Cost of Living

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Sinkingslowly
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 6:48 pm

Cost of Living

Postby Sinkingslowly » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:19 pm

Like everyone else who has ever thought of taking the plunge and moving to Crete I have been trying to research the comparative Cost of Living particularly with the current Brexit blip/death spiral (choose one :? ) affecting Sterling.

Whilst all sources say that Crete is cheaper than UK to live, various websites give the Cost of Living as 20% - 40% less.
From my own time in Crete it does indeed seem that it is cheaper to live well but I'm unsure just how much.
Many of the comparison sites compare items that I don't want or need every month, just how many pairs of Levi jeans do I buy every month?

So to get a realistic view and to start a little discussion I thought that I would consult the oracle.

Assuming that you own your property in Crete just how much money (Euros) would a couple need to have reasonable standard of living?

I'm aware that this is a piece of string question so lets set some starting parameters for reasonable standard of living.
1. Not going without basics to pay the bills
2. Running ONE car
3. Eating out twice per week.
4. One trip back to UK per year.

Let's start :D




.

Kilkis
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Re: Cost of Living

Postby Kilkis » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:50 pm

You could start with this thread. It's a bit old but because of the financial crisis prices haven't risen very much in the last few years. Some things may have even gone down.

Warwick

Yin&Yang
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:03 pm
Location: Megala Horafia/Aptera

Re: Cost of Living

Postby Yin&Yang » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:38 pm

I've just taken a look again at the thread Warwick links us to and would say that it still seems a pretty accurate reflection upon things as they cost now. It's certainly a good starting point for Sinkinginslowly.
Someday is now : )

moved 2 crete
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Location: chania

Re: Cost of Living

Postby moved 2 crete » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:01 pm

We had a wood burner taken out and an LPG gas fire put in and overall the running cost are cheaper than with the wood-burner, we have central heating from a gas boiler and gas cooker all LPG, total running costs around 750 to 800 euros per annum fed from a 1000ltr tank about 2.5 fill list-ups yearly, living in the west of Crete in Kolimbari...
Dave H

TweetTweet
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Re: Cost of Living

Postby TweetTweet » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:22 pm

Assuming that you own your property in Crete just how much money (Euros) would a couple need to have reasonable standard of living?

Currently anyone owning property has to pay a *property tax* (ENTHIA) (that tax is dependant on various things e.g property size tied in to "where* it is located - i.e. one could own a very liveable and maybe decent space, reomotish from touristic areas and 9possibly inernet connection etc)...but your living costs would be pretty low and I suspect quality of life could be pretty high!

I live about a dozen kilomtres east from Rethrymnon - my village kafeneon has (this season) been TRANFORMED and offeres an incredibllly tasty choice of typically Grreek plates and a mixture of Asian/Indian flavours. It is run by a talented English chef and his equally talented Greek wife. A really damn good meal (including wine) would be about 10 euro per person.

filippos
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Re: Cost of Living

Postby filippos » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:26 pm

Sinkingslowly wrote:....I have been trying to research the comparative Cost of Living particularly with the current Brexit blip/death spiral (choose one :? ) affecting Sterling.
The exchange rate has been worse. In December 2008 £1.00 would get you less than €1.04 -
the mid market rate was 1 : 1.039 GBP : Euro. When we first arrived here it was at about 1.64€.
From what I read about the currency markets (quite a lot) I get the feeling that the rate would be at about its current level with or without Brexit.

For eating out, prices, of course, vary from place to place and with what you choose to eat. Places around us are much of a muchness with a couple of tavernas being 5%-10% above the average. With two starters, salad, two mains, house wine and the usual "free" desserts/raki, typically, we pay between €32-€38. You don't need to spend that much. We had a very satisfying and tasty lunch a few days ago at a place just outside Iraklio, similar meals but a couple of beers instead of wine - €24.50 + modest tip. If we want coffee after a meal we always go to a café (in 15+ years here I seen Cretans drink coffee in a taverna just twice). In any case, the coffee's usually better and there's a wider choice of nightcaps in the cafés.

For everyday living we tend to use the small local shops for food etc., the local SINKA every six or so weeks for bulky stuff like laundry liquids, big bottles of shampoo etc. We very rarely go to any of the bigger supermarkets like A & B, Lidl, Marinopoulos. Years ago went to Halkiadakis a few times as it was the only place then to stock mature Cheddar (or any cheddar come to that).

Kilkis
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Re: Cost of Living

Postby Kilkis » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:11 pm

Filippos is right to suggest that, for ex-pats with income in Sterling and expenditure in Euro, exchange rate fluctuations are a bigger threat to our lifestyle than price fluctuations. Any person or organisation that has expenditure in one currency and income in a different currency is at the mercy of currency exchange rate fluctuations. You can use futures contracts to hedge against changes to a certain extent but not long term.

When I first visited Greece there were 240 Drachmes to the pound. That was quite nice because 1 Drachma was 1 old penny so it was easy to understand prices. When Greece entered the Euro it did so at a rate of 340.75 Drachmes to €1 so that would represent £1 = €0.7.

Later, when I moved to Greece to work, the Drachma had depreciated to 420 Drachmes to the pound so that would represent £1 = €1.23. The Drachma continued to depreciate until it reached 540 Drachmes to the pound so that would represent £1 = €1.58. As Filippos pointed out since then it has been as high as around £1 = €1.6 and almost down to parity.

The pound has been in a long term downward trend against other currencies. As Filippos says the current rate isn't strongly related to Brexit. If you look at the graph of the rate around the period of the referendum the drop immediately after the vote was more of a correction. For a few months the decline in the pound had more or less halted so on the day of the vote it was quite well above where you would expect from the previous trend. The day after the vote it reverted to the trend. Clearly the vote triggered the reversion to the trend line but generally all asset classes revert to the mean at some point whether they are above or below it. Having said that Brexit hasn't happened yet and won't do until March 2019 or possibly later. What happens then will largely depend on what happens to the UK economy. If remoaners are correct and Brexit is an economic catastrophe then the pound will inevitably weaken against the Euro. If Brexiteers are correct and the UK becomes an economic utopia then the pound will inevitably strengthen against the Euro. My guess is that neither will happen. Life will bumble on with some winners and some losers.

If you want to be cautious I would assume the pound might vary between €0.5 and €2.0 over the long term. There is a quite high probability that it will stay in the band €0.7 to €1.5. If you can live with that sort of change you should be OK.

Warwick

Sinkingslowly
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 6:48 pm

Re: Cost of Living

Postby Sinkingslowly » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:09 pm

I don't know how I didn't come across the old thread in my searches but I've had a good look now. Thank you for the link.
Nothing appears to be unrealistic but the end result seems a little strange.
If you take out the obvious expat things like trips to UK, you still end up with a figure for net income which is larger than the gross average wage for the UK and certainly larger than Greek wages.
On this basis no one could be living in Crete except rich expats which is obviously not the case :D .

Kilkis
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Re: Cost of Living

Postby Kilkis » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:10 pm

Not necessarily. For example I own my house outright so I have no mortgage and no rent cutting out €3,600 to €7,000. That is true of virtually everybody I know personally. I certainly don't spend €1,400 on Dentist/Prescriptions/Haircuts etc. I spend nothing on dental care, about €100 on haircuts and about €200 on prescriptions. I don't spend anything like €4,200 per year on eating out or €1,600 on car maintenance. Most years car maintenance is €0. My car fuel bill is around €600 per year and my car insurance is under €400. I don't have life insurance. The only thing certain in my life is that I am going to die one day so why would I insure against that? I don't pay for health insurance since I have IKA. Pet food costs me about €200 per year and I have virtually no other pet related costs. I have no pool so no pool maintenance. Deduct that lot and you get down to quite a reasonable expenditure.

There isn't an answer. I know people who live on the equivalent of a basic UK State Pension. I know people who spend a bit more than that and I know people who spend a lot more than that. Funny, just like in the UK. Personally I don't budget and I know the price of virtually nothing. Periodically I look at my level of savings. If my savings are going down then I am spending more than my income and I would cut back. Other than that I carry on spending at the current level.

Warwick

Guy M
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Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Cost of Living

Postby Guy M » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:07 am

That is an admirably Mr Micawber attitude, Kilkis.

We wrestle with money the whole of our lives- so, the obvious answer to the question 'how much do you need to live in Crete? is: 10% more than you've got.

In truth, the unhappiest person I know is a chap I was at college with who's now a multimillionaire city lawyer. Take pleasure from breathing the fresh air while looking at the beautiful scenery - that's worth more than anything you can buy and it's free.

Jeffstclair
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Location: The centre of the universe

Re: Cost of Living

Postby Jeffstclair » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:08 am

Yes I agree with the last two posts.....

TweetTweet
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:35 am

Re: Cost of Living

Postby TweetTweet » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:48 pm

Guy M wrote:That is an admirably Mr Micawber attitude, Kilkis.

We wrestle with money the whole of our lives- so, the obvious answer to the question 'how much do you need to live in Crete? is: 10% more than you've got.

In truth, the unhappiest person I know is a chap I was at college with who's now a multimillionaire city lawyer. Take pleasure from breathing the fresh air while looking at the beautiful scenery - that's worth more than anything you can buy and it's free.


Do you mean Mr Micawber (maybe I'vemisunderstoood Dickens:
We've all known guys like Mr. Micawber: really funny and nice, but constantly mooching, borrowing money, and avoiding collection agents. But Mr. Micawber takes it to the next level of extreme: he actually gets arrested for all of his debt troubles while David is still living with him in London.


Doesn't strike me that Kilkis is that character - he seems to be someone who understand *how things work* :)

Guy M
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Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Cost of Living

Postby Guy M » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:09 pm

I wasn't thinking of the "something will turn up" approach, but of this quote:

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery."

TweetTweet
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:35 am

Re: Cost of Living

Postby TweetTweet » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:40 pm

Guy M wrote:I wasn't thinking of the "something will turn up" approach, but of this quote:

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery."

I was just being clairvoyant-anorak - I thought you meant thaT!

I like this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAdlkunflRs

SatCure
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Location: Apokoronas

Re: Cost of Living

Postby SatCure » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:32 pm

Kilkis wrote:I spend nothing on dental care, about €100 on haircuts and about €200 on prescriptions

Hmm, I spend nothing on haircuts or prescriptions but I just paid €50 for a tooth filling and €250 for a dental crown!


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