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Article International Living - Retiring in England


500+ Posts
Great article!

It's interesting about the "dream" of living in the older homes, versus the reality of the issues one may encounter. It seems you have the perfect compromise in a modern home, built to fit in with the historic village. Congrats!


100+ Posts
I would caution against assuming that access to the National Health Service, on the same terms as for the rest of us, is automatic, or even easy, for new arrivals. In recent years there have been a number of changes in rules and procedures to guard against "health tourism", including financial and administrative penalties for NHS organisations not being thorough enough in checking eligibility. Plus, as in other countries, idyllic-looking rural areas are not necessarily best-served with facilities (case in point).

Some careful research into the latest rules is required (and probably additional private insurance):

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We moved here as Irish citizens, so had the right to live here and be on the health system. There is a “special relationship” between the UK and Ireland. We became UK citizens after we moved here based on my mother being a UK citizen. The article doesn’t make that clear. Patrick is right, not everyone can move here and not everyone can go on the NHS.

Next year I am old enough to go on Medicare in the US, but if we had stayed in the US I would have been paying for private health insurance for ten extra years.


1000+ Posts
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My husband's maternal grandparents were born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland; migrated to the US; and never became US citizens. We considered getting his Irish citizenship especially during the current political climate here in the US. Besides, we really, really like being/iving in Europe. We also considered just getting a resident visa as retired americans. Financially we can do it. But mom is nearly 89, lives nearby, and I feel responsible for her well-being.

We are still considering..... How hard is it do so? Will one option be easier than the other?


100+ Posts
Looks like British citizenship by descent is limited to parentage:

Irish citizenship looks more flexible:


100+ Posts
After Brexit (if it ever happens ...) Irish citizenship will also be more flexible because it will retain free movement in the EU, which British citizenship won't. Because of the special bilateral arrangements between Ireland and the UK (CTA), I think it will probably give extra rights in the UK too, but I don't know the details.


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We are still considering..... How hard is it do so? Will one option be easier than the other?

My father was born in Ireland and I was born in Canada. Children of an Irish father are automatically Irish citizens so all I did was apply for a passport (showing my birth certificate and my father’s). This was 30+ years ago. Check on the Irish embassy website. They should have the current info. I think you can apply based on grandparents. Make sure there is no residency requirement (unless you want to live there for a year).

Steve had a more complicated process because he had to apply for Irish citizenship based on being married to a citizen. The Irish embassy was very helpful and he could reach them by phone (unlike when applying for US citizenship where we had to drive to Albuquerque and take a number, then wait for hours to talk to someone). If he had waited one more year, he would have had to live in Ireland to get citizenship because they changed the requirements.

Make sure you have long form birth certificates and marriage certificates for parents and grandparents.


10+ Posts
This is exactly what we want to do! We are hopefully around five years out from retirement, and I have Irish citizenship by descent. We love Ireland, but it doesn't have as many out the door walking opportunities that England does. But, it would be nice to get Tim Irish citizenship, too, so perhaps we'll start there and take lots of small trips. Alas, we have time to mull it over!

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