retiring to greece - Page 4

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retiring to greece - Page 4


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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 13th July 2010, 06:19 PM
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If you don't receive a receipt, just ask for one. I ALWAYS ask. I live on a TINY island and always get a receipt. I was in Crete last week and got an official legal receipt from the guy who took my money for the sunlounger on the beach (2). NEVER leave without a receipt - they all give them now, including petrol stations and farmers' market (laiki). You will need them all next year when you pay your taxes anyway.
Golly, gee, had no idea I could write off my lattes, cocktails, cigarettes, etc. And the nuns where I buy my eggs simply will not get a cash register, sigh.

Sorry, Kathy - will try to be vaguer

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 13th July 2010, 07:20 PM
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then they're in violation of the law. it's not a question of writing things off... nevermind... clearly my post was misunderstood. By asking for a receipt you are helping to reduce tax evasion, that's the point.

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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 14th July 2010, 06:32 AM
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then they're in violation of the law. it's not a question of writing things off... nevermind... clearly my post was misunderstood. By asking for a receipt you are helping to reduce tax evasion, that's the point.
"misunderstood"? Hardly. Your point, adamantly made, was recommending all receipts must be kept for tax purposes (5 lepta, etc.) Please don't take this the wrong way, but the tax situation here is complex and extremely fluid, advise is best taken from one's logistis /attorney.

As far as doing my bit help stop tax evasion, well, afraid I'm just not as righteous as you. I admit it, I don't demand a receipts from the old lady at the farm stand/that hard-working family at my favorite little taverna/ the kid who feeds the cats when I'm away. I save my snark for the real problem - the doctors and dentists and lawyers and officials with their hands out and their incomes hidden.

And no, the nuns aren't breaking the law. Church is above messy things like taxes.

But then we're talking about Greek tax sys and it sounds like that's not relevant to many/most on this board

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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 18th July 2010, 12:31 PM
wka wka is offline
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Hecate, my apologies, I was very upset when I posted that and you are right, it sounds all wrong. We are fighting with the government too much and it has made me very cynical.

Personally I collect all receipts because I am not 100% clear on which ones we are supposed to collect and which ones won't count. I've read many articles saying which ones do, but my fear is that things may change when it comes time to turn them in. I enter them all one by one into the online database I mentioned earlier and there are many such sites that are free. I think it is probably a good idea to start doing this sooner rather than later. So far we have over 700 and it would take days if I did them all at once. I get frustrated when I don't get a receipt for something (I don't personally buy anything from the church although in my opinion they should be paying taxes too, but that's neither here nor there) because the government has forced consumers to be watchdogs on this matter and I personally find it very AWKWARD when I don't get a receipt to have to ask for one. However, I have noticed a huge change now compared to February/March - now I only have to ask once/week or so, before I had to ask about half the time I purchased something.

My husband is a state employee and it is illegal for me to work in Greece so we are extremely poor and we can't afford to pay any of the receipt fine; at the same time we are furious with tax evaders because we CAN'T evade taxes (it's not possible for state employees since the government knows how much they make) AND YET we are the ones who suffer - my husband's salary was cut by so much and it creates a situation where I get very angry when I see someone who owns their own business isn't even willing to cut a receipt for 50 cents. I apologize for putting my feelings into my post and sounding like an a**. I think for me it is a mixture of anger that tax evasion is hurting my husband and me so much, and frustration with the potential fine we may have to pay if we can't get enough receipts that has me very upset about the whole thing.


Last edited by wka; 18th July 2010 at 12:34 PM.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 18th July 2010, 12:40 PM
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Not really an answer to any of the questions posted - we think the best thing to do IF you retire to Greece, or just live in Greece as a "foreigner" is to make sure you have a sense of humour - I am sure the ex-patriots living in this lovely country know exactly what I mean. Nothing gets done, nothing gets done right, nothing/nobody arrives when it should, you really DO need a sense of humour.

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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 19th July 2010, 10:31 AM
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Good rule for life, Kathy. Or develop that te-na-kanoume shrug of fatalism.

WKA, no problem. You weren't an ass, just gave iffy advice. And your collecting and recording receipts is great because it gives you a tiny bit of control over a situation in which you're fundamentally powerless.

But as far as this goes:

"...we CAN'T evade taxes (it's not possible for state employees since the government knows how much they make..."

Consider this: our Dear Leaders are so hopelessly muddled that they DON'T KNOW HOW MANY WORK FOR THE STATE - they estimate700,000. They've asked all public sector employees to register by email so they can - what - update their records? Honest to gods.

Look, I'm as enraged as you by the unfairness of it all because so many people I care about are getting screwed. They're not the ones who've been stiffing the tourists and ripping of wherever they can, and they're hurting more than even you, facing such unfairness, can imagine.

Hang in there, and keep in mind they're not the IRS.

...and we're way off topic, so let's move to the new thread about idiotic rules.

Cheers, Hecate [feel free to pm me if you want some commiseration]


"Hecate, my apologies, I was very upset when I posted that and you are right, it sounds all wrong. We are fighting with the government too much and it has made me very cynical".

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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 20th July 2010, 02:01 PM
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we retired from UK years a couple of years ago to the island of Evia. Property here is much cheaper than the mainland and some of the other islands. We are in the process of renevating an old stone house. Things are great here close to the sea, close to Athens and airport. No tourists to speak of. A very greek part of greece. One thing you have to get used to is time. There is UK time, rest of the world time and greek time but I would not change it.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 2nd October 2011, 06:18 PM
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I liked your synopsis on retiring in Greece. I am a 72 year old female with a small dog and since visiting Greece in the late 1980's have been wondering if it would be affordable since I am on a fixed income of around $1,400 a month. Would the islands be any more affordable than living in Athens, Crete or some place else. It is getting too expensive to live in the USA. I am healthy at the present time bud down the road would like to have access to a hospital as I age. Thanking you in advance for your reply, I am
Marlene Del Vecchio
California, USA



Quote:
Originally Posted by hecate View Post
Ummm, yes, Greece is a great place to retire to...IF you're well-prepared. The best advice given here has been to come for an extended stay before- hand. Going through an agent or from what can be gleaned about properties on-line is asking for trouble. And September's by far the best time to get a good deal.

I'm surprised that some find the cost of living better here, since prices have been skyrocketing for quite a while. We've just had another VAT hike which translates to: petrol projected to be close to 2 Euro a LITRE; a cup of [usually bad] coffee 4-5 E, an ouzo 6, etc, etc. Food prices in the larger supermarkets are bad enough, but absurd in the small shops outside major urban areas. My last electric bill was just over 50 euros (for one person in a small flat), with only 9 euro for my actual electric use. All the government's much-touted austerity effort is having a direct and immediate effect on everyday prices. i.e. house owners pay more tax so can charge higher rents...

None of which is to suggest you shouldn't come here - just that you must get beyond the usual hype of how simple and cheap and easy it is here. NOT. [See kathy k's savvy input]

Having said that, you should know that when you're connected/accepted/helped, it can be very satisfactory. Friends from the States are now ensconced in an apartment-with-sea-view on an island that they're paying 250/ month for, have linked up with other expats, and are blissfully exploring "their" new island. It was found because we went scouting and chatted up locals, and negotiated [in greek]. Same way I found my home.

Please know that the practicalities are not more important than who you are and what you're about. Have you ever lived in a place where you can't communicate easily with others? Where The System doesn't work as you'd expect? Where uncertainty leads to fatalism and attitudes very, umm, foreign to you? Where all that we assume to be givens in modern life may be missing? And where the interests and activities and expertise you've developed over a lifetime simply aren't relevant. Be prepared to develop new ones!

Many islands better than others...let me know if you'd like more input

Cheers,
Hecate,
Anglo-Yank retiree ( Athens AND Islands)

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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 2nd October 2011, 06:35 PM
wka wka is offline
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Quote:
I liked your synopsis on retiring in Greece. I am a 72 year old female with a small dog and since visiting Greece in the late 1980's have been wondering if it would be affordable since I am on a fixed income of around $1,400 a month. Would the islands be any more affordable than living in Athens, Crete or some place else. It is getting too expensive to live in the USA. I am healthy at the present time bud down the road would like to have access to a hospital as I age. Thanking you in advance for your reply, I am
Marlene, USA
Hi Marlene,
Welcome to the forum! There are a few things you should know right off the bat:

1. If you are interested in being in Greece for longer than 90 days, you need a residence permit. To get a residence permit, you have to apply for a Schengen Visa (the fact that your passport serves as such for travel is irrelevant - you still need one) through your local consulate. There is a pile of paperwork that has to be turned in at the same time. Once you receive your Schengen Visa, you come to Greece and apply for a residence permit. Since you are retired and will not be working, you don't need a work permit. You MUST prove that you have enough money to support yourself, and health insurance. They will not approve an application from someone who could end up drawing from state services!

2. $1400 is about €1000/month. That's a low salary in Greece but plenty of people - especially if you're only supporting yourself - make it on that. Athens and the islands are both expensive. If you're looking for something less expensive, try a town on the mainland. The islands are expensive because everything has to be brought to the island from the mainland, including drinking water in some cases, and despite the fact that the sales tax (VAT) is lower on the islands, this is likely to change, and it's not nearly enough of a discount to make up the difference. Athens tends to be less expensive for most consumer goods but more expensive for rent. You get the best of both worlds: cheaper rent and cheaper goods, if you live in the "eparchia." But it's up to you.

3. As far as hospitals go... they vary from place to place but certainly the smaller islands have no hospital!! The island I lived on for a year (just moved a few months ago) had no hospital - you had to go by ferry, fishing boat, or helicopter to the island that did have one. Even on the mainland the hospitals vary in terms of how great they are. In my personal experience (having had relatively significant surgery here), medical care in Greece is excellent, but you do need to be in reach of the facility to use it!

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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 2nd October 2011, 07:05 PM
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Thank you for your quick reply and I will take what you said to heart as I continue to review my options.
Marlene

Quote:
Originally Posted by wka View Post
Hi Marlene,
Welcome to the forum! There are a few things you should know right off the bat:

1. If you are interested in being in Greece for longer than 90 days, you need a residence permit. To get a residence permit, you have to apply for a Schengen Visa (the fact that your passport serves as such for travel is irrelevant - you still need one) through your local consulate. There is a pile of paperwork that has to be turned in at the same time. Once you receive your Schengen Visa, you come to Greece and apply for a residence permit. Since you are retired and will not be working, you don't need a work permit. You MUST prove that you have enough money to support yourself, and health insurance. They will not approve an application from someone who could end up drawing from state services!

2. $1400 is about 1000/month. That's a low salary in Greece but plenty of people - especially if you're only supporting yourself - make it on that. Athens and the islands are both expensive. If you're looking for something less expensive, try a town on the mainland. The islands are expensive because everything has to be brought to the island from the mainland, including drinking water in some cases, and despite the fact that the sales tax (VAT) is lower on the islands, this is likely to change, and it's not nearly enough of a discount to make up the difference. Athens tends to be less expensive for most consumer goods but more expensive for rent. You get the best of both worlds: cheaper rent and cheaper goods, if you live in the "eparchia." But it's up to you.

3. As far as hospitals go... they vary from place to place but certainly the smaller islands have no hospital!! The island I lived on for a year (just moved a few months ago) had no hospital - you had to go by ferry, fishing boat, or helicopter to the island that did have one. Even on the mainland the hospitals vary in terms of how great they are. In my personal experience (having had relatively significant surgery here), medical care in Greece is excellent, but you do need to be in reach of the facility to use it!

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