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Glasgow, Scotland

Retire in Scotland

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is it like to retire in Scotland? Retirees share their experiences living in Scotland.

How do I meet people in Scotland?

When we asked people living in Scotland about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"If you have children, the local primary & secondary school is a great place to meet other parents. Just as in the states, there is a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) that meets regularly. American Women in Aberdeen is also a social/support club that meets in Aberdeen. Aberdeen is approximately 20 minutes from Banchory. Aberdeenshire Council has also been very helpful in providing information on extracurricular activities for children living in the area. Banchory is home to many expats & the locals are very friendly & welcoming," said another retiree in living in Banchory, Scotland.

"If you are prepared to travel into the larger cities you may find some clubs or activies. There is not much going on in either Leven or Kirkcaldy, other than some sports clubs. There are lots of communtiy centers and pubs but it really depends on the locals and how you will be accepted. If you don't mind driving 40 minutes to an hour or more to some of the larger cities like St Andrews, Dundee or Edinburgh you will find them more open and accomadating. However, one must remember it gets dark here very early most of the year (like 4pm) and is raining most of the time. (not ideal travling conditions)," explained a retiree in Leven.

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What is life like in Scotland?

When we asked people living in Scotland what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"In comparing life in the suburbs of Houston to Banchory, Scotland, life rolls along at a much slower pace. From what I've experienced, family...mainly children, are the priority. In healthcare an adult appointment can be cancelled because an ill child needs to be seen. Additionally, community activites are available for children to participate in during school holidays," commented one retiree living in Banchory, Scotland.

"Work and the pub! Family life is low on the scale and it's quite hard to find a variety of family fun," explained one retiree living in Leven.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What do I need to know before retiring in Scotland?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Scotland, they said:

"In the UK there is a television permit fee that must be paid if you have a TV in your home. I thought it was a scam when I received the notice in the mail. Luckily I had a neighbor that I was able to ask about the legitimacy. If you don't have a TV, they will make an appointment to come out to your residence to verify. Also, before you move, change your address to reflect your new Scotland address on at least one of your credit card statements. When you arrive, you will need to provide a statement with your Scotland address on it in order to open a bank account. If your spouse will also be on the account, he/she will need to have a statement that reflects the new address too. It took about a month after we arrived to open an account because we did not know this small detail," added another person in Banchory.

"Be sure to move into the city proper. Life in the smaller villages may sound charming but is vastly different. You will be considered an outsider as well as your children. Bullying is a BIG problem in the school systems here and not always handled appropriately," remarked another retiree in Leven.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Glasgow, Scotland

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