Hungary Expat Feed
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FeliciaOni initially posted:
My father and I plan on moving to Hungary in Spring of 2015. He is a 57year old veteran and on social security disability for life. I am 34 year old female and i live with him and i am his legal and sole caregiver and family. He and I will live together in Hungary as we do here in Florida USA. His disability is enough monthly income for both of us, there for he is permanently disabled and can not work and i will not be working either, he takes care of me. Our net take home income is 2000 USA dollars a month. Is that going to be enough for us to live normal? What are the costs for a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment? The sites i have looked at in English were beyond expensive. I mean we live on the beach in Florida in one of the busiest and tourist heavy places on earth and the prices i saw would be expensive for here! But then i hear that Hungary is a very affordable place to live so i am a bit confused. I know Budapest is the biggest city in Hungary, but should we look at some of the smaller towns for better affordability? We will not be working so being close to jobs or universities is not important to us at all. And we are moving from the USA so being close to lots of other USA people is not something we would need nor desire. Right now my father has a malpractice lawsuit against the hospital pending also. If that goes in our favor then our net(take home)income will increase from 2000 a month usa dollars to 5000 net(take home) a month. But we will know by Jan if that is going in our favor. We will not apply for our residence permit until then when we know what our monthly income will be. So i am wanting to know if what we have now would be enough to live, and if we are able to get more then just live better.
FeliciaOni replied on April 15, 2015 with:
Oh goodness! Ok so like what do people do that are in Hungary during the first year with the residence permit? My father is disabled and having a car is a must. He walks with a cane and can drive and i drive him around also. So going without a car would be very very hard on him. Are long term rental cars affordable?
peddington replied on April 15, 2015 with:
Greetings, A slight correction. It is not that you have to be a citizen to register a car but you do have to have an address card. The one year paper one won't do it but the 5 year residency permit does bring with it a regular address card. I did hear that if one hires a lawyer might be able to get the registration done and receive a plate reserved for foreigners. This was 2 years ago though and well things change frequently in Hungary! Be safe!
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ildikovt replied to the thread dual citizen considering a move on the Hungary forum on April 15, 2015:
ildikovt initially posted:
I left Hungary as a child, and have lived in the US most of my life. Now, considering returning as a retiree to my grandparents home in Dunaharszti. What would you do differently now, that you can advise about? Welcome your comments.
ildikovt replied on April 15, 2015 with:
thank you so much for all the detailed information on the move & expenses. I am putting off moving for now, after reading about the cost of moving animals. I just cannot afford those kinds of costs on my limited budget. So I stay put for now. So glad I found this page & your help. I may be going back for a short visit this summer, but will hold off on a move for now.
profray replied on April 15, 2015 with:
My wife and I packed a 20ft container by arranging it with a company called SEFCO out of New York. It cost about $3600 and was a fair amount of work on our part. They brought the container to our house and parked it for two hours as we loaded it. Any more time cost extra (we should have paid the extra couple hundred and been more thorough, but live and learn). They took it and shipped it to Gyor. Handling on this end was shaky since the contact guy on this end was poor. We finally gotten it straight and had to work through the paperwork. We could avoid any customs tax since my wife is a returning Hungarian national. It has been nice having the stuff we brought from home, but it turns out if we sold some of the stuff, we could have bought a lot of it here at similar prices, not quite WalMart prices, but maybe Target prices (Tesco is like WalMart here, OBI is like Home Depot, IKEA is here, plus a lot of good, small businesses still flourish, the big stores aren’t always the cheapest). We did not want to bring a car here since the taxes on a car over 2.0 liter engine was significant. We only had a 2003 Honda Civic and a 1995 Prelude (that would be the expensive one) so I sold the Prelude and we are keeping the Civic at my daughter's house. We bought a KIA C'eed here and love it. It was 3.2 million FT, but they have gone up a bit lately. We looked at RORO shipping and the only one that made sense to us was to get a Toyota Prius since there was no customs tax on it, and they were very expensive here. We would have had to buy it 6 months before shipping it to avoid taxes/customs as an imported new car, and didn’t have time. Don’t bring over a big car (bigger than say, a Toyota Avalon) or pickup truck, because they are hard to get around and park with. Some of the macho guys have Nissan pickups and I've seen one Jeep, but with gas over 350FT/litre, narrow roads, village living (no trip is over 2 hrs) parking, and really good train service (Gyor to Budapest in 1hr 30 min for 15 bucks) its hard to justify. That said, we have put on 44,000 km on the Kia in 3 years, mostly travel to BP, Balaton from Gyor. I brought my power tools, stereo, computers etc. along with two transformers. The transformers I bought online for $35. They are 700 watts, used for my wife's big Kitchen Aid mixer and some other kitchen things, the other is with the stereo. I forgot that a turntable wont work even with the transformer since the 50-60 Hz difference slows the motor. My tools are okay, but you can get most of them here for nearly the same price, Bosch, Black and Decker, and other off brands for a variety of prices. This has only happened in about the last 4 years since a lot of German stores have come in like OBI, Lidl, Aldi and the general quality is good. Our computer stuff converted since the power supplies all had a voltage switch. Just the Yamaha stereo needed 110. Electronics can be found at Tesco, Media Market, and some other big stores (check online). Remember, the price you see is always with tax included. We go back to the US every year and buy stuff to bring back, mostly clothes that we get on sale at Marshalls or Belk (regional dept store like Macy's). I think finding good, inexpensive clothing is tough here. Also good inexpensive shoes. There are all the same brands, and some really nice ones that you don’t find in the US, that are expensive $80-100 but really nice shoes. But a lot is trending toward what you buy in the US
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IgorP replied to the thread Some questions on the Hungary forum on April 13, 2015:
USA2somewhere initially posted:
Hello All, So here is my situation. I am an American married to a Hungarian women and we have a little girl who is 9 months old. I have been to Hungary a number of times and do have a good time when I go and can in the future imagine living there. I am a flexible person, I have lived all over the USA and England so adaptation is not new for me. I personally have some concerns with moving to Hungary related to politics and culture but I am potentially willing to overlook this based on low cost of living and the fact that my wife has many family and friends there that can help us in raising our family. If I do move to Hungary I do not plan of getting a job on the economy and would rely on pension and investment income to sustain my family. The goal would be spending rate of $3-$5k a month at whatever the current exchange rate is. I am considering buying an apartment in Budapest and I would like to rent it out. Long term plan would be to either use it as a residence for my wife and myself or an income property to help diversify my portfolio (income property first). I do think that now is a good time to buy (by "Now" I mean sometime this year) due to the favorable exchange rates and my belief that long term (5-10 years) exchange rates will normalize, the euro will survive and Hungary will move to the Euro. I am considering spending $100,000 for the property (cash) and would be satisfied if I could make 7%+ ROI (annual return of $585 a month after all taxes, maintenance, fee, repairs, etc). This leads me to my questions. What local taxes must be paid on rental income? Are there issues with properties being joint owned by an American and Hungarian? If I wanted to bring my own items to Hungary because I am moving there would there be an import tax on those items? What is the cost for an American to get private health care in Hungary? Would my pensions and American investments be taxed if I live in Hungary? Thank you for your time.
IgorP replied on April 13, 2015 with:
hi, Usually renting smaller apartments is easier and more profitable:you can rent a 50m2 apartment in BUD city center for 100.000 HUF but a 100m2 only for around 140.000HUF. So my suggestion for that money buy 2-3 smaller ones. there is a flat 20% withholding tax for renting apartments. Better to pay and avoid issues with authorities. In Budapest average net salary is cca 1000 eur, health insurance if you are not covered by your employer, you need to pay cca 5000 HUF per month. hope above helped.
IgorP replied on April 13, 2015 with:
hi, Usually renting smaller apartments is easier and more profitable:you can rent a 50m2 apartment in BUD city center for 100.000 HUF but a 100m2 only for around 140.000HUF. So my suggestion for that money buy 2-3 smaller ones. there is a flat 20% withholding tax for renting apartments. Better to pay and avoid issues with authorities. In Budapest average net salary is cca 1000 eur, health insurance if you are not covered by your employer, you need to pay cca 5000 HUF per month. hope above helped.
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borschelrh replied to the thread Where do you guys get news? on the Hungary forum on April 11, 2015:
profray initially posted:
I get Kisalfold paper and it isn't too bad. I has a lot of local (county-wide) stuff that is hard to track on the net. Where do you guys get your local/regional news? I can read enough Hungarian to claw my way through, but would prefer something in English that isn't total propaganda, say only 90%
borschelrh replied on April 11, 2015 with:
Actually, and I realize it is paradoxical, I read Hungarian Spectrum daily. I also peruse and my Hungarian friends links on Facebook. For international news I read mostly blogs, RT, Naked Capitalism, Drudge Report, Marketwatch, and Naked Capitalism. Between them you can glean the truth if you are cynical and diligent. Everything is biased.
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adminee initially posted:
If you’re a US expat retiree, we encourage you to send us any constructive feedback about the information and services provided by the US State Department to expat retirees. If you have suggestions for additional services and/or information that you would like them to provide to retirees, please include those ideas as well. We have the opportunity to discuss these types of services with the State Department and would like as much feedback as possible. Our time is limited so please forward your thoughts before 12N eastern time tomorrow to Thanks in advance for your contributions!
borschelrh replied on April 10, 2015 with:
I agree completey. None things which sticks out is that these posts from her are long, well written and very detailed. Sometimes there are two a day. She is supposedly a full time professor so who has time to spend doing this kind of detailed political analysis? On top of that it is all being done from the U.S. which makes it very difficult. Anyway, my alternate specialty in the Ar my was PSYOPS (now known as MISO) and I can smell this from a professional perspective. It is extremely sophisticated and requires the efforts of several full time staffers and cannot be done by a single person working alone from far away. There is another news blog also from the U.S. but comes out of Pennsylvania which isnequally forget the name but it is w weird one from a Hungarian perspective. I dug hard and tried to find a Soros connection but couldn't do it. But, it is very typical for his type of fomenting unrest.
Hotjazzman replied on April 09, 2015 with:
I have looked into the Eva Balogh HU Spectrum. I watched the interview too. Your nose is correct. It does not pass the smell test. Albeit, it's a sophisticated op, but as these kinds of things go, mistakes are, and will be made. She made a couple in the video interview, to show her hand. It goes deeper, but cannot discuss it here. Some things are just that way. I grew up in HU - under the previous regime. If anything good came out of that were two good things: we got a good education, and learned to read between the lines of the b.s., propaganda, lies, and incendiary rhetoric; we got it with our mother's milk. She is clear as day to me. BTW: she slipped in a very indirect, roundabout way, that she has handlers ("help"). I remember reading an article abut a professor from Ossetia, invited to teach for year in Gerogetown Univ. He said (paraphrased) "I grew up and lived in the Soviet Union and we were trained from an early age - by necessity - to see thru the b.s. and propaganda; to read between the lines, to predict from very little info as to what are they up to. We've been sensitized for it, to see it a mile away. Within a few mos after my arrival in the US, I realized, that things are no different there, except it is more sophisticated. It didn't matter how many papers and stations you have, the info in the US is filtered and manufactured just like in the old Soviet Union." Bright guy - can't recall his name - but probably that's why he became famous enough to be invited to Georgetown U. to teach a couple of semesters.
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peddington replied to the thread Moving to Hungary on the Hungary forum on April 08, 2015:
padleys initially posted:
Im living in Bulgaria at the moment and we are thinking of moving to Hungary in a small village, please could someone give us an idea about what utility bills are a month, and other expenses which need to be found. I know every where is different, but would like to have some idea before we make that move, thank you for your help
peddington replied on April 08, 2015 with:
Yes I can see that Tom! Insurance companies like to get the premiums but don;t like to pay out! Kind of like Hungarian banks, LOL!
Tomrock replied on April 08, 2015 with:
Thanks Peddington. I got the feeling that I got screwed...feel better now. And let me tell you something regarding Insurance companies. They are all scum. I did my car insurance with Allianz...I hope they will go bankrupt...that's the nicest thing I have to say about them. In two months my insurance with them is over and I don't want to hear from them again.
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CANGenavo replied to the thread Canadian planning to retire in Hungary on the Hungary forum on April 08, 2015:
CANGenavo initially posted:
I am a Canadian and planning to retire with my husband in Hungary in few years. We have been in Hungary and we love it, therefore we see ourselves living there. We are quite flexible and not difficult to adjust but have some questions and hope to get some advice to our short term and long term plans to move there temporary. We are planning to live half a year in Hungary every year after retirement so we will be traveling to Canada often in order to be entitled for all benefits and spend time with family. Budapest is our preferred location, but we are also considering close to Balaton or near border with Austria, I would love to get some advice about top locations for expacts. I would like to know approximately the cost of living and if significant difference within these three areas. What would be best advice to carry on with investments and pensions considering that we will get Hungarian citizenship eventually. Thank you for your time
CANGenavo replied on April 08, 2015 with:
Hi borschelrh, thanks for all information, what are most reliable real estate sites for Hungary? I tried mostly, are there other sites you would suggest? Thanks a lot!
peddington replied on April 06, 2015 with:
Indeed! When I had my 1 year "visa" I also had the "paper" which is nothing more than ones address and hey tell you it is "your address card" but it is NOT! Not recognized as such because it is a paper declaring where you live. The actual address card is issued by the Government document office. So if one get's let's say a 5 year residency then the immigration office directs the Government document office to issue the address card. This is different because citizens get their address card at the Mayor's office (City Hall) where they reside, but non-citizens don't. Hope this clarification helps!
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padleys posted Moving to Hungary on the Hungary forum on April 07, 2015:
Im living in Bulgaria at the moment and we have been thinking seriously about relocating to Hungary, to a village outside Budapest, would anybody help by giving us a general idea on what the utility bills work out at, and car taxes etc, would appreciate any help
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ibogardi replied to the thread denial of US bank service on the Hungary forum on April 06, 2015:
ibogardi initially posted:
This message is to inform you, seek your advice and possible information in a matter that is totally unjustified and unfair for us, and that makes us in a desperate situation. I am Istvan Bogardi, professor emeritus at University of Nebraska, Lincoln NE. I had 25 year tenure with the Department of Civil Engineering, from where I retired in 2008. I have stayed active in research both at home and abroad. Both my wife and I are American citizens. For some 15 years a single financial institution, UBS Financial Services Inc. in Lincoln has managed all our assets including TIAA-CREF issues, 401(k), pension funds, life insurance, you name it. For a few years, as a UNL professor, I have been involved in EU flood control and water supply projects. To facilitate this activity we have at this time a residence in Hungary, a NATO and EU member country. Yesterday, April 2, I received, without any previous sign, a “Notice of closure of your account” by an e-mail from UBS with the following: “From time to time, UBS Financial Services Inc. ("UBS") reviews the locations in which it conducts business. Following recent discussions, UBS has made a decision to cease servicing wealth management clients domiciled in Hungary. As a result of this decision, we will be closing your account(s) with us.” I believe this action is entirely unwarranted and discriminating. As US taxpayers we have practiced our election rights in Nebraska, and proudly represented our US citizenship privately and professionally. I am 78 years old, spiritually healthy, but, naturally, physically getting old. To start a new system of our financial management would put me a very difficult position.
ibogardi replied on April 06, 2015 with:
Thank you, good advise
peddington replied on April 05, 2015 with:
Greetings, My 2 cents her may mean nothing but I wonder why you do/don't maintain a domicile/address in the US. Some states (assuming you have a D/L) still allow a P.O. Box or certainly a re mailing service as an address!? Perhaps in your case it is too late but not late to write to A) A regulatory agency and B) to your Congressman! Hope others may have better advice! Good luck!
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profray replied to the thread Plumbing supplies in Budapest on the Hungary forum:
TJN initially posted:
Hi. I need threaded plumbing pipe, either galvanized or black pipe, and fittings to go with it. Scouring the websites of Obi and Praktiker leaves me thinking that these items are not sold at retail in Humgary? Such a wonderful array of other building supplies but I can't find these things. I would appreciate advice about where to buy these goods. In addition, if a glossary exists somewhere translating technical names, English/Hungarian, I would like to use that as well so as to communicate with a plumbing supply merchant as well as possible. Terms like nipple, floor flange, street el, etc. Thanks!
profray replied most recently with:
it's a bit of a problem. There should be some of those things, especially fittings, in OBI and Praktiker, but there are also smaller operations that often have better prices. Unfortunately, you have to look for them. Galvanized pipe, black pipe, pvc, are all available, just harder to find the way you are used to. If you are in Budapest, there is probably a plumbing supply place within walking distance, but there wont be any big signs, just vízvezeték-ellátás or cs? or vízi munka or szakbolt or a hardware store that specializes in this stuff. There is also a large number of skilled plumbers who work for a lot less than in the US. Talk to a Hungarian friend or colleague, they probably know someone. Kind of like finding a good auto mechanic in the U.S.
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