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AIBU To chuck it in and move?

(34 Posts)
TheWichitaWinemum Tue 24-Nov-15 22:33:17

I've namechanged.

Dh (older than me) is close to possible retirement. I work PT. We want to buy a small holding in Ireland (we've found the one we want to go and view). We have a mortgage now but if we sell, we could buy outright and have a small pot of money (maybe £30,000), until DH's pension kicks in in a few years' time.

2 kids under 10, both academically alright, could go to local school.

The plan is, I carry on working (remote business, not relying on local economy) and bring smallish wage that might get better, whilst we try for a relatively self-sufficient lifestyle. We have experience of that on a smaller scale so not a total flight of fancy.

If we stay here, our mortgage won't be paid for another decade and we don't get to live next to the sea surrounded by fields.

We understand that rural property there is undervalued, and the prices are so low right now. That said, we wouldn't want to to sell again, we'd want to make our lives there.

It's a rural area but within easy reach of larger towns.

Some people react with horror, not many with 'wow, yes, go and live your dream.' We're sensible and think things through (we've been on this for more than 10 years), but it's a bit nerve wracking.

Any thoughts? Anyone done it?

Seeyounearertime Tue 24-Nov-15 22:35:54

If you want to do it and its feasible then why not?
I'd love to move away from where I am.

Tirfarthoin Tue 24-Nov-15 22:41:38

How well do you know Ireland? My parents did something like you describe in the late sixties (we kids came after the move).
If it's really what you want then go for it and live the dream.

RB68 Tue 24-Nov-15 22:42:06

if it were me I would do it but I would also have a plan B - some other way of making money - so how about pods for camping or something else - 30K doesn't go that far when starting new ventures and living etc

TreesInSpace Tue 24-Nov-15 22:43:32

If it was me, I'd want myself to be fully convinced I'm prepared to start fresh in a very different place to where I was currently living, and the significant change of lifestyle that would incur.

I'd also feel a bit guilty about moving my children to a new school when they've probably already established friendships by now at junior school.
Although better to move now if they're under ten than over ten.

I'd also need to convince myself my partner was 100% in agreement.

But you sound like all those boxes are ticked, in fact all boxes, so go ahead with your adventure! One life!

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 24-Nov-15 22:43:56

Could you rent your house out and work the finances to see if it does suit? It's a big change and living in fields as you get older might not be as idyllic as it seems now. What are the employment prospects for your dc locally? Will they be working 80 miles away as you get older?
Just thinking this through as FIL moved to the arse end of nowhere and couldn't understand why we found it tricky to visit when we had f/t demanding jobs. And then got snowed in or had to drive everywhere.

BlueJug Tue 24-Nov-15 22:48:07

I'd say go if you both want to do it. It is important to have a plan, a project, something to aim for and this sounds good. I'd love to be self-sufficient.

I would be wary of having no savings and limited earning capacity though. You will need income for maintenance on property, university expenses, (in 8-9yrs), trips for the kids, health related expenses - you never know.

gabsdot Tue 24-Nov-15 22:49:28

Go for it. I think it's very sensible to want to be self sufficient and free of debt.
What part of Ireland are you thinking of?
I live in Dublin

BlueJug Tue 24-Nov-15 22:53:37

Giddy is also right. I had thought of that. My DP is older and we have already decided that we need to be in a town near doctors, dentists, shops, transport, banks, pubs, people. He is going to give up driving soon, (eyes), and we also don't want to be far away from our kids when they leave. (DD 18 so leaving soon). It sounded a bit kill-joyish though so I didn't mention it but it is important to bear in mind.

Bullshitbingo Tue 24-Nov-15 22:58:28

My parents did this. They're Irish and were 'going home' so slightly different as they did know the culture, albeit they were from a totally different bit of Ireland originally. Please don't underestimate what a hugely different culture rural Ireland has to many other places. It's lovely but it can be a shock to the system how into each other's business everyone can be. Also, be aware that the real estate market there is in such dire straits that if you do change your mind, you may not be able to sell and return to the uk. My parents sold their house in England to be mortgage free but the house they bought (which is absolutely lovely) had been on the market for three years when they bought it, and it's a similar story in lots of places. If they wanted to sell now, they could have a long old wait.
Another thing to consider is healthcare. Ireland does not have the NHS and waiting times can be horrendously long (my mum was told 6-9 months to even be referred to a consultant about a gynaecological problem she was having).
However, having said all that, If you think it's definitely the place for you and you've done your research, then go for it! Life is too short for regrets, and Ireland truly is a wonderful place. smile

Bullshitbingo Tue 24-Nov-15 23:00:38

Sorry x post, I see that you're thinking of being near a town. Very sensible not to be too isolated, especially when you won't know anyone to begin with.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Tue 24-Nov-15 23:05:04

Go for it!
I wish I could...

Maybe in a few more years, I will.

I am assuming you have looked at the boring practical stuff:- access to medical care, hospital, schools... All for future plans.

expatinscotland Tue 24-Nov-15 23:09:06


Schrodingersmum Tue 24-Nov-15 23:16:20

Bullshitbingo is right to say how well do you know life in Ireland
We lived in County Kildare for a year with work nine years ago with our 2 young children
The pace of life is definitely more laid back but you need to factor in costs that you wont realise exist

Gp appointment was £35 each time
Monthly prescription £65 every month
Simple A&E visit £90
Dustbin service paid for seperately £50 a month

These are just a few things we experienced
Also education! You will find this is completely different from the UK and I believe you are supposed to contribute with monthly parish donations
I remember our year very fondly but it does make you appreciate our NHS and services here in the uk

GruntledOne Tue 24-Nov-15 23:16:47

I'd be a bit concerned whether you have enough of a financial cushion. For instance, you will be pretty isolated and therefore, I'm guessing, fairly dependent on motor transport. What are you going to do if your car suddenly dies?

MrsMolesworth Tue 24-Nov-15 23:22:01

Before making a move like that. I'd make a list of the simple every day things that make you profoundly happy. For me it is meeting up with friends, successful face to face work with clients, big family get togethers, brilliant art exhibitions - all of which are every day stuff but they depend on being near people I love on a regular basis.
Are the roots of your day to day happiness now based around solitude - hoeing a patch of allotment when no one is around all day, or sitting at home reading while it rains? If so, maybe the tranquillity is ideal for you. but if not, it's unlikely your source of happiness will change overnight. You don't want to end up isolated socially, culturally, geographically unless you are natural introverts who love to get away from the bustle of the world.

MrsMolesworth Tue 24-Nov-15 23:23:36

If the work you plan to do depends on online access - make sure you buy a small holding in an area with strong, existing signals for wifi and phones.

ingeniousidiot Tue 24-Nov-15 23:40:33

Goodness, I would be wary of doing something so drastic with children and dh at the stages that they are. If he is stopping driving, you'll have to drive everybody to everything all of the time - have you any experience of living rurally? How are you going to become self sufficient? What experience do you have of animal/crop husbandry - is your dh going to be able to carry out enough of the work on the smallholding for you to be able to do your 'other' job? What do you intend to do to provide income?

IMO the timing is all wrong - you should've done it 10 years ago - what stopped you? Or wait until dh retires/kids gone.

I sound negative I know, but I've bought quite a few animals from smallholders that have started living the dream, overfaced themselves, and found it not as much fun as they thought it would be.

And if you do it, don't be afraid to ask for help and/or advice from your neighbours.

antimatter Wed 25-Nov-15 00:14:39

If your dh has to give up driving due to issues woth his eyesight will he be able to do physical work every day?
Also smallholding means you can'g go anywhwre as someone has to look after your animals. Can you live without any holidays?

GrannyGoggles Wed 25-Nov-15 08:40:40

PPs have made excellent points about finances, cultural challenges, your husband's age, possible sense of isolation etc.

I'm interested in what you mean by self sufficiency, are you planning to grow a few veg, keep a few hens and thus reduce food shopping? Or have cattle, pigs? Literally produce all you eat? Do you have any experience with stock? Have you kept an allotment? In reality, self sufficiency can be grinding hard work, and is fraught with pitfalls for the inexperienced. Not impossible, but challenging.

You need to be going into this adventure with eyes wide open.

GrannyGoggles Wed 25-Nov-15 08:43:40

Sorry, just re-read OP, you have some experience,but concerns about reality of self sufficiency stand

PurpleWithRed Wed 25-Nov-15 08:44:33

Your kids may hate the isolation as they become teens: is there public transport they can use to get to town as they get older? decent internet?

TheBunnyOfDoom Wed 25-Nov-15 08:49:27

It sounds good but if your DH is close to retirement I think he'll want (need) to be near amenities as he gets older. My dad is just 61 but his eyes are going and he'll have to give up driving due to bad tunnel vision in the next five years or so.

He's glad he lives somewhere with a bus service and within easy reach of shops, post-office, doctors, etc. He's otherwise fit and heathy but not being able to drive would be really limiting if he lived in the middle of nowhere.

I mean, the mortgage-free thing sounds wonderful but I think you need to think long-term. Is there a bus service? If not, are you willing to ferry your DC around for the next 10 years and fund driving lessons or drive them to part-time jobs when they become teens? Can you survive on your minimal income plus a pension? Realistically, 30k won't go far.

GruntledOne Wed 25-Nov-15 08:51:18

My SiL moved to Ireland when she got married and persuaded MiL to move also. It meant that we instantly saw less of them, as did other SIL, simply because of the logistics and expense of travelling to Ireland, and for health reasons MiL couldn't travel to visit us often. You need to factor in where your relatives and friends are and the fact that realistically you will lose touch with them and/or see them considerably less.

expatinscotland Wed 25-Nov-15 08:55:13

'You will find this is completely different from the UK and I believe you are supposed to contribute with monthly parish donations'

And buy books and school supplies.

We live in a rural area (in Scotland) and you have to drive everywhere. Public transport is very limited (Winter schedule runs 1 Nov. - 1 April) and expensive.

It is very wet here and there was an adjustment for me (I'm foreign).

Being a long way from services is a real hassle.

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