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ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-12-2005, 03:50 PM   #1
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ER in Rural Ireland?

Years ago I talked with Americans who ERed in rural Ireland and they couldn't say enough good things about the place, including that the cost of land and cost of living was reasonable.

Lately I have been hearing that rural Ireland is no longer inexpensive and may be downright expensive.

Anyone out there who can give us some reference points on cost of living vs the U.S.?

Also, I know in Ireland you'd have a smaller car, you wouldn't expect to necessarily have all the goodies you can get at WalMart here etc, so I am trying to compare a reasonable middle-of-the-road lifestyle by local standards in Ireland with a reasonable middle-of-the-road cost of living here, (for example, something like spending 30k a year for a couple in North Carolina, fully paid house, and not including health insurance, car depreciation or investment management fees.)

Any thoughts?
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-12-2005, 04:23 PM   #2
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

C-T-
Not for me now, so much as developing a series of "Plan B" options for what to do if/when the property taxes /medical expesnses drive me outta here. I think anyone in ER should probably flesh in some sort of Plan B as part of long run contingency planning. Haven't been to Ireland, but have always loved Irish people, pubs etc. and the English speaking aspect of it is appealing. More of an idle Thursday afternoon thought as it is too windy out to put the third coat of varnish on the boat.
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-12-2005, 04:55 PM   #3
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat

I recommend that you take a trip to North Western Ireland ASAP!
10 days at least!

Sounds like a fun homework assignment. Got to work it into the travel budget and timing (kids school and camp schedules means just a few times each year to go for more than a week), and this summer (BC/Vancouver Island) and nex summer (China/Japan) are filled. So it's either leave the kids at home (hmmm....) or wait until 2007.
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-12-2005, 05:12 PM   #4
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

I've been to Ireland twice, in 2000 and 2004. I spent some time in rural western Ireland (County Clare) and can assure you that it's not inexpensive. It's definitely cheaper than Dublin, but it's not cheap at all. Housing prices, especially in the cities, are ridiculously high. The cost of living seems very high in general. It's not just the weak dollar either, even assuming a one-to-one conversion rate things seem expensive (maybe the high VAT?) I hear their income taxes are lower than most of Europe however.

Out of curiosity, we stopped in from of a job placement agency in Dublin to see what the wages are like. They seem to be about the same as salaries in the California, at least for accounting/finance type jobs (in absolute terms, not including conversion to the Euro). Before they switched to the Euro, things seemed to be cheaper.

The people are AWESOME and so is the pub-life. However, couple the high costs with the miserable weather, I don't think I'll be moving there anytime soon.

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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-12-2005, 05:48 PM   #5
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderALot
The people are AWESOME and so is the pub-life.* However, couple the high costs with the miserable weather, I don't think I'll be moving there anytime soon.
There's probably a good reason that so many of our ancestors hied themselves hither as soon as they could afford the boat trip...
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-13-2005, 11:33 AM   #6
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Spent 10 days driving around (southern) Ireland some years back. It is not a cheap place but there is a lot to like about it. I believe that Ireland like most European countries will cover your medical needs through their social medicine. Part of where the tax money goes. I liked the weather, it rained and was sunny part of every day.
But I think thee are several issues with moving there for retirement. One is that it is still a foreign country, you would need permission, you will not get to vote (except with your feet) and you will be an outsider. The outsider part is not bad, I have been invited to social activities when I was in Europe that I would not get invited to in the US, maybe we have a class system too?
Another issue is RURAL Ireland, I am a city boy and my ideal living arrangement would be a city or even a village where I could walt to things. It irritates me, in Southern California, that I have to get into my car to get anything, even an ice cream cone. As much as there is some charm to rural envirenments I really want my services (restaurants!!) nearby.
And one thing I remember about Ireland is that have a different way of doing business and it is a lot slower than in the US. (I learned to like that in the UK, but I saw other Americans that never adjusted). And there were strikes by the post office, the banks, gas stations and the like. Quite disruptive if you really want to get something done. Maybe not so important for the retired.
But go over and check it out. You may find a place that suits you. I could find a way to live there if I had to but part of my retirement dream is to live for at least a year on a canal boat in England. I have rented them twice and I just loved it.
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-13-2005, 11:47 AM   #7
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Never been to Ireland. Understand it is lovely. I have a friend who visits about 5 times a year, 10 days to 2 weeks at a time. The only
consistent comment I recall him making was that the weather
was often bad.

JG
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-13-2005, 08:07 PM   #8
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
I have a friend who visits about 5 times a year, 10 days to 2 weeks at a time. The only consistent comment I recall him making was that the weather was often bad.
Your friend must be a glutton for punishment

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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-13-2005, 10:13 PM   #9
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Anywhere in the European Union is NOT cheap - unless you go to some of the new member states (yuk, eastern europe...). The Midwest will be much cheaper, and it still has Walmart/Macdonalds etc. if you can't live without that.

Europe is very strict on immigration. You can't just move there permanently without a visa. Signing up for highly subsidized healthcare is also not easy. As a EC citizen, I can move back any time and get coverage in my country. However, for the subsidized government health care, I will have to show proof of employment (under a certain max $$$) or proof of welfare/unemployment insurance/social security. My husband needs a visa when he goes to visit with me. One of the conditions for his visa is proof of insurance. Guess they have some bad experiences with medical 'tourism'.

Vicky
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-14-2005, 06:24 AM   #10
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
Your friend must be a glutton for punishment*

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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-15-2005, 10:53 AM   #11
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Vic is accurate as to immigration in any one EU country. However, some countries have special programs to allow repatriation of American descendants from immigrated nationals, including Ireland and Italy. Some countries have programs where they will grant permanant residency so long as you are retired, do not take a job, and will keep a certain amount of funds in the country 'as an investment". Once you gain citizenship in any one country in the EU you gain the ability to live in most of them without undue immigration retrictions. If you are serious about it contact the respective country's American Embassy (most of the primary EU countries are located in DC along "Embassy Row") and ask.

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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-21-2005, 08:58 PM   #12
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Summary
ER in Ireland is viable, its a decent plan B anyway, particularly if youíre thinking 6 months on/off regarding the weather. Its a social country, the Government can't gouge you here without some resistance. Howver donít expect things to work as well as in most US cities. If you're renting in Ireland only - (not working and not expecting social welfare) the Visa situation is moot, and blocking foreigners from access to public healthcare is unheard of.

Costs of living in Ireland is higher for socializing and housing and transport. But overall costs are easier and clearer to gauge than in the US. If you can afford rent at Ä1200/month you can even live in a decent 2BD Dublin apartment. But you won't eat out or go out here as often as you would or could in the US. Think cooking at home most nights, bicycle versus car, or else crappy car at best. Its a great place to ER to write a book, learn a hobby etc

Other Pros
Mostly friendly people, but mainly speaking of rural and older generations here.
Useful social security/welfare system, nice for artists (plus they pay Zero tax).
Cheap and yet excellent education, even free Government sponsored training.
Unlike UK and US there's no property tax, but stamp duty on transfer of property can be as high as 9% on top of sale price. Not a good time to buy in anyhow. (renters market)

Other Cons
Property nationwide hit the ceiling (~400% past 10 years). Rents haven't gone up as much but they're still high. In Rural Ireland services are non existent (including public transportation), mostly people rely on each other, so you need to be 'in' with local people! Eating out all over Ireland is pricey. The weather is roughest in the west, as visible by the fact it has the highest occurrence of suicide Forget cars, fuel etc If you're thinking bicycle and cabs when necessary youíll do fine. Younger generations are more like global citizens - more time starved, less friendly, more self-serving. Warning: Rich/Poor gap is widening, social problems on the rise.

The Future?
Without a car one can live fine on Ä20k/year. Add Ä10k to cover a car+costs. (Ä30k ideal)
Being native Irish, Iím hedging my bets by keeping half net worth in Euro Zone and half in US for the next 5-10 years, and then see what happens. After all five years ago the Euro was sick, and the dollar strong. What's the next cycle going to be like?

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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-22-2005, 10:40 PM   #13
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Can't wait to visit, Irish and proud of it, don't know if I bleed green, but I definitely felt a little rush of blood to the head when someone showed up at work in all orange on St. Patty's day. Told him he's lucky I want to keep my job.
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-23-2005, 05:57 AM   #14
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephisto
...I want to keep my job.*
Are you on the right forum? :
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-23-2005, 09:45 AM   #15
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

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Originally Posted by dory3n
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Yeah really, huh? 14 years left, I hope I don't become institutionalized like the guys in Shawshank redemption....

.....come to think of it, there are a lot of things I don't want to experience from that movie!
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-23-2005, 01:14 PM   #16
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Jobs not worth it.
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-23-2005, 09:29 PM   #17
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ER@40

Other Cons
Property nationwide hit the ceiling (~400% past 10 years). Rents haven't gone up as much but they're still high.
ER@40-
thanks for the detailed and useful info.

Looks like I may need some more thinking on the old "Plan B' .... looks like the real estate bargains are gone.

So, aAnybody got any experience with New Zealand? It's a long way from anywhere, but has real esate there also gone up 5x in the last decade, or cost of living also far exceeded that of the rural U.S.?
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-24-2005, 01:26 PM   #18
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I visited NZ in 1999 and even the cities were cheap. I like to use beer as an indicator of how cheap or expensive a place is. I remember that even Guinness for just over US $2 and Steinlager (local beer that's really good) was below that. I have heard that things have gotten more expensive there after Lord of Rings came out and really put NZ on the map.
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-29-2005, 01:04 AM   #19
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

I retired to New Zealand in 1996. Since then real estate prices have risen considerably, as they I see they are in the United States. One of the big selling points for me is the socialized medicine, which very much insures on against outrageous health care costs. My wife (45) and myself (51) pay about $75NZ a month for medical insurance that allow us to use a private hospital if we are not happy waiting for an operation at a public hospital. You can also feel more comfortable living frugally here as people are not such conspicous consumers as Americans are.
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?
Old 05-29-2005, 07:54 PM   #20
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Re: ER in Rural Ireland?

Do tell, Thumper? How does one move to New Zealand and what are the restrictions involved? You have to have a job at the time, a certain amount of money, etc.?

I was considering Ireland myself, and may still go that way, but what I see of New Zealand is every bit as beautiful...

Many thanks, and congrats on finding a place you love,
Caroline
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