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Eastern Europe
Old 11-24-2011, 02:57 PM   #1
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Eastern Europe

Hi Everyone. I M retiring soon and I am interested in learning about places in Eastern or Southern Europe where the rent is cheap. I stayed for several months in Romania in both Bucharest & Brasov. I lived in Budapest for several months. I have visited Zagreb. I speak fluent German and some Spanish. Where can I go ?
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #2
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Have also been looking into Eastern Europe myself. In Romania, Brasov is very nice and beautiful with its mountain resort setting. Cost of living should be relatively low still. Same for Bulgaria.

Also recommend Czech Republic, such as outside of Prague. Poland in the southern mountain region. But these 2 countries are getting more and more expensive, especially housing.
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'quality' of housing
Old 02-18-2012, 01:14 PM   #3
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'quality' of housing

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a.

Also recommend Czech Republic, such as outside of Prague.
But these 2 countries are getting more and more expensive, especially housing.
+1
watch some HGTV: House Hunters International, to get an idea about cost and 'quality' of housing. It is not like US.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:10 AM   #4
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If you are talking about permanent relocation, I would be much more concerned about competent health care than cheap housing. In some parts of the world, doctors buy their MD. A colleague a while back had a terrible experience with Romanian dentistry. Then, there is the issue of communications (with doctors in particular). Eastern European languages can be very challenging. You have language skills, but you already know some Spanish. It would be easier to go to Colombia, for example. Read Kramer's accounts of life in Colombia. There are also issues with being allowed to stay in an eastern country. Some really do not want you to stay. If you just want cheap living (except for medicine--but at least you get some of the best doctors and can talk to them), consider Houston.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:01 AM   #5
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There are also issues with being allowed to stay in an eastern country. Some really do not want you to stay.
How true. As a tourist you are welcomed, but if you want to stay, watch out. It's great you speak German, but it is not welcomed in some places in eastern Europe (long memories). I would stick with English. Americans are heroes!
I spent a month in Prague last summer. It was cool and I did not wear my shorts at all. Food (beer) is good but weather can be crazy and cold.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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I am hoping to visit Prague this year. Czech beer is the very best.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:35 PM   #7
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If you are talking about permanent relocation, I would be much more concerned about competent health care than cheap housing. In some parts of the world, doctors buy their MD. A colleague a while back had a terrible experience with Romanian dentistry. Then, there is the issue of communications (with doctors in particular). Eastern European languages can be very challenging. You have language skills, but you already know some Spanish. It would be easier to go to Colombia, for example. Read Kramer's accounts of life in Colombia. There are also issues with being allowed to stay in an eastern country. Some really do not want you to stay. If you just want cheap living (except for medicine--but at least you get some of the best doctors and can talk to them), consider Houston.
I think I would disagree with much of this. While quality medicine (including dentistry) can be challenging to find in rural parts of Eastern Europe (as any rural area of the world), the larger cities now have pretty sophisticated hospitals and practitioners at reasonable and subsidized costs. This is a result of incorporation and integration into the EU in the last few years. In addition, you're only a short hop to Germany and other traditional western countries that have well established medical facilities and specialized clinics. Remember, European countries are closer to each other and more integrated than you might imagine from the cold war past.

Language is no more difficult of an obstacle than if you moved to a South American country. As a matter of fact, most people (especially in the medical field) speak English quite well. What I actually fear of life in Columbia is the high murder rate from gang and drug-related violence. This you won't find in Eastern Europe. Petty crime yes, but no where near the murder rate as in similar South American countries (or even the U.S.).

Acquiring permanent residency in most Eastern European countries is now fairly easy and consistent due to current or planned future EU integration. It's just as straightforward as with most other countries in the world. Either immigrate with a needed skill, have a job in hand, show proof of funds for subsistence, or qualify under a retiree immigration program. Most Eastern European countries welcome Americans, and there is no stigma whatsoever to qualified immigration.

Houston? No, but thanks anyway.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:48 AM   #8
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Language is no more difficult of an obstacle than if you moved to a South American country. As a matter of fact, most people (especially in the medical field) speak English quite well. What I actually fear of life in Columbia is the high murder rate from gang and drug-related violence. This you won't find in Eastern Europe. Petty crime yes, but no where near the murder rate as in similar South American countries (or even the U.S.).
I really hate to quibble and nit-pick, but... Having lived in Colombia for some time, my anecdotal experience does not mirror your fears.

First of all, if you are considering a country in which to live, you should really know how to spell the name of said country...

Colombia for the typical expat is no more dangerous today than any other place on the planet... Yes, there is a high incidence of death by gunshot wounds on Colombia, but this is typically in the poorest of the poor barrios in southern Bogota, Cali and Medellin... No different than Rio, Sao Paulo, Lima, San Jose, NYC or anywhere else in South / Central America... My point is that all countries in SA have the same endemic problems, Colombia gets singled out due to the narco trafficantes operating there...

Drug use is being de-criminalized in Colombia so you do not see a large incidence of drug-related crimes within the country... Yes, the FARC still control the drug export business, although their attacks on the government have subsided greatly over the last decade...

There was a time when I would not recommend Colombia as a safe destination for travel or relocation, but those days are long gone...
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:17 AM   #9
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First of all, if you are considering a country in which to live, you should really know how to spell the name of said country...
+1
I read that this morning before taking my Son to basketball practice and my eyes were hurting the whole time!

I realize this is not a LAM thread but I personally know over 100 single ER guy's living in MDE that like me love their adopted countries and do not look forward too their occasional trips back to their home countries.

With regards to the OP, I would consider Turkey as it is a favorite retirement spot for Germans and Istanbul is probably one of the greatest cities in the world. An inexpensive "beach town" is Didim, where you could find many cheap rentals in the off season and travel during the high months. Many rural area's in Germany where the young people have left for "no jobs" would probably bear some fruit as well.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:23 AM   #10
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I really hate to quibble and nit-pick, but... Having lived in Colombia for some time, my anecdotal experience does not mirror your fears.

First of all, if you are considering a country in which to live, you should really know how to spell the name of said country...

Colombia for the typical expat is no more dangerous today than any other place on the planet... Yes, there is a high incidence of death by gunshot wounds on Colombia, but this is typically in the poorest of the poor barrios in southern Bogota, Cali and Medellin... No different than Rio, Sao Paulo, Lima, San Jose, NYC or anywhere else in South / Central America... My point is that all countries in SA have the same endemic problems, Colombia gets singled out due to the narco trafficantes operating there...

Drug use is being de-criminalized in Colombia so you do not see a large incidence of drug-related crimes within the country... Yes, the FARC still control the drug export business, although their attacks on the government have subsided greatly over the last decade...

There was a time when I would not recommend Colombia as a safe destination for travel or relocation, but those days are long gone...
I stand corrected... Colombia. But it was not me considering that country, I was just referencing an earlier comment. Interesting info. about that country nevertheless. I would also continue to recommend Eastern Europe for many reasons as a safe, scenic, less expensive retirement with old world charm and culture.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:36 PM   #11
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Having lived in Eastern Europe, specifically the Baltic States, recently for four years, I do not recommend the winters.

Not an easy place to retire to mainly due to medical care issues (not up to EU standard yet). People are great, but having some language abilities helps a great deal.

S
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:48 PM   #12
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You could try Macedonia which is part of the former Yugoslavia or maybe Sarajevo in Bosnia. Any of the former Yugoslavia is good. Your German would take you far in northwest Croatia (along the Adriatic) but rent may not be as cheap as you like...depends on what kind of place you get. Medical care is not up to western standards but is better in Croatia than in Macedonia, Serbia or Bosnia. You would need some private insurance in order to pay private hospitals as you probably would not qualify for the national insurance as a non-citizen. Also material goods and larger goods like cars are much more expensive in Eastern Europe, as is gas; but locally produced products (fruit, vegetables, pork) are less expensive and more tasty than in the U.S.
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