What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Why did you choose to retire abroad?
Safety and security, cost of living, culture, ease of learning a new language, climate.
Why did you choose the country you retired to?
After considerable research into different countries, their economy now and prospects for the future, using commercial benchmarks like the Mercer Index, UN etc. Then visiting prospective countries and afterwards, making the decision.
Then it was where in Croatia to live.
Are you retired abroad all year or part of the year?
Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?
Yes, I lived and worked in Spain and the UAE.
How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?
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How many countries (other than your home country) have you lived in as a retiree?
What have been the most challenging aspects of being retired abroad?
Finding suppliers and services when there are no Yellow Pages or commercial directories.
What have been the most rewarding aspects of being retired abroad?
Meeting lovely local people in the village where I live and the nearby town.
What would you do differently if you were just starting the retire abroad process?
At the moment nothing. I have planned this for 12 months and I think I got things about right.
What is life like for a retiree in your city and its surroundings? (Is there an active expat community? Cultural Attractions? Recreation? Nightlife?)
The expats are mainly German. Few are English speaking. This is a highly seasonal area. The places open in May and close in September. During the tourist season, there is considerable night life, great restaurants, cafes etc. In the winter, it is just locals. The history goes back 3,000 years. Vast number of historic sites, nearby national parks, the Adriatic to swim in and for water sports. You can do as much or as little as you want.
Did you buy a home or apartment, or rent one? Is this a difficult process? (Please describe)
Purchased property with land. Process not difficult. Find a property you like. Find an independent lawyer, i.e., not the one retained by the real estate company. Exchange a contract stating that subject to the legal process being completed satisfactorily, you agree to buy and pay a refundable deposit. The lawyer needs to make sure the property does not have an liens and the owner(s) actually own what they say and can sell it. That took 9 months. Go to a Notary with the seller and your lawyer and sign in front of the Notary the purchase contract. Immediately after go to the bank and transfer the purchase price, then the property is yours.
What residency documents or visas did you need to obtain to retire in your host country? How difficult was this process? (Please describe)
Croatia is part of EU - so as an EU citizen moving here is easy. Obtaining the local Residency card which is not a requirement, but having one opens up access to all the locals discounts was easy. Get a form from the police station. Produce bank statement to show pension income, European medical card, retirement certificate and passport photo. Pay fee at Government bank and produce receipt and a temporary card is issued there and then at the police station. 3 weeks later collect permanent card.
Financially, has living abroad in your host country met your expectations? Exceeded them?
What are the most important financial considerations for retiring to your host country?
Cost of living and your pension. Will it pay the bills and provide a living amount as well.
How much can a retiree live on comfortably in your host country?
$750 to $1000 per month
Do you have access to quality medical care? (Please describe - is it close? Expensive?)
EU medical card gives access to local medical services. An additional insurance police provides a top up. Local doctor and medical centre 5km away. Hospital 25km away
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Is there a lot of crime where you live? (Please describe)
Describe available transportation where you live. Do you need a car? Is there access to safe public transportation?
Car is required, Taxis are costly but the bus service which is good, only operates between main centres,
Is there high-speed internet access where you live?
No. Had to install a Tooway Satellite internet system to get high speed internet
Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share about retiring abroad?