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16 March 2021 / Lifestyle


How Much Money do You Need to Retire in Turkey?

When looking at how much money you need to retire in Turkey, there are many factors to consider. For example, if retirees own their property, they do not pay rent, which is costly. Where you retire also makes a difference since the cost of living is higher in some areas than in others. In this article, we discuss various factors to consider, but as a rule, any retired person who owns their own home, does not smoke, drink, or drive, and is savvy with their money management should budget in at least 5000 Turkish lira each month. Of course, the more you can budget, the more you can enjoy the benefits of living in Turkey.

How Much Money to Retire in Turkey?

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Maximising Your Retirement Income

When it comes to retirement planning, the good news is expats who receive a state pension from their own country are already off to a good start. For retirement-age people, the current exchange rate between currencies means pensions now get more Turkish lira than ever before. Be aware the Turkish government aims to decrease this over the next decade by improving the economy. Some early-retirement foreigners also combine retirement savings into a lump sum and deposit it into a monthly high-interest savings account. After paying tax on the interest, the withdrawals provide them with another source of income. Interest rates vary from bank to bank, so always shop around for the best deal.

Most Expensive Place to Live in Turkey

Like anywhere globally, it costs more to live in a city than smaller towns and villages. In the case of Turkey, Istanbul is the most expensive place to live in. If you buy property or rent in the districts of Besiktas, Sisli, Beyoglu or Sariyer, costs are significantly higher because these districts promote upscale living. Some families choose to live in outskirts areas because of lower rents and property prices. Examples include Kucukcekmece and Beylikduzu. If you choose to live in Istanbul, factor in at least 10,000 lira a month because everything, including eating out, is more expensive. If your budget does not stretch that far, look to towns, and coastal resorts on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, like Altinkum, Kusadasi, Fethiye and Antalya.

Money Matters: Cost of Living

As mentioned before, if you must pay rent, smoke, drink or own a car, these are expensive in Turkey. Aside from that, people will be pleasantly surprised by how cheap it is to run a household. Water, internet, telephone, gas, and council tax are all excellent value for money. Electricity can be affordable if you do not run air conditioning or high-powered heaters. If you live within a complex, factor in monthly apartment maintenance, and remember earthquake insurance is compulsory. When it comes to food, Turks and retired foreigners save money by shopping at the local weekly farmer’s market. When eating out, they choose traditional Turkish restaurants rather than tourist-focused establishments. See our article about the cost of living for more information.

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Health-Insurance

Retirees have two choices when it comes to looking after their health status. Anyone over the age of 65 does not need insurance to get their residency visa, but this means you will fund your medical cares. Under 65 retirees need to show they have health coverage. Some retirees opt for private health insurance, but many choose the Turkish governments SGK system, which covers you and your spouse. The fee currently runs at 850 lira a month but increases every year, so do factor this in.

Residency Visas and Citizenship

Unless you become a citizen, one yearly cost to factor in is residency visas and associated costs. Most foreigners who are Turkish citizens either gained it through marriage or the real estate investment program, which costs at least $250,000 to be eligible for. The long-term residence permit is only valid to foreigners with eight years of uninterrupted short-term residency permits. Likewise, applying for a residency permit requires proof you can financially support yourself.

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Extra Costs to Consider

We believe in having a rainy-day fund because you never know what extra costs will occur during a yearly period. Examples can be repairs to a property, dental work, or because you wish to travel back to your home country to see friends and family. Generally, we recommend giving factoring in another 1000 lira a month to living costs to cover all eventualities. If you do not end up taping into this emergency fund, deposit the savings into high-interest accounts.

Best Place to Retire

Retirees can choose from many places when deciding where to live in Turkey. As mentioned before, while working ex-pats head to the large cities, retired foreigners tend to settle on the Aegean or Mediterranean coasts for good reasons. They offer the best weather conditions in the whole of Turkey, have a cheaper cost of living and because tourism is the primary income source, locals speak other languages like English, Russian or German. Let us look at popular places where retired expats head to.

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Antalya Region: Sitting on the Mediterranean coast, the Antalya region includes the city centre and smaller resorts like Alanya, Side, and Belek, the golfing capital of Turkey. This region is Turkey’s second most popular destination for tourism and foreigners buying a property in the country. Embracing a cosmopolitan ambience, it has the best nightlife and shopping scenes on the med and a top of the range airport. For somewhere with mild winters, Antalya is an excellent place to choose.

Fethiye Region: Heading further along the Mediterranean coast, Fethiye’s large expat community spreads out between the resorts of Calais beach, Hisaronu, Uzumlu, Ovacik and the main city centre. Property prices here are incredibly affordable, and retirees enjoy the stunning landscape scenery. Fethiye is a sailing hub and beach tourist destination, so expect to spend days by the sea.

Kalkan: This small coastal resort commands admiration for its upmarket appeal, both in the housing market and dining scene. Much of the housing market revolves around large villas that make the most of the landscape by promoting fantastic Mediterranean Sea views. Although it is pricier to live in Kalkan, retirees buy into a particular niche, unlike anywhere else in Turkey.

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Bodrum Peninsula: Sitting on the Aegean coast, this peninsula has been a favourite haunt of the rich and famous for decades. Known for its non-conformity, Bodrum attracts aspiring artisans, and it is also a significant sailing hub. Popular destinations within the peninsula include Yalikavak, Gumbet, the town centre and upmarket Golturkbuku.

About Us: We are Turkey homes, an investment and property agent with offices all around the country. We hope we have given you significant information to decide how much money you need to retire in Turkey. Our blog about the country also gives more hints, tips, and advice on making the transition to living here permanently. Likewise, if you plan to buy property, browse our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale in Turkey, and use the enquiry details to find out more via email or arrange a viewing.

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