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Hello from Norway

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:07 am
by liberty
Hey guys!

I'm a 29 years old Norwegian working as a programmer. I have so far saved 130k euros, 75% in stocks and 25% in bonds/cash.

The cost of living is high here in Norway, and therefore my plan is to move to a cheaper country in eastern or southern Europe to retire. Also the weather here is awful in the winther. I will first travel around to different countries and stay for 2 - 3 months each place before I maybe stay for longer time in one place since that's cheaper.

I'm trying to figure out how much I will need to retire. I spend around 1,100 euros per month on rent and other expenses here in Oslo (I rent because Oslo's housing market is a big bubble). Trying to figure out how much money I will need to spend per month in eastern Europe. Do any of you have experience with cheap living (don't need more than 15 square meters flat) in eastern Europe? If under 300 euros per month is enough, I'm already financially free :)

After "retired" I will like to build my own business, but I have no business idea yet. So maybe best to just continue working until I find one...

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:03 pm
by henrik
What do you consider to be Eastern Europe?

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:28 pm
by liberty
henrik wrote:What do you consider to be Eastern Europe?
Interesting countries are Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus.

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:34 pm
by chenda
I recommend Cyprus.

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:48 pm
by liberty
chenda wrote:I recommend Cyprus.
I'm seriously considering Cyprus. Have you been living there? Is it realistic to spend less than €300/month there? :)

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:44 am
by bulgaria
I have lived in Bulgria for the last 5.5 years and for 1000 euro's a month, you can live very well in a big city (more expensive) and even better outside of the cities. For 3/400 euro's month you can rent a nice 1 bedroom apartment and perhaps for 700/800 euro's a month in total you would be finished. Electricity/internet/tv is quit cheap and food is a cheap compared to Scandinavian countries. I'm sure you can can also live from far less than 500 euro's a month, it is a matter of what you want. 500 euro's is considered a good salary in the big cities.

If you want to continue working, the tax is very low. I pay 14.5% tax in total and 100 euro's a month for the accountant costs. I'm also a software engineer and work for companies outside of BG. Setting up a company and opening the accounts is often offered as a complete bundle; so you come in the morning and in the evening everything is done.

Keep in mind that there is a language barrier. English is not understood most of the time and even the Cyrillic alphabet is a PITA.

I would suggest having a look at Varna (I love close to Varna) and Burgas. Nice cities and close to the sea and an own airport. Sofia is a lot bigger, but it is IMHO an ugly and dirty city. I lived in Sofia for a year and was happy to leave.

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:28 am
by chenda
liberty wrote:
chenda wrote:I recommend Cyprus.
I'm seriously considering Cyprus. Have you been living there? Is it realistic to spend less than €300/month there? :)
I've only visited, not lived, but it's a great place. Property is generally very cheap, at least by U.K. standards. €300 may be possible away from the tourist areas, though it might be pushing it a bit.

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:48 am
by bristoldude
I lived in Bulgaria for 6 months (Burgas) and found I could live very well sharing with my partner on 300 each a month, this was around 4 years ago, YMMV.

not eastern Europe or quite as cheap, but I'm off for an experiment in Spain (Granada) for a few months from January. With the first month spent in an airbnb it looks like I'll be spending around 900 total, I'd assume it will be significantly cheaper once I get to renting accommodation properly.

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:20 pm
by liberty
Thanks so much for your replies! :)

Bulgaria seems good! The only downside I can see is that few people speak English there. I might be able to spend only 100 euros outside of rent. Here in Oslo I spend 780 euros on rent (including internet and electricity) and 300 euros on other expenses. Accordind to Numbeo, the rent cost is 1/4 of Norway and general cost of living is 1/3 of Norway. So Numbeo says I can live for a bit less than 300 euros per month.

I will do look into Varna and Burgas!

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:18 pm
by whatlifecouldbe
Hello. We achieved FI in Germany with 2 kids 2 years ago and we're just about to move to Romania (where I'm originally from). If you need any info about Romania, I'm glad to help. It's not a bad place. In fact, we're organising the Financial Independence Week Europe there in September 2017.

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:33 pm
by Jean
I visited Cyprus, and foud it to be quite expensive, cheaper than switzerland, but not much.
I found it very hard to find good food.
There are a lot of russian tourists.
But the interior is really nice. Even if it looks like a giant military base.

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:58 pm
by liberty
whatlifecouldbe wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:18 pm
Hello. We achieved FI in Germany with 2 kids 2 years ago and we're just about to move to Romania (where I'm originally from). If you need any info about Romania, I'm glad to help. It's not a bad place. In fact, we're organising the Financial Independence Week Europe there in September 2017.
So cool! I will look more into the conference, maybe joining, at least if I quit the rat race before that...

I'm now at €150k, which means €375 per month with 3% SWR. According to numbeo that should work, but maybe I'm too optimistic...

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:16 pm
by Cornerman
Welcome ! Good luck on the journey.

Re: Hello from Norway

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:58 pm
by Eureka
Don't let learning a new language be a hindrance. If you don't waste time on work and dedicate all your resources to it, you should be fluent in about 6 months. Also, setting a goal to learn the language fast will keep you engaged with the locals as you need them to practice on.

I would say, go for it. As someone said in another thread, worst case scenario is that you have to get a job again one day.