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Old Apr 1st 2011, 7:54 am   #16
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Default Re: Undecided expat

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We change our minds from day to day on where we plan to live. Stay in Ireland (beautiful country but really poor infrastructure), move to England (only ever been as a tourist but know more about what is going on there politically than I do about what is going on in the States), move to the States and be around family but be irritated by just about everything else or maybe take a chance and move to Spain (my husband leans towards France) but with a young daughter we also have to be practical. Sigh...
I think you've probably answered your own question, at least in the short-term. Pick the place where you want your daughter educated.... but if you're retiring yourself, why not spend the longer school holidays trying out the other places. See which one feels comfortable. Can always switch later on.

You'd be amazed at just how many people choose one country for retirement, then switch to another. We've done that, and very happy with our second choice (so far) and I've come across so many other people who have done the same.
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Old Apr 1st 2011, 7:59 am   #17
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Default Re: Undecided expat

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Snowbunny, I much prefer the English culture to the American. As far as Dutch citizenship test...I had to learn the language and it really is not an easy one (I consider Spanish to be relatively easy by comparison).
I am fairly fluent in Spanish and while I can read Dutch fairly well, SPEAKING it is another matter. I think living in NL for a few months and getting immersed would be enough to conquer the language courses and test.

I live in my native Texas and do prefer the warm, sun-filled weather to cold/damp/dreary. I also love the amount of *space* and the vast wilderness. But I do not like the "we automatically do everything better" attitude, in spite of clear evidence that we don't.

The make or break issue for me is health care availability. Without access to health care, it is not going to matter much what the weather's like.
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Old Apr 1st 2011, 8:01 am   #18
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Default Re: Undecided expat

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...but if you're retiring yourself, why not spend the longer school holidays trying out the other places. See which one feels comfortable. Can always switch later on.
Unless one is 65 and qualifies for health care through the US' federal system, or is obscenely wealthy, one will probably have to work to pay for health cover. And with the pitiful amount of holiday leave we get in the US - there's no time to see family and friends one has, let alone go new places. dotdarling, maybe that will decide the issue for you - no holiday here!
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Old Apr 2nd 2011, 10:59 am   #19
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Default Re: Undecided expat

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You'd be amazed at just how many people choose one country for retirement, then switch to another. We've done that, and very happy with our second choice (so far) and I've come across so many other people who have done the same.
Interesting!! I'm glad the second choice worked out for you, Bakedbean.

This just emphasizes for me how difficult the whole decision about where to live can be. It's really, really tough (perhaps impossible) to get a true feel for everyday life in a place until you actually do move there. I don't think visits--even long visits--give the feel of "real" life in whatever country you're considering.
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Old Apr 3rd 2011, 8:48 am   #20
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Default Re: Undecided expat

But also places change and people change. I see you're in the UK. How many times have you moved within the UK? Quite a few, right? Same here. You can get fed up with places, want to just move on, and retirement is no different really. I guess when you get to senior retirement, the autumn years, it's a bit trickier.

Maybe I'll be fed up with Penang in 10 years time. Who knows? Life's an adventure, isn't it.
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Old Apr 3rd 2011, 2:42 pm   #21
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Default Re: Undecided expat

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Interesting!! I'm glad the second choice worked out for you, Bakedbean.

This just emphasizes for me how difficult the whole decision about where to live can be. It's really, really tough (perhaps impossible) to get a true feel for everyday life in a place until you actually do move there. I don't think visits--even long visits--give the feel of "real" life in whatever country you're considering.
Too true WEBlue. You can't know what a place and the people who live there are really like until you live there a while. Which is partly why we've become a bit disillusioned with where we live now. Live and learn I guess.

Bakedbean: Glad to hear your second choice worked out. Who knows where we'll be once we're ready for retirement.

Snowbunny. It sounds like you have an apptitude for language, so spending some time in NL and speaking Dutch with the natives would really be an advantage. Am I correct in assuming that you're a US citizen unless you have dual citizenship from an EU country living in the Netherlands could be tricky.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 4:32 pm   #22
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Default Re: Undecided expat

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Snowbunny. It sounds like you have an apptitude for language, so spending some time in NL and speaking Dutch with the natives would really be an advantage. Am I correct in assuming that you're a US citizen unless you have dual citizenship from an EU country living in the Netherlands could be tricky.
You are correct on all fronts. My presence in the Netherlands would have to be via one of the non-EU immigration routes.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 6:52 pm   #23
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Default Re: Undecided expat

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You are correct on all fronts. My presence in the Netherlands would have to be via one of the non-EU immigration routes.
Best of luck then. The Netherlands is a great country. I think the easiest route would be attending a Dutch University or via employment for a company like Shell.
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