Retire to low cost of living in Turkey

If you are looking to retire overseas and possibly invest in a home abroad, then look south, south-east Mediterranean, Turkey to be exact.  Turkey has made vast improvements over the last twenty years and has become a fierce competitor for your retirement consideration. Turkey is a perfect place to make your new investment with their up and coming tourism, low cost of living and openness to international buyers.  Turkey is fast becoming a new favourite place to buy a second home, go on holiday, or retire to.  Let us discuss some of the country’s strong points, and why it is becoming the world’s premier place to buy a home overseas.

Turkey is a beautiful combination of natural beaches, contemporary amenities and historical cities. Turkey is the favorite holiday destination for many Europeans.  The country has beautiful sites and would be an amazing real estate investment for anyone looking.  It is a welcome and desirable location for Mediterranean property rather than over-crowded countries like Spain, or Italy. 

Turkey has become a gem in the world of real estate investment due to its low real estate prices and interest rates, the profitable buy to let option and a high resale market for investment properties. Since the markets have been opened to foreign investors many of the cities have seen a rapid increase in foreign purchase accelerating values in this emerging market as well.
Mostly, British, Russian and Germans are buying up holiday homes and retirement homes in Mediterranean, Aegean coasts of the country.  The accession into the European Union will only drive prices higher as it has done for other member countries, so many foreigners and citizens are purchasing property now while the prices are still favorable.  Turkey is building new high rises, commercial spaces and beautiful villas. You can also choose to buy land through a local real estate company, delaying your construction for a few years while you spin down your current life.
Turkey offers a unique landscape surrounded by several seas and varied climates, giving you the chance to choose property that best fits your desires and budget.  You will be able to couple your perfect property with the hobbies and activities on your bucket list, giving you the chance to fully enjoy the retirement that you always wanted.
Turkey offers low cost of living for retired expats, who have moved overseas and bought a home in the sun. So, you can benefit not only when you are buying your home in Turkey but for many years to come thereafter as your overseas pensions and income stretch further than most other retirement destinations you can think of, certainly farther than France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

For example, take a retired couple on say £2,000 per month pension income from the UK.  Let us assume that they are renting their home overseas.  In Madrid, Spain, to live comfortably, the couple will need around £2,440 per month, therefore their UK pension, which will be subject to Spanish taxes, will not be sufficient for a comfortable life.  They will need to make compromises. 

The same couple will need £1,200 a month to attain the same comfort in say Istanbul, Turkey – possibly less on the south coast of Turkey.   In addition to this their UK pension will not be taxed in Turkey so their net disposable income in Turkey will be higher than in Spain to start with.  Therefore, £2,000 net from the UK will provide a ‘luxury’ life in Turkey whereas it will fail to provide ‘comfortable’ living in Spain.  

Turkey’s low cost of living is due to many factors, including.

  • First, because Turkey is still working to gain European Union membership, it is considered an outsider; it is not in the Euro zone.  This works to your advantage because it isn’t a matter of if Turkey will be invited into the EU, but rather when.  This is an advantage for foreign purchasers because you can make your money last longer and stretch further, but with the comfort of knowing that your investment will see a notable value increase once EU membership is finalised, could be 5 or 10 years away, however, it seems highly likely to happen.
  • In addition, Turkey still clings to its roots, focusing on local providers with fair prices.  Turkey has thus far managed to avoid mega-providers who drive prices up when they arrive.  Local and family operated bakeries, eateries and other necessities help to ensure that you will always find great prices and extraordinary value.
  • Turkey has also been aggressive in controlling interest rates and by extending tourist visas for foreign property owners.  So, even if you decide to maintain a residence in your current country, you’ll still be able to enjoy long periods in Turkey while not being limited by short immigration periods.


Do not worry about having to pick a small rural town to get these amazing prices as you would in most countries.  Although you may see higher initial purchase prices in Turkey’s main urban areas, you will still be pleasantly surprised at how affordable real estate and cost of living are.

Cost of living comparisons Turkey versus Spain

We have compared a standard shopping basket for an ex-pat family in Istanbul, Turkey to one in Madrid, Spain.  We have added exceptional items as well such as dental fees, home insurance, home rentals and property prices.  Overall the following pattern emerges:

Consumer Prices in Madrid are 45.75% higher than in Istanbul
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Madrid are 65.42% higher than in Istanbul
Rent Prices in Madrid are 133.61% higher than in Istanbul
Restaurant Prices in Madrid are 91.52% higher than in Istanbul
Grocery Prices in Madrid are 51.13% higher than in Istanbul
Local Purchasing Power in Madrid is only 12.75% higher than in Istanbul

Considering that local purchasing power in Madrid is only 12.75% higher than Istanbul, this means cost of living in Istanbul, Turkey is around half that of Madrid, Spain.   

The following list includes some of the items we compared







Ave monthly 2 bedroom apartment





1 litre use





500g fresh white bread





1 litre regular





0.33 litre bottle





1 dozen





1 kg





Pepsi 0.33 litre bottle





1 bedroom city centre apartment





Average purchase price per square metre in city centre





One visit check up and clean




Private school

Average for one year for one child aged 6 – 18 English speaking





1 ticket for an international release





  • Of all consumer and household items, Spain is significantly more expensive than Turkey except for alcohol and gas. 
  • + 100% means twice as expensive and
  • + 200% means three times as expensive.  
  • For example bread, property and coke are almost three times as expensive to buy in Madrid, Spain compared to Istanbul, Turkey. 

Kusadasi Holiday Homes

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