If you are thinking of retiring to Ireland, you need to find out about the practicalities involved in moving to Ireland from another country. The following information outlines the various issues that may arise as you start planning your move. You may find this overview helpful as it highlights some of the key issues to consider and check and may help you to make a smooth transition from abroad to this country.
Not everyone has the right to come and live in Ireland. Your right to reside here, depends on your nationality and your particular situation.
You may find that housing is expensive in Ireland, irrespective of whether you are thinking of renting or buying a home. If you want to buy a home in Ireland you need to be aware of the price trends in this country, the process by which houses are bought and sold and the initial costs that are involved. There are no restrictions on the purchase or rent of residential property or land. Rented accommodation comes in many forms including houses, flats and apartments. You will need to know about renting a home.
If you are an older Irish born emigrant living in rented accommodation and you are thinking of returning to Ireland there is a scheme called the Safe-Home programme.
If you are normally resident in Ireland, you are entitled to a range of health services that are either free of charge or subsidised by the Irish Government. If you are planning to retire in Ireland you should find out about entitlement to public health services. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for a medical card which entitles you to certain health services at no cost. GP Visit Cards entitle you to free GP Visits.
In addition to the public health system, people in Ireland can avail of a range of private health care services. You must pay the full costs of treatment if you opt for private health care. There are a number of private health insurance companies in Ireland. If you are normally resident in Ireland, you are entitled to the same benefits from your private health insurance as any other Irish citizen. Your private health insurance premium attracts tax relief at the standard rate (20%).
If you are thinking of coming here to retire, it is important for you to be
aware of the social
security system in Ireland. There may be some significant differences
between the system here and your home country so it will be worthwhile to
familiarise yourself with any differences in advance. You need to find out more
to Ireland and your social security entitlements. You should know that
there is a residency
requirement to qualify for social assistance payments in Ireland.
Most long-term contributory pensions such as old age or widowed pensions can be paid in any country so you can have your pension from another country paid in Ireland. There is information available about pensions in Ireland. If you have worked in more than one EU/EEA country or in a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement then your periods of insurance can be combined with Irish insurance to see if you would qualify for a pension from each country. If you are getting a pension under EU regulations or a Bilateral Agreement you may be eligible for the extra benefits of the Household Benefits Package.
If you are moving to Ireland you need to know about residency for tax purposes. You can find out about income tax credits and reliefs and how pensions are taxed. There are some special tax arrangements for people aged 65 or over and tax relief is available for certain medical expenses including nursing home costs.
Some retired people may only have retired from one occupation. For that reason, you may regard retirement as a job change rather than a total withdrawal from the labour market. Retiring from work therefore may simply signal a career change. Not everyone has an automatic right to work in Ireland - so check in advance whether you require permission to work in Ireland.
Most legislation dealing with the protection of employees in Ireland does
not have an upper age limit. This means that if you are working
in retirement, then you have the same employment rights as everyone else.
If you decide to work part-time, you can find out about employment
rights of part-time workers.
Full driving licences from all other EU member states (and some other countries) are recognised for use in Ireland. You should find out if you can convert your driving licence to an Irish one. If you want to bring your car to Ireland you need to know about importing a car and implications for Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). If you are over 66 and living permanently in Ireland you are entitled to free travel on public bus and rail transport.
There are strict regulations about importing pets from abroad here, so you need find out about the procedures for bringing your pet to Ireland.
There are customs regulations about the importation of prohibited or restricted goods and Customs and Excise officers have the power to carry out searches of the baggage of people travelling to Ireland.
Irish citizens living in Ireland have the right to vote in all elections and referenda. If you are living in Ireland but are not an Irish citizen you may vote in some elections. You can find out about the right to vote and the Electoral Register. You may be interested to learn about the political system at national level and the political system at local level.
Active retirement is a concept while has become increasingly popular in Ireland and there is a range of organisations which promote education and leisure activities for retired people including a number of active retirement groups in Ireland.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.