If Europe is on your list of places to explore, but you are worried you can’t afford it, a visit...Read more
Capital City: Athens
International Dialing Code: +30
President: Katerina Sakellaropoulou
With the longest coastline in the Mediterranean Basin and unique geography full of islands and peninsulas, Greece’s reputation as a bona fide beach destination is well-founded. It’s not just about beaches, though. Greece offers mountains, thousands of picturesque islands, olive groves, vineyards, and an untouched inland wilderness, as well as endless ancient and wonderfully scenic villages. On top of the unique scenery, Greek people are warm and welcoming, the food is some of the best in the world, and the cost of living is low, especially for Europe.
Greece is a culturally fascinating place—the cradle of Western civilization with foundational concepts like democracy, western philosophy, political science, and literature originating here. Sites of cultural and historical importance, some dating back thousands of years, are found all over the country, making Greece a must-visit for history buffs.
Greek’s worldwide influence is hugely down to its location. At the southernmost point of the Balkan peninsula, Greece is at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, resulting in a diverse cultural mix. Greece has also had a colorful history, undergoing the ruling of several empires, contributing to its cultural influence on the world.
The worldwide recession in 2008 hit Greece hard. The country was slowly making a recovery before the pandemic struck in 2020. Today, Greece’s economy is climbing back to prosperity, meaning right now is the perfect time to consider investing in Greece.
Greece’s advantage over its European counterparts is its laid-back version of life on the Continent. One in which you can eat delicious local produce, live in a safe, welcoming environment, and enjoy a Mediterranean lifestyle at a low cost.
Greece makes a lot of sense for overseas retirement because it offers an easy, quick, and legal path to residency through its Golden Visa Program. For a 250,000-euro investment in real estate, non-EU citizens can get a residence permit that’s good for five years and renewable. This grants you a life in Europe and access to the 25 countries making up the Schengen Area… who knew it could be that easy?
One of the best things about living in Greece is the chance to enjoy Greek cuisine. It has one of the most studied and celebrated culinary heritages on the planet and puts at the forefront foods like fresh fish, vegetables, and grains. It’s also one of the world’s healthiest diets, which explains why Greek people have some of the longest life expectancies in Europe.
The Mediterranean climate is another big plus, with its gentle winters—no frost or snow-shoveling here—and hot summers. The average annual temperature is 66°F (19°C), ranging from 57°F to 82°F (14°C to 28°C), although summers can go up to the mid-90s.
It doesn’t matter which island you visit in Greece, you’re guaranteed to find a handful of expats living there. These expat communities are active and organize activities and events to meet new members. The locals are friendly and happy to chat with anyone. Due to the booming tourist industry here, many speak English, but it is always useful to pick up a few words of Greek to make an authentic bond with the locals.
Some Greek islands have a reputation for being expensive, even overpriced for what they offer, but in islands such as Corfu and Crete, you can enjoy a high standard of living for a low cost. Your lifestyle will determine precisely how much you pay, but about US$1,500 a month should be enough for a couple to live comfortably in Mediterranean paradise.
Now is the time to invest in Greece, as there’s plenty of affordable real estate deals, from restoration projects to new builds. Plus, investing in Greek property gives you the huge added bonus of an opportunity to qualify for a residency visa, giving you access to the European Schengen Area.
Greece’s health care system is a combination of the National Healthcare Service, compulsory social insurance, and a voluntary private health care system. With a residence permit, you’d get access to public health care, and according to the WHO’s latest rankings, Greece’s system is to a high standard, coming in at 14th place for overall performance. That said, many expats prefer to maintain international private insurance to ensure access to quality care and shorter wait times for procedures.
Since Greece has so many islands, you will most likely need to get a connecting flight after landing in the capital, Athens. With 15 international airports throughout the country, many of them located on the country’s islands, you should be able to fly directly from Athens to your final destination. If not, you can travel by ferry between the islands.
You can arrange to have your belongings shipped over directly to your new home by one of the hundreds of international transportation companies available online. These companies offer an array of different services, including door-to-door delivery.
Among the thousands of islands in Greece, Corfu stands out as the ideal overseas retirement location. If you’re a sucker for an ocean view, consider Corfu, as the beach scenery on this island is out of this world.
At its core, the island remains traditional. You get a sense of the authentically Corfiot way of life in its many charming villages, where life is still carried out the same way it was a couple generations ago. Corfu is a place of bountiful produce, with various fruits and vegetables grown locally and vineyards turning out award-winning wines. Watersports are also popular on the island. Scuba divers, snorkelers, and anglers have been drawn to Corfu for decades because of the vibrant marine life.
In short, what people love about Corfu is its stunning natural environment, friendly locals and their wholesome way of life, delicious cuisine, fascinating history and culture, and low cost of living. Get the lowdown on this Mediterranean paradise in our Overseas Haven Report here.
If your interests are archaeology, lazing on the beach, scuba diving, and indulging in the original Mediterranean diet, Crete could be the place for you—specifically the city of Chania. Chania has a beautiful Old Town surrounding its Venetian port… a labyrinth of homes, museums, boutique shops, restaurants, bars, and ancient churches, partly encircled by the ancient city walls.
Being an island, you may expect some essentials to be expensive, but Crete has one of the lowest costs of living in Europe—while offering a high quality of life. The people are friendly and welcoming, and there’s a sense of peace throughout the island. Anyone who visits Chania is mesmerized by the island life here, especially those who love being outdoors, enjoy learning about ancient history, and crave a laid-back style of European living.
We live in a great big beautiful world that is bursting with opportunity around every corner.Please believe me: The life you want is waiting for you out here...You just need to get up, get moving, and seize it for yourself.Where in the world might be best for you?After more than 35 years covering this beat, I have thousands of miles of boots-on-the-ground reconnaissance, decades of experience, and countless feedback from retirees to draw from as I work to help you...Read more