Living in Retirement in Cyprus

#1
Now retired and a permanent resident in Cyprus for the past eight years. The good and bad points if you are considering living/retiring to Cyprus.

Good points.
Very low taxation, I only paid forty-seven euros in tax this year. All bank account interest, repeat interest, in Cyprus is taxed at source at ten percent, goes to pay for the National Guard. You also have to declare also any UK savings, equally taxed at ten percent. But still works out less than the UK.

Usual weekly shopping is some forty percent cheaper than the UK if you buy the fresh local products. Very expensive if like some out here that cannot or won’t cook and buy imported UK frozen food. Roughly spend 300 euros a week on shopping, for two people, including wine and beer. Beer from a Supermarket chain, 95 cents a small can. Wine can be had for less than three euros a litre bottle.

Petrol costs just over the euro a litre. Less than a 100 euros a year road tax. MOT every two years and only costs 35 euro. Car insurance, fully comp with a British company, 370 euro.

If you apply to the UK Inland Revenue and get yourself declared by the UK taxman as “non-Resident in the UK,” your UK private pensions are paid out here free of UK tax.
If you are a permanent resident here and over 60, you get free medical and prescriptions. No free bus passes. No free eye test or glasses.

Sunshine nine months of the year. Only need central heating on for a couple of months. Air-conditioning the same. Much lower utility bills than the UK. Hot water supplied free most of the time from the Solar Panels that heat a tank on the roof.

Cyprus is in many ways like the UK in the 1960’s. If you come to live here you need to be very self-reliant. Many of the younger ones who come out here, many who have never been out of the UK before, fall flat on their faces because “there isn’t anybody to do something about it” when things go wrong, and usually return to the UK within six months. Cyprus is not a Nanny-state. At the moment if you receive the UK Winter Heating Allowance, you can still receive it in Cyprus, it does get cold here as well. I believe other payments such as Disability/Mobility allowances are also payable when out her.

Low crime rates, drive on the Left hand side of the road. You can get SKY TV with a Dish larger than 2.7 metres, Broadband now available across the island but still more expensive than the UK.


The Bad Points.

The property market is dire. Most of the conveyancing lawyers are in league with the property developers and do not work in their client’s interests. If you buy a property here do not, under any circumstances buy without title deeds. That is title deeds delivered when you have paid in full for the property. Far too many Brits have fallen into the property trap and are now stuck with a property they cannot sell, no title deeds, or leave to the children; they don’t actually own the property, no title deeds. Many alas now face eviction as developers have deliberately put themselves into voluntary liquidation and the banks foreclose on hundreds of thousands of properties for which the full value had already been paid for in the first place. So be warned, “No title Deeds Equals No Deal.”
Best to buy a re-sale property with title deeds from another ex-pat. You can then do the deal using your UK solicitors, although a solicitor is not necessary as all you need to do to change ownership is to attend the Land Registry with the appropriate money and change the names on the title deeds. You can also pay for it in Pounds Sterling, saving on the exchange rate. Best to rent, from another Brit until you find a property with title deeds. Or rent permanently, again from another Brit, so many very good places to rent from as little as 300 euros a month for an apartment.

Cheap public transport (buses) is only just becoming available across the island, so a car is essential to get around. So choose a place to live that isn’t too far from the shops. Also choose an area that is already built-up otherwise you may find yourself suddenly living in the middle of a vast housing estate with no views at all. Also live near other Brits, that way you can get help without language problems.

Forget the romantic notion of “living amongst the locals” they will drive you mad with their noise and their living habits; many live like gypsies, keeping chickens and rabbits in their front gardens.

Cyprus is not very disabled-friendly. Getting about on a mobility scooter is virtually impossible due to the cars numerous parked on the pavements. Few establishments make any provision for wheelchair access.

Things to Consider.

Many mature couples come to Cyprus and then leave because of domestic affairs back in the UK.
Daughters need their mothers when having baby’s or with marriage troubles. Grandmothers, now in Cyprus, miss the grandchildren and want to return to the UK. The grandfather may be perfectly happy in Cyprus but gets forced back to the UK.
Before cutting your ties with the UK a couple need to have a serious talk on how to handle situation back in the UK. Many didn’t and came to grief.

Otherwise Cyprus is a wonderful place to retire too.
 
#2
Cheers for that. I know a few people how live out there, they enjoy it but keep property in the UK as well
 
#3
Cheers for that. I know a few people how live out there, they enjoy it but keep property in the UK as well

what are property prices like
 
#4
Property prices falling fast but alas many without title deeds so shouldn't be touched under any circumstances. Get a two-bed apartment for under 100k - villas houses from 120k upwards.
 
#5
Cheers for that. I know a few people how live out there, they enjoy it but keep property in the UK as well
I think this is the most sensible option. One sees far too many British people who sold everything to move abroad. This is most apparent on the Costas. Their investments are now worthless; likewise their pensions have declined in value.
Yes, by all means move abroad, but leave yourself a bolt hole in the UK
 
#6
Verra Verra wisio und gut wisdomino! I moved to Cyprus and stayed for five years and fortunately kept hesitiating about flogging my UK bolt hole! Glad I didn't because like a lorra peoples I eventually had health issues and had to come back to the UK.. great place to be but as Clive said - families etal can become issues - but on a lighter note it i not as far as Aus. If anone ants to go play with a cheap old place I have one I need to selll... and oh yes I DO have the Title Deeds.
 
#7
Now retired and a permanent resident in Cyprus for the past eight years. The good and bad points if you are considering living/retiring to Cyprus.

Good points.
Very low taxation, I only paid forty-seven euros in tax this year. All bank account interest, repeat interest, in Cyprus is taxed at source at ten percent, goes to pay for the National Guard. You also have to declare also any UK savings, equally taxed at ten percent. But still works out less than the UK.

Usual weekly shopping is some forty percent cheaper than the UK if you buy the fresh local products. Very expensive if like some out here that cannot or won’t cook and buy imported UK frozen food. Roughly spend 300 euros a week on shopping, for two people, including wine and beer. Beer from a Supermarket chain, 95 cents a small can. Wine can be had for less than three euros a litre bottle.

Petrol costs just over the euro a litre. Less than a 100 euros a year road tax. MOT every two years and only costs 35 euro. Car insurance, fully comp with a British company, 370 euro.

If you apply to the UK Inland Revenue and get yourself declared by the UK taxman as “non-Resident in the UK,” your UK private pensions are paid out here free of UK tax.
If you are a permanent resident here and over 60, you get free medical and prescriptions. No free bus passes. No free eye test or glasses.

Sunshine nine months of the year. Only need central heating on for a couple of months. Air-conditioning the same. Much lower utility bills than the UK. Hot water supplied free most of the time from the Solar Panels that heat a tank on the roof.

Cyprus is in many ways like the UK in the 1960’s. If you come to live here you need to be very self-reliant. Many of the younger ones who come out here, many who have never been out of the UK before, fall flat on their faces because “there isn’t anybody to do something about it” when things go wrong, and usually return to the UK within six months. Cyprus is not a Nanny-state. At the moment if you receive the UK Winter Heating Allowance, you can still receive it in Cyprus, it does get cold here as well. I believe other payments such as Disability/Mobility allowances are also payable when out her.

Low crime rates, drive on the Left hand side of the road. You can get SKY TV with a Dish larger than 2.7 metres, Broadband now available across the island but still more expensive than the UK.


The Bad Points.

The property market is dire. Most of the conveyancing lawyers are in league with the property developers and do not work in their client’s interests. If you buy a property here do not, under any circumstances buy without title deeds. That is title deeds delivered when you have paid in full for the property. Far too many Brits have fallen into the property trap and are now stuck with a property they cannot sell, no title deeds, or leave to the children; they don’t actually own the property, no title deeds. Many alas now face eviction as developers have deliberately put themselves into voluntary liquidation and the banks foreclose on hundreds of thousands of properties for which the full value had already been paid for in the first place. So be warned, “No title Deeds Equals No Deal.”
Best to buy a re-sale property with title deeds from another ex-pat. You can then do the deal using your UK solicitors, although a solicitor is not necessary as all you need to do to change ownership is to attend the Land Registry with the appropriate money and change the names on the title deeds. You can also pay for it in Pounds Sterling, saving on the exchange rate. Best to rent, from another Brit until you find a property with title deeds. Or rent permanently, again from another Brit, so many very good places to rent from as little as 300 euros a month for an apartment.

Cheap public transport (buses) is only just becoming available across the island, so a car is essential to get around. So choose a place to live that isn’t too far from the shops. Also choose an area that is already built-up otherwise you may find yourself suddenly living in the middle of a vast housing estate with no views at all. Also live near other Brits, that way you can get help without language problems.

Forget the romantic notion of “living amongst the locals” they will drive you mad with their noise and their living habits; many live like gypsies, keeping chickens and rabbits in their front gardens.

Cyprus is not very disabled-friendly. Getting about on a mobility scooter is virtually impossible due to the cars numerous parked on the pavements. Few establishments make any provision for wheelchair access.

Things to Consider.

Many mature couples come to Cyprus and then leave because of domestic affairs back in the UK.
Daughters need their mothers when having baby’s or with marriage troubles. Grandmothers, now in Cyprus, miss the grandchildren and want to return to the UK. The grandfather may be perfectly happy in Cyprus but gets forced back to the UK.
Before cutting your ties with the UK a couple need to have a serious talk on how to handle situation back in the UK. Many didn’t and came to grief.

Otherwise Cyprus is a wonderful place to retire too.
I've only just found your very interesting assessment of life in Cyprus - thanks. When I left the Forces in '88, my wife and I swore that, if things didn't change too much, we would retire there - it was a wonderful, idyllic place to live, and both of our children were born there, so it really did mean a lot to us. Sadly, things have changed - and dramatically; it would take a lot to convince me to retire there now. A friend of mine spent a long time some years ago looking for his ideal property in the south-west area of the island. Whenever he found somewhere really promising, he'd ask to see the title deeds; in almost every case, they turned out to be as dodgy as an 85 mil note. He now lives in France.

But the one fact which turns me off the place is that you cannot dispose of toilet paper down the toilet. To me, that signifies a primitive approach to sewerage, to say the least - after all the facilities we bequeathed them on giving them their independence, it does not indicate progress. Personally, I view it as a major inconvenience. There is also the fact that Cyprus may still be suffering drought conditions.

More significantly and up-to-date, perhaps, my mother-in-law's gardener is a Cypriot by birth but is now permanently settled in the UK. He recently went back there on holiday and told me on his return that prices in Cyprus were now higher than that in the UK. I obviously don't know how accurate he is, but it is clear that the current downturn in Greece's fortunes will undoubtedly have affected Cyprus - indeed, it government bonds are now considered to be of little value.

In view of the recent changes in global economy, would you consider (if you are still living there) providing an update on conditions on the island? Your views could be of inestimable value to anyone still considering retiring there.
 
#8
.
Yes, by all means move abroad, but leave yourself a bolt hole in the UK
Always,even if its only a hole in the wall. Best advice ever which this stupid mong didnt do.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#9
Interesting article by Jeff Randall about the current state of play in Cyprus:
It has been three years since I was last in Paphos, a resort on Cyprus's west coast, and at first glance not much has changed.
It has been three years since I was last in Paphos, a resort on Cyprus's west coast, and at first glance not much has changed.
In a taxi from the airport, down a rollercoaster road of potholes and speed bumps, we drive past white-walled villas draped in bougainvillea. At the quayside of the old harbour, traditional fish restaurants continue to do steady business, as tourists gather by the castle to watch a magnificent sunset. Behind this façade of familiarity, however, the comings and goings have been so dramatic that many in Cyprus are struggling to understand what has happened to them. Important features of local life have, literally, disappeared – and I'm not talking just about thousands of feral cats that used to reside here.

This island, once a magnet for money, is perilously close to running out of cash. Standard & Poor's, the ratings agency, has downgraded Cyprus twice since the beginning of August, citing "deteriorating domestic credit conditions and eroding consumer and investor confidence".

With an election due in February and fears of a lurch to the left, a local café owner admitted to me that property buyers from overseas, many of them British, who in the past had been "robbed", would be foolish to rush back.

Evidence of plunging fortunes is everywhere, with billboards offering two-bedroom apartments, originally priced at €150,00 (£122,000), now €79,000. In the shopping zone close to Paphos's more expensive hotels, there are several boarded up premises, scarred with graffiti, where bars and car-hire companies used to flourish.

Things are so bad that some individuals, owed money by the government for appropriation of their land, have begun sending in the bailiffs to seize state assets. Only last week, seven vehicles owned by various departments, including the land registry, were grabbed and whisked away for auction.

The government insists that it's about to embark on talks to secure a bailout before a summit of eurozone finance ministers in mid-November. There is an expectation, perhaps unduly optimisitic, that it will be able to whistle up €10bn from the so-called troika – the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank – to rescue Cyprus's banking system, the floorboards of which collapsed when Greece went bust.

In the grand scheme of credit-crunch angst, the sum required to stabilise Cyprus is less than a rounding error compared with what it is going to cost the European Union to prevent Spain from being dragged out of the corrida like a skewered bull. For Mrs Merkel, the paymaster general of Europe's lost causes, it's little more than the loose change in her Handtasche.

The intriguing element of Cyprus, however, is that what's at stake extends way beyond vulgar economic considerations. The politics of this place are complex, as befits its Byzantine past.

Cyprus is in the eurozone but barely in Europe. Israel and Syria are about 300 miles from Nicosia; Brussels and Paris are 1,800 miles away. Turkey is an ever menacing presence, with its unrecognized regime in the north of the island. Hostility looms large.

Then there is Russia, with which Cyprus shares an orthodox church. While Paphos's feline vagrants were being rounded up for extermination, big bears moved in to fill their places on the sunbeds. The newcomers are easy to spot, thanks largely to a sartorial style originated by Englebert Humperdinck's costumier and watches the size of grapefruits.

The number of Russians visiting Cyprus has tripled in three years to more than 400,000 and many do not intend to go back. The official estimate of Russian residents here is about 50,000 but double that seems nearer the mark. Aside from the appeal of an agreeable climate and a low tax rate, the Russians' penchant for cash transactions prompts widespread suspicion that the island is becoming a giant laundromat for red-hot rubles. Cypriot authorities deny this.

The Russians' location of choice is Limassol, a 45-minute drive from Paphos, where there is a Russian-language newspaper, a Russian-language radio station, two Russian-language schools and enough prostitutes from former USSR states to keep the Red Army tied down, as it were, until Christmas.

Cyprus's financial predicament is dire. Its public-sector wage bill is, proportionately, the eurozone's highest. There is, according to EC representatives, a "huge gap' between income and expenditure. Pensions and benefits have run out of control. Yet, as it passes round the hat, Nicosia is desperate to find an alternative to the kind of troika-designed austerity that's being imposed on Athens but who can afford to help?

Step forward, Mr Putin. The Russians are offering cheap loans, prompting Cyprus's Moscow-educated leader Demetris Christofias to claim this is "support without anything in exchange". He is either deluded or dissembling. Not even Putin's closest friends would pretend he is in the free-lunch business.

The Russians, quite correctly, view Cyprus as a convenient backdoor to the European Union – and they are not alone. The Chinese have also started arriving, encouraged by what they regard as an incredibly low bar to immigration. Forget all those tricky visa forms, for anyone prepared to spend €300,000 on a property in Cyprus there is the bonus of eligibility for permanent residency. Once this is achieved, the owner is entitled to move anywhere within the EU. For the price of a shoebox in Shanghai, Cyprus is offering a gold-card travel pass and much more besides.

Cash-strapped Cyprus plots Russian exit from austerity - Telegraph
 
#10
Even some of the largest property developers on the island try a version of the title deeds scam. Sometimes you can own the property but not the land it's built upon!!!!
 
#11
Well I have lived for 7 years in Belgium. It's sort of err Belgium.........
 
#12
The Belgians are almost french so I'd exercise extreme caution. Any funny business then put them to the sword!
 
#13
Do you really spend 300 Euros a week for two people or should it be 300 Euros a month?
The buses in Ayia Napa and Paphos have greatly improved in the last two years and there are now shuttle buses to Larnaca and Paphos Airports.
 
#15
I note that if you become a permanent resident in Cyprus you have to pay tax on all income, worldwide. Obviously the UK State Pension would be classed as income as it is in the UK as would bank interest, but is a War Pension and/or AFCS GIP taxable in Cyprus despite it not being so in the UK? Also, are service invaliding pensions taxable in Cyprus?
 
#16
War Pensions are taxable in Cy and I believe the other items are too. On the good side, the threshold is €19,500 and the first band to €28,000 is 20%
 
#17
Any residents got any further updates on the general day to day costs as per 2018? Has there been a significant uplift in the last 2 years. I was there (Paphos area) a couple of years ago & wife & I have seriously considered moving permanently in last year or so.
 
#18
Any residents got any further updates on the general day to day costs as per 2018? Has there been a significant uplift in the last 2 years. I was there (Paphos area) a couple of years ago & wife & I have seriously considered moving permanently in last year or so.
I've just been reading the Dec-2017 article on the webpage 'A Place In The Sun' regarding the cost of living/house purchase and it mentioned that Cypriot costs were on average 20% less than in the UK, less dairy.

The house purchase tax (aka the transfer tax) seems to be set at 50% of its normal level for 2018 so if you intend to buy an expensive property then you could be in for a saving.

I have retired relatives who live in Cyprus and they love it
 
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#19
I've only just found your very interesting assessment of life in Cyprus - thanks. When I left the Forces in '88, my wife and I swore that, if things didn't change too much, we would retire there - it was a wonderful, idyllic place to live, and both of our children were born there, so it really did mean a lot to us. Sadly, things have changed - and dramatically; it would take a lot to convince me to retire there now. A friend of mine spent a long time some years ago looking for his ideal property in the south-west area of the island. Whenever he found somewhere really promising, he'd ask to see the title deeds; in almost every case, they turned out to be as dodgy as an 85 mil note. He now lives in France.

But the one fact which turns me off the place is that you cannot dispose of toilet paper down the toilet. To me, that signifies a primitive approach to sewerage, to say the least - after all the facilities we bequeathed them on giving them their independence, it does not indicate progress. Personally, I view it as a major inconvenience. There is also the fact that Cyprus may still be suffering drought conditions.

More significantly and up-to-date, perhaps, my mother-in-law's gardener is a Cypriot by birth but is now permanently settled in the UK. He recently went back there on holiday and told me on his return that prices in Cyprus were now higher than that in the UK. I obviously don't know how accurate he is, but it is clear that the current downturn in Greece's fortunes will undoubtedly have affected Cyprus - indeed, it government bonds are now considered to be of little value.

In view of the recent changes in global economy, would you consider (if you are still living there) providing an update on conditions on the island? Your views could be of inestimable value to anyone still considering retiring there.

It's flushing toilet paper down the toilet that creates drought conditions........

In the UK, we process water which is potable, for the toilets........ total waste of energy and resources.

How much do you actually need ?

A couple of pan fulls for cooking and drinking......... forget the huge amounts needed to flush UK style toilets with paper.

Wash your arse with a jugfull, of semi processed water.........
 
#20
Any residents got any further updates on the general day to day costs as per 2018? Has there been a significant uplift in the last 2 years. I was there (Paphos area) a couple of years ago & wife & I have seriously considered moving permanently in last year or so.
For two of us, electricity is about €1300 pa, water €240, fuel oil for central heating and hot water (Dec to Feb) €500. Eurodiesel has been €1.15 to 1.25 a litre over the last year. Groceries are cheap, fruit and veg particularly so. Meat varies, a chicken will cost €8 to 14, beef topside €14 a kg, pork is cheapest. An eight pack of local beer (500ml) is around €10, local wine can be very expensive but cheap Aussie plonk is readily available €3 a bottle.
Be aware that if you have any long term medical condition, cost can quickly mount up; you will have to pay for everything: consultations, tests, medication
 

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