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Moving to Scotland

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RetiredCoastie
11/1/2018 11:42 EST

I am retired military, specifically 4 years in the U.S. Navy then enlisting in the U.S. Coast Guard from which I am retired now. I was born in England but my heritage is Scottish and am now a naturalized U.S. citizen.
But, Scotland is now calling me home. I visited Scotland recently and plan to return in the spring of 2019. I fell in love with the area around Ullapool and am looking to buy a home there.
I am a newbie to all that is required and/or needed, so any info anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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Buteshire
11/2/2018 08:36 EST

Hi Moving to Scotland,

I'm in a similar boat (excuse the pun) but a little ahead of you. I've already bought a house on an island near Glasgow. It feels like returning home every time I go there. The beauty of Scotland is unbounded and the people are friendly and helpful.

I'll give you advice but take it from a guy who's still learning.

First and foremost: Fall in love with a place in Scotland and give it your unconditional love. Sounds crazy but this means you're willing to put up with the ups and downs and you're willing to make your life there. There will be challenges and you have to be mentally prepared for them similar to any operation in your career. You can buy a house in Scotland but staying there full-time is going to require time and effort.

Second (and ONLY after step one is completed): Find a way to stay in Scotland full time. Without a full-time visa, you can only stay in Scotland for 6 months. This is probably going to be the most difficult and frustrating part of the move and possibly expensive. Visit this site: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration and decide on your visa. Currently, there is no retirement visa in the UK but things might change with Brexit. I've chosen Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and I will find or make a business that will be as much fun and consume as little time as I can. Expect to take months to research to decide and be careful which visa you take. For example, student visas do not let you stay in Scotland full-time after you completed school

Third: Get to know the people and culture and understand you're a foreigner in their land. Be humble and respectful of their culture.

Fourth: Look at all the info on transferring monies from dollars to pounds, insurance, social security, Medicare, long-term care, and taxes. I've got an 85% solution on this. We can talk about this later.

Five: Make it happen. Dreams are wonderful but ineffective. Use your training and experience to execute an effective plan. You can do it but expect it to take longer than you expect and it will require scores of hours of work.

Me? I found a big old house by the water and enough land for me to work the rest of my life in a shire, culture, and people I thought never existed in this world. My future life will be a labor of love - which is the way it's always been. Whilst in your struggles, remember the journey to make it happen is as important as being there. Think about it. The things that were the most important were the ones that were challenging to accomplish. I genuinely feel sorry for the people that don't get this idea and just complain about politics, weather, their health, family and give some justification on why they have to settle for a life that was meant to be lived.

Cheers,

Buteshire

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RetiredCoastie
11/12/2018 10:22 EST

Buteshire,
I tried emailing you, but apparently I need to go through this forum.
Thank you so much for our response as, so far, you were the only one.
You raised some very good points which I'll be looking into. Again, thank you.
Yours,
RetiredCoastie

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Barriemccauley
12/8/2018 07:21 EST

I'm also considering a move and am planning a three month visit next spring to Edinburgh. Have visited, hiked, and enjoyed E. Festival over past 1o years and want to participate more in what seems to me to be a far more civilized society. Have Grant and MacKenzie 19th C. immigrants plus McCauley 18th C. immigrants, so there is a heritage element too.
--Barrie Peterson, Valley Cottage, NY.

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Barriemccauley
12/8/2018 07:29 EST

Thanks for the sound advice and info. I'm going to spend three months in Edinburgh in the spring, seeking non profit groups to get involved in and possibly invest in if I want to remain and go for Tier 1 status. Do you know where to learn guidelines for investing the approx. quarter million $ ? I assume not in a property or simply stocks....I have commitment to and interest and experience in in earned income social ventures of NFPs so want to learn about this possibility. Barrie Peterson, Valley Cottage, NY

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Haggis
7/8/2019 13:13 EST

Edinburgh is a great city. So much to see and do. The east coast route is a great way to explore the east cost.

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Haggis
7/8/2019 13:13 EST

Edinburgh is a great city. So much to see and do. The east coast route is a great way to explore the east cost.

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ScotlandBound
7/12/2019 18:04 EST

Buteshire, I am just beginning my research and found your answer to this previous question helpful & inspiring! I hope I am not asking redundant questions but here goes!

Does Scotland have a requirement to buy property in order to be granted residency?

From what Ive learned so far in my research, it seems like the only real "hard" requirement (other than specifying WHY you want to live there) is the annual income of $25k per year...but it wasnt clear to me if that was per person or per household/couple. Do you know?

I know you didnt do it in this order but I am wondering if I should get my residency and then make a home purchase after relocating. Ive spent a total of about 7 weeks in Scotland and feel solid about it as my retirement destination but feel like it could take time to determine where there I want to live.

I have a particular vision of the locality and type of house I want and so far it looks like the Dunoon area is closest to my preferences.

Also, how does one work with a realtor there, or undertake looking for rentals/purchases from the U.S? Ive reached out to a few firms that are marketing properties and they havent been very responsive...I am wondering if there is a different system there than in the U S that would explain that.

My two other big areas of concern are medical insurance and taxes. I know Medicare isnt transferable and that private insurance is required. Do you have any recommendations on the most economical options?

I also understand the U K has a dual taxation agreement with the U S. If Social Security is part of my retirement income, is this taxed by the UK? The balance is funds from my investments, which I assume would be taxed by the U K. Any intel on what the rates are or is it based on each person's annual income?

One article I read made what seemed like a common sense solution to pay a visit to the U K Embassy to start a dialogue, which I could do easily enough. Did you do this and any reason to or not?

Many thanks for your help!

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