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Best place in Europe to retire

Best place in Europe to retire

Old Jul 20th 2012, 8:11 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by steve01 View Post
Hi Jennie,
North - Porto is lovely and the whole Duro valley is a beautiful place to live/visit
Central - Lisbon is a great city, Sintra and Cascais are very nice towns.
Alentejo coast - Setubal and Troia are great places.
This is where the weather becomes hotter and sunny year round.
The west coast from Setubal all the way down to the Algarve is georgous.
Algarve - probably the place you should invest - Great weather, one of the worlds best climates, a fantastic place for tourism, lovely people and lots to do.
Best thing you can do is come on a touring holiday its only about 6 hours from North to South.
p.s we have a perfect holiday home investment for sale in the Algarve at this moment - private villa, with its own pool and sea views off the roof terrace - great price.
send me a pm if you'd like more details
Hey, thanks very much for the information. Portugal is definitely on the list. We're in a 'looking at locations' rather than properties phase right now. Once we've narrowed down the place we like, then we'll look at properties
Thanks again!
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 8:14 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by liveaboard View Post
I think you'd have to list your desires and needs before you could answer this question; because many things we want are mutually exclusive.
like;
I want a vibrant social scene, but I want seclusion and privacy.
Cheap cost of living, but the possibility of finding work / income.
Lots of land but not too much work to do on it.
Plenty of water + low humidity
Lots of sun, not too hot
Good policing where I don't get hassled by police
A place I can build / renovate / modify, but I won't have to worry about over development.
plenty of shopping / low traffic
Access to good health care + emergency services of course.

Wherever you choose, you will get some of these things and have to do without some others; and everyone will have to decide for him / herself what important to them.
I like dry sunny cool weather, elbow room, and a sea breeze...
Good point. Hopefully someone will chime in with some ideas for you. My list isn't quite so long just yet (which probably shows that I am an 'unsophisticated' searcher at the early stages of looking around). Many of the things you list however would be very desirable for us as well so hopefully we'll hear some ideas on where the place might be.
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 8:28 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Haven't heard anyone mention France or Italy? I've heard the healthcare is great in France and of course Italy is beautiful - any thoughts on these places?
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 9:09 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
Haven't heard anyone mention France or Italy? I've heard the healthcare is great in France and of course Italy is beautiful - any thoughts on these places?
I understand France is a great place - the problem is its full of French people

Italy was my first option before eventually selecting Spain, easy going people, good food, great wine

No big secret about Spain - the company the BH works for had a vacancy in Spain during a reshuffle and we took the opportunity and I retired early. Similar to Italy in oh so many ways.

I did consider Malaysia, wearing flip-flops and a table cloth, very friendly people with more English speakers than in Southern European countries, but I hate the flying if I had to come home for any reason, so put a 2 hour flight-time limit on it.

Remember the medical synergies and connections that are available if you should remain in the EU (so there is one good thing about it!)

I would suggest working out a SWOT analysis on each country being considered - just remember that what is great for someone else may be a real no-no for you, so it has to be your choice and all members of the family must agree wholeheartedly, otherwise it can be a recipe for disaster...

Good luck, let us know how things go
kr
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 9:17 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by Domino View Post
I understand France is a great place - the problem is its full of French people

Italy was my first option before eventually selecting Spain, easy going people, good food, great wine

No big secret about Spain - the company the BH works for had a vacancy in Spain during a reshuffle and we took the opportunity and I retired early. Similar to Italy in oh so many ways.

I did consider Malaysia, wearing flip-flops and a table cloth, very friendly people with more English speakers than in Southern European countries, but I hate the flying if I had to come home for any reason, so put a 2 hour flight-time limit on it.

Remember the medical synergies and connections that are available if you should remain in the EU (so there is one good thing about it!)

I would suggest working out a SWOT analysis on each country being considered - just remember that what is great for someone else may be a real no-no for you, so it has to be your choice and all members of the family must agree wholeheartedly, otherwise it can be a recipe for disaster...

Good luck, let us know how things go
kr
Hey Domino,

Thanks so much. Regarding the 'medical synergies' can you expand on that? This component is VERY important to me (healthcare that is) - and we'd really like to have the best available wherever we are. What's it like in Spain? Is their system better than the UK? Is it a mix of social and private or just private/Just social? Look forward to hearing more.

Thanks.
Jennifer
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 9:18 am
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Smile Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by liveaboard View Post
I think you'd have to list your desires and needs before you could answer this question; because many things we want are mutually exclusive.
like;
I want a vibrant social scene, but I want seclusion and privacy.
Cheap cost of living, but the possibility of finding work / income.
Lots of land but not too much work to do on it.
Plenty of water + low humidity
Lots of sun, not too hot
Good policing where I don't get hassled by police
A place I can build / renovate / modify, but I won't have to worry about over development.
plenty of shopping / low traffic
Access to good health care + emergency services of course.

Wherever you choose, you will get some of these things and have to do without some others; and everyone will have to decide for him / herself what important to them.
I like dry sunny cool weather, elbow room, and a sea breeze...
Have a look at Ayamonte Spain right on the Algave border 35 mins to Faro airport and good regular links to most UK destinations a few international destinations and a couple of trans-continental destinations. 2.5 hrs to Lisbon for more destinations and 75 mins to Sevilla for yet more. Prices for property cheaper than the Algarve like for like. Food prices in Portugal are so low you can afford to eat out every lunch time. Weather near perfect unless you like rain and snow not seen down here. Two cultures from Fado to Flamenco you just can't beat it.
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 9:33 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by John & Kath View Post
Have a look at Ayamonte Spain right on the Algave border 35 mins to Faro airport and good regular links to most UK destinations a few international destinations and a couple of trans-continental destinations. 2.5 hrs to Lisbon for more destinations and 75 mins to Sevilla for yet more. Prices for property cheaper than the Algarve like for like. Food prices in Portugal are so low you can afford to eat out every lunch time. Weather near perfect unless you like rain and snow not seen down here. Two cultures from Fado to Flamenco you just can't beat it.
Thanks so much. I really like the looks of the place - checked it out online. Can you explain how healthcare works there?

Thanks so much.

Jennifer
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 9:48 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
Hey Domino,

Thanks so much. Regarding the 'medical synergies' can you expand on that? This component is VERY important to me (healthcare that is) - and we'd really like to have the best available wherever we are. What's it like in Spain? Is their system better than the UK? Is it a mix of social and private or just private/Just social? Look forward to hearing more.

Thanks.
Jennifer
Healthcare in Spain isnt backward. At times they seem to have more and newer facilities - although there is more of a family care than a hospital care environment. My local (in the sticks) GP provides 24hr cover online appt booking in a facility better than the one I left in the UK.

As i said earlier you need to do the homework/SWOT, my medical needs may be different to yours. start off with the FCO website, which will cover all countries each in some depth. The EHIC covers in the very short term but the S1 will give more in depth support especially after you retire.
Private medical is available at some cost dependent on the person, although you may need to be near major conurbations for that to work properly.

I found the fun part of looking was the great places you can get to visit, learning before and during the visit, even searching for hotels etc to stay in gives an insight into the country.
kr
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 10:03 am
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Smile Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
Thanks so much. I really like the looks of the place - checked it out online. Can you explain how healthcare works there?

Thanks so much.

Jennifer
Rude question "how old are you". If you are UK pensionable age very well some say the Spanish NHS is better than UK or Eire. We are registered but touch wood have not had to use the doctor or hospitals yet.

A friend died a year ago from terminal cancer and his treatment was praised. Another has chronic arthritis and has good regular treatment. Several people we know have had emergency treatment at the local clinic from scorpion bites to deep cuts and all praise the response. If you look at the Portugal News you will find many articles and letters criticising the public health care in the Algarve so that could be a good reason for living just over the border although we spend as much time in Portugal as Spain.

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Old Jul 20th 2012, 10:19 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

We're living on the west coast of the Algarve; the weather is the best here [for me at least]. The sea breeze keeps it from getting too hot in summer or too cold in winter.
Plenty of water, good infrastructure [power, water, internet, road].
Good medical care is a bit far, 40km in Lagos.
Airport is 1 1/2 hours to Faro or 2 1/2 hours to Lisbon. If you travel a lot, that's not so great.
Nice beach 2 km away.
But no one to talk to, the locals are super nice but few speak English. Expats here are mostly old Germans.

We bought a big property, which is great but a lot of work to maintain; at least one day a week. This is fine as long as I'm fit, but if you think retirement, you have to anticipate the period of your life when you won't be so.
And when you'll need home care.
Lagos [Portugal] is pretty good for that we hear.

I think many people's idea of what they think they want is at odds with what would actually make them happy.
We imagine the happy points of our lives, and want to relive those times in retirement; but sitting around a pool in the sun drinking isn't healthy and soon gets boring.
Most of us won't be able to be as active as when we were young.
When we were working and busy, we dreamed of getting away, we thought we wanted peace, quiet, and seclusion. But now that we have it, we find we do need other people after all.

And if you think you want to grow your own food... don't get me started on that one!

Anyway, I would recommend checking out this area for the good points it has. Low crime, great weather, reasonable prices, good infrastructure. I think the Algarve west coast is a contender. Today, July 20th, Northern Europe is awash with rain. Southern Europe is baking hot. Here it's 22C with a light breeze as usual.

After living many years in India, I no longer want to live in a place where I'm dependent on a visa that can be withdrawn at any time on the whim of a local bureaucrat, or change of political climate.
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by John & Kath View Post
Rude question "how old are you". If you are UK pensionable age very well some say the Spanish NHS is better than UK or Eire. We are registered but touch wood have not had to use the doctor or hospitals yet.

A friend died a year ago from terminal cancer and his treatment was praised. Another has chronic arthritis and has good regular treatment. Several people we know have had emergency treatment at the local clinic from scorpion bites to deep cuts and all praise the response.
I know I have less problems out here with my arthritis
A friend of ours, early 40's, with chronic arthritis, came out here with misgivings but has more mobility, less pain, fewer and less severe attacks.

I know, its just the heat, the sun, sun, sun. You even feel happier as SAD is much less of a problem here.
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by John & Kath View Post
Rude question "how old are you". If you are UK pensionable age very well some say the Spanish NHS is better than UK or Eire. We are registered but touch wood have not had to use the doctor or hospitals yet.

A friend died a year ago from terminal cancer and his treatment was praised. Another has chronic arthritis and has good regular treatment. Several people we know have had emergency treatment at the local clinic from scorpion bites to deep cuts and all praise the response.
Not rude at all I am 39. So we are looking for a place as a holiday home for now and with a view to using it when we retire. Of course, I realise that health care standards could change between now and when we are ready to retire wherever we retire. But if there is a trend for 'good' healthcare somewhere, one would hope that it doesn't change too much. Thanks for sharing the experiences of your friends. I had a HORRIFIC experience with the NHS a few years ago and almost lost my life due to an oversight that any GP fresh out of university with no experience would have caught. To sum up, I was sent home instead of being sent to an emergency room as I had melting point 40 degree fever. Had my parents not been calling me from the USA to urge me to go to the emergency room, I would have died in my flat as 2 hours after arriving at the ER, I went into cardiac arrest from a kidney infection that turned into sepsis! So, believe me, the healthcare is a BIG issue for me and I really do appreciate your comments. My original country of the USA is also quite challenging for retirees as the costs are just crazy - so i am looking for something somewhere else. As I am a dual citizen, I am very fortunate to have numerous places from which to choose )).

Thanks again!
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 10:38 am
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Smile Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
Not rude at all I am 39. So we are looking for a place as a holiday home for now and with a view to using it when we retire. Of course, I realise that health care standards could change between now and when we are ready to retire wherever we retire. But if there is a trend for 'good' healthcare somewhere, one would hope that it doesn't change too much. Thanks for sharing the experiences of your friends. I had a HORRIFIC experience with the NHS a few years ago and almost lost my life due to an oversight that any GP fresh out of university with no experience would have caught. To sum up, I was sent home instead of being sent to an emergency room as I had melting point 40 degree fever. Had my parents not been calling me from the USA to urge me to go to the emergency room, I would have died in my flat as 2 hours after arriving at the ER, I went into cardiac arrest from a kidney infection that turned into sepsis! So, believe me, the healthcare is a BIG issue for me and I really do appreciate your comments. My original country of the USA is also quite challenging for retirees as the costs are just crazy - so i am looking for something somewhere else. As I am a dual citizen, I am very fortunate to have numerous places from which to choose )).

Thanks again!
That's not so good then you would have to have private insurance then. Just for holidays you could use your EHIC card and holiday insurance but not if you were living here.
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by Domino View Post
I know I have less problems out here with my arthritis
A friend of ours, early 40's, with chronic arthritis, came out here with misgivings but has more mobility, less pain, fewer and less severe attacks.

I know, its just the heat, the sun, sun, sun. You even feel happier as SAD is much less of a problem here.
I am sure that I have SAD. I am such a happy and bubbly person, but during the long winter months, I get very down ....having a home in the sun to pop over to would brighten me up for sure
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Old Jul 20th 2012, 11:34 am
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Default Re: Best place in Europe to retire

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
Haven't heard anyone mention France or Italy? I've heard the healthcare is great in France and of course Italy is beautiful - any thoughts on these places?
Would you not be better to ask this question on the relevant country forum?
Have a browse on each forum using the search facility and see what has been discussed already.
France healthcare is very good but it also has its problems with medical errors which are not widely published.
Medical errors occur in every country - that is why UK health professionals take our compulsory professional indemnity insurance.
You are not eligible for french medical care after the first 2 years (using entitlement from UK NI contributions) until your reach 65. (or whatever age applies at that time).
You have to pay for GP visits and prescription drugs upfront and claim back against state healthcare.
You need to purchase supplementary medical cover to pay for the part the State doesn't pay for. Currently the cost is ~100€ per month for a couple.
You will pay social charges on all your income until you die - unlike NI in the UK.
If you remain within the EU then your State Pension will be index linked.

Good luck and hope to see you on the french forum

Last edited by cyrian; Jul 20th 2012 at 11:35 am. Reason: addition
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