Author Topic: New Irish/EU citizen (questions for Irish and/or EU citizens)  (Read 246 times)

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Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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Just in time for St. Patrick's day, some news about me (certified Irish person)!

I actually received my Irish foreign birth certificate back in October of last year (2019) after having applied for it back in November 2018--a long and expensive process (made much longer than normal because of Brexit and **cough** events in the U.S.). Most of my ancestors are/were Irish, and my wife and I visited Ireland for three weeks in 2017. We drove all around the southern half from Dublin to Ennis/Shannon, through the Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Cork, etc. Aside from our great love of travel, our more recent trips are geared toward investigating places to retire--likely another 12 or so years, which would put me at 60. I think we would prefer to stay in California, although the first order of business is to move far north of SoCal, which I hate and detest with a passion. (I was born and raised here, I lived here for most of my life, and I viscerally hate it--although Pasadena is OK). One plan is to explore more of the areas north of San Francisco and continue north along the coast until we can afford to buy a nice, modest house that will not bankrupt us. I LOVE the Russian River area and Sonoma Coast--Jenner, Bodega Bay, Cazadero, etc. are incredible! You talk to people up there and so many of them are blissfully oblivious of SoCal, it is absolutely delightful. The food, wine, scenery, coastline, redwoods, quality of life, and general vibe are incredible.   

Alternatively, we may retire in Ireland--or we might consider moving there sooner, provided I can get a good job. (it is unlikely I will get a better deal than what I have now--I like my job and it has a lot of benefits/perks and a pension). From what I've seen, the suburbs of Dublin to the south are very nice and somewhat affordable. Further out is very affordable. I also loved Ennis and the west, and would love to be close to the Wild Atlantic Way. And don't warn me about the rain--I LOVE LOVE LOVE rain. We lived in Vancouver for over three years and I could not get enough of the rain.

We went to France for three weeks last year, and a slight part of the motivation was to investigate Brittany as a possible place to retire. I do love the coastline and, although St. Malo and Carnac--the two places we stayed--were absolutely awesome, I can't see myself settling there. I do really want to go back and explore Finistère, as I think that area might be more our speed. In any case, I am learning French and am almost a  year into it--I still feel as if I know very little. My wife is also worried about living in a place where few people speak English, especially as we age--certainly a valid concern.

Regardless of EU citizenship, I realize that there will likely be major difficulties in moving to some part of the EU outside of Ireland, even though it is theoretically allowed. After having lived for 3+ years in Canada, I learned that there are a lot of differences between the U.S. and Canada that are not evident until you actually reside there. Everyone in the U.S who has not lived there seems to think the two countries are just exactly alike!

Anyway, we have a long time to think about this..

I wanted to ask you Irish and EU citizens a few questions...

1.) What do you think in general of the EU? Are you proud to be an EU citizen--does EU citizenship mean anything to you?

2.) How easy it is to live and work in an EU country that is not your own? Would you want to do it?

3.) Where in the EU would you ideally like to retire? How difficult would it be to move and settle there?

4.) What are your favorite place in the EU to visit/vacation??

« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 09:10:16 PM by XB-70 Valkyrie »
If you really dislike Bach you keep quiet about it! - Andras Schiff

Online Biffo

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Re: New Irish/EU citizen (questions for Irish and/or EU citizens)
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2020, 02:07:57 AM »
Firstly, let me say I am glad you enjoyed Brittany, I remember your various postings asking for advice. I hope you get a chance to visit Finisterre - the scenery is beautiful but there are fewer large towns and most of the sights are natural wonders. Quimper is worth a visit but give Brest a miss, it was practically bombed flat in WW2

As to your retirement plans, I consider them in the order N. Calif, Ireland, France.

Personally, though I have been there numerous times I would rule out France. If you don't speak the language you would find it very difficult and this will only get worse as you get older.

I know very little of living in Ireland except that property there is now very expensive and this was a factor in the recent General Election.

If you have property in the USA it would be wiser to stay put. Many people in the UK sold up and retired to Spain or France and found that Spain in particular has become a lot more expensive and they are now stuck with properties they can't sell; they want to move back to the UK but can't afford it. This has nothing to do with Brexit.

Whatever you decide on I wish you a happy retirement and lots more interesting travel.