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Is living abroad all it is cracked up to be ?

(105 Posts)
NanKate Sun 11-Aug-19 14:54:15

My sister went to live in Italy in her late 20s she loved it at first but now would do anything to come back but can’t afford it.

Friends moved to southern Spain about 11 years ago and seem very happy but what happens when one of them dies I wonder ? They visit their family in the U.K. regularly. Does being with an ex-pat community lose it’s attraction when on your own?

I would never consider living abroad as I am a real home bird.

Mamie Wed 14-Aug-19 12:22:27

Pensions which derive from government, local government, military etc have to be taxed in the UK. I pay UK tax on at source on my occupational pension and French tax on my state pension. The tax I have paid in the UK is offset against my French tax allowance so I don't pay tax twice on the same amount.

sodapop Wed 14-Aug-19 09:11:21

We pay tax globally dragonfly
UK taxes taken into consideration when our tax in France is worked out.

dragonfly46 Wed 14-Aug-19 08:49:33

I don’t understand why some of you were paying taxes in both countries. We only paid income tax in Holland not in the UK. The two countries have reciprocal rights. We could have chosen to pay British NI and Dutch but that was optional. We paid UK tax on any profit we made from renting our UK house out but that was all.

sodapop Wed 14-Aug-19 08:18:35

You are so right Fennel I rang up the other day to book tickets for tomorrow's bank holiday event. When I gave my name the man said ' ah oui, les Anglais a (village name).

Deedaa Tue 13-Aug-19 22:17:38

One of our friends has lived in the South of France for 30odd years now. He's had a great time working as a builder and part time journalist. He's had two knee replacements and had a badly smashed ankle fixed and is happy with everything.

blossom14 Tue 13-Aug-19 19:05:32

Miss Adventure I do agree with you. You do make me chuckle.

Magrithea Tue 13-Aug-19 18:45:39

We moved to live in Hong Kong when we were just married and lived there for 20 years. It was a great place and we raised our family there. Having lived back here for 18 years I'm just as happy here. It depends on you, where you're living and your attitude. I know people who've hated living overseas and others who have stayed on after retirement.

I missed 'home' i.e. UK and was happy to return but others can't imagine being here and are very down about the UK. Everywhere has its faults and failings and the grass is often greener until you jump the fence!!

Nandalot Tue 13-Aug-19 17:49:16

I think Mamie is right and it s from the Latin, ex patria.

Fennel Tue 13-Aug-19 17:46:46

ex -pat or immigrant, we were always les Anglais to the locals.
Same for les Belges, les Allemands, les Hollandais etc

Mamie Tue 13-Aug-19 17:36:57

I don't understand how people can think it is unpatriotic (whatever that means) to be an expatriate. Were the founders of Empire unpatriotic?

Witzend Tue 13-Aug-19 17:09:18

Speaking as one who was one for many years, it's expatriate, no hyphen.
Different meaning from patriot, which means someone who's patriotic. A much misused word IMO since all the B-word balls-up.

Mamie Tue 13-Aug-19 17:08:41

I think ex patria - outside one's native land in Latin.

sodapop Tue 13-Aug-19 17:01:42

Patriot NanKate at least that's what I always assumed.

NanKate Tue 13-Aug-19 16:31:05

Some really inserting comments on here to my original question.

Saggi my sister always used the word ex-pats and I have simply followed suit. I don’t even know what the ‘pat’ bit means. Maybe some else will enlighten me.

EllanVannin Tue 13-Aug-19 16:07:03

My eldest D and SiL and 3 GC live in the Northern beaches area of Sydney which is beautiful. GC are Australian as are their parents when they attended the citizenship ceremony in the 80's.
Just D and SiL were here for a visit in June and did a lot of travelling while they were here. When they went back at the beginning of July I've felt unsettled on and off since. I just fear that it's the last time I'll see them.

Floradora9 Tue 13-Aug-19 15:25:04

My BIL and wife moved to Australia 40 odd years ago tried coming back to the UK but hated it so returned to Oz. Because their children are settled there they have no hope of coming back here to live though BIL would like to spend his last years here. Family will keep them abroad for good now and they no longer come here for a long visit because of the jhourney and the trouble renting a car at their age. We will never see them again .

MissAdventure Tue 13-Aug-19 15:24:48

I don't think anything is all it's cracked up to be, usually.

Witzend Tue 13-Aug-19 14:51:02

Well, EllanVannin both my graduate dds did a long working stint in Oz - elder was,there for 2 years working all over - and they enjoyed it, but showed no great desire to stay or return. Both now happily settled here.

General consensus was, too far away from too many places, esp. the relatively cheap and accessible sheer diversity of Europe.

We've been twice on holiday there and much as I've enjoyed it, there was serious drought both times, and raging wildfires. I do find severe drought scary - what can you do when it just doesn't rain? We lived in Middle Eastern deserts for many years - you expect drought there, but it's a different matter in the likes of Melbourne.

EllanVannin Tue 13-Aug-19 13:41:59

I would advise any youngster to spend a gap year or a 2 year work visa in Australia. They can then make up their minds for their futures. It's a wonderful continent and has far more to offer for the future than the UK.
I'll tell my GGC to work hard and get themselves out there.

If my family hadn't been greater here I'd have made the effort to have emigrated. I still have days of being " unsettled " here because of so much that I miss in Oz. I couldn't think of a nicer place to retire to. It felt like a second home.

Mamie Tue 13-Aug-19 11:49:41

Goodness, there is a bit of confusion about health cover, isn't there? People of retirement age who receive the UK state pension and live in Europe, (currently) have their health cover paid by the UK under the S1 scheme. They are also fully entitled to return to the UK for treatment.
In France we also pay a top-up insurance, as do the French. The health system here is excellent and I personally don't know anyone who goes back to the UK for treatment.
It is possible that the S1 scheme will end after Brexit in which case residents would pay an additional tax for health cover here, over a certain income platform.

Willow500 Tue 13-Aug-19 10:43:47

My 44 year old son and his NZ wife emigrated out there 6 years ago. She had lived in the UK since she was 18 and wanted to go home when she got pregnant. Although he has built up a good business and she gets regular filming work I don't think either of them are truly settled especially my son who is very homesick. Their young children born out there have a great life though and I don't think they will move back and disrupt that plus her mum has dementia so she won't want to leave her. They are coming back to the UK for Christmas and are talking about buying a small place over here to rent out - we're not so sure but time will tell.

My husband lived in Switzerland for 2 years due to work but didn't speak a word of the language when he went - he had to learn pretty fast as he couldn't even buy a loaf of bread. He was very homesick and glad to come home in the end even though it was a beautiful country.

Grannyjay Tue 13-Aug-19 08:30:55

If every retiree returned purely through ill health after spending their pensioned earned in the UK we would not have a health service! I know nursing staff who say their services are stretched to the limit through care needed as we age. A good economy helps pay for things like jobs due to those having money to spend. Our pensions far outweigh what contributions you paid during your working years. It’s all part of a package. My comment is bound to upset some but to say I paid my taxes in which you get paid your pension and think that when we are old there is loads of money in the nhs to spend on us because we don’t want to pay for it abroad is selfish.

Urmstongran Tue 13-Aug-19 08:17:38

I love living in Malaga but only because we share our time between here and Manchester. A small place in each country.

The sun, warmth, time for just ourselves out here to do what we want - the beach, swim in our garden pools, tapas, get a bus to Mijas for the day etc and then back home for family - certainly not for the weather!

The best of both worlds really.
😎🇬🇧 🇪🇸

sodapop Tue 13-Aug-19 07:23:16

For goodness sake, the world is our lobster now. Times have changed and people can live in other parts of the world from where they were born.
Framilode is right, we emigrants paid our dues for all our working lives and continue to pay income tax in the UK as well as our country of residence. I don't recall anyone on this thread saying they hated UK.

Saggi Tue 13-Aug-19 07:13:03

No NanKate.... I dont think living abroad is all it’s cracked up to be. Strangely my brother and his wife went to live in southern Spain after retirement, despite the fact that the sun didn’t agree with her! I know... go figure eh! Then she got seriously ill and they couldn’t get back to ‘old blighty’ soon enough. Lost shed loads of money because of the downfall of Spanish economy at the time , when they tried to sell their house over there. All in all, lost about £ 200.000 and consequences were they had no home in England to come back to and he had to return to work to pay for a rented place. She then had to go into a residential home which cost him a £1000 per week. She died after about six months home... and he broke what was left of his health...... on another point NanKate.... why is it do you think that Bits abroad call themselves ex-pats....and When people from abroad come to live here we call them immigrants ( usually with nasty connotations)... shouldn’t we call ourselves emigrants when living abroad... or do we really consider ourselves as better than the rest of the world!?!? Also there is NOTHING patriotic about leaving your country and living abroad, is there?