Author Topic: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories  (Read 1538 times)

Stahlmann

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As stated in topic.
I've acquired education in Middle Europe.

havregryn

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2016, 03:35:20 AM »
In any western European country you should be able to save enough money to FIRE in central/eastern Europe over 5-10 years if doing it right, especially as someone native in the FIRE destination which will likely make it possible for you to reduce cost more than an expat not speaking the local language could.
Especially if you are single and your home country has some sort of free healthcare (which I imagine they all do nowadays?).

I am under the impression that Germany and Austria offer the best ratio of possibility to earn and live cheaply but I may be wrong. Maybe also Ireland since you're single.
Scandinavia is probably a no go because some expenses are impossible to optimize (public transport costs a fortune and if you ever get hungry on the road a sandwich can be a quarter of your weekly food budget).

A room in a flat share in a larger city in Germany&Austria and optimized grocery spending should keep your expenses well under a 1000€ and as an engineer your after tax salary should be at least 2000. But it's better that some local people comment, I base my observations on having lived in Austria 5 years ago and our nanny planning to live in Trier (we live in Luxembourg so Trier is the cheap go to solution for those willing to commute).


Stahlmann

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2016, 02:20:52 PM »
I acquired knowledge in Middle European country.
I don't how it will work out in West Europe.
The times when my nation worked for 0,7x of the price of native is gone (if we talk about white collar jobs, anyway natives have so many own graduates) (my friends overfulled West Europe market).
I hope nothing will change quasi-stable situation in Europe in next 5-15 years.

In my country there is NO free health care (to be honest there is no country with ,,free" health care). Maybe they will help you before they ask about your credit card and there will no so ridiculous bills after care.

I will bump this topic time to time. EU FIRE team is underrepresented here!

havregryn

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2016, 01:07:18 AM »
Yes, there is no such thing as free healthcare, but if you're not paying for it it's free enough for FIRE purposes. I wouldn't equate paying certain fees when using healthcare with paying for healthcare outright as those two things are quite different and you would see that very clearly if you tried to FIRE in a cheap country that would not insure you for free or for a modest fee with no regard to pre-existing conditions.

You need to post more concrete numbers if you want concrete advice, such as where it is that you would theoretically be retiring and how much you think you can live on. Your current or future housing situation in the home country is also relevant. If you own or are set to inherit a free place to live obviously that lowers your needed amount quite a bit.

I am also from central Europe and I know multiple people who emigrated to western Europe and those who are superfrugal for whatever reason are saving figures that would in the long run enable them to retire early back home. In some instances it doesn't even take a qualified job as minimum wages in western Europe are often reasonable and cost can be cut to almost surreal levels if you compromise heavily on quality of life. With a qualified job (and you say you have an engineering degree!) it is more than doable. But it really highly depends on how much money you actually need to live. If I was single and wanted to retire back home I think a stash of 100 000€ would be just fine. I would have a housing option, so if you need to fix that first, it increases the number but not by a lot as you can buy housing in cheap European countries for a fraction of this.

But that all really depends how extreme you are. To live an überfrugal existence in your home country with owned housing you probably don't need more than the legal minimum wage in it is (and in my country that's 300€) so you can adapt your calculation to that.  On the other hand if you want your FIRE to be more like a lifelong vacation then you need substantially more.

European countries are very different and it's not as easy to move between them as it is in the US (even when it is legally possible thanks to the EU, language issues complicate it) so it is difficult to have some sort of a general European FIRE discussion.

Stahlmann

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2016, 05:30:50 AM »
Ok, I will have masters of mech eng in one 1 year.

I am not sure if they will accept it in other EU country. Any stories?

I will try to move to Germany, Austria or GB. I will probably try to have c1 language certification from cambridge and goethe. Is it obligatory?

Can I work in some foreign company in my country and then try to relocate on cost of company? Any stories there?

Stahlmann

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 12:58:17 AM »
Bump after 1 month inactivity!

former player

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 02:07:59 AM »
If you are currently studying at an EU higher education institution (which I'm assuming), then there should be someone in your faculty who will be able to tell you whether your masters is a professional qualification which will be recognised across the EU in accordance with Directive 2005/36 EC, as amended by Directive 2013/55 EC.  Here is the advice for getting recognised in the UK, for instance -

https://www.ice.org.uk/getattachment/my-ice/membership-documents/recognition-of-eu-qualifications-guidance/recognition-of-eu-professional-qualifications-guidance.pdf.aspx

Not sure whether this will help you specifically, given Brexit, but there will be similar processes in all EU countries.

Under EU law, you should not be discriminated against on grounds of nationality.  You will need appropriate language skills, but if your job application and an interview show that these are adequate you probably won't need formal certification in language skills.

If you get a job with a foreign company in your own country you may be employed on "national" terms which separate you from people who are on "international terms" and which exclude you from being relocated at company expense.  But that all depends on the individual company.

I would caution anyone wanting to FIRE in the EU that the reciprocal rights on social security and health care to which you are entitled as an EU citizen may not apply to you during a period of early retirement.  Those reciprocal rights were originally derived from people who were either working or were former workers receiving state pensions.  Someone who is working age but economically inactive can be excluded from them, so should not rely on receiving either social security payments or free health care until they reach state retirement age.

Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

Linda_Norway

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 03:02:09 AM »
This is an interesting thread.

I often see the überfrugal handyman from east/middle europe, who live in their car in the Norwegian winter. Or living with 8-9 man in a small cheap house, some of them living in the non-insulated doghouse in the garden. But I understand that Norwegian minimum wages pay very well for them and they maybe they can cope with this for a while.

I am wondering whether my DH and I should move to another country to live cheaper after FIRE. There was a good reason why we 18 years ago moved from the Netherlands to Norway and that is that Norway has more interesting nature to offer. We are outdoor lovers and the Netherlands are just not quite as spectacular.
Moving back to the old homeland after FIRE would be easy in matters of language, but would be a disappointment for our love of the Norwegian nature. Also, after 18 years I have become a lot more Norwegian than Dutch. We would be disappointed to not being able to pick mushrooms without being "attacked", or to camp in the woods, etc. But staying in Norway is an expensive option. We are thinking about moving somewhere out in the country where you have mountains and sea all around you. But in the small villages out in the country there are few food shops with limited choice and high prices. We are a bit spoiled and like to eat interesting food from time to time. It would help to be closer to Sweden which has better choice in the shops. It is also often cheaper, although this varies with valuta courses.

Germany would also be a considerable option for me, as the language would not be very difficult to learn (I already understand German reasonably well). But we also like to live near the sea and Germany doesn't have much of that. Plus that if we get older, it gets more difficult to adapt to using a new language and a new culture. I do not even want to think about middle/eastern Europe which is more difficult. I haven't given much thought about southern europe. It does get very hot in the south and I don't tolerate that very well.

cerat0n1a

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 03:40:25 AM »
Where I work (in Britain), there are *hundreds* of young degree qualified engineers from elsewhere in Europe (particularly former Warsaw Pact countries - Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Baltic states, but also many from France, Spain & Italy). Their salaries would be between £35k and £100k - admittedly this is electronics/software rather than mechanical engineering. I think many of the central/east europeans live pretty frugally because that's how they've grown up, rather than because of early retirement ambitions. They're often sending money home to parents, or to pay for family members' education etc. All of them speak English well enough to work here; I don't think employers in Britain expect to see language qualifications - they will talk to you and judge for themselves.

s1lv3r

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2016, 01:23:57 PM »
Regarding the EU FIRE team being underrepresented - my thoughts here are that I think FIRE being US-centric is largely due to the reason that living in a HCOL and high-tax country will limit the influence of your personal frugalness (put in another way: high taxes, state sponsored health and retirement system lead to a lower net income and less money available to save). The FIRE concept just doesn't really work that well in those places.

From a solely financial standpoint, most of the EU countries won't be a great place for FIRE. Even worse, taxes on capital gains in some of the EU countries (Germany for example has a 26,37% one) lead to the 4% SWR not really working out for us EU citizens.

To bad, as I think those countries are otherwise interesting and enjoyable places for FIRE. I'm German and would personally love to FIRE in Denmark, but even with my current 50% savings rate this will likely be an unachievable goal.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 01:35:07 PM by s1lv3r »

Linda_Norway

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2016, 01:39:40 PM »
Here in Norway we also have to pay 25% on profit made on sold stock, also index fond. This was not always the case, but it was introduced some years ago. Any country could do this at any time, I guess.

Moonwaves

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2016, 01:50:12 PM »
There are specific threads for some of the EU countries. There's quite a long one for Germany, although most of it is in German. However, if you post questions in English, people will respond accordingly.

Stahlmann

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2016, 02:38:00 PM »
There are specific threads for some of the EU countries. There's quite a long one for Germany, although most of it is in German. However, if you post questions in English, people will respond accordingly.

Can you share link?

To the other user: what is wrong with 50% savings rate?
It is still impressive.

Moonwaves

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2016, 08:37:49 AM »
There are specific threads for some of the EU countries. There's quite a long one for Germany, although most of it is in German. However, if you post questions in English, people will respond accordingly.

Can you share link?

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachianism-around-the-web/mustachianism-applied-to-german-way-of-life-deutsche-mmm-ratschlage/msg139561/#msg139561

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: FIRE success stories in EU/moving to better countries examples stories
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2016, 03:12:18 PM »
Regarding the EU FIRE team being underrepresented - my thoughts here are that I think FIRE being US-centric is largely due to the reason that living in a HCOL and high-tax country will limit the influence of your personal frugalness (put in another way: high taxes, state sponsored health and retirement system lead to a lower net income and less money available to save). The FIRE concept just doesn't really work that well in those places.

From a solely financial standpoint, most of the EU countries won't be a great place for FIRE. Even worse, taxes on capital gains in some of the EU countries (Germany for example has a 26,37% one) lead to the 4% SWR not really working out for us EU citizens.

To bad, as I think those countries are otherwise interesting and enjoyable places for FIRE. I'm German and would personally love to FIRE in Denmark, but even with my current 50% savings rate this will likely be an unachievable goal.

One of the reasons that the EU FIRE team is under-represented on these boards is because most of the advice here has a US focus. There are advantages to FIRE in the EU as well: I see people on these boards budgeting more for post ACA health insurance than I spend in total.

In any western European country you should be able to save enough money to FIRE in central/eastern Europe over 5-10 years if doing it right, especially as someone native in the FIRE destination which will likely make it possible for you to reduce cost more than an expat not speaking the local language could.
Especially if you are single and your home country has some sort of free healthcare (which I imagine they all do nowadays?).

A room in a flat share in a larger city in Germany&Austria and optimized grocery spending should keep your expenses well under a 1000€ and as an engineer your after tax salary should be at least 2000. But it's better that some local people comment, I base my observations on having lived in Austria 5 years ago and our nanny planning to live in Trier (we live in Luxembourg so Trier is the cheap go to solution for those willing to commute).

I agree, moving from west to east will give a significant opportunity to FIRE quickly. A number of people in the UK retire early (not FIRE early) to Spain and Portugal because they can live more cheaply there. There are whole expat communities there, most people are not working.