Turkey is a melting pot of cultures that dates back thousands of years, and as a result, the country is brimming with stunning works of architecture and art. It is home to artifacts from communities such as the Hittites, Ancient Greeks, early Christians, and Mongols, all of which fill this nation with approximately 82 million people with a rich sense of history.
Because it is located at a crossroads between Europe and Asia, tourists will be able to witness a distinctive fusion of Western and Eastern influences. The Mediterranean and the Black Sea are known to be among the most beautiful coasts in the world.
It has long been a desirable destination for those looking to spend their free time in a country that boasts endless history, distinctive culture, delectable cuisine, spectacular natural scenery, and a generally pleasant climate.
Turkey provides retirees with a diverse range of options from which to select, including the bustling streets of Istanbul, the breathtaking shores of the Turkish Riviera, the mountains of Trabzon, and the plains of Ankara.
However, the most intriguing aspect of the country may be the low cost of living, particularly when considering the quality of the services and products available. Because of the volatility of the Turkish lira, the local currency, it is an attractive travel destination for people whose income is generated in a different currency.
Istanbul Airport has the most extensive direct flight roster in the world. It makes entering Turkey a straightforward process. This also allows senior citizens to live their remaining years in Turkey as citizens rather than residents.
This article is intended to provide an overview of some of the fundamental information that you'll need if you're thinking about retiring in Turkey. If you are considering retiring in another country, you may find it helpful to consult with a financial advisor.
Cost of Living and Housing in Turkey
Living expenses in Turkey are substantially lower when compared to those in the United States. According to Numbeo, a database that tracks costs of living, Turkey's cost of living is on average 53.56 percent lower than that of the United States, even when rental costs are not taken into account.
Compared to an average basis, rental costs in the United States are 556.13% higher than those in Turkey. In Turkey, the average monthly rent for a city-center apartment with one bedroom is approximately $215.26, whereas, in the United States, the average monthly rent for a similar apartment is approximately $1,340.16. If you are interested in buying an apartment in Turkey, you should discover that the average price per square meter for an apartment in a city center is $83.07. In comparison, the cost of the same square meter in a city in the United States would be approximately $328.96.
We can further check the difference by contrasting the most populous city in Turkey, Istanbul, with the most populous city in the United States, New York City. Assuming that you will be renting in both cities, the amount of money required to maintain the same standard of living in New York is approximately $8,203.10, which is a significant difference from the approximate cost in Istanbul, which is $1,960.45.
Therefore, if you are looking for a country to retire in, Turkey has both affordable renting prices and lower property costs in as much as you can get the most out of your savings. So retirement in Turkey might be a good option for you to consider.
You can check out our blog titled What is the Cost of Living in Turkey? for detailed info regarding the chapter above.
Visas and Residence Permits for Turkey
Since Turkey does not have a visa that is tailored to retirees, you will need to submit an application for a residence permit instead. Anyone who plans to stay in the country for longer than three months is required to comply with this requirement. Firstly you need to apply for a temporary residence permit, which needs to be done within one month of your arrival in Turkey.
On the website of the Turkish Ministry of the Interior is a form that can be filled out online to apply. When you are finished, it will instruct you to schedule an appointment at the DGMM office that is closest to you to continue the process and pay the fee that is necessary for your visa.
Permission to reside in the country is granted for two years. You are eligible to apply for a long-term residence permit in Turkey after you have continuously resided in the country for eight years under the terms of your short-term visa.
You will likely be required to provide evidence that you possess sufficient assets, regardless of the type of residence permit you intend to apply for. This can change depending on whether or not you have dependents, but generally speaking, an individual is expected to have financial resources equal to one month's worth of the minimum wage in Turkey. That would be close to $400 as of the beginning of 2021.
Healthcare Considerations When Retiring in Turkey
Turkey's healthcare system is ranked 60th out of 191 in a ranking of national healthcare systems by the World Health Organization. The Ministry of Health is the department of the central government ruling healthcare and policies related to it (MoH). Medical care is provided by public hospitals, university hospitals, and private hospitals. However, the Ministry of Health is the primary body responsible for the healthcare system.
The standard medical care offered in different parts of Turkey is likely to be of varying quality. For example, access in more rural areas is more restricted. The health care prices are more affordable than in some European countries. You have a better chance of receiving care of higher quality in major urban areas such as Istanbul. In addition, you have the chance to communicate in English with medical professionals. Because of this significant quality improvement, the vast majority of ex-pats prefer to visit private medical facilities rather than public ones.
Every resident under the age of 65 is required to have health insurance, either public or private. Expats who have lived in Turkey for more than a year and have a valid residence permit are eligible to apply for public health insurance through the Social Security Institution, run by the Turkish state (SGK). In most cases, ex-pats decide to supplement this type of insurance with private insurance (or just choose private insurance altogether) so that they can pay additional fees at private facilities.
The healthcare system in Turkey has undergone a significant amount of change in recent years as a direct result of Turkey's development as a country and as a political entity. It is likely that it will continue to go through new changes in the years to come.
Tax Considerations for Retiring in Turkey
In Turkey, residents and non-residents are subject to different tax rates, as is the case in many other countries. Residents are subject to taxes on all of their income, regardless of where it comes from, while non-residents are only required to pay taxes on income derived from Turkey. A progressive tax system is used in this country, and the rate can range anywhere from 15% to 35%, depending on your income bracket.
There is some room for relief thanks to a tax treaty between the United States and Turkey. Because of this, you will only be required to make contributions to the Social Security program of one country, which in Turkey takes the form of a uniform tax of 14% for workers.
In any other case, there are tax exemptions that may enable you to pay a lower amount of tax on the income you earn in the United States. One example of this is the foreign earned income exclusion, which allows you to exclude the first approximately one hundred thousand dollars of income earned outside of Turkey as long as you can prove that you are a resident of Turkey.
See also the blog page named How Do You Get A Tax ID Number in Turkey? for detailed information about getting a tax number.
Why Is Retiring in Turkey Such a Smart Decision?
Reduced Expenses in Daily Life
It's a good idea to retire in Turkey because of the country's relatively low cost of living. Because you will no longer be employed, you need a place where you can spend as little as possible while still experiencing a high level of comfort. The costs of food and water are within reasonable limits. Also, you do not need a TV license at all.
Calm and Relaxing Weather
Aside from the financial advantages of Turkey, the country's climate is also something that can be accepted as one of its greatest advantages. You can always find yourself in a fresh and relaxing environment when you wake up. Temperatures are nearly always warm throughout the year, except for January and February, when there is typically a lot of precipitation. Of course, temperature changes depending on where you are. So you can think about going to Antalya if you want something warmer.
Affordable Housing Prices
When planning for retirement, housing is one of the most important aspects to consider. There are several regions in Turkey that provide reasonably priced housing that offers a high level of convenience for a cost that is not excessive. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a house that has cutting-edge technology and stylish interior design.
Profitable Interest Rates for Savings
Because retirement signifies the end of one's time spent working, it is in one's best interest to maximize one's ability to save money. The Turkish savings scheme offers interest rates that are among the highest available. It comes out to about 10% on average (note that it varies). After making the initial deposit of the money into a savings account with a high-interest rate, you will be able to withdraw the profit after taxes have been deducted.
When taking into account the typical age of retirees, it is imperative to have adequate medical care in order to make the most of one's time after leaving the workforce. Either participate in the SGK system, administered by the Turkish government, or buy personal policies as a retired ex-pat in Turkey. In either case, you would be able to take advantage of one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world at a reasonable price.
Simple Process of Residency
If you are planning to retire in Turkey in the future or want to become a citizen of the country, you will discover that the process is not that difficult. In addition to the simplicity of submitting an online application for residency, there are a number of other straightforward paths to taking up residency.
Delightful Nutritious Food
Turkey is the source of a wide variety of delicacies that boast exceptional levels of nutritional value. You will be able to take advantage of the delicious and wholesome cuisine that Turkey offers to you. Feel free to indulge in the local specialties that vary from region to region in Turkey.