“Kathleen, what can you tell me about retiring to Ireland?”
–Rick N., United States
I can tell you that real estate prices in this country are the lowest they’ve been in two decades or more. At the first of a series of distress property auctions taking place in Dublin this year, lots sold for as little as 15% to 25% of pre-crash values. The next distress property auction is taking place early July. Lief and I are considering fitting a quick trip to Ireland into our summer travel plans so we can participate.
Real estate values aside, Ireland is, in many ways, an ideal retirement choice. The people are welcoming and hospitable and speak English (well…kind of). The way of life is relaxed. The countryside is beautiful. Life in retirement here could be pleasant and peaceful.
The two big downsides to retirement in Ireland are the weather (I think you’d want to plan to spend at least part of each winter somewhere else, as Irish winters are long, cold, and gray) and the cost of living and of real estate. As I explained above, though, the cost of real estate has plummeted (and may fall further), and the cost of living overall is down, too, certainly from when we lived in Ireland (at which time Dublin was ranked the most expensive city in all Europe, ahead of Paris).
Bottom line, retirement to the Emerald Isle makes more sense right now than it has in a long time. More here.
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