British retirees still favour Cyprus as their dream destination

Published:  5 Jan at 6 PM
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A favourite with Britons for many years, Cyprus is still high on the list for expat retirees.

British pensioners looking to retire in the sun as part of a long-established expat community have always placed Cyprus high on their list of possible locations. Although the cost of living isn’t as low as it was prior to the island’s becoming part of the European Union, it’s still far lower than in the UK, especially in services, goods and commodities. Vegetables and fruits, wine, beer and local spirits, rent, utilities and taxi services all cost less than half their UK equivalents. Overall, Cyprus’s cost of living is reckoned to be 24 per cent lower than the UK's, with the one exception being its rental costs, averaging 61 per cent cheaper than in England. Expats looking to purchase a home will pay up to 65 per cent less.

The island made headlines when its banking system collapsed in 2013, but frantic borrowing from the IMF and the European Central Bank opened up the previously closed cashpoints for frantic expats needing cash in hand. The same expats endured a raid on their bank accounts in order to keep the island afloat, but those dark days are well behind in 2018. Nowadays the property market is recovering well, although house prices are still lower by around 30 per cetn than they were before the banking crisis.

For retirees worried about healthcare, the arrangement is similar to other EU member states, with private and public facilities existing side by side. The majority of medical professionals speak English, although misunderstandings do occur during explanations of complicated procedures. Translation assistance is always available. State care is very inexpensive and occasionally free for citizens of the EU, and emergency medicine is free to all the island’s residents.

Environmentally, the island is famous for its long history and wealth of archaeological sites set in glorious scenery. Much of its coastline is still undeveloped, and the Mediterranean climate is a blessing to refugees from the UK’s miserable grey skies, drizzle and cold winters. Summers can be very hot and humid, but there’s always the sea for a cooling swim. The central mountains with their picturesque villages are perfect for expats who’re more comfortable in cooler temperatures.
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