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BLOG Best Place to Retire in Turkey: Cities, Towns and Villages for Relocation

17 September 2020 / Lifestyle

Where is the Best Place to Retire in Turkey?

If you wonder where the best place to retire in Turkey is, get ready for an avalanche of choices. Indeed, you can choose your retirement location based on lifestyle preferences and budget, instead of having to settle for less. Whether relying on a private pension or withdrawal rates on a high-interest savings account, many retirees live all along the Aegean and Mediterranean coast, but a few non-working ex-pats prefer Istanbul.

Some retire early after dreaming of living abroad, while others delay their retirement age and live off their government pension. One guaranteed aspect is all retirees have a decent lifestyle thanks to low costs, and a lucrative exchange rate. The amount of money needed will vary depending on where you choose to live, but let's look at the best places in Turkey for retirement years. We will also give resources to cover the language, hospitality, cultural experience, health care, costs, residence and other things foreigners should know.

Where is the Best Place to Retire in Turkey?

1: Fethiye Region

If home price and affordability are crucial factors, consider the Fethiye region, which means the experience of beachside living. The small-town centre and resorts of Hisaronu, Ovacik, and Calis Beach all, have sizeable expat populations. What mainly attracts retirees is the bargain prices per square meter for apartments and villas. However, stunning landscape scenery, an abundance of sunshine, and a Mediterranean lifestyle is a big lure. The Fethiye region thrives on fresh fruit and vegetables, hence the weekly market is a core theme and helps your monetary allowance to stretch further. Otherwise, expect a vast range of things to do and excursions for free time. Foreigners who want to learn Turkish will also find many teachers to hire.


2: Kalkan for Luxury Retirement

When looking at where to retire, if luxury is required, consider Kalkan. Sitting on the Antalya region's outskirts, this place commands respect for its large, luxury villas, most of which open to a stunning Mediterranean Sea view. The cost of dining out and drinking in Kalkan is higher than in other places, but the town's food reputation revolves around exclusivity. Ortalaan often called the new part of town, is within walkable distance to the historic old town, where most restaurants and bars are. Given Kalkan's steep hills covering the side of a bay, many retired people use taxis or cars to get around. Otherwise, they often choose the Kalamar neighbourhood boasting of exclusive beach clubs.


3: Places in Izmir

Before Turkey modernised itself at the turn of the century, Izmir was the most westernised place in the country. Known for its liberal policies and a laidback lifestyle, the area consists of the city centre, (Turkey's third-largest city) and smaller coastal resorts. Alacati and Cesme, probably the most famous, have been a firm summer destination for wealthy Turks over the years. Alacati, a windsurfing mecca, earns fame because of its old stone cottages. Many command high prices these days, but if a traditional house is your required place to retire to, choose the newer versions with replicated architecture styles.


4: Bursa in North-West Turkey

European and English expats tend to stick to the Aegean and Mediterranean. Still, anyone retiring from a Middle Eastern destination will live comfortably in Bursa where they will find many similarities in the culture, food, and tradition. Some years back, Bursa rarely featured on the foreign property market, yet new developments into real estate and infrastructure now bring buyers from near and far. Boasting of UNESCO World Heritage sites, Bursa has a bonus many other places do not. It is home to Uludag mountain which in winter is a skiing haven, and in summer, a stunning place of natural beauty.


5: Natural Beauty in Dalyan

Sitting within the Mugla region, Dalyan is a fantastic place for retirees looking to get back in touch with nature. Every day, buses arrive from surrounding holiday resorts to enjoy the mud baths, view of the Lycian rock tombs and a boat cruise up the reed-lined Dalyan delta. Dalyan offers excellent prices per square meter for a property, and those who want total privacy should consider the Akyaka lake region. Moving to Dalyan means forgoing modern trends like large shopping malls, but in return, expect peace in among Mother Nature's playground.


6: Lively Alanya

Alanya belongs to the Antalya coastal region, but in recent years has grown to become a worthy destination on its own. Having invested thousands in its tourism market, the local council has seen a knock-on effect with the growing number of house buyers. What does Alanya have to offer potential expats? Well, just about everything including decent nightlife, shopping, activities and of course Cleopatra's beach, that Trip Advisor ranked as Turkey's best. Budget buyers should look at the Mahmutlar neighbourhood while those with a higher budget often opt for the city centre. English, Russian and German is widely spoken throughout Alanya proving its worth as a cosmopolitan base.


7: Antalya City Centre

Welcome to one of Turkey's top cities. Antalya's reputation as a tourism mecca for hundreds of nationalities has attracted many expats to relocate there. The council keeps reinvesting to keep visitors' stats up of which nearly clocked into the 15 million figures last year. Beautiful beaches include Lara beach and Konyaalti, two popular neighbourhoods, although many others shine through. Also expect the best shopping, eating out and nightlife scene on the Mediterranean. Part of the lure for Antalya is hot summers and cool winters. The city centre is also close to Belek, which is perfect for foreigners who want to learn how to golf.


8: Glitzy Yalikavak

If sailing and a luxury lifestyle appeal, consider living on the coast in affluent Yalikavak. Sitting over on Turkey's Aegean coast on the Bodrum peninsula, such is Yalikavak's fame; it attracts American celebrities, Russian billionaires, and Saudi royalty looking for quality of living. Megayachts often dock in, and the owners enjoy top-notch dining in five-star restaurants along the marina. As an upmarket destination, it is rare to find anything on the property market for under 100,000 USD but expect the best in architecture and modern living. Of course, Yalikavak has not neglected its cultural heritage, and the old part of town still stands. This is where Turkish vibes exist on every street.


9: Nostalgic Gumusluk

We also recommend looking for retirement homes in Gumusluk. It carries with it a sense of nostalgia and seems stuck in time. In stark contrast to busy places in Turkey, Gumusluk does nothing fast. Evenings are about beach BBQs or dining in famous seafood restaurants, while daytime focuses on lounging about the pool. Many people living in Gumusluk own a car simply because there is a wider choice of shops and malls in Bodrum town centre, but otherwise they love the slow pace at which things move, and of course a fantastic sunset.

Ease of Residency and Health Care

The above is just a snippet of affordable places for retirees. To buy a property to relocate out here, contact us today. As property and investment experts, we helped hundreds of retirees move to Turkey and settle in with ease and finesse. At the time of publishing, the average home price starts at roughly 40,000 USD. Otherwise, when you retire here, the first step is to apply for a short-term residence permit.

To get this, foreigners must prove their finances will sustain them, proof of address, and for seniors under 65, proof that your health status is covered by insurance. Most retirees choose the Government SGK system that they pay each month, which entitles them to use the government-run quality health care system. Other expatriates opt for private insurance. The good news is the residency process is straight forward. For the first application, the validity will be one year, but after, increases to two years. Find out more about the process here.

Cost of Living in Turkey

When you live abroad, it is vital to manage a personal finance system, especially when swapping a currency into Turkish lira. Some people retire and massively underestimate annual costs, and that exchange rates can go down as well as up. Likewise, they don't take into account inflation. Some expats have sold their property in their home country, changed the cash into lira, and deposited the amount in high-interest savings accounts. This gives them a monthly retirement income after paying tax, and means they don't have to tap into their net worth. However, bear in mind interest rates can go down as well.

Costs depend on where you live. Small towns offer cheaper costs than big cities. Likewise, to invest in property, housing prices vary depending on several factors. Some of the most affordable places to live include Didim and Fethiye, although if you drive a car, drink or smoke, costs will increase because these are expensive in Turkey. Even in the Metropolitan areas, there are ways to save income, especially on groceries, by shopping at the weekly market instead of supermarkets. Additionally, besides any pension benefits, it is worth having a savings plan for a just in case emergency. Please find out more retirement planning and money in our article about the cost of living in Turkey.

Related Information

Living overseas in Turkey brings many benefits, including the mild climate during winter, the delicious food, exciting history, and welcoming hospitality; however, good retirement living is all about handling life as an expat. As well as the good times, retiring abroad brings challenges like culture shock, homesickness, and a language barrier. Aside from deciding where are the best places to retire in Turkey, you need to adapt. After all, for the sake of your budget and waistline, not every day can be a holiday. Our article about expat living in Turkey talks more about the challenges, how to deal with them and gives useful tips and advice on adapting to a new life in the sun.

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