Did you know that there’s a battle raging across Europe at the moment as the governments of the nations that make up the EU collectively struggle to force their citizens to retire later? Many of the countries have weakened economies and they want their citizens to work for more years to contribute more tax.
However, who really wants to put off their retirement? After all, having worked hard all our lives we deserve to enjoy a happy, long, healthy and adventure filled retirement don’t we! Unfortunately however, just like some governments around the world which are struggling to make ends meet, many pre-retirees are having a hard time finding enough cash to comfortably retire on. For some, working longer is an option, and an option that suits their government – but for others who don’t want to delay their retirement the good news is that there are alternatives.
One of the main alternatives being explored by baby-boomers and pre-retirees is finding a more affordable country to retire to.
We’ve been aiding and abetting such individuals at EscapeArtist.com for many years, and over the past few weeks we’ve been running a dedicated series of articles committed to helping anyone who wants to retire abroad to find an affordable home overseas. We’re well aware that buying real estate takes a massive chunk out of anyone’s retirement pot, and the more any of us can save on a home, the more we will have to live on in retirement.
Ironically, bearing in mind that Europe is the one continent really pushing hard for higher retirement ages, it is the final part of the world that we’re going to explore in our hunt for real estate bargains. The truth of the matter is, don’t be put off by the fact that some governments in Europe are struggling, because there are beautiful property bargains across this part of the world as well as ways to live affordably and comfortably even on the tightest of retirement incomes in nations where they want their own citizens to work until they are at least 70!
In this, the fourth and final instalment of our hunt around the globe for affordable retirement real estate, we’re going to be exploring Europe. We’ve already covered Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Africa and Asia – and despite the fact that the global recession has taken its toll in Europe, we think you’ll be happy to discover that you can buy some real bargains in some stunning settings.
Why Are We Focusing on Affordable Real Estate?
You may perhaps be wondering why we’re off looking for home bargains for you in countries you’ve perhaps never even considered retiring to…after all, shouldn’t you be making up your mind about a nation and then exploring it’s real estate offerings in that particular order?
Well, in part we wholeheartedly agree; you need to know enough about a country before you commit to making it your new home, but additionally we feel that there are so many countries out there that it can be impossible for anyone to have considered them all – so we want to introduce you to some new options and perhaps help you find a nation that you’d previously overlooked.
Getting a feel for what a budget can buy you on a country-by-country basis is a great way in to finding a new nation to retire to. Besides, at EscapeAritist.com we make it our business to help tens of thousands of would-be expatriates to relocate every year – so we know where the property bargains are in the nations that are really worth considering for retirement!
We don’t want you to feel limited or restricted by your budget – we want you to know that there are places around the world where you can buy a fabulous home and live like a king, even if your retirement savings are modest. So, even if we can’t find you the home of your dreams in this article, or we can but it has sold by the time you get around to contacting the agent, we hope we will inspire you to explore new nations where you will hopefully get everything you want out of your retirement abroad.
We have sections dedicated to living and retiring overseas to all nations around the world, we also keep our real estate listings up to date so if you discover a country you’d like to explore more as a result of reading our retirement real estate series, hop across to EscapeAritis.com and allow us to help you realise your dreams.
Seeking Out Affordable Retirement Real Estate Bargains Across Europe?
Many Americans will consider moving to Canada to retire because it offers a high standard of affordable living, accessible healthcare options and well priced real estate – but how many Americans do you know who’ve considered Sweden? Sweden is possibly the best-kept secret in Europe in terms of affordable property options…and its climate is similar to Canada’s whilst the standard of living on offer is perhaps even superior to that achievable in Canada.
You can buy a detached, refurbished, two storey, four-bedroom house in a popular ski resort in Bygdsiljum in Sweden for just 36,059 US dollars – and you won’t even need any extra cash for modernising or renovating this perfect property. Internally and externally the home is immaculate, in the summer it has an abundant vegetable garden and in the winter you can enjoy the winter sports the town is famous for.
Alternatively you can buy a villa for sale for 59,161 US dollars in Lesjöfors and benefit from 3 bedrooms, a house with a heated garage and a games room that is set in woodland and surrounded by lakes. So you see what we mean when we say that Sweden could just be one of Europe’s best-kept secrets in terms of the affordability and desirability of its real estate offerings! Both properties are listed with HomesOnSale.co.uk, and Sweden is a nation famous for offering its citizens a very good quality of life. It is also a nation where seniors are respected and valued, so it may make sense to explore more of this stunning country if you’re thinking of retiring abroad.
Many people think that the British have bought up every available bargain in rural France and turned every farm, barn or châteaux into a holiday home in the sun – but fortunately this is very far from the truth! Whilst France is certainly a number one nation with Britons looking abroad for second homes and retirement properties, it is not over-run by expats and the real estate market still offers up some real bargains and some real treats.
For 15,874 US dollars you can buy a two-storey barn that enjoys private gardens as well as a shared courtyard area and which would allow you to create the home of your dreams in l’Absie in the Poitou Charentes region of Western France. Outline planning permission has already been granted for the renovation, and l’Absie is a very popular and attractive location. Whilst the seemingly modest asking price doesn’t include any budget for renovation and you will have to invest a good few thousand dollars turning this barn into a home, this is a fantastic and rare opportunity to create your own home in what is a very attractive region of France.
If you prefer to move into a home that is already habitable then there’s a pretty special house for sale in Azerables in Limousin in Central France that just requires redecoration as opposed to renovation. The house has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, it is in the centre of the village and has a garden. It is very traditional in style and an attractive purchase at just 49,000 US dollars.
If you can stretch your budget then you can of course get even more for your money in France – such as an original stone cottage in Brittany that has been completely renovated already. It benefits from double glazing, new drainage and wiring, a real fireplace and it has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. It is rurally located but just 3 miles from the nearest town of Callac, which has all the amenities and facilities you could require. The house is perfect and pretty and for sale for just 82,955 US dollars. All three properties are listed by independent agents on the FranceHouseHunt.com website
It’s a myth that all of Italy is overpriced and inaccessible when it comes to property. There are regions of this fabulously stunning nation where you can afford to buy real estate – such as Abruzzo and Calabria for example. Abruzzo is a coastal region halfway down the nation, and Calabria can be considered the toe of the boot of the country, (look at a map if you don’t know what we mean!).
In Abruzzo you can buy an apartment in a genuine medieval house! The apartment is ready to move in to, it has one bedroom and perhaps the best thing about it is the original features that it has in abundance. From vaulted ceilings to natural stone door surrounds this apartment has great character. It also has stunning views across the village and the valleys surrounding it. It’s on the market for 62,288 US dollars and it’s in the village of L’Aquila.
In Calabria you can purchase a two-bedroom apartment within a communal resort which benefits from swimming pools, an on-site supermarket and bar, and you can have the most fantastic sea views from your large terrace area. The garden apartment is quite new and therefore in very good condition – and because it is within a ready-made community, you will not struggle to make friends and meet people. The property is in San Nicola Arcella and it is on the market for 81,874 US dollars. Both homes are listed on the HouseAroundItaly.com website.
Famous as the setting for some of the most beautiful scenes in Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, Montenegro is slowly becoming better known as a location in Europe where you can enjoy amazing scenery, a great standard of living, wonderful weather and all for a lot less than in some better known countries such as Spain and Portugal for example.
In terms of what you can get for your money, how about a seafront apartment with incredible bay views for just 85,484 US dollars. Located in Prcanj in Boka Kotorska this immaculate one bedroom apartment is just meters from the sea, the beach, bars and restaurants. It’s on the market with HolProp.com. Alternatively, if you want a house you can buy a semi-detached stone property which has been lovingly renovated to retain a lot of the original character and features. It has one bedroom, but you have the option to extend upwards into the attic area and add more space. It is frontline to the sea, it has a courtyard garden and it is ready to move in to and on the market for a negotiable 127,000 US dollars. The waterfront house is in Muo in the Kotor Bay area and for sale through MontenegroProspects.com.
Finally it’s well worth mentioning Turkey – although there is always some argument over whether it’s a country on the European or Asian continent as it spans both! It is very much European in feel however, and much of its best real estate for sale is on its very European southern Mediterranean coastline.
Turkey is benefitting from its strategic political alignment with Europe and the US at the moment, and it has already become a popular choice with relocating Britons and Germans for example. In terms of its real estate offerings, they are well priced – and the quality of life in Turkey is high even if you’re retiring on a limited budget.
There’s a three-bedroom villa for sale that is walking distance from the sea and set within a residential complex that features communal gardens and swimming pools in Altinkum in Turkey. The villa is semi-detached, it has 2 bathrooms, it’s relatively new and so in great condition, and it’s being sold fully furnished and is a true turnkey opportunity. It’s for sale for 83,825 US dollars and is an absolute bargain that has to be seen to be believed.
If you’re on a tighter budget however, how about a brand new 1 bed, 1 bath studio apartment for 45,585 US dollars on a complex that boasts off-street parking, a swimming pool, sauna, fitness suite and landscaped gardens? Situated in Antalya, a popular Mediterranean resort in southern Turkey, this apartment is a real bargain. You’re buying off plan so you can have full say over the final finish of your new home, and as standard it comes with air conditioning, double glazing and with an American style kitchen fitted. Both homes are for sale through SpotBlue.co.uk and US dollar prices are based on the rate of exchange offered by xe.net on the date of this report’s writing and should be checked again before you even consider making an offer of interest for any property.
Europe is a culturally rich continent with such a diverse range of nations all boasting different benefits and advantages to the would-be retiree from abroad – from the climate to the standard of living, from ease of relocation to ease of integration for example. You need to consider the differences of each nation you examine, and see where you feel you could make a new home for yourself in this part of the world.
At EscapeArtist.com we aim to inspire and enable our readers to get a new life abroad in a country that suits their budget and their lifestyle requirements – which is why we have country sections dedicated to the nations we’ve introduced you to in our series of four articles examining where in the world you can find affordable retirement real estate. Don’t let a limited retirement budget limit your choices and your adventures, look overseas and find a country where you can make a home and enjoy a fantastic retirement.
About the author: Susan Beverley is a writer and editor for Escape From America Magazine and also writes for and maintains Expat Daily News – the expat news blog for EscapeArtist.com. She traveled extensively before becoming an expat herself having found a place to call home in South America where she has lived since 2005. She understands the concerns, needs and difficulties that expats face from first-hand experience and is dedicated to supporting and encouraging anyone who is looking for a new nation to call home.