Crete Crete Crete Please!

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Crete Crete Crete Please!


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Old 11th August 2015, 06:25 AM
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Default Crete Crete Crete Please!

I would very much appreciate expats in Crete talking to me about Crete!

I am a retired British passport-holding English Londoner living in Sydney, and I have an Aussie passport, too. I have lived in Australia for 25 years, and now that my wife has died, I want to move to Crete.

I have a fixed income from pensions and a managed fund.

I am an admirer of the Minoans, and plan to do a selfie-shot record of my visits to every Minoan archeology site on the island staying overnights in whatever accommodation arises just because I want to. I am an artist and writer of some minor repute.

I plan to purchase a car, and visit the Minoan sites over the winter, after which I want to rent a 2-3 bedroom house somewhere and edit my footage at leisure. During this period, I will invite my Aussie and Brit pals to visit and then see what happens next.

Questions:

1. I am 74 years old, and understand I must get health insurance to apply for a long stay in Crete. How much are you paying for your health insurance?

2. If I expect to pay for things with my MasterCard, will I be disappointed? I also expect to draw cash Euros from ATM machines in Crete: drawing from my Aussie bank account. Possible?

Please let me know if you spot any glaring pitfalls in my plans.

Many thanks

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Old 11th August 2015, 06:48 PM
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No glaring pitfalls and your plan sounds quite feasible.

As a UK citizen you have the right to live and work (even if non-applicable, you have the right) in any other EU member country you choose to. You do not need to apply for any kind of 'long stay' visa if that is what you are thinking. You only have to declare your residency if you stay for more than 6 months. That's a simple bureaucratic process. Or as simple as any such thing is in Greece anyway.

If you chose to stay for the longer term, your NI pension which I presume you collect in Australia and is non-index linked, will be index linked when you are living in Greece. Therefore you need to research what you need to do to have your pension increased while in Greece. As you may know, some people who are stuck with non-linked pensions claim the increase even when they visit the UK for a few weeks. I would consider this a priority given the amount of time you are talking about. It will be a signifigant amount over time.

I would not buy a car unless you decide to stay more or less permanently. I would rent, particularly as you plan to start in the winter. In Greece, there are many small rental agencies, not just the big companies like Avis, Hertz, etc. These small agencies rent to tourists in the season but obviously business in the winter is much slower. Most don't even insure their cars for the full year. Therefore, you should be able to negotiate a good deal by the month at least for the winter and then take it from there if you decide to stay longer. Just make sure the car is insured.

There are several kinds of health insurance you can look at. You can look at paying for Greek insurance since as a Brit you have that option. I don't recommend that. I suggest paying for private insurance which will provide better coverage than the basic Greek government insurance coverage.

You could look at Expat insurance or you could look at Travel insurance. Unfortunately, your age is going to be the biggest stumbling block. For example the travel insurance company World Nomads (Australian company) would be ideal as they allow you to extend the policy while 'on the road'. That is something not all providers will do. They also allow you to extend beyond a year which is again something not all do. That would be ideal for you since you could start with 3 or 6 months coverage and then extend for up to say 2 years before having to make a longer term decision if you decided to stay. Unfortunately, World Nomads won't insure you at your age.

Finding any insurer at age 74 is going to be the problem. I would do some research starting here: https://www.google.ca/#q=travel+insu...e+74+australia

Paying for things with your Mastercard or making ATM withdrawals using your Australian bank debit card will normally be no problem if they are Chip and Pin cards. However, you do have to bear in mind the financial situation in Greece which is very volatile at present as you have no doubt seen on the news.
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Last edited by OldPro; 11th August 2015 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 11th August 2015, 09:29 PM
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Many thanks, Old Pro particularly for the headsup about my UK pension! I will use your link to investigate the insurance issue, too.

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Old 12th August 2015, 04:41 PM
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Lots of good articles on frozen pensions here alan: Frozen Pensions - Telegraph

We have found it easy (no long on hold wait) to phone the UK International Pension Office.
https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre

I'm sure if you phone and talk to them about your plans, they will tell you how you go about claiming the index linked pension while in Europe.

Scroll down the page on the following link and read from No.5 "Rights while travelling"
PENSION GUIDELINES for British Expatriates

If you had a full UK Basic pension in say 2006 of 82 pounds, it is now 115 pounds per week and so you will gain 33 pounds per week during your time in Greece.


Last edited by OldPro; 12th August 2015 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 13th August 2015, 02:40 PM
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I forgot to mention renting a place to stay alan.

Again, as you are going in the winter, you could look at renting a self-catering studio apartment. There are countless numbers of these for the tourists, but in winter, most sit empty. Not only are they fully furnished but you could negotiate a decent monthly rent since it would be the off-season. That would get you started and if you chose to stay longer, it would give you time and a base to look around from for a longer term rental.

Only problem is many are not heated and only have solar hot water. No problem in the tourist season but not so good in winter. So you need to check on that. You will need heating in winter. Solar hot water is actually not such a big deal as you will still get enough sun most of the time.

A quick look got me this place as an example: Freestanding apartment house with beautiful... - VRBO Putting in Oct 30 through April 30 get me 49E per day but that is a standard rate per day in the low-season. I would expect to be able to negotiate a much better price on the phone with them for a 6 month stay. The question of course is what will your budget allow to to spend.

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Old 7th September 2015, 02:04 PM
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Two private health care companies well used in Greece are ..Allianz and ..General or pronounced Generali.The Athens airport where my husband works use General for all their employers extra health cover,we have used them both and they certainly dont give any grief about paying up,I think they have switched to General because they dont require you to pay up front then claim it back but might be worth you getting some quotes from them both,ask about the up front bit.But as OldPro says age is always a stumbling block with health insurance,however you must have it in place so try to find the best deal.But lots of small private clinics about for medical tests which are not so expensive,urine,blood,thyroid etc and xrays.

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Old 2nd October 2015, 06:09 PM
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Alan,
there seem to be a bunch of retired Brits in the Chania area. My wife and I (not retired Americans) are in Vrises and so far, we have met at least 10 retired/semi-retired Brits in the area. They have regular meetings for coffee, scheduled English pub-quizzes (I think that is like trivia night in the States), chess nights, hikes, etc. It is a pretty lively crew.

Also, check out livingincrete.net - it has a bunch of information that will probably answer all of your questions.

Look us up when you get here!

Cheers,
Alex

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