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Cost of Living

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lovelyrita
7/13/2017 21:16 EST

Has anyone found a decent resource for creating a budget? My husband and I want to spend 3 or so months in Ireland, probably Cork and I'm trying to make a budget but don't really have a good feel for expense.

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lovelyrita
7/13/2017 21:55 EST

I found this! I wonder how accurate? https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Cork?displayCurrency=USD

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FlowerFairy
7/14/2017 00:54 EST

Hello, if you are only going to spend 3 months you may be being too analytical. We spent 16 months in Ireland 2015/2016 (based in West Cork: The Sheepshead Peninsula) with Bantry, Skibereen and Conalkilty being our main shopping areas for food etc. On our return to Australia we found the prices here more expensive than in Ireland. If you are only staying 12 weeks or so I would estimate what you spend a week and add on a percentage (with funds in a back up account if necessary). Your main expense will be renting. Very difficult and expensive from Easter until September. You will need a car too if living out of a main town. 12 weeks? Just go for it. Good Luck

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Joshuak
7/14/2017 09:11 EST

numbeo.com is fairly good for a start. Actually, summer rental in Cork can be cheaper than winter because of the college rentals not needed as much in summer. Car rental is also a big budget item. If you could get by with occasional car rental and use public transport the rest of the time you would be better off. I lived there for about 1 1/2 years as I am Dual Irish - US citizen, and I bought and sold 2 used cars during that time period. You probably will need to get used to standard shift cars as automatics are had to find from rental agencies and cost a lot more. I do not recommend buying a car for as short as 3 or even 6 months unless you plan on coming back and can find a place to store it when gone. Problem will be car insurance. It is hard enough to get for a full year. Another variable will be the exchange rates. Euro went from $1.07 to $1.14 in the past few months. Was $1.30 when we were living there in 2013 - 2015. If you must buy health insurance it can be quite expensive i.e. $800 a month per person. However, even though medicare does not cover outside the US, most Medicare Advantage plans do up to a specific limit. AARP Medicare Complete, or Humana, or Wellcare give $25,000 to $50,000 for emergency care outside the US which might cover evacuation back to your home county if you have a Primary Care Doctor that is willing to let you go for as long as 6 months. Most Medicare Advantage plans require you to be gone 6 months or less, so you would have to plan on coming back for checkups before the 6 month limit. If you need more info write me via private message.

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lovelyrita
7/14/2017 13:53 EST

Thanks!

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lovelyrita
7/15/2017 08:04 EST

We are planning now for next year. The rough plan is to live in Cork 3-6 months and use it as a hub for an extended exploration of Ireland and perhaps extend to some European cities as well. We will both be dual US-Irish citizens by then if all our paperwork is complete which I'm also working on now. We also have to consider health issues that require us to live somewhat near a hospital due to occasional emergency need. I like the idea of renting cars and using public transportation as needed for short trips. I'm personally afraid I'd forget which side of the road to drive on! Maybe I should shoot for April - September. Not sure yet.

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lovelyrita
7/15/2017 10:10 EST

Thanks Flower Fairy. I have to plan because I need to tend to some things at home while overseas.

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Joshuak
7/15/2017 10:41 EST

Since you have the need for a Hospital close by, Cork is probably the best choice. My Mother was born there and immigrated to US in 1929 at age 16 with her whole family. Public transport is very good in Cork. I spent two 4 week periods in the Cork area and did not rent a car unless I was going outside the city. Once you get the passports, PSC / PPS number, and a Irish mailing address, and if you are over 65 (I think) you can get the FREE travel perk on the Public Service Card. You can use all the buses and trains in Ireland for free except special express route buses. If you don't qualify, buy weekly or monthly passes. Car rental can be expensive during the tourist season, and get used to driving standard shift (With your left hand) as that may be all you can rent. The biggest threat to US drivers is not so much wanting to drive on the right, but is to not having a good idea where the left front side of your car is on the narrow roads. Ask any rental agent what part of the car gets damaged most and they will tell you the left front fender. When you first start driving there, especially on narrow 2 lane roads, you hope there is a center line painted on that road so you know where your car is in relation to the left shoulder. You kind of get the feeling you are playing "Chicken" when a large truck is coming at you from the opposite direction. It will wear off in a few weeks of driving as you get used to it. By the way, US drivers are no better or worse than other European drivers that normally drive on the right. We all have the same situation. Unless you are driving at 2 am when there is little or no traffic on the roads, you will not have a problem with going the wrong direction at "round-a-bouts". There are some shared kitchen apartments available in Cork tied to the colleges where you rent a private room with bath and share the kitchen and common area in Summer when there are no classes. But during season when schools are going, it can be tough to find something acceptable. If you start to look for something year round, suggest you walk up Blarney Street one evening after 8 pm and visit some of the pubs. Look for a single older lady that might be there for the music and not drinking so much and strike up a conversation about if she knows about anything for long term rent available. If you do that, make sure you let her know you are a dual citizen, just a descendant "returning". You would be surprised what just talking to the people will get you. But be careful about online ads for rentals in Cork. Some are really bad people waiting to Rip you off. Check them out very well before sending deposits. Airbnb would be my last choice as I use Booking.com much more often for short rentals. As mentioned in some other posts, rental agents are not always nice people. I would much more trust the Lady in the PUB than most agents. We ended up with a 1 year lease in a retirement community in Enniscorthy over in Wexford County which was a great deal. Brand new single family 2 bedroom houses completely furnished with everything included except electric and phone/internet for 500 Euro a month. I think now they must be full and more money as 500 now is unheard of.

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lovelyrita
7/15/2017 12:49 EST

Wow. Thanks for the detailed response. Thank goodness for Our Lady of the Pub. LOL. "You would be surprised what just talking to the people will get you." - that's what I grew up with, in an Irish Catholic family. So did my husband-so I will find it familiar. It's a nice way to be. I won't quite qualify next year for the reduced fare (64). I was also considering Galway, near where one of my grandparents hailed. Galway is very popular now isn't it? But I'm not sure of their hospital services availability. Also, Dublin of course would be too expensive.

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lovelyrita
7/15/2017 12:49 EST

Wow. Thanks for the detailed response. Thank goodness for Our Lady of the Pub. LOL. "You would be surprised what just talking to the people will get you." - that's what I grew up with, in an Irish Catholic family. So did my husband-so I will find it familiar. It's a nice way to be. I won't quite qualify next year for the reduced fare (64). I was also considering Galway, near where one of my grandparents hailed. Galway is very popular now isn't it? But I'm not sure of their hospital services availability. Also, Dublin of course would be too expensive.

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lovelyrita
7/15/2017 12:49 EST

Wow. Thanks for the detailed response. Thank goodness for Our Lady of the Pub. LOL. "You would be surprised what just talking to the people will get you." - that's what I grew up with, in an Irish Catholic family. So did my husband-so I will find it familiar. It's a nice way to be. I won't quite qualify next year for the reduced fare (64). I was also considering Galway, near where one of my grandparents hailed. Galway is very popular now isn't it? But I'm not sure of their hospital services availability. Also, Dublin of course would be too expensive.

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FlowerFairy
7/15/2017 19:31 EST

Hi lovelyRita - I know life keeps intruding into plans but sometimes one just has to take a 'leap of faith'. Too much thinking can sometimes get in the way of dreams. Go for it!

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FlowerFairy
7/15/2017 19:44 EST

We were hoping to retire (sold up everything in Australia) but it did not work out. At least we say we tried and not spend the rest of our lives wondering "what if?". We managed inbetween house hunting to do a few trips: eg Israel, Cuba, Altea, Barcelona, Prague, Ostuni,. You have mentioned a few places Cork would be good as a base but also Kenmare in Co Kerry is a lovely spot with easy access to both the west coast and not too far from Cork. Remember: not to much thinking.....just leap!

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lovelyrita
7/16/2017 16:29 EST

Flower Fairy,
Sounds like you had some lovely destinations. I used to leap when I was younger. But life circumstances prevent that now. I have responsibilities to people who depend on me at home, as well as health issues. So leaping into the unknown would be unwise. LOL. But yes, I agree - overthinking can ruin a situation. :)

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FlowerFairy
7/16/2017 20:07 EST

Yes, I know! Keep the dream alive and I am sure you will have a lovely Irish experience with memories to last a lifetime!

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Muddled
7/23/2017 06:35 EST

To be eligible for "Free Travel" (and other Irish Social Welfare entitlements) the Habitual Residency Condition would need to be satisfied initially; PRSI contributions may also be required.

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Joshuak
7/23/2017 22:47 EST

PRSI not needed for free travel plus spouse, free TV license, and Credit on Electric bill. Just fill out the application. But as noted you need a residence address and PPS number. .

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lovelyrita
7/24/2017 02:30 EST

What is PPS number?

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FlowerFairy
7/24/2017 02:42 EST

Personal Public Service Number (basically used for buying certain things: houses, motor vehicles, opening bank accounts etc). Put simply it identifies you for the Tax Office and legitimises financial purchases. You need one but very easy to obtain. We applied from Australia before travelling to Ireland and had no problem.

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Joshuak
7/24/2017 08:10 EST

FlowerFairy: you are providing false information. A PPS number and PSC must be applied for in person while a citizen or Resident resides in Ireland and has a need for said documents. To buy a car or any other commercial financial transaction a PPS number is not needed. PPS number is only needed for Irish Government social services and taxation purposes. The only non government use is one must give PPS number to employer when they start work so the employer can start taking taxes out of the salary. IT IS ONLY USED FOR GOVERNMENT PURPOSES. I will not say you are incorrect that you did get a PPS number while living outside Ireland as some strange things do happen, but the only way one can get those documents without a face to face appointment now, is if one is involved in a probate action in courts and one lives outside Ireland. (so they can collect taxes) A Public Service Card has your picture on it and picture is taken at the office where you apply. That is where we got ours in 2014. LOOK AT "Citizens Information.ie". It tells you all about it.

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FlowerFairy
7/24/2017 09:53 EST

We only had PPS Nos and found we needed them for quite a number of transactions as apart from anything else it is a form of identification. A solicitor in Ireland forwarded the PPS application form to us (though we could have got it online) and we had no trouble obtaining our PPS Nos while in Australia, we just filled in what information we had.

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Muddled
7/24/2017 13:12 EST

Citizenship is not enough for many of the benefits you refer to
For instance, an applicant needs to be in receipt of social welfare for free travel, etc.
http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/780_Free-Travel.aspx

Also, for an EHIC from Ireland an applicant DOES

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Muddled
7/24/2017 13:15 EST

A PPSN and proof that you are either on SW or have been paying taxes and PRSI are required to obtain and EHIC.

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lovelyrita
7/24/2017 13:32 EST

Thanks to all. I was referring to the Senior Citizen benefit for free travel. According to what I've read it is available. Namaste.

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Joshuak
7/24/2017 14:31 EST

Sorry Muddled, I should have mentioned this free travel is for seniors over either 65 or 70 (Not sure which age) Perhaps you thought I meant all ages ? But if one has a Irish passport and residence in the country, they are eligible for free travel as long as they are over that age. I met many other EU seniors that had moved to Ireland that also had free travel on their PS card. And by the way, if you have the FT+S on a Irish PS Card, it is valid for all public transport in Budapest Hungary, and discount tickets on Lithuanian Train system. In those countries it is a EU senior benefit. Not sure what other countries have that. Bucharest Romania gives free travel to the seniors in only residents of that city so far. It is under consideration for all other EU seniors.

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Joshuak
7/24/2017 15:14 EST

FlowerFairy, I am sorry you do not have the correct information, but what you are saying is NO LONGER TRUE, and has not been for some time. If you would take the time to look at "Citizen information.ie" you can look it up. It is all there in Black and white. One cannot obtain a PPS number or PS Card without going to a Government office IN PERSON. One has to make a appointment and they will take your information, take your picture, and send the card with the PPS number to the postal address you had to have proof of, and you go home and wait for the postman. They do not do it any other way NOW except in the case of a probate action in court. They are especially worried about fraudulent numbers and cards. If you look at the website I mentioned, it specifically says one MUST be face to face to obtain number and card. And if anyone selling you something asked for your PPS number, they had no business asking. It is NOT a proof of ID or useful for financial transactions. You do not need PPS number for a bank account unless it is a interest bearing account so Government can collect taxes on the interest. Checking accounts do not pay interest so there is no need for PPS number. I got a checking account with a debit card at AIB, and in fact it is still open with a small amount in it and it has NO PPS number on that account. I bought and sold 2 cars and obtained insurance for those cars and NO PPS card was needed. I paid my road tax for one of the cars (The other had prepaid tax) and they did not ask for any PPS number. All they cared about was the money and the ID of the car. I leased a house in a Government subsidized senior development and they did have a place for PPS number, but did not require it. Again, all they really cared about was making sure the money was coming in from direct deposit from my bank. But all that is covered in the Irish Citizen website. LOOK IT UP.

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DebAckley
7/24/2017 22:00 EST

Hi! We have our PPS #'s...we have/had an Irish lawyer in Kerry that got us one. I have dual citizenship....we did not have to go to any govt office, etc. We were renting a home in IE and US. at the time.

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Joshuak
7/25/2017 07:59 EST

well, you do now. Look at the website. They make specific mention about security.

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hereineir
9/5/2017 13:29 EST

lovelyrita: Do not rent a "holiday home" if avoidable. They are horribly expensive and one can usually find a short term let that is much more reasonable. The closer you live to a major city, like Cork, the more expensive and rat-race-like your life will be. You can still be within reasonable driving distance to emergency medical services and live a more laid back, cheaper existence in the 'country'. I ended up having to have open heart surgery 3 months after arriving in Ireland, and was in the small local hospital in Bantry before being transferred & taken by ambulance to Cork. I have private Irish medical insurance (€100/mo) which covered every cent of the surgery & 3 months of hospitalization. The care was excellent.

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Mellis5910
9/5/2017 13:46 EST

Yes, despite all the shrieking about expensive rentals, if you're willing to live away from large cities, you can find wonderful properties to rent. But hereineir is right, steer clear of the holiday homes

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Meachair54
9/5/2017 15:51 EST

Hello Hereineir ,
Glad to hear that your medical problems worked out for the best.
I know when my wife retires this year I will have to get more insurance when going over to Ireland , I have looked inti big companies and the prices are unbelievable . Would it be possible to mention what Irish medical ins. You have? Thanks

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nativeofsac
9/7/2017 21:41 EST

I'm interested in following your journey. My husband and I are planning a similar excursion. We would like to start our travels in Ireland for perhaps 2 months and like you, use it as a hub to visit other places. We are looking to begin our journey late summer next year. I am just beginning our planning and I am not sure where to begin as I haven't traveled internationally. Any tips or advice that you learn along the way is greatly appreciated, as is the rest of the posts on this thread. So happy to have found this site :)

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Mellis5910
9/8/2017 04:06 EST

Hi Rita. I live in West Cork and think these Numbeo figures must refer to Cork city...they are way too high. The cost of living near Skibbereen is considerably lower. Rents are lower, groceries lower and utilities lower, too. I shop carefully and love how plentiful and varied the produce is, much of it organic. Living outside the big cities seems to be the key to lower living costs.

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Muddled
9/9/2017 06:45 EST

Cork city is very up and coming and has gotten very expensive in the last few years. It is becoming Ireland's second city and house prices and rents are high. There is also a housing shortage in Ireland, particularly in urban areas, driving prices up even further.

It's difficult to give a cost of living. I find Ireland, overall, very expensive, and I too live in west Cork. Some things are cheaper than the U.S. and most things are a lot more expensive AND there are additions costs, i.e. TV licence, etc.

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Muddled
9/9/2017 06:45 EST

Cork city is very up and coming and has gotten very expensive in the last few years. It is becoming Ireland's second city and house prices and rents are high. There is also a housing shortage in Ireland, particularly in urban areas, driving prices up even further.

It's difficult to give a cost of living. I find Ireland, overall, very expensive, and I too live in west Cork. Some things are cheaper than the U.S. and most things are a lot more expensive AND there are additions costs, i.e. TV licence, etc.

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monet06
10/18/2017 18:34 EST

I just got my PPS number this year and applied via a solicitor. Never had to attend in person. Flowerfairy is right, you do seem to need it for a lot and if you are in Ireland on a VISA you will need to provide it.

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FlowerFairy
10/19/2017 01:24 EST

With respect, Joshuak, no I did not need to apply in person for PPS. I sent the form from Australia and received my PPS Number while still in Australia.

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DebAckley
10/19/2017 10:10 EST

We lived in Co. Kerry last year. Are you planning on renting? We rented a home for 1000 euros a month ( we saw others for about 850...there is a rental shortage in IE at the moment). We had to pay for electric, oil, cable, trash and the fee for having a tv ( 160)...I'm going to say another 500 on top of rent. Are you going to have a car? We bought one as renting thru Hertz, etc was very expensive for an extensive period. You will need insurance..which was maybe was 700 (paid for a year, but they reimburse if you cancel the policy if you are returning home). The other issue you need to check (citizen information.ie is are you working? If you are a US citizen you will be allowed to stay for 90 days. IE is wonderful, we enjoyed our time there ( we were able to stay longer as I am a dual citizen). We loved Cork and the English Market. Let me know if you have further ??
deb

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