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kevspur
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PostSubject: OPINIONS PLEASE   Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:04 pm

Hi,
We have had the dream of retiring early(60) to Bulgaria for about 5 years now. Staying in the UK would not be affordable on my small works pension ( approx £6000 per annum + £42000 lump sum). I will be 60 in the middle of next year, and the plan is to sell up in the UK, giving us a further £35000 ish after mortgage paid off.

We have travelled to Bulgaria a couple of times, and been entranced by its beauty and way of life. We constantly monitor forums for all the info
we can digest. We are very comfortable this would be the move for us .

So the question is;
would we be financially o.k.after spending about £30-35000 on a house therefore leaving £40000ish in the bank to partially subsidise the small pension, until the Old Age pension kicks in , in 5 years time.

We really hope this is a doable plan , but welcome comments from yourselves who have been there and done it, whether they be positive or otherwise.
thanks
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Carmen
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:08 pm

We all have different standards of living so its a big question but to live reasonably well I would say you will be fine with that sort of income. We live on less than that and live what I call well.
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kevspur
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:16 pm

Probably should add , we hope for a quiet rural life and dont expect or need the dolce vita ( or whatever the Bulgarian term is!)
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bigsavak
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:16 pm

Have a look here it will give you a bit of an idea. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ... y=Bulgaria
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starlite
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:27 pm

with an income and savings that is definently doable, i would invest some of your savings into a 3 year plan with interest at 9% here in bulgaria. g
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Esta
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:31 pm

I would say yes - at the current exchange rate you would get approx 1,200 Leva a month to spend from your pension. I know people who live on less but do struggle from time to time. Prices have also gone up quite a lot over the five years, since I moved here - so you should consider this happenning over the next 5 years as well.

You may have to economical - depending on the lifestyle you expect to live out here. Many Bulgarian pensioners live on as little as 130 Leva a month - not an easy life for them - but they have a lifetime of budgeting experience to draw on.

In summer you can live very cheaply - electric usage is low, no fire wood required, grow food in your garden, rear your own food if you are able to slaughter it.

I would buy a house close to a town to save fuel costs on grocery shops, a gas converted car if possible, get wood for winter when it is cheap, preserve/ freeze food for winter.

The most expensive items are electric, fuel, firewood and food.
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Chris
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:25 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I would say yes - at the current exchange rate you would get approx 1,200 Leva a month to spend from your pension. I know people who live on less but do struggle from time to time. Prices have also gone up quite a lot over the five years, since I moved here - so you should consider this happenning over the next 5 years as well.

I agree with all Esta said above ... sound advice.


In a nutshell, if you don't want to live like Royalty, and prepared to plan ahead, then it is doable!
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tonyb60
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:15 pm

I admire you for stating what your likely income will be . If you want to live a comfortable life then your annual income will not do that with out a top up from your lump sum. You should be looking at an income of around 8K. But as Esta has said you can supplement your income by growing your own and by rearing your own stock. I know some people will say but the Bulgarians can live on smaller amounts but lets be frank we are Brits and not Bulgarians. Once your crops grow and the chicks start laying and hatching then it becomes a new ball game g

But you also need to remember that all this is hard work

Good luck and hope you fulfill the dream.

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speedgunner
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:20 am

I moved here last year and retired at 60 years old with an Army pension and renting a house out as I couldn't sell it due to the housing market situation, perhaps that is something to think about as the rental market is good and you will have another income.Anyway I managed to suffer an extremely cold weather as all of us did over here and it proved to me that a few alterations were needed to be done to the house.The others are quite right in the summer it is relitively cheap to live here but in the Winter heating can be a bit of a challange as it can be a lot colder than the UK. Having said that it is "
swings and roundabouts"
as you save in the Summer as they are long and hot.I realised that a portable gas fire was the answer in the Autumn as the mornings are chilly but not worth lighting the main source of heat as the day warms up generally.

Tonyb60 is quite right if you decide to grow your own veggies you could find that you have made a rod for your own back!Somewhere near where you will live will be a market and at very reasonable prices you can purchase your veggies and it is just as cheap as to grow them almost.

Living here is cheaper than the UK without a doubt and your money goes a lot further but it depends on how exravagant you are.If you smoke then it is a lot cheaper and if you like the odd tipple alcohol is also cheap, and if you take up drinking the local brew then it's next to nothing!
1200lv a month is enough to live on without a doubt as my weekly shopping bill only comes out at around 100lv electric averaged out is about 70 lv a month and water 20lv a month (depending on what you use) council tax 95lv a year and wood is approx 800 lv for 12 cubic meters in my area anyway and TV (Bulsat) with internet 34lv a month. Running a vehicle fuel wise is only a little cheaper than the UK at the moment but insurance is a lot cheaper for instance to insure my 4x4 in the UK works out at £300 a year but here it is £120 and road tax is far cheaper.

This is my expenses in general but as it has been said everyone has a differant life style and other opinions on cost of living will vary.
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Netsniperthefirst
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:15 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I would say yes - at the current exchange rate you would get approx 1,200 Leva a month to spend from your pension. I know people who live on less but do struggle from time to time. Prices have also gone up quite a lot over the five years, since I moved here - so you should consider this happenning over the next 5 years as well.

You may have to economical - depending on the lifestyle you expect to live out here. Many Bulgarian pensioners live on as little as 130 Leva a month - not an easy life for them - but they have a lifetime of budgeting experience to draw on.

In summer you can live very cheaply - electric usage is low, no fire wood required, grow food in your garden, rear your own food if you are able to slaughter it.

I would buy a house close to a town to save fuel costs on grocery shops, a gas converted car if possible, get wood for winter when it is cheap, preserve/ freeze food for winter.

The most expensive items are electric, fuel, firewood and food.


I would say that Esta has hit the proverbial nail on the head, I don't see that you will have any problems with that kind of available cash.

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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:07 am

All good answers until I got to Tonyb60s quote that you would need income of 8k a year!!!! I wish. I am retired and have lived for 8 years happily on the basic UK State pension which is roughly half this. After the initial costs of buying and doing simple renovations, I haven't touched savings in my Bulgarian bank which gives a good rate of interest comparative with Britain. We live a very basic lifestyle and have no car.
The main question is, do you understand the vast amount of lifestyle change that will take effect? Also, the extreme climate and your health requirements. I have really enjoyed life here and would recommend it fully but I have also learned that others are not the same as me and expect too much from village life here even though it is cheap. Have a few more holidays or rent a village property to find out all the idiocyncracies of the house itself before taking the plunge. Even a 'so-called' fully renovated house will not be as you would expect in UK. There are some amazing bargains around but remember the quote: 'Let the Buyer Beware!' Restitution when things go wrong in Bulgaria is hard to get.
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kevspur
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:11 pm

Hi everyone
Just thought i would revitalise my earlier post of nearly a year ago, in the hope it may help others with "
the dream"
.
My personal financial circumstances improved considerably by being made redundant just before i was going to retire myself in June this year.
Another trip to BG in May led us to find the perfect house, with a view to die for ( about 20 miles south of VT).We will move in permanently
end of March next year.
Many people on this, and other Forums have good sound advice, which we mostly adhered to, although when chasing "
the dream"
it is very
tempting to brush the more negative things to one side.
Hence for fellow "
dreamers"
COST OF LIVING posts tend to catch the eye. Subjective though that may be, it is usually the foundation on
which peoples plans start.

For anyone who is now contemplating the move my suggested tick box would be:
1. FINANCE...sounds obvious, but if on a fixed income, ensure it is enough for now, and safeguarded against rising costs.
2. LOCATION........BG is a big country, took us a while to find our idea of perfection.There are lots of nice houses in poor locations,that cannot always be seen on E-BAY or Estate Agent photos.
3. CULTURE....keep an open mind, its different!
4. LANGUAGE... very difficult, but it has to be done ( especially if you are going rural)

finally, i know this can be a bit sensitive,but the most important of the lot:
5. RELATIONSHIP....the perfect house,in the perfect situation,with a cheap cost of living,will not paper over any cracks that may be there.
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chrissybg
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:31 pm

yes you can live on that amount each month less in the summer gives you a little more for the winter.
All of the above are correct.
I would say that you can spend less on a good property keep away from places that have a ot of expats as that has pushed the cost of living up in those area All along the coast is 3 times more expensive to where we live Many of our english friends from that area come shopping in our town. Living in a small town is cheaper then a large town or coast.
Questions to ask when purchasing are about the municipality on house and cars and electric suppiers as they do vary.
I have been aquiring some photos and prices of a few houses in our area for friends if you would like them as an idea pm me with your email address.
Where ever you buy you will get a property for less if you buy direct and cut out the estate agents.
Also a friend of ours applied for their state pension at 60 years and got it so it may be a good idea for you but i do understand if you can wait the new law is a standard pension for every one from 2015 of just under 150 pound each per person regardless of contributions.
Don't forget to bring your favourite garden tools with you they will help with the gardening freezing and bottling your own you cant beet it
Good luck let me know if i can help
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Phil-H
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PostSubject: Re: OPINIONS PLEASE   Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:34 pm

Hi kevspur

Mainly just to say a BIG thank you for coming back with a update on your situation and also to say I hope your move goes well.

Re your redundancy, I went into work one day with the intention of handing in my notice but was called into the office when I got there and was told I had been made redundant, my reaction and comment was THANKS VERY MUCH, when asked why I was so pleased I explained about handing in my notice but you are now paying me to leave, not a lot of cash but every little helped.

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