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Retirement Discussions / FIRE Wannabees
|Subject: Retiring to Scotland||Date: 1/5/2004 5:41 PM|
|Author: WeeBeastie||Number: 1705 of 5091|
On another thread, mazske asked if I would put together a detailed post on my decision to retire back to Scotland, including the pros and cons.
I should begin by saying that I'm Scottish, so it wasn't that I had to scout the world for a place to retire to (otherwise I might have ended up in New Zealand!)
I was planning to retire here in the US at age 43 (ten years time), but I was going to push my DH out another 5 years or so to secure health benefits in retirement (he works in education and had great retirement benefits – if you stick around until retirement age!).
One day while working on a Sunday, DH called me to whine and made some comment about retiring to Scotland. I was floored as I thought he'd never consider such a thing. He said he would go back to Scotland if we were retired as we could get away to get some sun whenever we wanted. That led to a very frenzied two days of me running calculations, researching stuff on line (house prices, car prices, taxes, US-UK income tax treaties etc) and I couldn't believe that we could retire in five years. So that was how the decision came about.
The pros and cons of retiring to Scotland specifically would be:
1. Free healthcare. Well okay, it's not free it's government provided. I figured that the costs of healthcare in the US were the biggest obstacle to ER: not necessarily because of the cost right now, but the unpredictability going forward. In the past few years we've seen huge premium increases across the industry. I'm very conservative and didn't like the thought of having to return to work, and healthcare was the biggest random quantity in my equations.
2. Lower taxes. Yes really. <swoon> I have calculated that we will live on approx. $35K a year (no mortgage) and will not pay any income tax if I manage our withdrawals carefully. NO income tax. We will pay property tax and VAT (similar to sales tax). The property tax will be less than we pay here and I imagine VAT will be a little more. The rate is much higher than CA sales tax, but a smaller basket of goods are subject to tax.
3. Travel. It is so much easier and cheaper to travel the world from Britain. I remembered all the last minute holidays that would see in travel agents' windows and went online to see if they still existed: $126 for a week in Cypress/Spain/Greece for flight and accommodation. Many of these deals include breakfast or sometimes breakfast and dinner. Unbelievable. Being RE'd means that we would be able to go at fairly short notice.
4. Property sale. This isn't so much a pro of moving