Living and working overseas as a financial services professional can mean different things to different people. However, one country that probably “ticks more boxes” than most is the island of Cyprus.
Traditionally, Cyprus has always been a haven for UK expats, drawn to the island by the relaxed lifestyle, beneficial tax regime and, of course, the non-British weather! While this is still very much the case, the long-standing UK expat community has recently been supplemented by an influx of wealthy Eastern European and other nationals, also keen to take advantage of the investment and property opportunities on the island. Sure, things took a knock with the Euro crisis in recent times, but there is little doubt that massive potential still exists for an experienced IFA to earn an exceptionally good living. A combination of “old money” and new opportunities, such as QROPS and lump sum investments, mean that the prospects are definitely there, and will most likely remain so for a long time to come.
Is Cyprus a “family friendly” place? Well, yes basically. The standard of hospitals and medical care in Cyprus is very high and on a par with any modern European country. Most doctors have received their training either in the UK or the USA, therefore communication won’t be a problem for you or your family. Education is compulsory for children from the age of 4 years and 8 months in the Republic of Cyprus. There are state and private schools available, with some private schools teaching in English. For expatriates, there are also a number of private International Schools, including the American International School of Cyprus, Highgate Primary and Secondary schools and Falcon. The Cyprus Government also has a policy of ensuring that the children of EU citizens can continue with their education while they live in Cyprus. Intensive Greek language classes are provided for them, so that they can attend state schools, and training is also provided for teachers to assist them in teaching children whose first language is not Greek.
So… Cyprus offers one of the highest qualities of expat lifestyle in Europe, as well as one of the most generous taxation systems. Both rented and purchased accommodation is available, at a standard which is often far superior to the equivalent in many other European countries, as well as often being considerably cheaper. It’s a country where the first language is Greek, but where almost everybody speaks English, so no problems with day to day living. And, for those well-earned days off, it’s an island that offers an extensive array of leisure facilities, including beautiful beaches, water parks, cinemas, clubs, bars, and a host of affordable restaurants. Oh, and by the way – 330 days of sunshine every year!
If you are an experienced financial services professional, perhaps looking to make 2014 the year you FINALLY get round to pursuing your dream, then Cyprus could be just the place for you…
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