The idea of retiring to some far-flung locale replete with warm weather, ample shoreline and a favorable exchange rate is an attractive notion to many people of a certain age. Indeed, searching for the hot new country in which to buy retirement property has become something of a sport to many in their golden years. Seemingly every year some previously unheralded nation pops up that looks like an attractive option in which to relocate. And one option that is lighting up more and more retiree’s radar screens is Turkey.
This picturesque Mediterranean country sits on the doorstep to Asia and provides many of the features expats look for in a new home, namely a rich culture, beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes. But there are other more practical reasons retirees should consider when thinking about Turkey as a retirement locale as opposed to some other more famous options such as Spain and Italy. These reasons are outlined below.
Cost of living
It isn’t just that many Americans are unsettled by the ongoing economic crisis in the Eurozone; the euro/dollar exchange rate isn’t that attractive either. With Turkey this isn’t issue because the country is not part of the Eurozone. The Turkish currency remains the lira, and those from the U.S. can enjoy a nearly 2-1 exchange rate, with British expats getting even more bang for their pound.
Some estimates even place the cost of living for those from the U.S. and Britain at 1/3 of what it is in their native county. And with Turkey enjoying a reported 8% GDP growth for many consecutive years, it’s a far safer bet than any country considered part of the Eurozone. One other incentive to retire in Turkey is that foreign pensions are not taxed, so expat retirees can relocate secure in the fact that their money is safe from the Turkish government.
The real estate market
As mentioned above, Turkey offers the expat a low cost of living as well as an attractive exchange rate. This translates into low prices on real estate. Even in the capital city of Istanbul, it is possible to find apartment for sale between $20,000-$40,000 and house for between $100,000-200,000 dollars. Prices are often even less in the smaller towns and villages that dot Turkey’s landscape. So between the cost of living, exchange rate and bargain real estate prices, most retirees should be able to afford their dream home in Turkey.
Health and culture
As a Mediterranean country, Turkey promotes a more reduced-stress, laid-back lifestyle. This is in stark contrast to the pace of life in both the U.S. and Britain, which tends to move at a more frenetic speed. But the slower change of pace in Turkey – as well as the locals’ focus on healthy eating — agrees with most retirees, as it promotes overall health and well being. Those with serious medical issues can count on a healthcare system second to none in the region, with medical insurance being widely available to foreigners.
These are just a few of the reasons more and more retirees are turning an eye to Turkey as a place to relocate and a lot of them stay in Istanbul , which happens to be the largest and most visited city. What most expats find when they reach this splendid country is an undiscovered gem of the Mediterranean, rich in postcard-perfect landscapes as well as all the creature comforts upon which a successful retirement depends.