Typically a couple will receive a state pension of around £690 per month in the UK. It doesn’t take much working out to see that once you’ve paid the main living costs there is not much left over to feed and clothe yourself.
Those moving overseas do so because of the weather and the chance to enjoy a far better quality of life. Crete is a haven for Brits who move there because of the glorious weather - 320 days of sun each year – no freezing cold winters - the lowest crime rate in the EU – and friendly and welcoming locals.
So could you really live on an old age pension in Crete?
Taking average costs for a couple living in a two bedroom detached house we have first separated the annual running costs of a house, both in the UK and in Crete. To simplify matters we have converted euros into sterling.
UK COSTS Per Annum
Council Tax - £1,200
TV License - £145
Water - £350
Electric/Gas/Heating - £1,900
House Insurance - £400
Car Tax - £155
Car Insurance - £400
(Full no claims 3rd party 1.6 engine)
TOTAL COST PER ANNUM - £4,550
CRETE COSTS Per Annum
Council Tax - 0
TV License - 0
Water - £135
Electric/Heating - £1,060
House Insurance - £150
Car Tax - £130
Car Insurance - £400
TOTAL COST PER ANNUM - £1,875
Thus, like for like, you would be saving on out goings in the region of £2,650 by living in Crete. The main reason for this is due to massive savings on fuel costs. Due to the temperate climate, in the main, you don’t need heating until the evenings and then only over a four month period and for several months of the year free hot water is provided from your solar system. In Crete there is no council tax or TV license either.
The annual UK state pension equates to £8,280. On our typical expenditure above, that means you have £3,730 left over in the UK – or £6,405 if you live in Crete.
In the UK on your state pension that means an average budget of £309 left over per month to feed, clothe yourself and enjoy life. However, in Crete you’d be wondering what to do with £534 every month.
Without being extravagant in the UK you would probably need to spend all your £309 on food and housekeeping – which leaves zilch for clothes or going out – even if you could afford the petrol!
In Crete a monthly shop, full of goodies, would set you back around £280 – and that leaves £254, each and every month to indulge yourself. Eating out at a taverna, with house wine, would set you back around £20 or so, per couple. On that basis you can afford to eat out twice every week and still have around £100 left over from your pension each month.
Moving to Crete requires careful planning with one eye on the future. It’s far better to go for something smaller, leaving you with a nice little nest egg, than spend up to the hilt on a huge house, out in the wilds, on acres of land. Living that dream could well end up a nightmare and exhaust your savings.
As you get older you need to be a short stroll away from amenities and close to a bus service should you be unable to drive. Snobby design their homes to appeal especially to the UK market. The properties have a high specification and we proudly claim to provide new build detached homes at the lowest price to be found in Crete. What’s more the prices are all-inclusive of purchase costs, taxes and legal fees – so you know precisely what to budget for.
Snobby has several small developments of bungalows, set quietly away, yet within a stroll of the village. Icarus Court is a prime example, with four properties in the village of Sirili and our development at Gerani - Village Walk - where we are building three homes.
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