Hello and Glad To Be Here!

Greetings to all of the forum members here.  My main purpo:)se in being a member of this community is to listen and learn.  I am 63 years old and not in good health.  However, I AM reasonably fit for my age and have a very caring heart and spirit.  Bicycling is one of my main passions in life, as is photography and gardening.  I am almost desperate to find somewhere in the world that is safe and pleasant for an American expat to live.  Due to my medical conditions, my top priority in finding a new home would be how good the country's health care system is.  Second would probably be the cost of living coupled with my chances of finding work as a private math and/or English tutor.  Third - last but not least - would be how sound my new home's infrastructure is.  Is the country's road, bridges, and especially public transportation good to excellent for the average citizen.

Any initial feedback would be immensely helpful.  Even if you think that another part of the world or country would suit my priorities better.  Am working hard on saving for my U.S. Passport and generating enough steady income as an on line entrepreneur to retire elsewhere with enough funds to secure a good quality of life.  Thanks to all:  :)  :) .

Hello clb and welcome to Expat.com!

Thank you very much for this nice introduction.:top:


There is nothing wrong with the weather here; it's a sea-climate. The winters are milder than many places as are the summers. It's also not an expensive place to live, unless you choose to make it one. You can find perfectly decent apartments for under €600/mo, the fresh food is not highly priced, the public transit is cheap and wonderful, and yes the healthcare is also incredibly cheap, especially from an American's point of view, it's practically non-existent! And if you have the proper degree(s) then finding that sort of work is probably not super difficult, so long as you have a visa/permit that enables you to work here.

Hey clb,
Welcome the weather here is very compatible to someone from Washington. I did my military service there and it is about the same as when I was in Ft. Lewis. There is rain and it does get cold but I think it is the best place in the world to relax. I'm sure you'd be able to locate a temp or part time job in mathematics or english tutoring. My girlfriend told me there is a place at Louvain la Neuve that requests the teachers to speak in their native language. So it shouldn't be too terribly hard or difficult.

You are most likely to get work as a private maths tutor by catering to European school children - their parents are almost all on very high salaries in comparison to the rest of the Belgian population so they are most likely to be able to afford the 20 euro plus per hour for private tutoring. European schools have something like 10,000 students. The families live in great numbers in south and east Brussels.

Health care does not come completely free - if earning in Belgium, you are under the Belgian tax system (unless you are a European civil servant!!!! and a few other exceptions) and therefore you pay your social security and also have to join a "Mutuelle". As a self-employed person, know idea how that works. I'd strongly recommend the optional hopsitalisation insurance you can buy either from your mutuelle or another private insurer such as DKV.

Also I found out from a friend yestoday that if you dont work for a company but indapendantly you have to pay a different set of insurce/ taxes thid costing her 700 euros every 4 months so this is perhaps something you may have to look into and figure out how u need to sort it (this is perhals the Mutuelle that school mum spoke aboout) next time i speak to my friend I will ask her if she has any more info if ur intrested

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