Even if you’re not into your Greek mythology then you’ve probably heard of Aphrodite, the Ancient Greek Goddess of love and beauty. The legend goes that she was born from the sea foam here:
Click to enlarge, Happy snap of Petra tou Romiou
Aphrodite apparently rose from the waves and was escorted on a shell to this beach. That beach and those rock formations are in the Paphos district of Cyprus – our soon to be new home. In the end our choice of new homes came down to Spain vs Cyprus and specifically the Costa del Sol vs Paphos. Now not for a second am I saying that we couldn’t have found somewhere more suitable in Spain or Cyprus or elsewhere for that matter but what I am saying is that eventually it gets to the point where you have to make a decision with the data you have and strap yourself in for the ride. We did that this week as we made our first irreversible commitment – we’ve booked our one-way flights.
So how did we arrive at Paphos (Pafos), Cyprus? The process was:
- We firstly scoured the internet, which included numerous forums, to shortlist possible locations.
- With that information we tried to build a ‘head’ matrix where we scored many topics including ease of visiting friends/family, ease of travel, cost of living, financials including taxes, economic stability, language, demographics, desired lifestyle compatibility, crime, security, noise, weather and healthcare (short term and long term) to name a few.
- If that showed promise we then visited the location and if we liked it we tried to visit again in the opposite season. During our visit we then tuned up the ‘head matrix’ for comparison against other locations. For a location to qualify we had to have visited it at least once for more than a holiday.
What was interesting was that as locations in Malta/Gozo, Australia and Italy fell away there was a cigarette paper remaining between the Costa del Sol, Spain and Paphos, Cyprus. In the end the decision was made with a ‘heart’ question – where feels most like home? It proves nicely, at least for us, that there is no nirvana where unicorns roam freely. Instead there is just different and it’s a different we are very much looking forward to experiencing.
While we’ve been committing to Europe our risks brought on by the Brexit shambles aren’t going away but we aren’t prepared to waste more life while this plays out. More than 2 years since the Brexit referendum the government still don’t know what Brexit they want and while Rome burns brightly our politicians holiday, the 25 guidance documents for people/businesses published this week to help with Brexit doesn’t consider those looking to leave Britain and the pound is falling yet again. What a time to be moving home... That said our conclusion of the best thing to do remains unchanged – be in Cyprus and importantly be registered with their MEU1 process before Brexit day, the 29 March 2019. Also rely on nothing in the transition agreement as nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and certainly don’t rely on a post Brexit deal. Instead it’s gain rights to live in Cyprus which would have to be physically rescinded by the Cyprus Authorities for us to be kicked out, continue to plan on no State Pension (who knows if they will continue to up rate it for those living in the EU) and secure private healthcare (who knows if the S1 will exist for UK citizens) that we can carry into our dotage which includes considering those costs in drawdown simulations.
Congrats RIT, I hope you lead a long happy life in your new home.ReplyDelete
Thanks for taking us on the journey with you, it has been a fascinating and educational ride!
Thanks for the wishes and no problem for sharing my journey. I've learnt plenty from the great contributors to this site and I hope I've given a little back.Delete
It's a darn sight easier to learn Spanish than Greek. On the other hand, Cyprus isn't on a land route from Hellholia to Germany, so there is that.ReplyDelete
Anyway, all best wishes for a successful move.
Thanks dearieme. Language was an interesting one in our assessment:Delete
- Spanish - easier to learn, gets us further in the world like South America, need to learn to fully integrate
- Greek Cypriot - more difficult to learn, limited use globally, English widely spoken even in bureaucratic exchanges so risk we'll be lazy and not immerse ourselves so quickly.
We actually saw Cyprus as a negative on the language front.
Congratulations RIT. You have certainly put a lot of thought into your final destination and I hope it works out well. Will you be renting at first or have you found a property to purchase?ReplyDelete
Our intention is to get a short term "Airbnb" for a few weeks, we'll upgrade that to a 6-12 month long term rental once our belongings arrive before hopefully buying in 6-12 months. This gives us a better chance of learning the best places to live, including learning if Cyprus is really us, before committing with both feet.Delete
I like the plan, your thought process behind things I really enjoy, probably because my thought process is the B&M to your M&S! Safe travels to you and the family, I hope you all enjoy the adventure!Delete
Congratulations on the decision and the flights. We'll find out in due course what the dates are but I for one have enjoyed following your journey and trying to glean bits I can apply to my own life.ReplyDelete
I can't wait to hear about the adventures once you start your new life.
For now I have to continue to maximise my anonymity as I still have a job to do but regular contributors like your good self will know the date to I would guess a few weeks. We'll certainly be in and registered before Christmas.Delete
I am a little surprised that you are going whole hog and moving permanently to Cyprus. Why not give it a go for a year and try somewhere else for a while and see what fits best?ReplyDelete
I would imagine that living in the countryside in Cyprus or Spain is a lot more similar than living in a tows/city or countryside in the same country.
I'm sure you've thought this through already - but in my mind if you are going to spend decades in one place, there's no need to rush to settle down (Brexit or no Brexit)
I guess it depends on the definition of "whole hog". My investment strategy is still very much that of a "UK Investor" which has hurt us on current exchange rates. As mentioned to John (diy) we also won't buy immediately just in case. However at the same time we are packing everything up fully as we want to make Cyprus our home. I'm conscious of the saying a rolling stone gathers no moss and if we don't try and build a home there is a risk of us having a one year holiday, not integrating because of that and then moving on not because it's not right but because we didn't integrate.Delete
Not for a second are we saying Cyprus is our forever home but we at the same time want to give it the best chance possible.
Thanks for the update RIT, hope you will carry on blogging once you retire as I'd love to know how it pans out for you.ReplyDelete
I also hope I don't lose interest in the blogging once I move from FI to FIRE. On some of the forums I follow and even some of the blogs (LivingaFI and BraveNewLife both spring to mind) there are many who stop once they reach FIRE.Delete
Congratulations, I'm writing from Spain Alicante having a look foe the same reason, 5 years to go!ReplyDelete
Good luck with search Dalamar. Is Alicante looking good for you so far?Delete
Dragonlance fan dalamar?Delete
Paphos! Great! Means I'll get to meet you in person when on holidays (I'm half Greek half Cypriot). The language will be hard to learn but the food is amazing.ReplyDelete
Also, Cypriots are obsessed with Britain as you probably know already, and their English speaking skills are above average compared to Spain.
Agree with you about the food. Plenty of establishments where even a simple fish with village salad is perfection. I remember doing a long walk and winding up at what was almost a lean to by the sea - a cold drink, a village salad, some fresh bread while watching/hearing the waves on an almost abandoned beach. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven it was that perfect.Delete
Also agree the English speaking is far above that of Spain. TBH both are doing a huge service that is above and beyond by speaking any English at all. After all English is not an official language of either country. Cyprus takes it to another level though where even many official documents are presented in Greek Cypriot and English. It will certainly help us early on but longer term it might prove to be a negative as mentioned to dearieme above.
Congrats RIT. Very pleased for you. Cyprus is a wonderful country (I'm not biased at all...)Delete
Hi RIT, hope you enjoy yourself there. The last time I was in Paphos I ended up having to sit a couple of exams there because I was halfway through an OU maths degree and the exams and holiday clashed!ReplyDelete
Another big plus with Cyprus is that they drive on the right side of the road, i.e. the left! Makes going round roundabouts a lot easier...
Congrats on taking the next step and securing those flights, RIT.ReplyDelete
Never been to Cyprus myself (yet) although I have visisted several Greek islands and love the food.
I'm another who hopes you will continue to document your journey and perhaps how you manage your finances by drawing down on your investments.
Good luck with your choice of destination.
I think you might find Russian will be the most useful foreign language on Cyprus.
Now you have chosen your country - have you chosen your bank ?ReplyDelete
Well done RIT. You said you would and you did.....not many do and of course most life regrets will be the opportunities we don’t take, not the ones we do.ReplyDelete
As you know I ‘retire’ at the year end but we differ very much in where we want to live, my home will be Yorkshire....green, welcoming and I already speak the dialect. :)
However your post inspires, it shows your careful consideration and I will make sure I drop into Cyprus as part of my many travels. An ex sister in laws (my brothers ex) family live out there and they are incredibly happy.
So glad you are renting. Not ‘to hedge bets’ but to settle first, breath the air and smell the place and as you say...find the right area. Always bewilders me on ‘property abroad’ programs is the first thing brits do is buy the house....but that should be the last.
Keep blogging because you and I face similar non financial challenges next year of what very early retirement consists of.
For me? A barista, chef, junior football coach, decorator, writer, driver....who knows but no more than 4 hours a week. Fun trying things rather than ‘work’.
California coastal road trip, Australia and cruising the northern coast line and now Italy/Cyprus next year.
Well done again. I know Cyprus will be fantastic. Keep blogging and motivating others.
Did I read that you have Children?ReplyDelete
Do you intend to put them in local school or (fee paying) English speaking school? Not sure how much they cost but how is that reflected in your budget?
I'm also factoring schools into my equation and it's a big expense if needed.Delete
Just came from holidays in Spain, fortunately my daughter is picking spanish really fast and that makes it a good option.
I visited from Murcia to Valencia, I liked the most La manga and Moraira, not sure about the quality of the public schools in that area.
All the best for the future. Will be interesting to follow your progress and your investment decisions if you wish to share them.ReplyDelete
Major congrats on handing your notice in (sorry bit late on that one) and also for booking the flights. Exciting times ahead indeed.ReplyDelete
All the best with the new life in Cyprus. I went to Ayia Napa with "the boys" about 20 years ago but I don't feel I gleened much local knowledge that would be very useful to the RIT family I'm afraid! :)