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Planning my early retirement in Sweden
Old 11-10-2019, 10:20 AM   #1
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Planning my early retirement in Sweden

Hi everyone,

I am a guy in my thirties, living in Sweden with my wife and two kids.

My plan is to retire when I turn 55, which should be round about the time when our kids move out

There are plenty of years left, but some things should be planned early. If I had to guess today, I'd say we move to the Swedish island of Gotland.

I hope I can give some perspective on retiring in Europe, specifically Sweden, where state pension systems play a major role and require some planning around.

Cheers,
Tjelvar (named after Gotland's first inhabitant)
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:36 AM   #2
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We have visited Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries.

I would think that early retirement would be especially difficult because of the high basic cost of living there. And very high taxation is required to support very substantial social entitlements.

Good luck in your saving for your future.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:39 AM   #3
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I have wondered about the cost of living and retirement for citizens in other countries like Sweden, Iceland, etc.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:45 AM   #4
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Cool, how did you like it, did you pass by Stockholm?

Sure you are right. In comparison it takes longer to prepare for early retirement. Not only is taxation high, but also top incomes are lower. To me a more equal society has many advantages, I believe it makes for a "friendlier" society. Then, after retirement I can rely on a pension system that should provide me with a secure basis to build on, plus built-in health insurance.

By the way, anyone else here from Sweden or another western/northern European country?
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:48 AM   #5
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On cost of living in Sweden: I'd say 20k Swedish crowns a month should be okay for a couple, if you do not live in one of the major cities and plan to dine out every night. Restaurants and especially alcohol is what really stands out.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:58 AM   #6
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Welcome. We value a Scandinavian perspective. 20K krona is about 2000 USD. That would be light here, but of course we have high medical expenses.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:42 PM   #7
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In normal times, 20k SEK are about 2400 USD. The crown is very weak right now. Also, note this assumes owning your house/flat, which is very common in Sweden.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:42 PM   #8
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It's been about 3 years since we were in Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries. I remember a canned Coke or a cup of coffee was about $4.50, and 7-11's were everywhere. In Oslo, we ate at TGIF, and a burger/fries/Coke for two was $60.

That's more than 2x the cost in the U.S. I never looked at the cost of housing, however.

We were in Spain in June, and I was surprised to find living expenses to be very reasonable. Most food items, etc. were less than in the U.S.

We remain very thankful for inexpensive energy in the U.S. I paid $2.12 per gallon for gasoline last week. That makes us like a car/truck prostitute with our 3 vehicles on the road.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:51 PM   #9
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Yes, Norway is yet another story. We spent 3 weeks in Norway last summer with our motorhome. We brought most of our food from Sweden, which was a good idea.

My understanding is that Norway's economy is inflated by the state's income from oil. Inflated not in the sense of about to crash, but in the sense of too expensive for foreigners without a Norwegian salary.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:52 PM   #10
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Hej, Tjelvar,

A few years ago, we considered moving to Sweden where my wife was born and raised. We lived there for a month (in Ístersund).

We decided it wasn't for us. Lena realized that she's an American now. Some showstoppers:

1. Although Sweden seems big on LCHF (low carb), it just did not work to buy meat at the local store.

2. Here, I purchase something from Amazon and it shows up at my door two days later. There, it took over a week and we had to go to the post office twice because we didn't have the right identification.

3. Miscellaneous.

Here's dinner with Lena's family:

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Old 11-14-2019, 07:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjelvar View Post
By the way, anyone else here from Sweden or another western/northern European country?
I believe there are a couple... @Christine is from Norway. I grew up in Sweden, but have never worked professionally there. I do go back every year to see family and friends.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
We have visited Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries.

I would think that early retirement would be especially difficult because of the high basic cost of living there. And very high taxation is required to support very substantial social entitlements.

Good luck in your saving for your future.
I bet taxes aren't very high for those whose income is just their retirement pension.

And out of pocket costs for medical care are probably bupkis compared to Medicare Part B premium plus the supplemental & drug plans one really has to buy here in the U.S.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:50 AM   #13
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Welcome! I'm interested in hearing more from you as you plan & make your way to retirement.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:01 AM   #14
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According to this latest thread, the article linked has Sweden and the USA as about equal when it comes to COL.

Good luck with your plans on FIRE, it is always good to have plans for the future.

Cost of Living by Country
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