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An Expat Talks about Retiring in Yerevan, Armenia


Yeravan, Armenia

One expat who retired to Yeravan, Armenia is enjoying a much lower cost-of-living, walking his kids to school and playing softball in the summers with the Marines at the US Embassy. He says a couple can easily live on $1,000 per month and a family on $2,000. His 3 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom city-center apartment with a rooftop garden costs $700 a month.

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

Yerevan

Why did you choose to retire abroad?

Because the USA is looking more like the USSA everyday

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

I work abroad all year as a writer

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

It was just my last stop while working for someone else

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

I have resided in Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, Byelorus, and Poland

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

I have been living abroad continuously since 1990

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

I've lived in nine countries, but do not consider myself retired

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

OVERCOMING GOVERNMENT

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

Lower cost of living and Zero tax liability

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

Start sooner

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

Life is pleasant. I wake up and make breakfast for the family, walk my children to school, then stop at the cafe for a coffee or beer depending on the weather before going home. Then I do some writing until noon time before heading out for lunch with my wife (she's attending Yerevan State University). Once 3PM rolls around I pickup the kids and take them to their cello lesson three days a week, otherwise we head home to get started on homework while I try to write a little more. I start making dinner around 5:30PM (my wife can't cook to save her life). During the summer I play softball in the evenings with the Marines from the US Embassy, and we go for pizza and beer afterwards... it's a pretty American thing we have going here. There is an active expat community here comprising the Brits and the Yanks (with some locals mixed in), and we generally have a great time.

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

I paid $300 for a 10 year visa, they would have asked for more if they thought they could get it

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

We rent a 3-Bdrm 2-BA (unusual) apartment with a roof garden in the center of the city for $700 a month.

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

I earn nearly the same as I would in the States, and without the tax burden everything is much better.

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

Any monies earn from overseas sources are tax-free in Armenia

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

For a couple, $1,000 will do it. We are four, and we live very comfortably on $2,000, but I'm able to bank $4,000 to $8,000 a month

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

We have access to good medical care, but folks suffering from chronic conditions might consider living elsewhere. Most expats go to France, Germany, or Switzerland for surgery and other types treatment.

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

Not really, just some petty stuff. I have no apprehension about my wife or kids going to the market or drug store after dark.

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

Though a personal car is nice, and I do have one. Yerevan is a walking town for the most part, but there are an abundance of taxis, buses, and a great subway that is being expanded. The poor folk travel by minivans referred to as "Marshutkas". Not recommended during the summer as it can get pretty stinky.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

There is ADSL available for 8,000 drams a month ($20 at the time of this writing)

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

Even though we're surrounded by people that don't like us (Georgia, Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan), Armenia is a pretty good place to live.

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