Why Retire In Turkey? – The Importance Of Location In Your Retirement Plans

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Why retire in Turkey?

Today we will give you some top reasons why you should look into retiring in Turkey. But first, we will discuss the importance of location in your retirement plans and then see the links and benefits Turkey has in respect to these points.

Where you live makes a difference in how you live – and that’s especially evident during your retirement years.

While in the past, your “where to live” options were most probably based on job opportunities, family-friendliness, or educational and social requirements, that won’t usually be the case during your retiring stage. Choosing a place to live in retirement, gives you the chance to choose a location that really inspires you on a personal, physical and emotional level with fewer restrictions.

Here are some FAQ’s many of us ask ourselves when looking to retire:

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What are the things you want to do in your retirement?

As we get older, many of us lean towards being closer to nature for a sense of peace and tranquility in our lives. Nature brings us back to our origins, it breaks us away from the everyday fast-paced life we are forced to drag ourselves through. Nature is also the perfect place for meditation, contemplation, and reflecting on one’s spiritual and personal goals. I think this is why many of us choose places with beaches, greenery, and forests with breathtaking views of mountains and water.

However, everyone is different and not all of us will have nature on top of our list of priorities. You might prefer to be located in an area where there are lots of social activities? An area that has high-quality medical facilities nearby? A place where it’s easy to head out on adventures? Or, you might want to be closer to family and friends?

The answer to all these questions will be varied depending on your personal requirements – they will all be influenced in some way, by your preferences and your personal situation.

Here are a few things you will expect to consider as you search for the right location to retire in:

What unique opportunities are there? 

What sort of activities and events are available on and off the housing compound? What sort of museums, attractions, culture, and cuisine does the location offer? We all have certain things we enjoy doing, and now that you’re retired, you have every opportunity to do them.

Are there any medical services nearby? 

Obviously, as we age, our health can become more challenging, and it’s always important to be near a major medical center if an emergency arrives. Is the area you’re considering located close to a hospital or clinic? What are the hospital’s ratings? How quickly can you get assistance if it’s required?

Is it a fun place for your family to visit? 

If you are not already located near your family, many retirees want to retire near their family members, so they can be part of their children’s or grandchildren’s lives on a regular basis. However, if you decide to choose a place away from family, is it a fun place for them to visit? Are there activities for a wide variety of ages? Is it easy for your family to get to?

Does it feel like home?

This is a very personal question that only you can answer. However, it’s perhaps the most important point to consider. While many of us early on may have dreamed of retiring on a beach in the Bahamas or another warm and exotic location, is it a place you really feel like you could spend the rest of your life? Is it a community or city that you would feel comfortable in? At the end of the day, you want your location to be a place you enjoy coming home to, not a place you want to “get away from.”

So Why Retire In Turkey?

Below are some key points to why we would suggest and recommend Turkey as a place to consider when looking into your retirement plan.

Visa & Resident Permits Are Easier In Turkey

Unlike other competing European countries, Turkey has an easy, affordable, and less time-consuming residency & citizenship process.

Actually, there are a number of ways to get full citizenship within months through business or real estate investment.

Turkey doesn’t have a visa specifically for retirement, so you have to apply for a residence permit instead. This requirement applies to anyone who intends to remain in the country for more than three months. You’ll first have to apply for a short-term residence permit, and you must do so within a month of your arrival in Turkey. There is an online application you fill out at the Turkish Ministry of Interior’s website. Once you finish, it will prompt you to make an appointment with the nearest DGMM office to continue the process and pay the fee for your visa.

A short-term residence permit is issued on a two-year basis. After you’ve lived in Turkey uninterrupted for eight years under your short-term visa, you can apply for a long-term residence permit, and these extend indefinitely.

No matter what residence permit you are applying for, you will likely need to show proof that you possess adequate assets. This can shift whether or not you have dependents, but a single person is generally required to have the equivalent to a month’s worth of Turkish minimum wage. (As of early 2021, that would be around $400.)

Retire In Turkey For The Healthcare

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The World Health Organization ranking of national healthcare systems puts Turkey at 70th place out of 191 countries. The central government body responsible for healthcare and related policies is the Ministry of Health (MoH). There is also the private sector and university-based care; however, the MoH is the main body responsible for providing healthcare. 

Of course, access to good healthcare can be limited in rural areas, so you’re more likely to have higher quality care in major urban locations like Istanbul. However, although the quality of healthcare in Turkey varies between it’s regions, you will surely find that Turkey is much cheaper than most of its European neighbours.

The hospitals in main cities are usually able to communicate with you in English, or if they can’t, they will normally assign you with a translater & guide. This increase in quality care is why most ex-pats choose to go to private medical facilities over public ones outside the cities.

All residents under 65 must have either public or private health insurance. Expats who have resided in Turkey for over a year under their residence permit can apply to have public health insurance through the state-run Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu (SGK). This can be compared to the UK’s NHS system but for a small and very affordable monthly fee. Expats usually choose to supplement this with private insurance (or just choose private) to cover additional fees at private facilities.

Turkey has grown so much as a country as has it’s political entity, it has experienced a great deal of reform around its healthcare system and has become reknowned for it’s medical tourism and largest medical centre in Europe. Turkey is likely to continue further positive changes and development in the future, impacting the benefits of the country.

Retire In Turkey For The Tax Benefits

There is no income tax on pensions in Turkey. So if you choose to live off your foriegn pension while living in Turkey, you can do so without paying any tax on it.

This is a great bonus for retired expats wanting more value for their money. Foriegn currency that retirees get through their foreign pensions can go a really long way in Turkey, giving you a much higher standard of living than you would back in your own homeland.

Like many countries, residents and non-residents are subject to different taxes in Turkey. Residents pay taxes on their worldwide income, whereas non-residents only have to pay taxes on Turkish-sourced income. The country uses a progressive tax scale, ranging from 15% to 35%, depending on your income bracket.

Turkey does possess a tax treaty with the U.S. & UK, which can provide some relief. You will only have to pay into one country’s Social Security program as a result, which in Turkey is a 14% flat tax for employees. Otherwise, there are also tax exemptions that may allow you to pay less on your U.S. or UK income taxes.

Retire In Turkey Because It’s One Of The Safest Countries To Live In?

The Turkish people are so welcoming and hospitable, it’s extremely rare to ever find yourself feeling unsafe or at risk of any danger anywhere in the whole country. In time you will see the real importance of mixing and speaking with the locals to enjoy each other’s cultures together.

However, each expat’s experience is unique. Some may travel through Turkey and find they encounter little to no security issues at all but that’s not to say you shouldn’t be cautious. You should always be careful of your surroundings where ever life takes you. You should also keep an eye on political developments, and it is also advised that you don’t engage with political topics both in person or online.

Although it is internationally advised for travelers either visiting or moving through Turkey to be wary of terrorism, it is highly unlikely you will ever experience a terrorist act. Travel guides also heavily suggest that you avoid the Sirnak and Hakkari provinces, which are in the southeastern part of the country, as well as any area within six miles of the Syrian border to avoid terrorist activity.

In summary, Turkey is classed as a very safe country. Turkey has a strong sense of identity with warm-hearted people that are very hospitable and like to share their culture. For people that like the sense of belonging, the healthier lifestyle along with the country’s natural beauty, history and low costs of living, any of the above-mentioned concerns & challenges may be worth it to them.

Turkey Is Full Of Historical Wonders & Museums

Turkey is also referred to as the world’s largest museum due to its many sites for historical, architectural, and archaeological treasures, which include many UNESCO world heritage sites.

Istanbul alone has a wealth of architectural wonders, including the grand Blue Mosque named for its blue tiles inside; Hagia Sofia and Topkapi Palace, the grand residence of sultans that reigned during the Ottoman Empire, complete with a harem.

But it’s not all just Islamic history. You can also walk in the footsteps of mythological and factual characters, including Alexander the Great, Helen of Troy, and even St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus).

Turkey is filled to the brim with beautiful architecture, art, and an array of cultures that reaches back thousands of years. It’s home to artifacts from communities like the Hittites, Ancient Greeks, early Christians, Mongols as well as the Ottoman Empire which fill this nation with a rich sense of history. 

The town of Ephesus has some of the best-preserved Greek and Roman ruins; there is the archaeological site of Troy, the supposed site of the Trojan Wars; and the fascinating village of Cappadocia along with its mythical underground cities.

Turkish Culture Is Valued Like Gold

Lying as it does at a crossroads of Europe and Asia, visitors can see a unique blend of Western and Eastern influences and culture. Everyone tends to love the amount of respect and care Turks give their parents and the elderly in general.

They kiss their hand and place their forehead upon the place they kissed, this is a sign of great respect for their parents. Parents and senior citizens are listened to with great admiration and respect.

For example, I was looking out my window and an old lady was walking by and had just thrown some rubbish away, she called over a random young boy and ordered him to squirt some water into her hands from his water gun, she cleaned her hands and thanked him and moved on. She wasn’t too shy to ask the boy for what she needed, neither did she feel intimidated that he will maybe mock her or refuse to comply with her request.

Another example, as I was coming back home from some local shopping, I saw a taxi pull up in front of our apartment building block and an elderly man came out with some travel bags and suitcases. The taxi driver helped take out his luggage and left, leaving the man with the bags. The man then called a group of boys that were playing football to come and help him carry the bags up for him and they did with no hesitation at all.

It’s not just the elderly that are respected but also women and children. I have witnessed many times during my travel on public transports, such as the bus or metro, where random men have given up their seats for women and children as well as the elderly. That’s something people these days and our youth don’t usually get to see in the west today!

There Are Plenty Of Family-Friendly Parks & Beaches In Turkey

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Turkey’s Mediterranean and Black Sea beaches are renowned for their beauty. 

Turkey easily rivals any country for its sheer natural beauty, ranging from acres of green mountains and valleys that provide stunning and unique views throughout the country to miles of pristine coastline.

However, on top of this, you will find many beautiful green parks to enjoy morning and evening walks on. The Turks love their family picnics and teas in the park. I was so impressed with how many kids were enjoying the outdoors, releasing their energy, and getting creative with skates, bikes, and skateboards or just hanging out together chatting amongst their own little circles.

The Government has implemented a bit of everything in all of their public parks. You can expect to always find beautiful and well-kept green space for sitting, open and covered picnic benches, an array of assorted flowers, trees, bushes, and plants. There are also children play areas, toilets & washrooms, bike tracks, walking tracks, exercise facilities, and there will always be a cafe and a Mosque close by.

Retire In Turkey For The Weather & Natural Beauty

Turkey is surrounded by four seas—the Mediterranean sea, the Aegean sea, the Black Seas, as well as the Marmara Sea. The crystal clear turquoise, jade, and sapphire-infused seas contrast beautifully with the emerald green forests that blanket the valleys and mountains.

Turkey is also known to benefit from its moderate climate making its soil very fertile. The abundance of crops producing fresh fruit and vegetables creates pops of colour and miles of exhilarating beauty.

The western and southern coastal towns of Turkey enjoy a mild Mediterranean climate, averaging about 48 F in winter and 84 F in the summer. Istanbul and the coast around the Sea of Marmara have moderate climates averaging 39 F in the winter and 80 F in the summer. The interior of Turkey experiences cold, snowy winters and hot, dry summers with temperatures generally cooler at night. This also plays a good part in making Turkey a good all-year-round destination.

There Are Well Maintained Sites/Compounds In Turkey

Living the retirement lifestyle you want and deserve is much easier when you don’t need to worry about the gardening or external cleaning and upkeep of your home environment and it’s security.

In Turkey, most resident compounds take care of the short-term and long term routine chores and maintenance. This is a maintenance service with a mandetory maintenance fee called the Aydat. The fee can vary in price depending on the size and needs of the compound. So if your compound has a gym and pool for example it may cost more than those compounds with just gardens and security for example.

There are almost always a communial garden to enjoy with walks and seating areas in Turkish compounds (AKA Sites). These were especially appreciated during the Corona lockdowns in Turkey.

During the lockdown many senior citizens had restricted access to the outdoors and had to abide by curfews. The communial gardens allowed them to still enjoy the open space of nature and get their daily sunshine and exercise without needing to leave their compound.

The benefits of living in a compound offers you the chance to enjoy all the things you love about living in Turkey without worrying about painting the garden fence, weeding the plants or painting the exterior. No need to clean the lifts, stairs, gym or pool. You have all the time you need to try out more new things and to take new adventures.

Turkey Has Community Spirit

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Turkey is really active when it comes to community. There are usually so many activities and amenities organised specifically for their senior residents. These courses often include sewing, embroidery, cultural art, cultural board games and music classes that were put in place to do more than just keep you busy. These activities were carefully planned and organized by the authorities to enhance your whole life. It’s an intentional, holistic approach that helps you live healthier and happier by bringing people together to form friendships and that important community spirit, regardless of age and background.

Because Turkey offers a number of relaxed and multicultural communities for ex-pats to choose from. There are numerous sites/compounds catering specifically for the senior communities as well, where you can enjoy your independent lifestyle and be assured all levels of services & care are available when you need them.

And, of course, you have plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like spending time with friends and family.

Turks are really neighbourly, they like to check up on you with plates of food or seasonal fruit. They visit their sick neighbours, help out new mothers and like to feel free to ask for a missing ingredient while cooking. There’s always a community spirit and neighbourhood events. Even in the cities, they will find time to say hi and somehow know everything about you.

Turkey is an affordable option providing value for your money. Your retirement fund when paid to you in a foreign currency will go much further in the Turkish lira than it would in any other European country, offering you financial peace of mind for a lifetime. You could afford to go out and enjoy a high class dinner more often or enjoy the theatre or ballet.


There is something for everyone in Turkey. Turkey is family friendly, expat and tourist friendly, and budget friendly. If you have ever dreamed of the Mediterranean lifestyle at an absolute bargain price, then Turkey is for you.

The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar/British pound and the Turkish lira makes it so easy to retire in Turkey. Not only is the property market cheaper for those seeking to buy, but rent is also cheaper for those who don’t want or can’t afford to buy.

A furnished, 1 + 1 apartment in the center of a coastal town with a panoramic Mediterranean view can be found for only $250 a month. Likewise, a 3 + 1 property can be found for about $500 a month including most utilities.

When it comes to eating out, a filling meaty dinner that would include rice, vegetables, and fries would cost about $6. And meals in Turkey are often accompanied by complementary olives, bread, and classic Mediterranean dips 😉

Only in Turkey you can enjoy daily trips to farmers’ markets that only costs a few dollars. Freshly squeezed extra virgin olive oil costing about $3 per litre and a dozen of the freshest free-range eggs for less than $2 and plenty of fresh and organic fruit and veg.

Regional transportation is cheap, with flights to destinations in Europe often costing less than $40, and hours-long bus trips only $5, making travel inexpensive if you like to explore.

A full spa treatment, including a one-hour deep-tissue massage, and the full spa “hammam” experience, including a foaming cleanse and exfoliation, costs about $30, including tip. A haircut at a salon, including a glorious head massage, is about $5.

Turks are well known for their hospitality. This is a country where tolerance and civility reign. The only country that includes both Europe and Asia. It is a cocktail of cultures, where differences are not only respected but also are what makes the country so diverse. Tourism is a huge part of the Turkish economy and foreigners are welcomed with open arms and appreciation.

if you should need any more information about suitable areas to retire in Turkey, or the types of accomodation and projects most suitable for retirement, we will be happy to help and answer your questions. Please contact us at Turkeypropertybeys.com or whatsapp us on:  +90 552 313 74 83

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