There was uproar earlier this year when it was revealed that new rules will make it more difficult for American retirees to put up their feet in the Emerald Isle.
An unpublicized change in Irish immigration rules means that none but the wealthiest will now be able to settle down in Ireland in their senior years as standards on what makes one financially stable have risen dramatically.
The new rule requires that retirees have an annual income of no less than $55,138 (€50,000) per person,($110,276/€100,000 for a married couple) for the remainder of their lives in Ireland, regardless of their existing cash on hand or lack of debt.
Needless to say, these revisions have caused great disappointment among future Ireland retirees who now feel their plans will not come into fruition.
With one third of Irish Americans still dreaming of retiring to Ireland, however, it’s clear that hope has not been completely lost. If you are starting to have second thoughts about that beautiful retirement home in the Irish countryside, let us remind you of all the reasons why you should make the move.
1. It’s just downright beautiful
No matter whether you decide to retire to the city or the country, the quirky characteristics of Dublin, Galway and Cork, and the sheer beauty of the green countryside make Ireland more than easy on the eye. Every county has something to offer and you’ll never regret deciding to wake up to views such as these.
2. Lack of language barrier
You may struggle to pick up the lingo and grasp the Irish intonation in the beginning, but unless you decide to live in a Gaeltacht community (all Irish speaking areas of Ireland ), you can take some consolation that your neighbors are speaking English, even if it initially doesn’t sound like it.
3. The people
As vibrant as the countryside itself. Where else in the world is it considered the absolute height of rudeness if you don’t vocally thank the bus driver on public transport or where you can still signal a sign of hello to strangers as you pass each other in your cars on country roads?
4. The craic
Helped greatly along by the people, our landscapes may be brimming with peace and tranquility but that description certainly doesn’t apply when we gather together to celebrate, to relax, or when we’re simply gossiping or telling stories over tea.
5. The rich and vibrant culture
Traditional music, song, dance, language, theater and storytelling still have their passionate enthusiasts among the Irish population and in every village, town, and city, you can find all of this and more. As well as embracing our more traditional arts, there is a thriving modern arts community in all parts of the country and with tens of literature, poetry, theater, and music festivals, you’re sure to find a new hobby to take up in your retirement years.
6. Property bargains
There are some incredible deals on the Irish property market with everything from castles, to farmhouses, to thatched cottages awaiting you. You can check out some of the cheapest homes available here.
7. Good infrastructure
With a good highway system in place, it’s easy to get from city to city and buses run for relatively little as well. If you stray outside of the bigger cities and towns, however, you will need to have a car to get around.
8. The food and drink
As evident in the amazing products being applauded this year as part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, Irish cuisine, restaurants, bars and breweries are really coming into their own. Leave behind notions of constant potatoes, cabbage, and bacon and experience the best fruit and veg, meat and dairy products.
9. Cost of living
Although costs within the capital and in other major cities can be high, with thanks to chain supermarkets for groceries and every Irish girl’s favorite clothing store, Primark, living expenses can be kept low. Rent outside Dublin is also considerably lower.
10. Access to Europe
Just on the doorstep of another twenty plus countries, Ireland is a great starting point for an European adventure. Cheap weekend trips to major European cities or holidays in the sun are easily achieved because of our proximity to the European mainland.
Read more: Ten things to know about retiring to Ireland from America