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The European Nightmare For Expats

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I linked this on another thread, but thought it was worth a thread in its own right.

We are quick to rubbish the UK, but curiously so many expats leave solvent and come back penniless with their tail between their legs.

Take Lesley Franke, for example. who leaves for a cheaper cost of living in 2008 and comes back penniless now after the house starts to fall apart and then hasn't even got planning permission in Spain.

I don't believe Europe is a cheaper place to live because we are lambs to the slaughter in a foreign country.

If we had to cut the umbilical cord forever with our welfare state and NHS few would leave, because so many end up unstuck and have the fallback of coming home.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/costa-del-sol-dream-becomes-2014083

Edited by crashmonitor

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Even if you're a retiree not paying much in income tax, a lot of these EU bailouts seem to have required higher VAT rates, road tolls, fuel duties etc. I seem to recall about 10 years back a litre of diesel was half the price in spain compared to the UK (in spain even a litre of petrol may have been too) now there doesnt seem to be much difference.

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Even if you're a retiree not paying much in income tax, a lot of these EU bailouts seem to have required higher VAT rates, road tolls, fuel duties etc. I seem to recall about 10 years back a litre of diesel was half the price in spain compared to the UK (in spain even a litre of petrol may have been too) now there doesnt seem to be much difference.

Yeah I hired a car in Portugal last week and the car hire people were warning me that if I went on the motorway the government has installed a Number Plate Recognition system and I'll be billed on my credit card.

She said it was a recent thing and sounded really pi$$ed off about it.

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I linked this on another thread, but thought it was worth a thread in its own right.

We are quick to rubbish the UK, but curiously so many expats leave solvent and come back penniless with their tail between their legs.

Take Lesley Franke, for example. who leaves for a cheaper cost of living in 2008 and comes back penniless now after the house starts to fall apart and then hasn't even got planning permission in Spain.

I don't believe Europe is a cheaper place to live because we are lambs to the slaughter in a foreign country.

If we had to cut the umbilical cord forever with our welfare state and NHS few would leave, because so many end up unstuck and have the fallback of coming home.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/costa-del-sol-dream-becomes-2014083

Despite the shocking current exchange rate, my impression is that food shopping in the larger supermarkets is still quite a bit cheaper than in Britain.

You could buy a bottle of wine for 1.25 euros. I'm no connoisseur but I didn't die or even shudder and grimace whilst drinking it.

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Despite the shocking current exchange rate, my impression is that food shopping in the larger supermarkets is still quite a bit cheaper than in Britain.

You could buy a bottle of wine for 1.25 euros. I'm no connoisseur but I didn't die or even shudder and grimace whilst drinking it.

Excise duty is a big factor on alcohol and it is going to be cheaper abroad. But I would bet on a cheaper shop at Tesco 9/10 than abroad. I know the crack, I know when the Warbutons loaves are down to 29p freezer ready, I wouldn't have a clue how to buy smart over there. Filling the trolley for ten quid would probably turn into a 100 euro rip off.

Edited by crashmonitor

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Excise duty is a big factor on alcohol and it is going to be cheaper abroad. But I would bet on a cheaper shop at Tesco 9/10 than abroad. I know the crack, I know when the Warbutons loaves are down to 29p freezer ready, I wouldn't have a clue how to buy smart over there. Filling the trolley for ten quid would probably turn into a 100 euro rip off.

Well if you don't mind living off fish it looked like you could easily catch all you could eat every day for the cost of a fishing rod, tackle and bait.

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Well, good luck to them IMO. It's not like second home owners who just bang on about their second home, these people decide they really like somewhere and pop off to try living there. Like most people (this forum being an honourable exception) they do a back-of-the-envelope calculation based on pension income and current living costs and go for it. That it then doesn't work out owing to exchange rates going against them and local costs going up means that yes they come back, but I bet they've had a cracking few years and usually in later life.

I was somewhere hot and sunny for my hols this year, significant British element and I thought that yes, I wouldn't mind a couple of years here at some stage. However, because I'm not daft, I would rent :)

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Some of us are doing ok, but not many I expect.

We acquired our wealth after the Pounds devalutaiton against the Euro so have not lost out there.

> Our rent is much cheaper

> No council tax

> No water rates rates as we are on a well.

> I brew my own booze or I would lose out there.

> Diiesel is cheaper than the UK

> My income tax is less than the UK.

< VAT is 2% more.

< Some groceries are a little 10% to 20% more expensive than the UK, but you can get about the same deals if you shop around. The UK gets better deals on branded groceries due to bulk buying.

< Car tax is much more, but I have just switched to a 125cc motorbike and saving €€€, we now only have one car.

In balance as I am still young and my major expense is renting and my income is earned, not a fixed pension I am better off.

Not sure it will always stat that way, and I may return to the UK if my major expense (housing) reduces otherwise we are better off here financially.

There is more than the financial aspect to it though, over in the west of Ireland here there is much less air pollution as we are less densely populated and I would say the quality of life is much better here than in the UK.

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I wonder if you take out a mortgage in Portugal or Spain, if it all goes tits up, can you just walk away?

European students do it with their student debt in Britain apparently, and I understand one of the reasons the US housing market is comparatively volatile is you can just walk away from mortgage debt with no dire consequences.

Anyone?

I quite like being in foreignland.

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I linked this on another thread, but thought it was worth a thread in its own right.

We are quick to rubbish the UK, but curiously so many expats leave solvent and come back penniless with their tail between their legs.

Take Lesley Franke, for example. who leaves for a cheaper cost of living in 2008 and comes back penniless now after the house starts to fall apart and then hasn't even got planning permission in Spain.

I don't believe Europe is a cheaper place to live because we are lambs to the slaughter in a foreign country.

If we had to cut the umbilical cord forever with our welfare state and NHS few would leave, because so many end up unstuck and have the fallback of coming home.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/costa-del-sol-dream-becomes-2014083

I think a lot of people have unreasonable expectations of how life will be in another country/culture. It does take a lot of getting used to - especially if English is not the native language. Plus a lot of Brits seem to expect that countries around the World should do things exactly as they are done back home and just can't get into the local culture or way of life.

It's just not realistic to expect that moving abroad will be like waving a magic wand that dispels all your problems. It can really expand your horizons though if you have a suitable attitude or have planned it properly.

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Yeah I hired a car in Portugal last week and the car hire people were warning me that if I went on the motorway the government has installed a Number Plate Recognition system and I'll be billed on my credit card.

She said it was a recent thing and sounded really pi$$ed off about it.

Don`t you just love it when big brother can dip into your line of debt that way..soo easy

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Guest eight

Don`t you just love it when big brother can dip into your line of debt that way..soo easy

I love Portugal but I fear it's being used for some kind of experiment.

Besides, it's not like the roads were exactly overcrowded to start with.

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I wonder if you take out a mortgage in Portugal or Spain, if it all goes tits up, can you just walk away?

European students do it with their student debt in Britain apparently, and I understand one of the reasons the US housing market is comparatively volatile is you can just walk away from mortgage debt with no dire consequences.

Anyone?

I quite like being in foreignland.

Not true for Spain I think.

European students do it with their student debt in Britain apparently, and I understand one of the reasons the US housing market is comparatively volatile is you can just walk away from mortgage debt with no dire consequences.

That more incompetence than policy.

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Yeah I hired a car in Portugal last week and the car hire people were warning me that if I went on the motorway the government has installed a Number Plate Recognition system and I'll be billed on my credit card.

She said it was a recent thing and sounded really pi$$ed off about it.

..wowwww!...don't show Ed Balls this..... :rolleyes:

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..wowwww!...don't show Ed Balls this..... :rolleyes:

Isn't it proposed that this should be done for charging foreign trucks that pay no road charges? Most likely this will be done first to trial the technology for widespread rollout.

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Isn't it proposed that this should be done for charging foreign trucks that pay no road charges? Most likely this will be done first to trial the technology for widespread rollout.

...to replace the tax disc...hopefully ... :rolleyes:

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If you are going to move, just make sure you don't go to the mediterranean countries (unfortunately this means the warm places) unless you can speak the language. Benelux, Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland have better opportunities and most places (especially large cities) speak perfect English, and on the face of it, if you are young they offer better opportunities than the UK (unless you are a young EA, lawyer, banker, other parasitic professions etc).

Edited by btl_hater

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If you are going to move, just make sure you don't go to the mediterranean countries (unfortunately this means the warm places) unless you can speak the language. Benelux, Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland have better opportunities and most places (especially large cities) speak perfect English, and on the face of it, if you are young they offer better opportunities than the UK (unless you are a young EA, lawyer, banker, other parasitic professions etc).

I remember a conversation I had with a British engineer a few years back. He had lived in Munich for 10 years, and I was astonished when it became clear he had very limited knowledge of German. I still think it amazing that it seems you can live and work in Germany for 10 years and not need or want to learn the language. Sometimes stereotypes are sadly correct.

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From a financial and other perspectives, going to live abroad entails a very big risk. if you're lucky, you may be motivated to do and achieve things, that you would never have dreamed of doing in your home country.

edit: that sounds like I was joking that you risked "being successful". I meant the two comments as counterpoints.

Edited by BigPig

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The OP highlighted the case of Lesley Franke. The problem is this individual fell foul of buying property in Spain and corruption. There have been many stories on the Spanish Land grab. Many other stories on the corrupt local politicians in a lot of European countries.

This is the problem when you don't know the system, you have to rely on professionals who may not speak your language and you have no idea if they are trustworthy.

If I was going to emigrate it would have to be the USA or Canada. I would however do a lot of research prior to going.

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I've lived in France for 20+ yrs. Went when I was a mere youth :)

I learned the lingo in 2 yrs. Got a job that i was trained for. Kept learning the lingo.

If you don't learn the language, you won't last long. (Unless you are retired and have a big enough money pot to last till death......).

For everybody else, it's DYOR and common sense.

PS. I was swimming in the Med yesterday , around 5PM. Water was still ~24C. Sunny.

There are plenty of upsides to a foreign country....not all financial. ;)

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The OP highlighted the case of Lesley Franke. The problem is this individual fell foul of buying property in Spain and corruption. There have been many stories on the Spanish Land grab. Many other stories on the corrupt local politicians in a lot of European countries.

This is the problem when you don't know the system, you have to rely on professionals who may not speak your language and you have no idea if they are trustworthy.

If I was going to emigrate it would have to be the USA or Canada. I would however do a lot of research prior to going.

Agreed, and besides, why these people didn;t rent instead of saddle up with shedloads of debt in a system they didn't understand properly is another thing. Why not just rent for a year or two and see if you like it?

Ex colleague emmigrated to Spain with wife and kids and was back again in under a year. Stuff happens for all manner of reasons, why buy and give up your flexibility to leave?

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The OP highlighted the case of Lesley Franke. The problem is this individual fell foul of buying property in Spain and corruption. There have been many stories on the Spanish Land grab. Many other stories on the corrupt local politicians in a lot of European countries.

This is the problem when you don't know the system, you have to rely on professionals who may not speak your language and you have no idea if they are trustworthy.

If I was going to emigrate it would have to be the USA or Canada. I would however do a lot of research prior to going.

+1. The people coming back having been burned are, in the main, people who didn't think it through and plan properly before going. Emigrating to somewhere you don't know anyone or have any pre-existing links, lack of awareness of local laws, customs and way of doing things plus a language barrier, are, I'm guessing, the three biggest risk factors.

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I love Portugal but I fear it's being used for some kind of experiment.

Besides, it's not like the roads were exactly overcrowded to start with.

Portugal is very interesting. Spent a couple of weeks there this year on a road trip. It is a country that has barely lifted itself out of what I would call the "peasants & fishermen" way of life. Even the major cities seem to have a rustic feel. You are correct in that the roads, particularly tolled motorways, are as good as empty. But then again, so are many of Spain's.

The good news is that the people are amazing and utterly enchanting, with values that would hark back to an earlier and less complicated way of life. They almost seem to prefer it.

The bad news is that I think they are heading that way. :(

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