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New Irish Census Statistics

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dave8408e
6/15/2017 07:22 EST

The government's Central Statistics Office has released new information gleaned from the 2016 census. As I'm a US retiree here on a Stamp 0, I was curious to see what changes have occurred in the retirement sector. It seems, if I'm reading this right, there's been an increase of about 10 percent in the number of US retirees between 2011 and 2016, and a slight drop in those from Canada. In any event, there's still less than a thousand US retirees living in Ireland, which seems shocking considering how wonderful it is to live here. Here's a link to my info; you can use the pull down menus to see a bunch of interesting stuff based on occupation, age, and nationality, if you're into that sort of thing... http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/saveselections.asp

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KevinfromKinsaleviaNYC
6/15/2017 13:05 EST

David, interesting results that you have summarized although I cannot view the link you provided.

Looking at the overall figures, however, a few other stats are interesting:

"The number of immigrants to the State in the year to April 2016 is estimated to have increased by almost 15% from 69,300 to 79,300, while the number of emigrants declined over the same period, from 80,900 to 76,200. These combined changes have resulted in a return to net inward migration for Ireland (+3,100) for the first time since 2009."

"Irish nationals continue to experience net outward migration, although at a much lower level than in the previous year, falling from 23,200 to 10,700, while net inward migration among non-Irish nationals grew for the fourth year in a row, from 11,600 to 13,800."

So what is all the concern about Stamp 0 immigrants if the overall population of Ireland has experienced essentially as much outward migration as inward? Is it because the people leaving Ireland are Irish and the people moving in are not?

Assuming 1,000 Stamp 0 residents, non-EEA retirees appear to represent 0.02% of the current population of the Republic.

According to INIS, they approved 250 new and renewal Stamp 0 applications in 2015. 250 out of 69,300 new immigrants is also 0.2%.

Is this crackdown on non-EEA residents a solution in search of a problem?

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Joshuak
6/16/2017 16:08 EST

The problem is essentially economic looking at future trends. Retirees normally do not contribute much if any to the economy tax wise, nor do they come to Ireland to work. Ireland needs younger workers at higher skill levels that get paid well and pay taxes. If they do not have enough decent houses at reasonable prices due to them being occupied by non working retirees, they will not have high tech companies moving in to maintain the economy at the socialistic levels the Irish people wish. Here in the USA there is a similar problem with social security and Medicare. Here it used to be it was 12 to 15 people working and paying into the systems for each retiree. Now it is getting down to only 3-4 people available to pay in and the system is facing collapse unless changes are made in the immediate future. Someone in the Irish Government must be recognizing this problem, and will probably advise the Government to keep strict immigration rules for non-EEA applicants. Remember, Irish Nationals that are outside can return to retire, and "Duals" that got their citizenship via their ancestors can also move there without meeting those income and financial requirements. In my Mother's children and grandchildren there are 15 US citizens that are eligible for Irish citizenship. My Mother had 6 siblings that came to the US when she did and most had children and grand children. I never counted all of them, but I would estimate close to 60 in this one extended family. I have no idea how many have obtained passports, but in my direct family over 60% have for travel purposes. I know of none planning to retire in Ireland so far. BUT, under current rules, they could. And we are a drop in the bucket as to the number of Irish that immigrated to the US since 1900. (The descendants of most ancestors before that would probably be too many generations to qualify.) Some time ago Ireland decided to take care of their descendants before others, but the EU added to that with the "Freedom of movement" for all from EEA countries which also can add to potential future financial problems. Please don't tell us there is no problem. If you wish to live there, you need to have the income required and be financially able to, and still, in spite of what you think, you could be part of a larger problem of not being a productive, taxable worker. You don't seem to think about that.

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KevinfromKinsaleviaNYC
6/16/2017 19:47 EST

Joshua, I appreciate your thoughtful post. You make a good point about the demands placed on Ireland by the EU to accept people from other EU countries.

However, I was mostly trying to point out that the number of non-EEA citizens under Stamp 0 are so small as to be insignificant.

Also, if as you say, this is an economic issue - and I agree - then we should rely on economic data. What are the statistics?

The perception exists that retirees are a burden to the State but I am not aware that there exists any statistical evidence to bear this out. How many non-EEA citizens living legally in Ireland under Stamp 0 have become insolvent and wards of the welfare state? If an issue for the future, how many of these people would become a burden at a later date? My social security income is guaranteed for the rest of my life, backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Better credit than most Europeans I dare say.

My only real objection to your thoughts is what I consider the wrong notion that retirees make no positive contribution to the Irish State. But perhaps others on this forum can better articulate this argument.

Cheers.

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Meachair54
6/16/2017 20:15 EST

Kevin from Kinsail via NYC,
You are beating a dead horse, numbers mean nothing , when the country you want to retire to doesn't want non EU citizens retiring to Its country. You can twist those numbers anyway you want to show non EU retirees are not a burden or will not become a burden .you keep pointing out the small number of non EU retirees in the country and the contribution they make to the economy ,if it's such a small group of non EU retirees ,then it seems the contribution to the economy is small and doesn't amount to anything significant . Ireland makes its immigration and residency laws up to protect its citizens. They threw the non EU retirees a bone by easing the requirements to reside in Ireland, accept that they are not going to ease the residency requirements no matter what outside influences say or do. CHEERS

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Joshuak
6/16/2017 22:55 EST

Kevin, surely you are joking about Social Security!!. If you think the Republicans will keep SS as it is now, you are dreaming. They have no intent to repay the Treasury bonds in the SS trust fund which would give SS in full to all that paid into it until 2030 +. They, along with the Democrats took all that money and paid for wars and tax cuts to the wealthy long ago and knew some day their children or grandchildren would have to deal with it and probably pay for it. Well, time to pay the PIPER and congress will probably cut SS and medicare rather than have the wealthy pay more. So I do not plan on having full SS for the rest of my life, as I made other investments long ago.
In regards to US retirees making a contribution to Ireland: I guess you did not understand what I am telling you. If you are not of Irish "Stock" and did not work there, or do not plan on working there, you did not, or are not, contributing to the social taxes needed to fund the existing Irish retirees. Sure, you pay VAT when you buy things, and if you meet the requirements of 50K Euro per person, you will pay some income tax too. But if you sit and complain you don't have the income to meet the requirements and want it lowered, I don't think you will win that debate. Look, I have legal citizenship in Ireland because of my Mother, but when I was there, I noticed even then, the native born Irish know as soon as I opened my mouth I was not one of them, and a few actually questioned if the practice of granting citizenship should continue. Most will not openly discuss that, and probably there is only a minority feel that way, but there is some nationalistic feeling there. I can imagine what some would say about the arguments you are making. Meachair54 is correct, you are beating a dead horse. In reality, in a nice way, the Irish do not want you there. They like visitors that pay and help their economy, but they don't even want other EEA country people to move in if at all possible. My neighbors complained about having to wait to see their Doctors because EEA people are hogging the appointments. Ireland is a small country, with a small population, and it does not take very many "outsiders" to make a negative difference.

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FlowerFairy
6/17/2017 02:13 EST

Although retired I know we put a fair amount into the local economy over our 16 months in Ireland.

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dave8408e
6/17/2017 05:00 EST

Much of what you write is correct, but... here's a 'boots on the ground' perspective as someone who retired to Ireland.... The housing shortages here are primarily in Dublin, where the tech boom is driving the economy and the need for young well-educated people is high. Most retirees like myself want out of the rat race, and are looking to surround themselves with the beauty and serenity that exists outside of the metro area. My county (Mayo) has seen essentially zero growth in population in the last five years. In my town, there is roughly one housing unit out of four vacant, and many have been so since the crash of '08. Rents and property prices have not increased. The crash washed away a whole generation of Irish to other countries where work was available, and the majority are not coming back. As a result, there are fewer kids in the schools and less money from any source to be spent in the shops. Retirees to Ireland aren't coming here for financial gain; it's for the quality of life. Purely on the financial level, there's no incentive for anyone to come to Ireland. What retirees do bring is, by my calculation, about a million Euro each spent in Ireland over the remaining years of their lives. That money flows to government in VAT, money into the local economy, and donations to charity. The Irish who left will end up getting paid retirement money based on what they earned in Ireland before they left, and that money will be spent in their new home country, not Ireland. Retirees who come to Ireland pose no burden on the school system or on health care, so we're a win-win for Ireland's economy. Even my local TD said "We need people like you".

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Meachair54
6/17/2017 10:10 EST

Dave8408e,
That is probably correct , but the powers that run the gov't don't see it that way . It's a numbers game on paper and the small percentage of nonEU retirees doesn't add up to much . They like the non EU peop,e coming over to spend money on vacations, that is where big money floods the economy.
I just got back from the S.W. part of Ireland almost everywhere in that area were schools and a lot of children and young families,, but you are correct there was a lot of new homes never even lived in., I was looking at a retirement. Cottage in Tahilla county Kerry , from where my wife's relatives came from, the area is so laid back peaceful and there is any kind of topography one could want, it's beautiful, for now it will be a vacation home until my wife retirement , by then she will have her dual citizenship like I. Have a great weekend!!!

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KevinfromKinsaleviaNYC
6/17/2017 12:35 EST

I think we agree on a lot. In particular, that perception is not the same thing as reality.

As I said in the beginning of this discussion, the number of Stamp 0 holders should be of little to no concern to Ireland. Their presence in Ireland, even if doubled or tripled, will have no material effect on the Irish economy, for better or worse. Its just politics, the government playing to its base just as it is in America, UK, etc.

And forgive me, Joshua, but no political party in the US will ever take away anyone's duly earned social security benefits. That would be political suicide and the Republican Party knows it. Heck, they can't even repeal Obamacare.

So if I wish to "beat a dead horse", please allow me that privilege. Don't forget that times can change, sometimes very quickly. The Celtic Tiger boom was at its peak less than 10 years ago and the Gathering was only 4 year ago. Ireland should enjoy its current economic growth but there are already signs of a slow-down. Brexit won't help.

The horse is still breathing.

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Joshuak
6/23/2017 18:28 EST

You are forgiven Kevin for not knowing what you don't know. I said "CUT" social security and Medicare. No, they won't take it all away, but how about getting 50 or 66% of what you were supposed to get ? As I write this, the Senate "Health Care bill" cuts MEDICAID payments which is what over 65 year old patients of Nursing homes get when they run out of their own money. Medicare itself does not cover long term care. That is in that bill NOW ! Paul Ryan has been warning that when there is not enough money coming in from working people to cover the payments to Medicare recipients, they are now borrowing money to pay for that and he said it has to STOP. In reality, he is really talking about having to borrow to pay back for the Bonds Medicare has in the trust fund. There are trillions of dollars in both those funds in IOUs in the form of Federal Bonds. As we worked and paid into those systems over the years, instead of saving the actual Dollars they loaned it to the federal government in the form of those bonds. Some Republicans have even said "We may never be able to pay back all that money". So if you think the Irish government or banks are wrong when they do not count social security as a reliable source of income, maybe they know something more than most Americans do. The typical US voter is not well informed and many of the politicians can baffle them with BS. You can take it to your bank, the Republicans will at the very least try to severely cut your social security and do away with Medicare if you let them.

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