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Amsterdam
Old 10-10-2010, 03:10 PM   #1
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Amsterdam

Whats the story on retiring in Amsterdam?
I stumbled across some retirement forums about it online but it had very little information.
Is the cost of living reasonable? What about the crime rates? Do any of our more experienced travelers know anything interesting about the area?
Lots of questions come to my mind but I know little to nothing except what I see on TV shows about its dark side. Is there more to be considered plus a positive side?
I have never been and don't know anything, so just curious.
Steve
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:19 PM   #2
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I have no info on retiring there but have visited it many times and it is a pretty good place to visit as a tourist.

My former megacorp had one of its larger sites in Rozenburg and I knew a number of folks who had lived in the area with their families on 2 and 3 year assignments and all had very positive experiences. US colleagues did say it was expensive to live there but they were well compensated so cost was not an issue in the enjoyment of their stay.
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:32 PM   #3
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Amsterdam city is expensive and there is a non-negligeable crime rate, although you're pretty unlikely to get shot. There are plenty of nice small towns in the Netherlands where crime is substantially lower; however, real estate is not cheap anywhere in the country, especially if you're looking to buy.

There is some basic advice here to get you started. However, I would rate its quality as "mixed", if it's going to describe Dutch weather as "fantastic". The weather is comparable to that in Seattle - many Dutch people retire to Spain or the south of France to get real "fantastic" weather.
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:46 PM   #4
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My brother is moving to Amsterdam because his wife has family there - she grew up there and is a citizen. They are relocating from New York - so for them the transition is cheaper, especially since they are starting a family.

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Old 10-10-2010, 04:59 PM   #5
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Amsterdam is pretty expensive and I wonder how easy it would be to obtain a visa for non-EU citizens if you were sponsored by neither a company nor family.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:04 PM   #6
 
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There should be many web sites covering Americans moving to foreign countries. Try Googling the subject.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:08 PM   #7
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I spent a week there, but I don't really remember anything. I'd heartily recommend it.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:34 AM   #8
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Cheap to get around in winter you can just skate around on the canals.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:10 PM   #9
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Cheap to get around in winter you can just skate around on the canals.
Not often any more. They froze over last year for the first time in over a decade. They used to have an annual skating race in honor of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, but AFAIK they haven't held it in decades because it just doesn't get cold enough any more. BUT, that doesn't mean it has anything to do with global warming.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:58 PM   #10
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NL has one of the highest population densities in the world. Therefore, personal space comes at a premium. However, Amsterdam is served by very good rail and air service so "getting out of town" is easy. Automobile traffic congestion may be the worst in the world.

NL is northern Europe. The winters are dark, rainy and cold.

I lived in Belgium for several years, traveled frequently to the Netherlands and have some dear friends in AMS. We like to visit there often but I am not sure I could live there.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:26 AM   #11
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Been there twice for a few weeks each. My favorite all time city in the world. So much to do there, and everyone seems to speak English to some degree. I loved it, loved it, loved it, and, if I had the opportunity, I would move there so fast your head would swim IF I were working still (which I'm not now).
I can say I found the Dutch friendly enough to me as an American.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:17 AM   #12
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Been there twice for a few weeks each. My favorite all time city in the world. So much to do there, and everyone seems to speak English to some degree. I loved it, loved it, loved it, and, if I had the opportunity, I would move there so fast your head would swim IF I were working still (which I'm not now).
I can say I found the Dutch friendly enough to me as an American.
Were you there in the summer or winter?
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:14 PM   #13
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I did an expat assignment from 1995 to 1996 in the Netherlands. The cost of living adjustment I received was based on Philadelphia = 100, Netherlands = 218, in other words they paid me over double just so I could break even.

It is a great place to live (especially if you don't like the sun) but very, very expensive. We rented a 130 m2 house for 6000 DFL a month - about $4000 for a very small place. The only things inexpensive there are cheese, marijuana and sex. Meat is sold by the 100 g increments because quoting a kilo price would cause you to faint.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:06 PM   #14
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I did an expat assignment from 1995 to 1996 in the Netherlands. The cost of living adjustment I received was based on Philadelphia = 100, Netherlands = 218, in other words they paid me over double just so I could break even.

It is a great place to live (especially if you don't like the sun) but very, very expensive. We rented a 130 m2 house for 6000 DFL a month - about $4000 for a very small place. The only things inexpensive there are cheese, marijuana and sex. Meat is sold by the 100 g increments because quoting a kilo price would cause you to faint.
I think they saw you coming, or else you had something really close to downtown. 15 years on, a furnished house with 3 bedrooms in south-east Amsterdam rents for about $2800. Not cheap, but not off the scale. Move 20km out towards Utrecht and you can get that for $2000. (Many Dutch people live in apartments, for obvious reasons.)

Also, meat is no more expensive than elsewhere in Europe. That means more than the US, but it's not like there's special taxes on it like in Switzerland. Dutch people don't make huge salaries, especially after paying their high income taxes (now *that* is a major point for an American retiree to check before relocating there), and they can afford to eat meat.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:09 PM   #15
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Meat is sold by the 100 g increments because quoting a kilo price would cause you to faint.
Also keep in mind that Europeans in general do not eat large slabs of meat like Americans do. A healthy portion of meat would normally be 100-125 grams.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:37 PM   #16
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The only things inexpensive there are cheese, marijuana and sex.
Sounds like I could live there pretty cheap.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:28 AM   #17
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I just got back from Amsterdam yesterday (I was on a bike trip in Belgium and Holland). Like Harley, I stopped in a coffee house so I don't remember much No idea how much it would cost to live there but it is a beautiful, fun city. And you can buy a beater Amsterdam bike and a big old NY lock and forget about transportation costs around town. There are more bikes than cars.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:12 AM   #18
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I just got back from Amsterdam yesterday (I was on a bike trip in Belgium and Holland). Like Harley, I stopped in a coffee house so I don't remember much No idea how much it would cost to live there but it is a beautiful, fun city. And you can buy a beater Amsterdam bike and a big old NY lock and forget about transportation costs around town. There are more bikes than cars.
I was in Belgium and Holland this summer and did a bit of biking in the countryside which was amazing; but, biking around the bigger cities (definitely including Amsterdam) was annoying to me. Maybe I would get used to it eventually (kind of like getting used to auto traffic in the bigger US cities); but, I'm pretty sure I would never really enjoy it.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:26 PM   #19
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I was in Belgium and Holland this summer and did a bit of biking in the countryside which was amazing; but, biking around the bigger cities (definitely including Amsterdam) was annoying to me. Maybe I would get used to it eventually (kind of like getting used to auto traffic in the bigger US cities); but, I'm pretty sure I would never really enjoy it.
I remember (vaguely) when I was there seeing an old woman (60s? I was in my 30s back then ) riding a bike with groceries in a basket, and a kid on the rear fender and another on the handlebars. I was amazed, but figured you can get used to anything if you live it daily.
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