By John Williamson
Summary: With the economy in serious trouble, many people are researching new overseas destinations to live out the recessions with a lower cost of living and getter lifestyle. John Williamson explains why Cyprus should be on everyone's shortlist.
Worried about the future? You're not alone.
The latter half of 2008 has ranged from panic to all out doom and gloom in the media, on the high street and of course amongst banks, financial institutions and the investment community.
For some, the threat of the credit crunch has become very real with job losses, redundancies, early retirement etc.
So what will 2009 bring – more of the same?
If you are wondering how bad things can get with the current recession, things can get really bad – living in western Europe will become more expensive and tax unfriendly with many reports indicating the U.K. will be the hardest hit with the recession going deeper and lasting longer than in most other countries..
There comes a certain point when you decide that you have had enough of your government's attitude to the recession and lack of opportunity in the U.K. or, wherever it is that you reside and are now looking for a change of lifestyle and a place to live out the recession.
Even in a recession some countries will fare better than others. And it's not necessarily just the rich ones.
What will be most important will be to find a country where the local economy will be relatively unscathed. That does not mean that these countries will be recession – proof, but it does mean they will be hurt much less than others.
So where is there such a country? Read on to find out where could or should you go if you have decided that you have had enough of the U.K. or wherever it is that you are living, and are now looking for a place where you can be dry and warm, almost every day is sunny, most locals speak English, you can walk the streets safely, day or night and a relatively low cost of living will make the recession less painful, particularly for retirees.
The challenge of learning another language undoubtedly stops some people from moving overseas.
Not everybody wishes to cut themselves off from their fellow citizen's embrace a completely different lifestyle or make do with a shrinking social scene.
It doesn't have to be so. Not on the island of Cyprus.
Cyprus – could provide a relatively safe haven in this recession and kind of lifestyle you dream of, different but not so different.
Become a resident and you'll only pay 5% tax on any pension income.
Current levels of taxation of chargeable income (after all allowances) are as follows:
Up to EUR19,500 - nil from EUR19,500-28,000 20%,
from EUR28,001-36,300 25% – above EUR36,300 30%
Estimates reckon U.K. expats number somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000, enjoying far better weather and lower living costs; they include retirees, trade people and professionals.
Socially, apart from darts and pool nights, pubs with big screen TV's, there are writers groups, music groups, clubs for squash, badminton, golf and sailing clubs etc.
You can also find new friends and like minded people at one of the many expat clubs and meeting places, where you will find organised coffee mornings, quiz nights and other social events.
There are many opinions on how serious the recession will be and where it will hit hardest.
European Weekly reports:
Of the EU's four biggest economies, Britain is almost certain of facing a full-blown recession in 2009, Germany, France and Italy are all expected to post zero growth rates next year.
Among the EU member states expected to feel the full pain of the downturn are its so-called “tiger economies” - Ireland, Estonia and Latvia - which after recording double-digit growth rates over the last five years are now facing a lasting recession.
Spain, the EU's fifth-biggest economy and formerly once of its strongest economic performers, is also set to tip into recession.
Only among the EU states which joined the bloc in 2004 and 2007 does the economic outlook seem more promising. (Cyprus joined the EU block in May 2004)
Economic trends (The Federation of International Trade Association) reports:
Cyprus (Republic of Cyprus, the government-controlled Southern part of Cyprus) has an open, free-market, services-based economy. Cyprus's accession as a full member to EU on May 1, 2004 has been an important milestone in its recent economic development. The GDP growth rate is stagnant 3.8% reached in 2006 et 2007, with a forecast to 3.7% for 2008. The Cypriots are among the most prosperous people in the Mediterranean region with per capita GDP of nearly USD 21,000. The unemployment rate remains at less than 5% and inflation is under control at around 2%.
Cyprus might well be as good a place to live out the recession as anywhere.
A little research will go a very long way in helping you plan where to live out the recession and, your life after the recession.
You'll find plenty of helpful information about "living out the recession" and starting a new life in Cyprus at: http://www.hookedoncyprus.com
First Published: Jan 04, 2009