Health and traveling

What is the best place to spend your retirement in 2023?

International Living has the answer in  that question. Or at least has the top 10 countries, the best for your retirement plan, so that you could easily decide which one fits best at your needs. Οutstanding destinations where you can live a healthier and happier life, spend a lot less money, and get a whole lot more: all  you have to do is to decide. And these ten countries were a result from real research from the people of International Living as they were creating the 2023 Annual Global Retirement Index. This survey concludes hundreds of opinions and real-life experiences—information—compiled by trusted sources in the best retirement destinations across the globe. They are not looking for random input from random people around the world as you can get that with a simple internet search. Beyond data—it offers, more importantly, information, opinions, perspective, and guidance.

10. Colombia
09. Thailand
09. Italy
08.  France
07. Greece
06. Spain
05 .Costa  Rica
04. Ecuador
03. Panama
02. Mexico
01. Portugal


It should come as no surprise that Greece is ranked as one of the top places to retire as this sunny Mediterranean country offers stunning natural beauty, warm hospitality, an affordable cost of living, some of the best food in the world, and a rich, deep history.

Greece is a Southern European country that shares its borders with Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and the Republic of North Macedonia. With a population of under 11 million people, it’s a small country with a big history. Greece is considered the birthplace of democracy and was home to philosophers like Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato. From the Parthenon to the Temple of Delphi, throughout the country, you’ll find impressive archaeological sites that date back thousands of years. And with over 300 national and private museums, art and history buffs will have plenty of options to choose from.

But while its history is rich, the country is best known for its stunning islands. With three major bodies of water and six distinct island groupings, the Greek islands can keep visitors endlessly interested in exploring. If Greece becomes your home, island hopping becomes a part of your life.

I made this country my home base 10 years ago, and with each year that passes, I grow to love it even more. Here are just a few reasons to consider retiring to Greece.

Averaging over 250 sunny days per year, the light of Greece is unlike any other and has been the subject of artists, photographers, and writers worldwide. Read Henry Miller’s The Colossus of Maroussi to get a taste of what an impression Greece’s light can make.

But don’t imagine you’ll find a sunlit country without seasons. Even Athens gets occasional snow in the winter, and visitors are often surprised to learn that “alpine” is one of the three climates in Greece. If you live in Athens, expect very hot summers and cool, rainy winters. And if you live outside of Athens, research the climate, as it can range from four distinct seasons in the mountains, to steady, mild temperatures throughout the year. As long as you like bright, there is something for everyone in Greece.

Greece is an emotionally-driven country that operates from the heart, and Greek hospitality is a real thing. The genuine kindness of the locals is observable, and almost everyone who comes to visit comments on how warm and engaging the people are. The language even has the word “philoxenia,” meaning to offer friendship to strangers.

Another positive aspect of Greek culture is the respect and inclusion of elderly people. Statistically, Greece has a large older population, and seniors are a rich piece of the social fabric. Expect to find older men playing cards and chatting at the cafenios during all hours of the day and look for groups of elderly women sitting outside storefronts, catching up on neighborhood gossip and sharing recipes. The older generation is front and center in Greece, and this adds to the country’s charm.

Expect to find high-quality medical care, often for a fraction of the cost in the U.S. The medicine is so good that medical tourism is a growing segment of the Greek economy. From dental work to in vitro fertilization (IVF), visitors come to Greece to get high-caliber medical care at a lower cost than in their home country.

Many Greek doctors are trained in the U.S. or the United Kingdom, and most speak very good English. As a retiree, you’ll have the option of public or private insurance. Most expats opt for private insurance as the facilities are more modern, but you can get good care either way. Learn more about healthcare in Greece here.

The relatively low cost of living is what attracts many to Greece, and for people who are not dependent on earning income in the country, the equation is a good one. Greek wages tend to be approximately one third of what you’ll find in the U.S., and this means the cost of living is also dramatically lower. Housing is usually the place you’ll find the most savings, but depending on what your place of comparison is, you can expect overall costs to be as little as half (or even less) than what you’d spend in the U.S.

Because the average salary in Greece is under €20,000 ($20,700), there is less focus on consumption and material purchases. The priority moves to socializing and finding ways to have a good time without spending a lot of money. Living on a budget is a way of life for much of the population, so if you are watching your finances, you won’t feel alone.

For many people, their first exposure to Greece is through Greek food, and it is no surprise because the country is known for its outstanding cuisine. From stuffed roasted tomatoes to flakey spinach and feta cheese pies, and from fresh, mouth-watering fish to creamy, honey-drizzled yogurt, Greece offers healthy, affordable, and delicious food.

A lot of Greek culture revolves around its food and don’t be surprised that when you eat out with your friends, dishes are expected to be shared. Shopping for food is also part of the cultural experience, and most areas have a local “laiki” or people’s market that operates a lot like farmers’ markets in the U.S.

If you feel like you’re ready to explore a life in Greece, carefully read through the Greek visa and residency options. It’s entirely possible to move here, but it is important to find the right option for you and to get your paperwork in order. The biggest drawback in Greece is probably its slow-moving and inconsistent bureaucracy. But if you are diligent and patient, your reward might be living in a sunny, low-cost, social, and beautiful Southern European country.


So, are you ready to live like a Greek in your best period of life? Book your home wisely and start experience the greek way of life!

Πηγή: International Living

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