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Greece has been selected among the top 10 places to retire in 2024 by International Living, a global network of expert expats.
According to the Annual Global Retirement Index, Greece is ranked seventh in the world as it aims to become the Florida of Europe by enticing foreign high-net-worth individuals and pensioners to make the country their home.
International Living says the Index is informed by hundreds of opinions and real-life experiences—or information—compiled by its trusted sources in the best retirement destinations across the globe.
Topping the list is Costa Rica, followed by Portugal and Mexico. Panama, Spain and Ecuador are just above Greece. Malaysia, France and Colombia complete the list of the top countries to retire in 2024.
Info on retiring in Greece
According to the Index, although the housing market in Greece varies dramatically depending on location and proximity to a city or the sea, prices still fall well below comparable properties in the US.
Housing in Greece has been estimated to be as much as 75 percent lower than US prices. The cost of living in Greece hovers between 30 and 50 percent below the cost of living in the United States, keeping everyday expenses relatively low.
“These stats have retirees, digital nomads, and expats flocking to the sunny skies and blue seas of the Hellenic Republic,” it says.
“Add to that the Golden Visa program, which can still be obtained by spending €250,000 on a property in most of Greece, and you have an interesting mix of foreigners from all over the world looking for their own piece of paradise,” it adds.
The compilers of the Index note that healthcare in Greece requires careful research. Quality doctors and hospital facilities abound, but these are concentrated in the more populated areas. Not every village or island has a hospital or specialists.
To apply for a residence permit, you must prove that you have health insurance coverage in Greece. The wide range of companies and plans available are very reasonable compared to US health coverage costs.
Out-of-pocket expenses are also reasonable compared to the US. For example, a visit to a general practitioner costs approximately $35, specialists $50, a dental cleaning $40, and an eye exam $60. Many people come from abroad for dental work and other procedures that would be prohibitively expensive in their home countries.
In 2022, Greece launched a campaign aimed at retirees tired of colder weather and the high living costs of their home country. The campaign appealed to such a market through its marketing phrase: “Wanna feel 20 again? With warm winter temperatures up to 20C, Greece is the place to be.”