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An Expat Talks about Retiring in Kharkov, Ukraine


Freedom Square in Kharkov, Ukraine

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

Kharkov

Why did you choose to retire abroad?

For finding a partner /love, and a more laid back lifestyle with lower living costs and healthier habits.

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

retired for 10 months here

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

Because of the dating possibilities

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

yes, for short periods in Florida

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

10 months with three or four return trips to Canada

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

1

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

language here in Ukraine, loss of English cinema, coffee shops for conversation,

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

Have developed a wonderful loving relationship with a fine woman. My health has improved eating fresh home cooked food rather than processed prepared meals, or over salted and processed restaurant meals. I have quit taking blood pressure and cholesterol meds. Walking daily, as exercise and have no car here.

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

Make friends with one or two locals you can get to know. Have them assist you in all major spending as they can save you a great deal, from ordering a taxi, to where to buy the best food at the best price, to finding accommodation at local prices rather than internet prices.

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

)))))) Interesting , I have been ice skating, bowling, billiards, karaoke, cinema, (Ukraine language) and have walked many miles in bitter cold this winter, but enjoyed it.Have also enjoyed visits to Russian sauna's and a major indoor aqua park. Even went tobogganing on a small hill.)))) I have yet to find an expat community here but would like to.

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

I am allowed 90 day stay without a visa,

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

rented through an agent with the help of my partner. Very easy and did not even give first and last month rent , only first. We have 2 bedrooms , furnished nicely, flat screen tv, high speed internet, grocery shopping and parks in immediate vicinity as well as recreational facilities as mentioned above. Cost 550. to 600. US $ per month includes everything, except food of course.

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

I have been very happy with my cost of living here and lifestyle. It is much better than I expected.

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

mmmmmmmm Not all atm machines recognize my Visa card, so I have to remember that. A visit to a bank with passport will get money for a fee of 2 or 3 % I fill up my visa with a credit balance and keep drawing off of those funds and replenish when I arrive home ))))

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

I am not certain, but I think that a couple can find an apartment for 300, to 400 month US Live near subway and forget old idea about driving everywhere, get some much needed exercise on foot))) Taxi service is cheap 10. us$ for a 45 minute ride maximum. 15 hour train ride for $10.00 US with sleeping birth )))

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

I go to a lab each month for INR and cholesterol blood check for 6 to 7 dollars, they e-mail me results with all the norms included for comparison. Lab is much cleaner and more professionally run than the lab I went to in Canada. A doctor visit here may be 10.00 US

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

I have not heard about any crime but I am sure it exists. I walk in well lit parks at night and have not frequented night clubs. It seems as safe to me as my neighborhood in Canada.There are corrupt peoples and police, so I keep a low profile, do not speak too much English in the wrong places where I would attract unwanted attention. I am in the suburbs and on occasion take the subway downtown Kharkov . People have been friendly and helpful when needed, even with language difficulties.

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

I do not need a car. I do need one person to act as translator, but these services are readily available here.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

I have high speed , for $11. month have had very few interruptions of service, and they stem from my d-link router I think. But I am not certain about that.

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

If you do not mind accepting life and each day as it is, create your own adventure. My life had become predictable, boring, unhealthy, and less than satisfying. I am experiencing a new culture , slowly learning a little new language, have a beautiful loving companion, and the opportunity to visit much of Europe at reasonable costs from here. I do not mind bad service, and unpredictable experiences. Boredom is a killer for me.))) Good luck in your search for a wonderful life experience. Whatever that may be.))))

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Comments about this Report

guest
Apr 8, 2012 06:46

Hello, it was interesting to read your impressions about Ukraine! I agree with you that boredom kills a life quality. I am originally from Kiev but live now in Norway experiencing a lot of sensorial deprivation here. Society is deprived of many exciting life opportunities. People are using every occasion to stay away from each other, on holidays they escape from their cities with low population density to the mountain cabins in order to be alone. Almost all cafe, restaurants, places where one can relax are closed. Hope one day to come back to Ukraine! The only drawback that I would advice to be careful in Ukraine is a quality of hospital care. My mother in Kiev, being connected to one of the best hospitals, still needed that my friends would bring her medicines when she was hospitalized with infarctus. regards, Nostalgic Ukrainian.

guest
Apr 19, 2012 23:24

I have been planning on doing the same as you and for the same reason. Hopefully about a year and a half from now. In the meantime I'm studying Russian. I have spent about 4 months living in Russia 10 years back and I miss the Russian culture and people. I imagine Ukraine is the same but without the entry visa restrictions that Russia has. My hope is to find a solid woman that will enjoy accompany me on my travels and that can develop into marriage, a new family and so on. Perhaps someday we will meet up?

psuper81
Sep 30, 2013 14:50

I lived in Kazahkstan for 3 months and went to Russia, I would like very much to go to Ukraine and have an English club.....I have been around the world-I would appreciate any help from an expat like yourself helping me to get set up and to come visit next summer-looking for a place to retire :)

psuper81
Mar 1, 2015 13:47

This report describes me-and I would appreciate any help-I love adventure have a small pension and am tired of trying to date American women who never seem happy- I lived in Kazakhstan once for 3 months and loved it- I am trying to find my way doing my budget thing on my small va pension to come to Ukraine and get started-any help with lodging and learning the way-would be appreciated- I love the warm climates-but the culture there-Hw do you manage with the cold? Kelly

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Get a Quote

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