday to put you in the ‘North-know’ with the Med’s best-kept secret.
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