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An Expat Talks about Retiring in Tobercurry, Ireland

Mar 26, 2018


Ireland

An expat with dual US/UK citizenship talks about retiring to Ireland with her husband. They followed the advice of another couple, established a strict budget, chose the small, close-knit village of Tobercurry and have never looked back.

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

Tobercurry

Why did you choose to retire abroad?

Affordability and convenience were our biggest factors. We researched all options. I hold US/UK citizenship and decided to retire in an EU country. Then Brexit became known but we have been here two years and are pursuing Irish Citizenship.

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

Husband and I live here all year.

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

Ireland has everything we sought. Although we have a minimal amount of foreign language skills (German, Spanish, French, Italian) knowing English is spoken here makes adapting to new things easier.

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

We lived, due to careers, in Germany for a few years. In my youth I also lived in Bermuda.

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

We moved, sight unseen, to Ireland in 2016 and never regret a single day! It will be easiest if you connect with someone already living the dream before you move.

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

We haven’t lived in other countries since retiring, but we do explore!

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

One challenge has been hilarious and that is learning new phrases and words for the everyday things. My favorite is wheely bins for US garbage cans. Hubby's favorite is US finches (small birds) here are called tits. He loves telling me to look at all the tits on the feeder! We studied hard facts and expenses before moving, like medical, lodging, auto, transportation, food, to plan a thorough budget to adhere to, but the language trips us up with humor.

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

Getting to know, and to be welcomed by, so many warm, kind Irish people. Second is the spectacular scenery.

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

As we planned our move, we communicated with another expat couple who did the same a few years earlier. Everything they suggested we do had been done (i.e. budgeting). We can honestly say the single most important aspect was the research financially. Although we find Ireland to be less expensive than the USA with better benefits here, without a firm, stick to it, budget, one could fail.

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

Tobercurry is a rural, mostly farming, type of close knit community. A story told at one end of town will reach the other end before you do. The wonder of this community is the terrific support for one another. There are top tier cultural events like the Springtime Annual Drama Festival, Summer Country Fair Day, weekly musical and other cultural events hosted by local businesses, guest houses and hotels, and pubs that appeal to everyone from across many countries.

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

As a UK citizen our entry was easy. Having ties to Ireland, my grandfather was Irish, provides me with Citizenship rights. We were introduced to the Garda (local police) Immigration Officer who stamped our passports with annual visas. Research what is required to become permanent residents before making a move.

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

We currently rent and may buy once we become Irish Citizens. Our home is in an estate (group of similar homes) and talking to locals and agents got us in.

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

Financially, Irish cost of living has been below what we expected.

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

Can you support yourselves and for how long? Research medical costs, very reasonable, but necessary.

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

We live very well on $2000 a month which covers everything, in a large single family (detached) home. We use free public transportation and hire (rent) a car during the off season.

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

We arrived and immediately found a local GP tp handle everyday needs. An annual check up is €50 and a referral to a specialist has been at zero cost to us. Local hospital is 30-40 minutes from home by lovely bus or car. We purchased a full insurance policy, just in case, for €160 a month.

Expats living in Ireland interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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

Petty crime occurs here but nothing major and not frequent. That was a factor in deciding to choose Tobercurry. Our town is a very diverse community, accepting of everyone. Anyone not a resident is usually identified.

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

Public transportation is very clean, somewhat punctual (tractors rule) and a short trip to the major, very nice trains is always an option. Hiring a car is extremely affordable during off season...as little as €2.50 a day! The airport (KNOCK) has cars to hire and is minutes from town by bus.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

We have all the modern internet services.

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

Research and connect. Nothing beats the human resources and experiences!

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Comments about this Report

Mellis5910
Mar 31, 2019 07:48

Sounds as if this couple's experience is quite similar to ours in retiring to Ireland in 2017. We did tons of research and find the cost of living to be cheaper and the quality of life to be so much better here. It has been a pretty smooth transition for us and we are simply loving our lives in West Cork

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