Ahhhhh. Ireland! The Emerald Isle. An amazing landscape with vibrant green hills, ancient sites with cairns and standing stones, cobblestone streets leading to welcoming pubs, tiny little islands, nooks and crannies.
This isn’t a place you can do in a day, week or month. To really experience the magic of Ireland, you need to stay awhile and get to know the place and people. More than 34 million Americans claim Irish descent which is why so many visit to get back to their roots. Genealogy is a huge industry in Ireland, as is tourism, and there are lots of resources to help us along the way.
If you decide you’d like to stay awhile there are a few things you should know. If you, your parents, or grandparents were born in Ireland you may be eligible to become an Irish citizen. You can just put down roots for 3 months with only your Passport. If you’d like to stay longer (who wouldn’t?) you can register with the government for “permission to remain.” You will need your passport, bank statements proving that you can support yourself. Once granted, you can stay for up to an additional year. This is easily renewed each year for up to five years, then renew for another five. At 10 years, you can apply for citizenship. Private health insurance is about $1500 a year. But beware! The VAT (value added tax) is 22% on all purchases!
Most everyone in Ireland speaks English. Housing prices are relatively low, rentals are not hard to come by. We saw a lovely modern furnished two bedroom home in Cork for $900 a month. Of all the places in Ireland – and you need to drive the circle trip around the island to see for yourself, we liked the Dingle Peninsula in the south. If you decide to move for awhile, find a reputable rental agent that will allow you to rent “holiday homes” for a week at a time while you decide where you want to live. These homes are furnished, utilities included, but may or not have wifi. You have better luck with that in the larger cities. If you need to stay connected, just ask and you will be directed to a local pub, restaurant or library. There are also internet cafes with access. Try four different communities before deciding. Some like isolation in the country and some want to either be in a city or in commuter range.
Even if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life in Ireland or miss the grandkids and just want to come home – you might want to retire in Ireland, at least for a little while. It’s just a magical place! See what we found on the Emerald Isle.
Photo By via StockPholio.com
Living in Ireland
Pros: Great pubs, friendly people, the music, the landscape
Cons: Sorry, I can’t think of anything, except the VAT sales tax!
Favorite Inexpensive Events: Enjoying a pint of Guinness in a local pub on a music night.
Did You Know: The oldest pub (some say in Europe) is Sean’s Bar in Athlone – right in the heart of Ireland.
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