Abundant sun, great global location, business-friendly regime, and some of the lowest taxes in the world – what’s not to like about the idea of moving for the rest of one’s days to Cyprus? The island nation has long been a haven for off-shore companies and with them, it has opened its doors to a diverse population of people looking for a better life. A list of all the uniquely better things that Cyprus has to offer to both, corporations and individuals, runs long. However, all good things come at a cost and cost is one of the first things which come to mind when considering moving bases.
How one feels about the usual costs of living a normal life in Cyprus is subjectively dependent on where they come from. We try in this article to make the picture as clear as possible for people everywhere and from all walks of life.
Your present domicile decides how you feel about your next
For decades retired people have flocked to Cyprus from countries like the UK as they got much more return for their money than they would, living in their previous countries. Cyprus has allowed people from many European countries to maintain the same standard of their lifestyles while spending considerably less. Bigger European countries are noticeably pricier than even the costliest cities in Cyprus making it an attractive destination for most Northern Europeans.
That said, if you are coming to the island from one of the developing economies from Asia of Africa then it can be safely said that the costs would seem a bit steep to you at first. As most migrants from such countries only head to Cyprus when they have reliable employment opportunities they soon become used to the prices due to the higher income potential offered by the economy.
- Housing – The rent rates, especially for people looking for longer commitments, are cheaper than most European cities. While the rents are the highest in the major cities like the capital Nicosia the southern part of the island generally offers relatively cheaper rates.
- Healthcare is one of the cheapest in Cyprus even when it is provided through the private sector. Public healthcare is free of cost for EU citizens. Non-Eu citizens or people who want to skip the ques of the public system often opt for private healthcare insurances among which the local island-based insurances companies offer the cheapest terms. Those who don’t qualify for medical cards available only to EU citizens have to shell out 10-30 EUR depending on whether they visit a general practitioner or a specialist. The cost of emergency services is as low as 10 EUR.
- Utility – As with many other things water and electricity bills are relatively cheap on the island. The cold season only lasts about 3 months so the heating needs are further reduced. Electricity is charged on two different rates on the discretion of the resident and would amount to an average of about 40-60 EUR/month for a medium sized house. The water billing rates increase with the increase in total consumption and normally amount to 40-50 EUR/month for a family of four with moderate usage. Internet along with digital tv is often offered as bundled packages making it cheaper. The average cost for unlimited-internet being less than 40EUR. One can expect about 200 EUR/ year of other municipality fees for essential municipal services.
- Groceries & Eating Out – Fruits from the island can be bought for surprisingly low prices. Local beer and other spirits are inexpensive as well. Most, popular restaurants are much more economical than other bigger European cities like London or Berlin. There are plenty of options to eat-out which offer even cheaper prices.
- Other services – Cleaners are available for rates which would seem unbelievable to many from Europe. The rates begin for as low as 5EUR/hour. Other services like lawn maintenance, car wash etc are also extremely economical.
- Fuel Prices are equal to the European average of 1.3 EUR/ liter.
- Imported Grocery items like milk are quite expensive due to the location being on an island and scarcity of resources to produce within the country according to the demand. Average cost is around 1.4 EUR.
- As milk is costly all milk products are costly too.
- Clothes are some of the most surprisingly expensive merchandise on the island. The prices are higher than most places in Europe. However, one can always use online shopping as a way to save.
Keeping real expectations
While Cyprus is a developed and modern economy with a promising future like any other country in the world it is not without difficulties. The country is recovering from the banking crisis of 2012 and the unemployment rate even though constantly decreasing is a bit higher than the that of EU. As an aftermath of the banking crisis, many people moving to Cyprus now prefer to store their money abroad.
The few obstacles are far outweighed by the innumerable benefits of making Cyprus your new home. Even with all the difficulties a qualified individual with suitable resource and skills would find Cyprus to be a fertile & thriving land for personal and overall growth.