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Old 10-18-2017, 01:37 AM
three_dogs three_dogs is offline
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Default My Expat Journey Begins in Rural Hungary



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I am beginning a new chapter in my life next month as an expat, I probably would never had never considered such an adventure up until a few years ago.

A few forum members here posted about their adventures as expats Daisy in Bulgaria, CaseyBoy in Central America to name a few. When I first seriously considered the idea of making such a drastic life change I considered Australia and New Zealand but they don't want anyone over 50 unless your an investor with loads of cash. I thought about Costa Rica and Panama and their mild weather was attractive except for the humidity and the now growing cost to live there because of becoming tourist traps for Americans and some Europeans. I seriously looked at Bulgaria because it is affordable but then I looked into healthcare, the crime against expats by believe it or not other expats and decided that Bulgaria was not for me. I looked at Romania and was interested but I never could get a feel for anything about the country because no one from areas I was interested in would reply back to my questions about the cost of property and the cost of living. I got the cold shoulder it seemed because of being from the US.

I discovered my choice Hungary by accident. I was looking at the British Expats Forum and found that there are some Brits and a few Americans living there. I was able to make contact with a few of the local expats in Hungary and found real estate agencies with property for sale and at affordable prices (outside of Budapest and the Lake Balaton areas).

I flew over the last week of August 2017 and bought a farm house in a small village. I bought a house with almost 4200m2 of land, a small stable, garage and a large barn for about $24K USD. Fully furnished and livable as is. Of course I will want to make some upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms but nothing that I cannot work on in stages.

Hungary is a very beautiful country with a lot of history both good and bad but since the fall of the Iron Curtain it has become a stable relatively conservative nation with traditional values and culture. The people are friendly and the crime rate is fairly low in most areas. It seems like to me what the US was like back in the 1960's in the rural areas. Many people still do not keep their doors locked in my new village.

I know that the many haters will chime in no doubt about leaving the US. Hungary is NOT for everyone. It is for me for many reasons. The cost of living is very affordable compared to the USA because housing is cheaper, yes, the houses are not modern by many standards but that is not a problem for me. People grow much of their own food in Hungary and do not eat near as much processed food like we do in America. There are not fast food places everywhere like in the US. There are many small restaurants that have good food. I am on a fixed pension and I have grown tired of the ever increasing property taxes in the US plus the constant property insurance increases. Not to mention everything else that is skyrocketing. I was being taxed and insuranced to death where I live now and I see that in a few years my modest house would be unaffordable if I want to also eat. I have decided to get out now while I still can. My biggest challenges will be learning a new language and new customs.

I am excited to begin a new journey. I am 56 and I see that the changes happening in the US are not to my liking and frankly the leftist crowd are bent upon destroying the US. Being disabled I am not up to the fight anymore. Physically or mentally. If I were still in great shape and 30 years younger I would probably stay but I am not. I have no illusion that life will be perfect in Hungary but I think I have a chance to enjoy the remaining time I may have in relative peace, something I just don't see in the US.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:52 AM
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Sounds like an adventure in the very least , good luck !
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:58 AM
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The expat life is fun! Enjoy!
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:08 AM
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I moved my primary residence to the Dominican Republic about 4 1/2 years ago. I return to the US several times a year..only to work an assignment and when finished..I go home. In a few more years....no more trips to the US.
Being an expat is very challenging and takes some time to get used to the new lifestyle. Culture is different. Most people fail at this way of life and pack up and go home.
I live in the second largest city in the country...in a small neighborhood ( barrio ) on the edge of the city. Many days there is no water. But we have a water tank on the roof that holds water when the water is off. Most days we experience power outages. Mainly during the day. We keep spare batteries charged...and keep our portable rechargeable lantern ready for those night outages. Things are different and you can’t go to these places thinking you are an American and you are special. You should try to fit in as best as you can. Try not to live around other expats....that only brews trouble.
It will be tough at first...I suggest you go there on a temporary basis and give it a try. Stay a month...if that works out...you will be fine. But if not...you can always go home.
Some folks aren’t cut out for this new change in life.
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by three_dogs View Post
I am beginning a new chapter in my life next month as an expat, I probably would never had never considered such an adventure up until a few years ago.

A few forum members here posted about their adventures as expats Daisy in Bulgaria, CaseyBoy in Central America to name a few. When I first seriously considered the idea of making such a drastic life change I considered Australia and New Zealand but they don't want anyone over 50 unless your an investor with loads of cash. I thought about Costa Rica and Panama and their mild weather was attractive except for the humidity and the now growing cost to live there because of becoming tourist traps for Americans and some Europeans. I seriously looked at Bulgaria because it is affordable but then I looked into healthcare, the crime against expats by believe it or not other expats and decided that Bulgaria was not for me. I looked at Romania and was interested but I never could get a feel for anything about the country because no one from areas I was interested in would reply back to my questions about the cost of property and the cost of living. I got the cold shoulder it seemed because of being from the US.

I discovered my choice Hungary by accident. I was looking at the British Expats Forum and found that there are some Brits and a few Americans living there. I was able to make contact with a few of the local expats in Hungary and found real estate agencies with property for sale and at affordable prices (outside of Budapest and the Lake Balaton areas).

I flew over the last week of August 2017 and bought a farm house in a small village. I bought a house with almost 4200m2 of land, a small stable, garage and a large barn for about $24K USD. Fully furnished and livable as is. Of course I will want to make some upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms but nothing that I cannot work on in stages.

Hungary is a very beautiful country with a lot of history both good and bad but since the fall of the Iron Curtain it has become a stable relatively conservative nation with traditional values and culture. The people are friendly and the crime rate is fairly low in most areas. It seems like to me what the US was like back in the 1960's in the rural areas. Many people still do not keep their doors locked in my new village.

I know that the many haters will chime in no doubt about leaving the US. Hungary is NOT for everyone. It is for me for many reasons. The cost of living is very affordable compared to the USA because housing is cheaper, yes, the houses are not modern by many standards but that is not a problem for me. People grow much of their own food in Hungary and do not eat near as much processed food like we do in America. There are not fast food places everywhere like in the US. There are many small restaurants that have good food. I am on a fixed pension and I have grown tired of the ever increasing property taxes in the US plus the constant property insurance increases. Not to mention everything else that is skyrocketing. I was being taxed and insuranced to death where I live now and I see that in a few years my modest house would be unaffordable if I want to also eat. I have decided to get out now while I still can. My biggest challenges will be learning a new language and new customs.

I am excited to begin a new journey. I am 56 and I see that the changes happening in the US are not to my liking and frankly the leftist crowd are bent upon destroying the US. Being disabled I am not up to the fight anymore. Physically or mentally. If I were still in great shape and 30 years younger I would probably stay but I am not. I have no illusion that life will be perfect in Hungary but I think I have a chance to enjoy the remaining time I may have in relative peace, something I just don't see in the US.
Well that makes us neighbors of sorts. I am living in Ukraine have been on and off last 3 years. Now I am married I also like you have a house in the village and an apt. in the city.

There is a lot to adjust too but I think you will be fine.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:04 AM
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I've never been but I do have a small insight on the women there. My friend is married to a Hungarian and I dated her cousin for a short time. Hungarian women are beautiful, very emotional and fiercely loyal, did I say they are very emotional!? Just be a gentleman and loyal and you will win their hearts. Hungarians like Americans for the most part. The language is nearly impossible to learn and the phone translators are frustrating at best.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:23 AM
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Wow, that sounds cool. Keep us informed.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by three_dogs View Post
...
I know that the many haters will chime in no doubt about leaving the US. Hungary is NOT for everyone. It is for me for many reasons. ... I am on a fixed pension and I have grown tired of the ever increasing property taxes in the US plus the constant property insurance increases. Not to mention everything else that is skyrocketing. I was being taxed and insuranced to death where I live now and I see that in a few years my modest house would be unaffordable if I want to also eat. I have decided to get out now while I still can. My biggest challenges will be learning a new language and new customs.

...
I wish you luck but felt that a comment was worth making concerning property taxes and insurance. If you live in more rural areas of the US your property tax will be minimal and slow to change. You do not need insurance on a home if you do not have a loan to pay off. Where I live my property tax is less than $300/yr.That is with 80ac of land and several cabins. Once I reach 65 I can have my property tax frozen at the rate it is then. The risk of not having insurance is like any other risk you allow for. It can be minimized through planning and selection of location.

Though there are cultural challenges in living in some of the backwater areas of the US, at least the language barrier does not exist (for the most part). Hope your move to Hungary works out for you.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:08 AM
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Just a few questions for the OP

You said you were disabled.
What is your plan for medical care there? Insurance coverages?

What is your plan for financial and banking?

And what are the legal aspects of residing there? Do they offer legal residency?

As someone who resides in a foreign country....these are some things I had considered
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Goodwrench708 View Post
Just a few questions for the OP

You said you were disabled.
What is your plan for medical care there? Insurance coverages?

What is your plan for financial and banking?

And what are the legal aspects of residing there? Do they offer legal residency?

As someone who resides in a foreign country....these are some things I had considered
I have global health coverage purchased.

I am disabled but still able to walk and take care of myself.

I will find local healthcare in the nearest city about 15 miles away in Kaposvar. I am not at all worried about the medical facilities and providers.

It is possible to obtain legal residency if you either have an employment offer from a Hungarian employer, a family relationship in Hungary, I am retired and have an adequate pension to support myself as long as I don't go and spend money like a politician I should be fine. Even if I did not obtain residency I can stay inside the EU 90 out of 180 days by virtue of having a US Passport and go elsewhere during the other time or return to the US. I am planning to stay full time .

Banking I will keep my US Banking relationship for the time being because my Debit card works just fine in Hungary, I do plan to open a Hungarian bank account and eventually have my retirement direct deposited into an account but I am going to take my time on that to make sure I find a good full service bank that is expat friendly.
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:46 AM
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Best of luck Three Dogs and thanks for the info / thread. One of my best friends is looking around at candidate countries to relocate to and I'm following his research with a bit of interest.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by three_dogs View Post
I have global health coverage purchased.

I am disabled but still able to walk and take care of myself.

I will find local healthcare in the nearest city about 15 miles away in Kaposvar. I am not at all worried about the medical facilities and providers.

It is possible to obtain legal residency if you either have an employment offer from a Hungarian employer, a family relationship in Hungary, I am retired and have an adequate pension to support myself as long as I don't go and spend money like a politician I should be fine. Even if I did not obtain residency I can stay inside the EU 90 out of 180 days by virtue of having a US Passport and go elsewhere during the other time or return to the US. I am planning to stay full time .

Banking I will keep my US Banking relationship for the time being because my Debit card works just fine in Hungary, I do plan to open a Hungarian bank account and eventually have my retirement direct deposited into an account but I am going to take my time on that to make sure I find a good full service bank that is expat friendly.
The reason I asked those questions is because those are some things expats forget about. Good plan u have.
I am unsure how Insurance works in that country. But I know here in the RD since I havenít applied for residency yet...waiting a couple more years. It cost 1200-1500 dollars here for all the process. So in the meantime I pay 200 a year for insurance through seven corners.com. When I do get my residency..I can get local medical insurance through Humana. Premium is 50 a month. No deductible..only small copays. My wife and daughter cost 50 a month total.
I can be added to that policy.
My insurance from seven corners....has a deductible of 250 per incident
So itís only good for major stuff or medical evacuation back to US

I maintain my US bank account and my wife has a Dominican bank account. I have one bank that is good to use my debit card at. Others I donít use. Sometimes even that bank doesnít work with my debit card. Always need a back up. For emergency. Start a Western Union account. You can always send yourself money and it comes out of your bank account. It cost me like 10 dollars to send myself 350 dollars... in minutes. Last week my debit card was not working ...I needed cash. So while standing in line at Western Union...I used the app on my cell phone to send myself 350 dollars...

What are your cell phone and internet services like in your small town?

How many times have you visited the country?
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by three_dogs View Post
I have global health coverage purchased.

I am disabled but still able to walk and take care of myself.

I will find local healthcare in the nearest city about 15 miles away in Kaposvar. I am not at all worried about the medical facilities and providers.

It is possible to obtain legal residency if you either have an employment offer from a Hungarian employer, a family relationship in Hungary, I am retired and have an adequate pension to support myself as long as I don't go and spend money like a politician I should be fine. Even if I did not obtain residency I can stay inside the EU 90 out of 180 days by virtue of having a US Passport and go elsewhere during the other time or return to the US. I am planning to stay full time .

Banking I will keep my US Banking relationship for the time being because my Debit card works just fine in Hungary, I do plan to open a Hungarian bank account and eventually have my retirement direct deposited into an account but I am going to take my time on that to make sure I find a good full service bank that is expat friendly.
if you need to border hop until you get residency Ukraine is also a lovely country western Ukraine near you is amazing place. could alwayse hop over that way to reset your 90/180 as its the same here for americans
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:11 PM
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Fascinating thread! I hope you keep us updated.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by three_dogs View Post
I am beginning a new chapter in my life next month as an expat, I probably would never had never considered such an adventure up until a few years ago.

A few forum members here posted about their adventures as expats Daisy in Bulgaria, CaseyBoy in Central America to name a few. When I first seriously considered the idea of making such a drastic life change I considered Australia and New Zealand but they don't want anyone over 50 unless your an investor with loads of cash. I thought about Costa Rica and Panama and their mild weather was attractive except for the humidity and the now growing cost to live there because of becoming tourist traps for Americans and some Europeans. I seriously looked at Bulgaria because it is affordable but then I looked into healthcare, the crime against expats by believe it or not other expats and decided that Bulgaria was not for me. I looked at Romania and was interested but I never could get a feel for anything about the country because no one from areas I was interested in would reply back to my questions about the cost of property and the cost of living. I got the cold shoulder it seemed because of being from the US.

I discovered my choice Hungary by accident. I was looking at the British Expats Forum and found that there are some Brits and a few Americans living there. I was able to make contact with a few of the local expats in Hungary and found real estate agencies with property for sale and at affordable prices (outside of Budapest and the Lake Balaton areas).

I flew over the last week of August 2017 and bought a farm house in a small village. I bought a house with almost 4200m2 of land, a small stable, garage and a large barn for about $24K USD. Fully furnished and livable as is. Of course I will want to make some upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms but nothing that I cannot work on in stages.

Hungary is a very beautiful country with a lot of history both good and bad but since the fall of the Iron Curtain it has become a stable relatively conservative nation with traditional values and culture. The people are friendly and the crime rate is fairly low in most areas. It seems like to me what the US was like back in the 1960's in the rural areas. Many people still do not keep their doors locked in my new village.

I know that the many haters will chime in no doubt about leaving the US. Hungary is NOT for everyone. It is for me for many reasons. The cost of living is very affordable compared to the USA because housing is cheaper, yes, the houses are not modern by many standards but that is not a problem for me. People grow much of their own food in Hungary and do not eat near as much processed food like we do in America. There are not fast food places everywhere like in the US. There are many small restaurants that have good food. I am on a fixed pension and I have grown tired of the ever increasing property taxes in the US plus the constant property insurance increases. Not to mention everything else that is skyrocketing. I was being taxed and insuranced to death where I live now and I see that in a few years my modest house would be unaffordable if I want to also eat. I have decided to get out now while I still can. My biggest challenges will be learning a new language and new customs.

I am excited to begin a new journey. I am 56 and I see that the changes happening in the US are not to my liking and frankly the leftist crowd are bent upon destroying the US. Being disabled I am not up to the fight anymore. Physically or mentally. If I were still in great shape and 30 years younger I would probably stay but I am not. I have no illusion that life will be perfect in Hungary but I think I have a chance to enjoy the remaining time I may have in relative peace, something I just don't see in the US.
Hey, can I have all your firearms since you're tucking tail?
You most likely won't be able to take them with you.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:39 PM
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I have thought about moving elsewhere a time or two. Costa Rica was a possible. I have friends there. Never thought of anywhere in Europe or even places like the Ukraine. But I always stay here. I canít find a country I like that is better than this one. So I guess Iím stuck and will simply try to find a state that I like. Not hard to do since the one I currently live in sucks.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:00 PM
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You had another thread about getting your dogs over there. Did you work that out?
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodwrench708 View Post
The reason I asked those questions is because those are some things expats forget about. Good plan u have.
I am unsure how Insurance works in that country. But I know here in the RD since I havenít applied for residency yet...waiting a couple more years. It cost 1200-1500 dollars here for all the process. So in the meantime I pay 200 a year for insurance through seven corners.com. When I do get my residency..I can get local medical insurance through Humana. Premium is 50 a month. No deductible..only small copays. My wife and daughter cost 50 a month total.
I can be added to that policy.
My insurance from seven corners....has a deductible of 250 per incident
So itís only good for major stuff or medical evacuation back to US

I maintain my US bank account and my wife has a Dominican bank account. I have one bank that is good to use my debit card at. Others I donít use. Sometimes even that bank doesnít work with my debit card. Always need a back up. For emergency. Start a Western Union account. You can always send yourself money and it comes out of your bank account. It cost me like 10 dollars to send myself 350 dollars... in minutes. Last week my debit card was not working ...I needed cash. So while standing in line at Western Union...I used the app on my cell phone to send myself 350 dollars...

What are your cell phone and internet services like in your small town?

How many times have you visited the country?
Cellphone service seems to be good from what everyone says. My UK neighbor that resides in Hungary has an Iphone and says it works graet and when I was with her being showed about it worked good all the way from the Budapest Airport and all the way to my house. I have not yet decided whether I will get a mobile or not, I am not a fan of mobile phones because I used to carry them when I worked. If I have to get one I will reluctantly. Internet service was great when I was there. My UK neighbor let me piggy back of her service with my laptop. Worked awesome. I will get my own once I get moved in. I see no reason to worry about connectivity.

I use a service from transfewise.com to wire money from the US to Hungary and it is cheap and usually only takes a few hours at most. I can deal with a wait to not pay thru the teeth. I will get a local bank once I get a residency card.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by богдан View Post
if you need to border hop until you get residency Ukraine is also a lovely country western Ukraine near you is amazing place. could alwayse hop over that way to reset your 90/180 as its the same here for americans
I thought Ukraine had been entered into the EU zone? I will check on that but I thought the Ukraine was a war zone? IDK? I should be okay on the residency permit but in the event I get a snag, I will leave and then return to Hungary after my 90 days is over. May go to Costa Rica or Panama.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nefarious1 View Post
Hey, can I have all your firearms since you're tucking tail?
You most likely won't be able to take them with you.
Sorry, I lost all my fire arms in an boating accident.



No, I cannot take them but If I need a weapon I have a plan. Weapons for hunting can be obtained.
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