Retiring in Bulgaria

Hello everyone,

Why did you choose to retire in Bulgaria? What are the advantages compared with your home country?

What were your main considerations when deciding to move? For example, taxes, ease of transferring your pension, etc..

Are there any specific formalities you had to go through as a retiree moving to Bulgaria (for example, is there a particular retirement visa)?

What is Bulgaria's healthcare like? Have you had any good or bad experiences dealing with healthcare professionals?

Do you have any tips for other retirees in Bulgaria?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Dear Priscilla,

I'm not retired. I plan on working as long as possible. So I can't give you any information that could help other people who plan to retire in Bulgaria.

Kind regards

The simple reason is that even a modest western pension will be worth up to 3X more in Bulgaria, accounting for gbp/usd fluctuations. My US pension is only $385. While it is not enough to live well in Bulgaria, it is enough for a single older person with no debts to survive decently without danger of hunger, which could not be said if I still lived in the US. Some caveats, however: winter heating bills can be very high, even if you rely only on a wood stove. Winters are very cold. Additionally, getting by on less than 500 euro a month means that you own your property and it is in good order. You certainly will not be able to save for repairs.

Economics and climate.

Hi Priscilla,

For me so far, almost everything I'm aware of about Bulgaria is a positive, at least on paper, except the difficulty in acquiring a long stay visa. Staying beyond ninety days is difficult almost anywhere in EU, especially when coming from outside the EU. A lot of patience, paperwork, plus dealing with the local bureaucracy all add up to make it a fairly difficult process.  Beyond that, the climate is ideal for me, as I like real seasons with cold winters and hot summers. Also the proximity to mountains, and other interesting countries to visit nearby. I much prefer Eastern Europe, and Bulgaria is an especially beautiful country, plus the people are welcoming, the food is great, and cost of living is very inexpensive when compared to maintaining a similar lifestyle in the U.S. from a fixed income of Social Security and/or pension. My plans have been pushed back and I've had several unavoidable delays here in the states over the last year, but I still hope to make the move no later than next spring, 2018.

Kindest Regards,

Dear Priscilla,

I need a little place in the countryside that's quiet.
Maybe a river running by, or some form of water, beautiful views towards a distant horizon .
Sufficient land to plant an organic garden, and raise farmyard chickens ,maybe a goat or two.
I would like to be self sufficient.
I don't want to go too far from the civic amenities, but would like  to be near enough to quiet civilized neighbours.
I am a quiet bookish person who love to go for long rambling walks,  and potter around in the garden, maybe grow some grapes, and try my hand at wine making.

Dear Priscilla, to answer your question I can only say why I hope to  retire to Bulgaria.
I have an apartment in Ravda, but first visited Nesebar when I was 21 and fell in love with it. I have visited nearly every year since for at least a week. So when I was nearing retirement age I purchased my apartment. I have found the Bulgarian people to be friendly and sincere, even after more than 40 years I struggle with the language but I don't see it as a problem, many speak English a little and as long as you try to speak their language they appreciate it. I am not into the Sunny beach scene and have only been their maybe 6 times in all my visits. I love visiting churches and Monasteries which abound in Bulgaria.
I hope this helps you to understand my reason for living in Bulgaria.


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