Consider the benefits and drawbacks of retiring to Cyprus
Choosing to relocate to a new nation is a significant decision. So, before you decide on Cyprus as your retirement destination, consider the following benefits and cons.
Beautiful weather and beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag. Cyprus receives an estimated 3,500 hours of Mediterranean sunshine per year. The beach, of course, is the perfect spot to enjoy it. If you want to get away from the bitter British winters, you can relax on one of Cyprus’ numerous beautiful Blue Flag beaches.
Excellent living conditions. If the idea of relaxing in a sunny coastal getaway appeals to you, Cyprus is the place to go. However, you may visit its attractive rural towns, lush forests, mountains, and numerous historical sites such as monuments and monasteries. The island is also known for its passion for food, with a delectable combination of Greek, Turkish, and other Mediterranean influences in the national cuisine.
Living costs are low. Cyprus is less expensive than the UK in practically every category, so your retirement money will stretch further here. For example, a three-course meal for two people in Cyprus costs roughly €45, whereas it costs €52 in the UK. A beer costs roughly €2.79, versus €3.90 in the UK, and a monthly public transportation pass costs around €38, versus €69 in the UK. The only thing that is significantly more expensive in Cyprus are groceries, albeit this varies depending on what you have in your shopping cart.
Property that is within your budget,Depending on whether you buy in or outside of a city center, the cost of buying a home in Cyprus might be up to 68 percent less than in the UK. If you don’t want to buy, a one-bed apartment in a Cyprus city center costs roughly €500 per month, whilst a one-bed apartment in a UK city center costs around €785.
English is also widely spoken in Cyprus, yet if you move to a smaller or more traditional location, you may need to make an effort with the language.
Winters are wet. Although January and February are wet months in Cyprus, temperatures are expected to be higher than in the United Kingdom.
In Cyprus, public transportation isn’t great. Because there are no trains on the island, buses are the primary mode of transportation. If you wish to get somewhere that isn’t served by a bus line, you’ll have to drive or take a taxi.
In the summer, tourist hotspots can become extremely crowded. If you don’t enjoy the summertime crowds at the beaches, you might want to consider relocating inland.
Cyprus’s best retirement destinations
So, where should you spend your sun-kissed retirement? Let’s have a look at some of the most popular retirement places in Cyprus:
Paphos, a beach city in southwest Cyprus with a substantial expat community, is a favorite retirement destination for British seniors. Paphos has a variety of neighborhoods to choose from, whether you like the bustling tourist district of Kato Paphos or the tranquility of the historic old town.
Many expats prefer to live in the hills behind Paphos, in communities with ancient tavernas and genuine Cypriot coffee shops (it’s also cooler up there, thanks to the sea breezes).
Paphos is very well-connected, with low-cost flights to and from the UK and around the world.
Limassol, the island’s second largest city, is a remarkable mix of modern architecture and a traditional historic center, located on the island’s southern shore. There’s plenty to do here, from watersports to evening entertainment, but you can also relax and enjoy the tranquility of Limassol by sitting at a cafe along the lovely seafront.
Expats will find a wide range of property options in Limassol, including apartments and new luxury complexes. Every year, there’s also the vibrant Limassol Carnival to look forward to.
This sleepy town on Cyprus’ southern coast is more genuinely Cypriot than the island’s other main cities. Larnaca is the place to go if you want to avoid the tourists and don’t want to be part of a large expat population.
It boasts a beautiful beach with a palm-lined promenade, affordable real property, unique architecture, and a cosmopolitan vibe in the city center. Larnaca is a hidden gem, to say the least.
The village of Lania, located near the Troödos Mountains, offers lots of sunny days as well as the opportunity to cool down in the mountains during the hot summer months. It’s also only 23 minutes from Limassol, giving you quick access to city amenities.
Settle in Parekklisia for a taste of true village life. If you prefer a more lively weekend or evening out, you can take a short drive to Limassol, but there are plenty of things to do in the village itself. There’s even a British retiree community here that organizes activities and events on a regular basis.
Pyrgos, another village with close access to Limassol, is an excellent retirement choice for those who enjoy trekking and walking. It’s a beautiful location surrounded by trees. You can also acquire new skills at one of the village’s many classes, which is a terrific opportunity to meet new people as a beginner.
Facts and important information on retiring to Cyprus after Brexit
- Pensions. You can apply in Cyprus for your UK state pension, however transferring other personal pensions may be difficult. This is because no Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) in Cyprus are on HMRC’s approved list for international pension transfers4. If you try to transfer UK pensions to a non-QROPS scheme in Cyprus, you could face a significant tax liability. You may be eligible for the Cyprus state pension if you have worked in Cyprus for the required number of years.
- Taxes. Because the UK and Cyprus have a double taxation agreement, you will not be taxed twice on the same income. If you spend more than 188 days a year in Cyprus, you must pay tax on all income earned in Cyprus and elsewhere. The good news is that your first €18,500 in earnings are tax-free.
- Healthcare. State-provided healthcare is not free, but it is subsidized by government funds. UK retirees can use the healthcare system if they hold a permanent resident’s medical card or the S1 form, which entitles you to state healthcare in Cyprus paid for by the UK if you receive the UK state pension. You have the option of purchasing private medical insurance.
- Permits to drive. UK people moving to Cyprus will need to swap their UK driving license for a Cypriot one as a result of the changes brought about by Brexit.
- Property. Non-EU citizens are allowed to buy property in Cyprus, but they must first obtain permission. In addition, you’ll be limited to one acre of property or one house or apartment.
Is a retirement visa required for Cyprus?
British people no longer have the ability to settle in EU nations like Cyprus without a visa or residency documentation now that the UK has left the EU.
If you have never lived in Cyprus and do not have residency documents by December 31st, you will be subject to various restrictions if you desire to retire there.
Citizens of the United Kingdom can visit Cyprus without a visa for up to 100 days in each 180-day period, but if they want to stay longer, they must apply for a temporary residency permit. A ‘pink slip’ is another name for this. It allows non-EU citizens to lawfully extend their stay in Cyprus for up to a year, with the possibility to renew it each year.
This permission allows you to reside in Cyprus but not work, making it a popular alternative for retirees. It’s also worth noting that you can’t leave the nation for more than 4 months without your permit being revoked.