Market News & Insights
26 February 2018

How to Retire to Ireland

Ireland is a charming country that has become a popular hotspot for UK pensioners to flock to when it comes to retirement – and it’s easy to see why. With emerald green rolling countryside, hospitable locals and the cost of living in Dublin being 10% cheaper than living in London (Expatistan), retiring to Ireland is the dream for many living in the UK.

Alongside its natural beauty, Ireland features a modern knowledge economy, with particular focus on services and high-tech industries. Ireland is also dependent on trade, industry and investment, and the economy is going from strength to strength. Combine this with the incredible cultural heritage that Ireland has to offer, and the fact that you can easily get direct flights from Dublin or Shannon straight to Birmingham, London and Manchester, and Ireland seems like the perfect place for UK pensioners to retire. If you’re thinking about moving to Ireland after you’ve reached retirement age, then here’s how to do it successfully.


Who has the right to retire in Ireland?

Moving to another country takes planning, time and effort. If you have decided to retire and move to Ireland, then it is important that you find out about the practicalities and risks involved in moving to Ireland from the UK.

If you are an EEA or Swiss national, you have the right to stay in Ireland with your friends or family members without any restrictions, for three months. After this time, you must prove that you have sufficient resources and sickness insurance to ensure that you don’t become a burden on society, should you wish to stay in Ireland after this time.. If you are a UK citizen, then you are allowed to reside in Ireland without any restrictions or conditions to be met.

If you are a non-EEA national, you must apply for an entry visa before travelling to Ireland. Once you’ve arrived in Ireland, you must have permission to remain in the country if you wish to stay for more than three months. Should you want to retire and live in Ireland, you must be able to provide sufficient evidence that you have plenty of resources to support yourself and obtain permission to remain by registering with your local immigration registration officer after you’ve arrived in Ireland.


How much money do I need to retire in Ireland?

If you want to retire and move to Ireland, you must meet the strict income requirements set by Irish immigrant authorities. If you’re not an EU or Swiss national then you have to be able to prove that you have an income of €50,000 ($55,138) if you are moving on your own, or €100,000 ($110,276) if you are moving with a partner. Your residency permission must be renewed every year for five years, and then you are eligible to apply for a five year residency If you want to live in Ireland on a budget, you will need Ireland, around €4,000 ($4,600) before taxes minimum. To afford good quality accommodation and retire comfortably, you should have $90,000 or more coming in from your retirement investments. You are also eligible to get your UK state pension should you choose to retire and move to Ireland. Most importantly, when sending money to Ireland, you’ll need to ensure that you achieve the best foreign exchange rate.


Buying or renting a house when retiring in Ireland

If you’re looking at retiring and moving to Ireland, then you will need somewhere to live. Recently, there has been a steady inflation in housing prices in Ireland. Reports have stated that Ireland’s property has seen a price increase of 5.4% – the second fastest in Europe, and the growth of Ireland’s property bubble doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. If you get your foot on the property ladder in Ireland now, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll reap the financial rewards later.

However, because of this property bubble, you may find that renting or buying a housing in Ireland is expensive. Should you choose to buy a house in Ireland, then you need to be aware of the costs that come with it. You can find out more about this in our guide to buying a home in Ireland.


Am I entitled to free healthcare in Ireland?

If you are a UK citizen who is temporarily staying in Ireland, then you must obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as this allows British Nationals to access necessary treatment throughout the duration of their stay, should they become ill or have an accident. This card should be obtained before you travel to Ireland.

If you wish to live in ireland once you have retired, you must satisfy the Health Service Executive (HSE) that you are an “ordinarily resident” – this means that you if you are a UK national, you should not be charged for NHS healthcare. However, in Ireland any person, regardless of their nationality who is accepted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) as being ordinarily resident in Ireland is entitled to health care services in Ireland. You can also access healthcare services in Ireland, and you must . You must pay the full costs of treatment, should you choose to do so.


Choosing to work during retirement in Ireland

Some retired people may only have retired from one job, or retiring may also signal a career change. UK and EU nationals have the right to work in Ireland, and there is no age limit for employment in Ireland. Should you choose to work in retirement once you have moved to Ireland, then you have the same employment rights as everyone else.


Driving, cars and transport

If you have a full driving licence from EU member states then they will be recognised and can be used in Ireland. There is also the opportunity to convert your driving licence to an Irish one. There are implications for Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) if you want to import your car. If you are 66 and over and permanently residing in Ireland, then you are entitled to free travel on public bus and rail transport.

With founders born in Ireland, we can help you to send money to Ireland from the UK if you are looking to move there. We combine our international money exchange expertise with a proactive approach to be our clients eyes and ears in the market, therefore removing the stress of FX for our clients. If you are a private individual looking to make move funds to or from Ireland and the rest of the world, we’re here to help.