Updated: May 15, 2023
Cyprus is a popular destination, not only for holidays but also for retirement. The sunny climate, good food and relaxed atmosphere make Cyprus particularly attractive. Is there anything that may prove worrying, though? In our guide, you will find all the pros and cons of retiring to Cyprus.
The climate is warm, with mild and short winters. Expect some heavy rainfall and cold during January and February; other than that, the weather is usually very good. There are about 340 days of sunshine a year.
In Cyprus, the lifestyle is laid-back because of the short distances between places and the overall cultural attitude towards rest. There is always some free time and things to do.
Even if you live inland, you are never too far from a sandy beach. The sea in Cyprus is clean, and many beaches boast a blue flag. There are 350 km of coastline in the unoccupied area of the Republic. Retiring to Cyprus brings the glittering Mediterranean to your door!
Cyprus has a long and rich history. You will love the museums and living so close to ancient ruins and old, fascinating architecture!
The sunny climate and relaxed lifestyle have created a large and active ex-pat community in Cyprus. Most ex-pats come from the UK, but you will find US citizens, Russians, and people from all over the world.
There are plenty, especially related to the sea and water. Note that some forms of entertainment may stop during the winter months and start again in spring.
The crime rate is low, and generally, Cyprus is considered a safe place to live. However, this does not mean that crime is non-existent. Act responsibly by guarding your possessions and avoiding any unnecessary risks.
Cyprus has been a member of the EU since 2004. This guarantees a stable government and a system that operates by European standards with respect for human rights and freedoms.
Living in Cyprus, you can access the GeSY (General Health System, GHS). The GHS is a public sector and is available for citizens and residents of Cyprus. The European Commission, in the report State of Health in the EU – Cyprus– Country Health Profile 2021, writes that the Cypriot population is among the healthiest in the EU. Also, life expectancy in Cyprus is well above the average for Europe as a whole. The report commends the effort put into making the GHS a fully functioning and efficient system.
Additionally, the private health sector in Cyprus is of a very high standard. Cyprus boasts a number of excellent private hospitals, clinics and medical centres.
The process of buying real estate can be complex. However, if you engage a real estate agent and a lawyer, it should seem easy enough. Professionals in Cyprus are all English-speaking and offer services of a very high standard. If you are a third-country national, you cannot buy property in Cyprus without permission from the Council of Ministers. However, the Council will not deny permission to good-faith individuals.
There is no inheritance tax in Cyprus and no immovable property tax. If you are not a resident of Cyprus, you will not be taxed on any income from abroad. You will only be taxed on any income you get from Cyprus.
The income tax rate for residents is zero for up to EUR 19,500 per year, and there is no tax on dividend income. You are considered a resident of Cyprus for tax purposes if you stay 183 days a year in Cyprus or 60 days a year and you are not a tax resident anywhere else. Read more about the Cyprus tax system.
EU nationals can live in Cyprus and buy property without restrictions. Concerning third-country nationals, there are types of permits that are very well-suited for pensioners and retirees. One such permit is the Category F permanent residence permit. This requires that the applicant has a secured annual income and does not need to work. With a Category F permit, your spouse and underage children can join you in Cyprus.
Real estate in Cyprus is getting pricier, according to the Land Registry (2022). This is confirmed by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) residential property price index for the second quarter of 2022 (latest available information). The rise is 1,7% from the first quarter and 4,7% from the previous year.
According to the Association of Scientific Appraisers and Real Estate Consultants of Cyprus, the amount of rent for property can be high, though not as high as in other areas of Europe. Note that Eurostat reports an overall rise across the EU.
For Nicosia, an apartment with two bedrooms is 650-800, in Larnaca 500-600, and in Limassol 700-1000. House rentals are 1,200-2,000 in Nicosia, 900-1,700 in Larnaca, and 1,200-2,200 in Limassol (all prices in euro per month). However, amounts may be higher, as reported by the Real Estate (Akinita) newspaper in August 2022, issue 241.
If you are looking to rent, you should check matters such as area and location, condition of the property, amenities (for example, air conditioning) and communal charges (for apartments).
Although the cost of living in Cyprus remains relatively low, prices are on the rise, as reported by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on 15 April 2022. In March 2023, for example, milk (2L full fat) was 3,02 on average, large sliced white bread 1,92, eggs (12) 3,45 and bottled water (12x500 ml) 2,74 (all prices in euro, source - https://consumer.gov.cy).
Living without your own car is difficult in Cyprus because public transport is limited in all areas, while in other areas, it is entirely lacking. There is no train system at all. Often, without your own car, you will need to hire a private taxi, which can be expensive. The good news is that Cyprus has signed agreements with a number of countries so that you can bring your car and have your driving licence recognised without much difficulty. There is no tax for bringing your car from the EU or the UK to Cyprus (“zero import duty”).
Retiring in Cyprus is an excellent decision, despite some drawbacks. Through relatively easy procedures, you will be able to buy your own place and pass your retirement close to the sun and the beach!
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