The Pros And Cons Of Living And Retiring In Ireland

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“This question is directed to both Kathleen and Lief.

“Thank you so much for your recent article about Lahardan House in Waterford, Ireland. Since you both did live there for a number of years, would you please give a quick brief list of pros and cons of living in Ireland? What you both like and do not like about living there? For example, is the weather mostly damp and cold in or near Waterford all year-round? How convenient it is for you to do simple day-to-day things such as go grocery shopping or get plumbing service?

“We’ve been to Ireland and loved our time there, but visiting for a short time versus living year-round are different. Your reply will be much appreciated.”

–May C., Untied States

Lief says:

The pros of living in Ireland? These would be mine:

  • The Irish speak English… well at least a form of English. You’ll need to add some words to your vocabulary to help them understand you…
  • The countryside is magnificent…
  • It’s an easy country for a second passport…

The cons:

  • The weather. Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Mr. Twain must never have traveled to Ireland in June…
  • The roads and infrastructure. These were limited and in rough shape when we lived in Ireland. The motorway system has been expanded since, but I’m sure all the small country roads are as windy and narrow as they’ve always been. Driving around Ireland, you’ve got to be on your toes. Around every next bend in the road could be a meandering cow, a piece of farm equipment, or a woman pushing a pram…

Kathleen says:

My favorite things about Ireland:

  • The Irish Georgian architecture, especially the Georgian-style doorways in central Dublin…
  • The castles, churches, and gardens…
  • The rolling green countryside…

Biggest challenges living in Ireland? I’d say:

  • The weather. I didn’t mind the chilly temperatures, but I struggled with the lack of sunshine…
  • The lack of urgency and efficiency in business and the workplace. This wouldn’t be a problem for a retiree, though…

I spent much of the seven years we lived in Ireland frustrated and stressed, because the Irish didn’t operate the way I wanted them to operate in the business arena. As time has passed, I have a different perspective. The Irish way of life is charming and very appealing if a pleasant lifestyle (rather than a thriving business) is your agenda.

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