Expats considering retirement need to take a number of issues into consideration – one of the most important being the quality of life your retirement savings afford. When it comes to enjoying all the advantages of Europe, together with a low cost of living – Hungary is a country that offers both and is becoming popular with global retirees for the following reasons:
Part of the EU
Hungary joined the EU in 2004 and since then Hungarian standards of living have developed significantly, especially with regard to infrastructure. As a full member of the EU, Hungary enjoys a high level of stability and is popular with visitors and expats who are looking for a country with a pleasant climate and beautiful landscapes. The climate in Europe is typically Eastern European with warm, dry and pleasant summers but very cold, freezing winters.
Quality, affordable healthcare
The Hungarian healthcare system is similar to many other EU nations and provides quality medical care, at lower costs than some of its EU counterparts. The universal healthcare system is tax-funded and residents are entitled to free healthcare. Hungary is a medical tourist destination with many people flying in to undergo a wide variety of procedures and saving 40 – 70% of what they would have to pay in other European countries. A particular medical speciality in Hungary is dentistry with Hungary boasting more dentists per capita than any other country!
Low cost of living
Hungary’s low cost of living is a big attraction for many retirees as it is possible to enjoy a lifestyle similar to many neighbouring countries at lower costs. To take full advantage of the lower costs, it’s advisable that you live outside the main capital of Budapest, where accommodation prices are the highest and purchase your food staples from the local markets.
Good transport systems
A large amount of investment has gone into Hungary’s public transport systems and they are well developed and affordable. Bus, metro and boat services are available in large cities like Budapest and the roads that connect villages, towns and cities are in good condition. Budapest also has its own metro system, which is reliable and safe.
The Hungarian people have a vibrant history and today its history, culture, folklore and traditions still play an important role in daily life.
Healing spa destination
Hungary’s healing waters are renowned in Europe and unique in the world. Since the Roman times they have been used for therapy and contain a variety of elements that assist with poor circulation, arthritis and illnesses resulting from mineral deficiencies. Thermal water can be found across 80% of the country and most of it is suitable for bathing all year round.
Access your SA retirement annuity in Hungary
If you are a South African expat living abroad, you are able to access certain financial investments like retirement funds before the age of 55 if you financially emigrate. This is possible due to a change in tax legislation that came into effect in 2008.
What’s more, these funds can be used for any purpose – whether you wish to top up your existing retirement funds abroad or invest in a new home. Withdrawing your funds helps protect them from the volatile effects of the rand – and if you withdraw your funds at a time when the rand is trading strongly against your new currency, you will benefit even further.
At FinGlobal we have helped thousands of South Africans living abroad cash in their retirement annuities before the age of 55, so they can make the most of their retirement abroad. To find out more about how we can assist you with this process, contact us today.