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An Expat Talks about Retiring in Brussels, Belgium

Apr 16, 2013

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Brussels, Belgium

Authors of the book "Retiring in Belgium - a Guide for Expats," moved to Belgium for work and decided to remain in Brussels for retirement. They enjoy the international nature of Brussels, quality health care, wonderful cuisine and friends.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Why did you choose to retire abroad?

Worked in Brussels for some years and decided to stay on once we reached retirement age. Life is very good here and we particularly enjoy the international nature of Brussels

Are you retired abroad all year or part of the year?

all year

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

We knew it well from having worked here.

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

Yes. We lived here in Belgium as working professionals

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

Moved to Belgium in 1996; retired in 2004

How many countries (other than your home country) have you lived in as a retiree?


What have been the most challenging aspects of being retired abroad?

Living away from close family

What have been the most rewarding aspects of being retired abroad?

Remaining in the city that we knew well from working here. A wide range of friends, comfortable housing, wonderful cuisine, good healthcare

What would you do differently if you were just starting the retire abroad process?


What is life like for a retiree in your city and its surroundings? (Is there an active expat community? Cultural Attractions? Recreation? Nightlife?)

We wrote a book entitled "Retiring in Belgium - a Guide for Expats" packed with information for expats thinking of retiring in Belgium. In order to buy a copy (all proceed to go charity) link to the website www.chsbelgium.org.

What residency documents or visas did you need to obtain to retire in your host country? How difficult was this process? (Please describe)

As an EU national with a working record in Belgium it is completely straightforward

Did you buy a home or apartment, or rent one? Is this a difficult process? (Please describe)

Bought an apartment. Easy

Financially, has living abroad in your host country met your expectations? Exceeded them?

Met them

What are the most important financial considerations for retiring to your host country?

A steady pension income. Belgium is not markedly more expensive than the UK

How much can a retiree live on comfortably in your host country?

Depends on your lifestyle.

Do you have access to quality medical care? (Please describe - is it close? Expensive?)

Yes. The care is excellent and plentiful in Brussels. It is more expensive than the NHS in the UK but worth paying more for.

Retiring in Belgium? Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Sponsored by CIGNA.

Is there a lot of crime where you live? (Please describe)

No more crime here than in any other comfortable area in any European capital

Describe available transportation where you live. Do you need a car? Is there access to safe public transportation?

Excellent and safe public transport. We only use a car for journeys outside the city.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?


Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share about retiring abroad?

Highly recommend our book "Retiring in Belgium - a Guide to Expats" For more information see the website ww.chsbelgium.org

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