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Crowded Market in Athens, Greece

Retire in Greece

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is it like to retire in Greece? Retirees share their experiences living in Greece.

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What is it like to retire in Greece?

"Quiet, a few expats with the main recreation and nightlife centred around tavernas and beaches," remarked another retiree in Paros.

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What advice do overseas retirees have for others considering retiring abroad?

"Do a lot of research before you decide to retire abroad, we did extensive enquiries into all aspects and still had things to learn on the way," said another retiree in living in Paros, Greece.

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What are healthcare services like in Greece?

We asked retirees if they have access to good medical care in Greece. They wrote:

"No, it is necessary to go to Athens for anything serious, although there are private clinics and facilities that cater for other procedures," explained a retiree in Paros.

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How do I meet people in Greece?

When we asked people living in Greece about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Thessaloniki, being a cultural city.. has many nationalities mixed together.. Much more so than when I first arrived in Greece.. There are many groups/organizations here in Thess. I.W.O.G. International Women`s Organization of Greece e-mail: They meet on the 2nd Wednesday of every month (not in summer) for coffee, networking & social activities.. yearly membership 35 euros or guest fee 5 euros ( this pays for your tea/coffee , cake/snack at the meetings )there is also a raffle & 2nd hand book store, all money raised goes to local charities... T.O.W.E.R. ( Thessaloniki Organization for Women Employment & Resources ) Non for profit organization to help women ... It is not a job agency..! web site: www.tower4women.gr
e-mail: During the first week of June, all the country specific clubs get together to raise money for local charities... with the International food festival , with over 30 countries taking part.. this year it will be held on Sunday 6th June at Aretzou plaza Krini , next to the beach..," said a retiree who moved to Thessaloniki, Greece.

"Northern Greece is extremely restricted in terms of Clubs and Associations. If you speak the language it is a little easier to meet people, I have been involved in charity work which I found in Drama's Government offices. I would recommend joining a Gym or local Swimming Pool," said another retiree in Drama.

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What is life like in Greece?

When we asked people living in Greece what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"As a general rule, peoples priorities here are work & family... Well family comes first.. But Greeks in general are very sociable, if you make the effort to speak to your neighbors, especially if you have children you'll find them to be friendly.. Okay so some expats object to there neighbors interfering (as they see it ) Greeks will give you their opinion (whether asked for or not ) on everything from whether your child should be wearing a jacket or not, to what food your making that day ... I know nothing about sport, but my son informs me that there are 4 football teams for Thessaloniki.. 1. PAOK 2. ARIS 3. IRAKLIS 4. APPOLON KALAMARIAS Thessaloniki has a great variety of clubs, bars, tavernas & restaurants.. The last 5years or so has seen a change, with Indian, Chinese & Japanese restaurants opening.. We also have Mac Donald's, Pizza Hut and coming soon... Kentuky Fried Chicken...! So you won't get to home sick... Night life generally doesn't get started til after 10pm.. So don't be surprised when your new friends ask you out for a drink at the time you'd usually be thinking of going to bed..," added another person in Thessaloniki.

"It's a beach town so its really laid back. Without the hustle and bustle of other towns. Although the summers are really crowded since everyone comes to the beach on the weekends. Fresh produce along the side streets from local farmers (just like Jersey..) a nice waterfront with boats, playgrounds, a 2 kilometer path along the sea for jogging, walking or bike riding. Nice restaurants along the coast as well. And close to Kifissia, (about 20 minutes over the mountain of Dionissos)," remarked another retiree in Nea Makri .

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What do I need to know before retiring in Greece?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Greece, they said:

"Learn some Greek before you arrive..although, more & more people speak English, it will be appreciated by your new neighbors.... The other thing I'd suggest is.. network.. find, join, meet, make friends,with people already here .. have some type of support network in place before arriving.. You may need it, when whatever your trying to get done.. is being handled in only the way that Greeks know how..! Good Luck.," commented one retiree living in Thessaloniki, Greece.

"Definitely not for those who are looking for action. A nice place to raise your family. Just close enough to main towns and highways. Most stores are open even on Sundays since its considered a tourist area. This is always a plus. All in all Im glad I moved here from Kifissia, my baby is growing up in fresh clean air, with no street noise... it's nice to hear the birds chirp once in a while ya know..," explained one retiree living in Nea Makri .

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Crowded Market in Athens, Greece

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