European Expats living in the US

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European Expats living in the US


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Old 15th June 2019, 06:15 PM
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Default European Expats living in the US

I am keenly interested in hearing from European expats who've moved to the US, especially if you moved to America as a pensioner in retirement. What are your retirement goals for activities/lifestyle and quality of life? As a pensioner on a fixed income or, at least, a budgeted income without the prospects of working a job for more money to supplement, how well do you think your same pension would have covered your expenses if you stayed home compared to the costs of living in the US? Are you pleased with the medical services in the US compared to what you left behind? Do you plan to return home later, perhaps when your mobility becomes much more restricted and you near end-of-life?

Thanks for any reponses.

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Old 15th June 2019, 08:17 PM
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First things first - there is no retirement visa for Europeans to enter the US (or any other nationalities). So,unless parents have children who can sponsor them or they can afford an investment visa they have no route for living permanently in the US.

Secondly, migrating to the US as pensioners means they have not paid into the Medicare medical system for senior citizens and, therefore, will have to pay for private, individual pension plans. These, at over 65 years of age, can be eye wateringly expensive. Many seniors, even with children in the US don't emmigrate due to health insurance costs - and that is not taking into account out of pocket expenses if you do need extensive treatment.

General cost of living in the US varies enormously, depending on the State.

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Old 16th June 2019, 06:47 AM
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There are a couple other points that may be relevant here:

Unlike many/most countries with a national health care system, it is not necessary to have health care cover to live in the US - even if you are there on a visa. True, it's probably foolish to "go naked" when it comes to health insurance, especially as you get older. But a few million folks in the US do just that.

There are also considerations linked to the various tax treaties concerning the taxation of pensions. Under some treaties, the source country gets to tax pension income. Under others, the country of residence. And claiming double taxation relief from the IRS definitely complicates your tax returns to a considerable degree and can result in a certain level of double taxation on the income.

You also mention returning to the home country when seniors suffer mobility limitations. Health cover is not always maintained once one has left the Old Country. In many countries, it would be necessary to re-establish residence (which takes a while) and finding private cover for whatever period of time it takes to establish residence plus the time necessary for registering with the health care system.

There are a number of reasons why "retiring to the US" isn't a terribly popular option for many.

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Old 16th June 2019, 04:06 PM
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First things first - there is no retirement visa for Europeans to enter the US (or any other nationalities). So,unless parents have children who can sponsor them or they can afford an investment visa they have no route for living permanently in the US.

Secondly, migrating to the US as pensioners means they have not paid into the Medicare medical system for senior citizens and, therefore, will have to pay for private, individual pension plans. These, at over 65 years of age, can be eye wateringly expensive. Many seniors, even with children in the US don't emigrate due to health insurance costs - and that is not taking into account out of pocket expenses if you do need extensive treatment.

General cost of living in the US varies enormously, depending on the State.
Thank you, Crawford, for your candid remarks. They underscore just why we don't have pensioners considering the US for retirement, and really the only reason for a foreign national to come to America is to work with hopes of attaining the "American dream," which has quickly evolved into a bloody nightmare.

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Old 16th June 2019, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
There are a couple other points that may be relevant here:

Unlike many/most countries with a national health care system, it is not necessary to have health care cover to live in the US - even if you are there on a visa. True, it's probably foolish to "go naked" when it comes to health insurance, especially as you get older. But a few million folks in the US do just that.

.
'probably foolish' ? 'Absolutely out of the question' is more like it. No health insurance means you are one step away from bankruptcy if needing any kind of hospitalisation treatment.

While there might be millions of folks in the US who have no health insurance, the majority are not doing so out of choice - they just don't have the money to pay for it; and live dreading the day they might be struck down with an illness.

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Old 16th June 2019, 05:34 PM
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'probably foolish' ? 'Absolutely out of the question' is more like it. No health insurance means you are one step away from bankruptcy if needing any kind of hospitalisation treatment.

While there might be millions of folks in the US who have no health insurance, the majority are not doing so out of choice - they just don't have the money to pay for it; and live dreading the day they might be struck down with an illness.
I fully agree with you. However I find that many folks over here on the "other" side of the pond are incredulous to hear that there is no health insurance requirement for a long-stay visa for the US.

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Old 16th June 2019, 05:56 PM
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I fully agree with you. However I find that many folks over here on the "other" side of the pond are incredulous to hear that there is no health insurance requirement for a long-stay visa for the US.
...... hopefully you are educating them that no health insurance means YOU pay for your very expensive medical treatment

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Old 16th June 2019, 09:00 PM
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We considered it, especially as the suegra is a US citizen but it was the medical costs that put us off. We even had a villa in FL for the inlaws to live in. OK there were some cheap options on some things such as outlet stores and the likes of Lowes, etc. but, in general, things worked out expensive. For example, one couldn't just walk to a nearby corner-shop for a few groceries, one had to take the car and drive to Walmart or some other store. Th general, the quality of foodstuffs was on the poorer side of OK, especially compared with here in Spain.
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Old 16th June 2019, 09:41 PM
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We considered it, especially as the suegra is a US citizen but it was the medical costs that put us off. We even had a villa in FL for the inlaws to live in. OK there were some cheap options on some things such as outlet stores and the likes of Lowes, etc. but, in general, things worked out expensive. For example, one couldn't just walk to a nearby corner-shop for a few groceries, one had to take the car and drive to Walmart or some other store. Th general, the quality of foodstuffs was on the poorer side of OK, especially compared with here in Spain.
BINGO!!! You nailed two important points, regardless of citizenship status. The medical costs are outrageous and the quality for foodstuffs, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. Unless you live close to the source of the fresh produce, you'll get fruits that lake flavor because they are picked so green so-as to not be rotten by the time they hit the supermarket shelves, or they are mushy. (Oh, how I long for a good, fresh peach!) The big boys in the grocery store business have pushed the smaller, mon-and-pop stores out of business, and it used to be the local mon-and-pops had connections with local growers. I recall Tesco in the 90's; I used to shop at the one in Amersham. I was amazed at the quality of fruits and veggies. The carrots were HUGE and had great flavor. I recently spoke to a work colleague in Germany about my desire to retire in Europe, and he laughed at me when I used the thought of fresh produce as one of my reasons.

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Old 17th June 2019, 08:32 AM
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BINGO!!! You nailed two important points, regardless of citizenship status. The medical costs are outrageous and the quality for foodstuffs, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. Unless you live close to the source of the fresh produce, you'll get fruits that lake flavor because they are picked so green so-as to not be rotten by the time they hit the supermarket shelves, or they are mushy. (Oh, how I long for a good, fresh peach!) The big boys in the grocery store business have pushed the smaller, mon-and-pop stores out of business, and it used to be the local mon-and-pops had connections with local growers. I recall Tesco in the 90's; I used to shop at the one in Amersham. I was amazed at the quality of fruits and veggies. The carrots were HUGE and had great flavor. I recently spoke to a work colleague in Germany about my desire to retire in Europe, and he laughed at me when I used the thought of fresh produce as one of my reasons.
Our healthcare in Spain is very good - better than the NHS and it is free if one is a UK pensioner. Prescription charges are limited to 8€ per month. Plenty of fresh fruit and veg, even in the supermarket. Living in a village, many of our neighbours have their huertos and produce more than they can possibly consume so they give stuff away to neighbours. Potatoes aren't so good but they are, on the whole, excellent in the supermarket. Currently it is cherry season and we have been given about 10 kg delicious and ripe. We have apricots, and peaches & nectarines will soon be arriving on our doorstep by the bag-full. We get huge cos-type lettuces, tomatoes and within a few weeks it will be red plums and yellow plums, green figs, greengages followed a few months later by black figs and beefsteak tomatoes (excellent for stuffing.) If you are into garlic (I'm not!) then you can just go out onto the mountainside and gather your own; same with asparagus. Then it will be walnuts and almonds - all as fresh as can be and free.

Another plus point is walking. There are walking groups who go out every morning before it gets too hot and will walk several miles up the mountain roads and back again (even in winter.) The groups are ranked by age and ability, even 80 year olds. In fact in most villages (even the smallest) there is a special traffic-free walking area so that people can walk up and down in safety. In larger villages/towns there are exercise machines in the parks especially for people to keep fit - no need to go to overpriced gyms.


Last edited by baldilocks; 17th June 2019 at 08:39 AM.
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