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coming up to retirement age and would love to move to Croatia

Hi, at present my partner and myself live in England, we work full time but are both coming up to retirement age and would love to move to Croatia, Dubrovnik, Soline, Mlini, Plat, Cavtat area.  We have no idea what to do first.  Do we find a property then purchase? then apply for visas etc or apply for visa's first as I believe they take a long time to come through.  We would have a limited budget for buying until we sell our property here. It all seems like a pipe dream at present.  We have checked many internet sites but they seem orientated towards Americans/Canadians moving to Europe rather than British people emigrating.  Some straightforward help would be very appreciated.  We would be looking to retire within the next 12/18 months.

Thanks  Ann

Hello ann999,

Welcome to Expat.com  :par:

I moved your post from the Dubrovnik forum and made a new thread from it, which would indubitably give your queries more visibility on the forum and promote interactivity.

We encourage you browse the forum by ''Forum Categories'', found on the up right side of your screen, to gather the maximum information.

We have dedicated sections of the site to host adverts you may have amidst the top green banner of the website.

Best regards,
Gavind

Hi Ann999,

I answered a similiar question for a blog interview for my book in the recent past. I will reprint the question/answer here and hope it helps.

First, I'll add an important note or two here: I recommend you move to Croatia first and RENT an apartment for at least a year without any major investment. After a year all the glitz and glamour has worn off, you may decide the place isn't for you. If the allure of the country, and its people, remains strong at that point, then you can take the next step. Explore the area you think you want to retire. During the first year while renting, learn the process of ownership/renovation and all the trials and tribulations associated with it BEFOREHAND. Meet plenty of expats who have gone through the process and survived. LISTEN to and take their advice. Learn from their mistakes. Take their experiences/stories seriously, many of which may seem unbelievable.

Croatia has a lot to offer. I know several expats who love the country very much. It may be the place for you, too! But you are entring a different world in many regards - 'proceed with caution.'

If you have time, I advise you to read the two books written by the Kiwi -expat listed at the bottom of the Q/A answer. Her experience might provide you with a different perspective.

I'm sure others can jump in and add more about the visa process. That isn't my area of expertise.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

The Q and A:


3.    Can you tell us some of your experiences buying property in Croatia and renovating it? Any good or bad experiences? Any funny (or not-so-funny) experiences?

    For many outsiders, Croatia is a very alluring country in which to buy a property. A lot of foreigners have moved here since my arrival, and many others are coming to Croatia on a permanent basis each year.
    Except for stories others have told me, I have no personal experience of buying property in Croatia. Having said that, I am in contact with several friends, both Croats and other expats, who have gone through the ownership process at various times over the last ten years, or who are currently doing so now. Sadly, it is difficult for me to recall any who have had totally positive experiences from beginning to end. Legal difficulties involving ownership, clean titles, and unethical real estate agents; bad experiences with lawyers and architects, never-ending bureaucracy, and burdensome fees are all complaints I have frequently heard in the past. That doesn’t even begin to cover troubles with unregulated builders and incompetent contractors who gladly overcharge foreign buyers. I can say that I hear fewer of these types of reports nowadays, but it is still very much a ‘buyer beware’ scenario.  Foreign buyers should proceed carefully and do their due diligence before taking the ownership plunge. Before any money changes hands, they should make a valiant effort on their own to learn the answers to important questions they may have about buying and renovating property. They should not expect hired professionals to know or provide the correct answers to their questions. Every situation will be different, the laws change frequently, and some professionals are better informed than others. Potential buyers may want to reread the last three sentences because they are very important.
     As for renovating, that’s another difficult subject. There are some very talented and qualified ‘majstors’ or craftsmen around if you know where to find them. Unfortunately, it seems they are usually discovered only after less qualified ones have already done inadequate work the first time. The definition of quality workmanship has a broad spectrum with general contractors in Croatia.  It isn’t unusual to find yourself paying twice (or more) to get a job done correctly. Because of this fact, I’ve become handier with repairs around the house!
    None of this was said to discourage anyone from pursuing their dream of buying and/or renovating a property in Croatia. Moving to Croatia can be a very rewarding experience, and I am proof of that. However, expats or Croats who have lived abroad for many years and are planning to return to Croatia should make the transition with open eyes. They should research the process carefully, and build a solid network of friends and/or family who can steer them in the right direction to avoid unnecessary stress and added expense.
    Another author contact of mine, a New Zealander-Croat named Barbara Unković, has written two very entertaining books related to this subject. Any expat who is seriously considering relocating to Croatia would be well served to read about Barbara’s experiences and adventures.  Both books can be found in my list of recommended reading on my web site bookstore at:   
           
                                                        into-hells-fire.com/category/bookstore

Hi!
There is one thing that you might want to keep in mind: the Croatian health system will take 25% of your pension every month if you have a foreign pension. That might vary, but it's generally that amount. I found that out accidentally.

That goes for Croatian residents and you are required to get residency if you stay longer than 3 months in the country.

If the Croatian health system will take 25% of your pension monthly, is there a way around it? I mean if I take a private health insurance for instance it would become MUCH cheaper.

I thought overseas pensions are tax free but this information totally screws it up for me.

After thinking about it for a while it doesn´t make sense :) As an EU-citizen in my case I will take a form E121 with me from Finland´s authorities and with that I will be entitled to all social security related services like hospitals etc.. Don´t know too much about different EU countries ways of doing things but in Finland you pay SSC contributions even if you are on benefits ;)

ann999 :

Hi, at present my partner and myself live in England, we work full time but are both coming up to retirement age and would love to move to Croatia, Dubrovnik, Soline, Mlini, Plat, Cavtat area.  We have no idea what to do first.  Do we find a property then purchase? then apply for visas etc or apply for visa's first as I believe they take a long time to come through.  We would have a limited budget for buying until we sell our property here. It all seems like a pipe dream at present.  We have checked many internet sites but they seem orientated towards Americans/Canadians moving to Europe rather than British people emigrating.  Some straightforward help would be very appreciated.  We would be looking to retire within the next 12/18 months.

Thanks  Ann

Ann, did you fulfil your dream to retire in Croatia?

HI Zagrob,

This is an old thread and Ann has not posted in a year, so you might not get a response.

I did indeed see that SimCity, but hoping she still has "email notifications" turned on and the same email address. After all our email address is one of the few things we can easily take with us wherever we go....

Hello all,

After I spend a year in Mauritius, I believe I want to go to Croatia for a year. I see above someone recommended looking at the Forum categories, in upper right hand of screen, to get better exposure for the question.

Here are the categories I see when I click on that:

New members, Accommodation, Cars and transportation, Children, Everyday life, Leisure, Networking, Schools & studies, Work

Which one of these categories has posts about becoming an expat in Croatia, on a long stay basis?

Can anyone direct me to a government agency I can email about this? I tried the one in South Africa but I'm not getting any response.

Thanks.

Sue

sue_ring :

Hello all,

After I spend a year in Mauritius, I believe I want to go to Croatia for a year. I see above someone recommended looking at the Forum categories, in upper right hand of screen, to get better exposure for the question.

Here are the categories I see when I click on that:

New members, Accommodation, Cars and transportation, Children, Everyday life, Leisure, Networking, Schools & studies, Work

Which one of these categories has posts about becoming an expat in Croatia, on a long stay basis?

Can anyone direct me to a government agency I can email about this? I tried the one in South Africa but I'm not getting any response.

Thanks.

Sue

Hi there Sue, :)

You don't have to pick one of those categories unless the question falls into one of them. In your case it is an open question so no need to choose one. Just start a fresh thread.

http://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah187/simonkilby/topic_zpsa7idfdns.png~original



Good luck in your Search

SimCityAT
Expat.com Expert Team

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