Thinking but not sure

I was in Budapest for 4 days about 10 years ago and fell in love with the city. I've often thought of moving there but just not sure. I receive a pension of about $2,600 USD a month. Would I be able to live comfortably there? Also is it really as easy as some people have made it sound to meet other english speakers?

You could comfortably support a large family from that amount. You'll be fine alone even if you blow half of it on renting a nice uptown apartment.

Not many people here make that much legally (after taxes that is.)

Meeting english speakers: Lots of locals (myself included) are grateful for any opportunity to get some practice with you natives.
I can't vouch for expats, but they appear like a friendly bunch here :-)

Thanks for the reply. That helps toward moving there. Still a lot to think about.

I have found a few links to some relocation services. Has anyone here tried them and are they as useful as they make themselves sound?

Moving stuff like furniture may cost more than buying. Antique is not "in" yet, that means you can buy beautiful, massive old furniture dirt cheap, but it takes a lot of hunting as there are no established venues of trade.
Electric devices will give you grief due to the different voltage and frequency.
Entertainment gear is often incompatible as well: radio frequencies, region coding, etc.
Importing a car is a hassle and expensive, buying (and maintaing) a car here is even more expensive, parking is a hassle.
The good news is depending on the lifestyle you have in mind, you probably won't even need a car: Public transportation and taxies for late nights are better for city life. (If you think you'll need a car, it's a good indication you may want to reconsider moving to Budapest, and think about the countryside instead.)

Legal and administrative help may be worth the price though, unless you have local friends to help you with buerocracy.

You will need help unless you speak fluent Hungarian.  Knowing the right people seems to be key here.  My life has got a lot easier since I made friends with someone at the Town Hall.

Thanks for the replies. The more i think about this the more i like the idea of moving there. Biggest thing is saving up all the cash to make the move and my emergency run back to the USA money that i will need. I don't really know anyone there so that is also a big hurtle. But figure I've dreamed about living there for years might as well do it. Reading all the great post on here just helps fire me up.

"How to meet people and make friends" comes up here often, and always makes me think.

Here's how I see it now:

I don't see too much cultural difference between Hungary and the rest of the Western world in this regard. So you guys should probably think about this like moving within your country:
How would you make friends then? Find special interest groups? Walk up to your neighbours? Hang around in pubs/cafes/whereever?
The same should work here as well. The percentage of people speaking English is high enough.
I had a friend from South Africa, she joined the local folk-dance troupe, the most nationalist group you could think of save the skinheads. They were so proud of having a foreigner as a member, she was on all press photos and publicationos :-)

And I'm always here to help you find a nearby knitting club, squash court, picnic area, tell you its Hungarian name and/or equivalent, just ask.

Mkrogh hi, if you have some spare cash,you should come and see for yourself if Hungary, which you visited 10 years ago is still what you want.
Budapest is a lovely city,but people tend to idealize places they saw in the past, so you should come and see if you still want to move,meet expats and sample the everyday life here.

My recommendation is much the same as the others. Rent an apartment short term, familiarise yourself with the lifestyle, the place and the good areas before making any permanent move to Hungary. The Hungary you knew some years ago was probably much cheaper. It's now on a par with many European cities cost wise. It's just a shame that salaries do not reflect the costs of living.

Please get some tax advice before going any further.  I think that your pension will just be taxed in the US but you need to find out whether or not it would be liable to Hungarian taxes instead.  Hungary and the US probably have a mutual tax agreement in order to avoid double taxation but you need to make sure.  The level of taxes here is eye watering compared to the US.
I agree with fluffy the levels of pay here are very low and combined with high taxation it makes for a very difficult situation for those who cannot avoid taxes (which seems to be a Hungarian hobby).

I did look into the tax thing. This was something that i was worried about at first. Seems the US and Hungary do have an agreement to avoid killing people with mutual taxes. Also with my pension being a disability pension I think i'm in the clear from Hungarian taxes. I know it's clear from US.

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