Have you ever considered moving abroad to a new country? many people consider it, for a wide variety of reasons. You can move to a new country to find a job or go to school. you can even follow a family member or loved one who is moving. Whatever the reason, moving to a new country is a big decision. It is important to research and weigh the pros and cons of the chosen country, because each country has its advantages and disadvantages.
that includes ireland. The country is known for its love of food and drink, its history, its picturesque countryside, and its bustling cities. From the outside, Ireland may seem like a perfect place to call home. But like anywhere else in the world, living in Ireland has advantages and disadvantages. read on for more information.
advantages of living in ireland
Can you imagine life surrounded by people speaking with an Irish accent all day? It’s a dream come true, right? Well, that’s not the only pro that comes with choosing Ireland as your new home. These are just a few of the many other reasons Ireland deserves consideration by expats looking for a new home:
location, location, location
Ireland is one of the closest European countries to the United States and Canada. It’s also a fantastic base from which to explore the rest of Europe: the UK is less than an hour away, Barcelona is just a two-hour flight away, and Rome is just three hours away. For world travelers, there is hardly a better base of operations than Ireland.
crime is low
ireland has some pretty strict gun laws: it’s illegal to own a firearm unless you live on a farm, and even then, the gun you buy has to be ‘farm appropriate’. This means that gun violence rates are almost non-existent and violent crime rates are generally low in Ireland. overall, it’s a pretty safe place to call home, compared to many other countries.
medical care is extremely accessible
all permanent residents in ireland have the right to medical care. If your earnings are below a certain threshold, you even qualify for a medical card that entitles you to get almost all of your medical services for free. If you don’t qualify for a medical card, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for some services, like doctor visits, but they’re still subsidized by the government, keeping costs relatively low. Ireland even offers the Drug Payment Plan, which limits the amount you have to spend on prescription drugs, the Long-Term Illness Plan, which will cover your costs if you have a chronic or long-term condition, and the Maternity Care Plan. and infants, which heavily subsidizes the medical costs of having children.
you can have dual citizenship
Residents of Ireland can hold dual citizenship with another nation, provided that nation also recognizes the ability to hold dual citizenship. that means that becoming an Irish citizen does not necessarily mean that you have to give up your rights in your home country.
it’s easy to open a bank account
In Ireland, even non-residents can open bank accounts. all you’ll need to open an account is a valid form of photo identification (such as your passport) and proof of your address, even if your address is in a different country. Some banks are a bit stricter with non-residents and require two forms of proof of address or a financial history from your home country. Unfortunately, bank accounts in Ireland can rarely be opened online, so you’ll have to wait until you’re in the country to take care of this task.
public transport goes everywhere
In the larger cities of Ireland, such as Dublin, public transport is usually quite fast and reliable, although there are sometimes delays on the larger systems. Outside the cities, there are buses and trains that will take you anywhere, and for the places they don’t go, rental cars are cheap.
you will eat, drink and have fun
Ireland is known the world over for its pubs. Pubs are more to the Irish than places to eat and have a beer: they are like community centers where people make and keep friends, play games, listen to music and more. The social scene in Ireland is lively and definitely revolves around time spent in pubs, which is great news for those who like to eat and drink.
disadvantages of living in ireland
Unfortunately, no place is perfect, and that includes Ireland. Just like in any other country, living in Ireland has some drawbacks, such as:
Ireland is well known for being gloomy and rainy most of the year. even during the summer, it is often cloudy and rain can come literally at any time. the weather is also unpredictable, prompting the Irish saying, “you can see all the seasons in one day.” Ireland’s position on the Atlantic offers it no protection from the elements, and it’s quite possible to see sunny skies and a downpour on the same day (or even afternoon!). It rarely snows in Ireland, but that doesn’t mean much of the year isn’t cold. If you’re someone who needs constant sunshine to be happy, Ireland may not be for you.
cost of living can be high
The cost of living in the city centers of Ireland’s larger metropolitan areas can be quite high. rents are much lower the farther you go from the city center, but those areas have less access to public transportation.
pub culture is not for everyone
Irish people love their pubs and for many, that’s an attraction to the country. but the social scene revolves quite a bit around alcohol: if you don’t drink, you may find that the culture isn’t for you.
the health system is not perfect
While Irish healthcare is affordable and, for the most part, effective, there are long waiting times for some medical procedures. health care is not perfect in any country, and ireland definitely proves it.
fuel is expensive
fuel taxes in ireland are very high, which drives up the cost of petrol. At the end of 2017, Ireland was the fourth most expensive place in the world to refuel a car, with taxes accounting for 60% of the cost of a tank of petrol. Gasoline is more than twice as expensive in Ireland as it is in the United States. And drivers don’t save money by crossing the border into the UK to refuel: fuel is expensive there too.
buying a property will not be easy
In recent years, it has been difficult even for Irish citizens to qualify for a home loan. In general, it is even more difficult for expats to qualify, and they may be required to go through additional hurdles to prove that they can repay the loan. Expats are often considered riskier borrowers, so their interest rates will generally be less favorable than those born and raised in Ireland. If you plan to buy a property instead of renting it, you may have a lot of work ahead of you to obtain a mortgage loan.
juggling two nations? do you want to save money? smart borderless multi-currency accounts could help.
Whether you’re juggling your finances while spending time in two different countries, or taking the plunge and actually moving to Ireland, you have a few options ahead of you. one of the most important will be what to do with your money. If you need to send money across borders frequently, using a traditional bank or money transfer service could mean paying a 4-5% markup on the exchange rate, essentially a hidden fee that helps the bank benefit from your need to move. your money. There has to be a better option, right? consider wise. wise allows you to send money internationally at the true mid-market rate, which is the same exchange rate you see when you google it. You’ll still have to pay a transfer fee, but it’s small, fair, and detailed up front. there are no surcharges or hidden fees.
And for frequent travelers, wise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, giving users the ability to send, receive, hold and manage money in multiple global currencies at the same time (including Euro). Beginning in 2018, borderless account holders will also have access to consumer debit cards, making it even easier for them to access their money while traveling between countries. test wise today to see how easy it can be to manage your money while you’re abroad, moving, or traveling.
one look at the cliffs of moher is enough to make anyone dream of living on ireland’s rugged coastline, enjoying that beautiful scenery day after day. But before you move to a new country, it’s important to do your research and find out if that country will be a good fit for you. Ireland has its drawbacks, but it also has many good qualities. Is Ireland the perfect home for you? wherever you end up, good luck with your travels!