Retiring to Austria and upgrading your lifestyle
Retiring to Austria
It isn't necessary to live half way up a mountain in a ski resort as there are many beautiful regions of attractive rolling countryside which are ideal retirement locations.
Austria offers many things to EU citizens and amongst the most important is top class health care.
Generally the rules for overseas retirees are standard throughout Europe. Certainly in the UK, if you have reached the age of 60 for a woman and 65 for a man and have made 40* years contributions to the NHS, then the UK government simply transfers your rights to Austria and you receive free health care for the rest of your life. (* We are told that this has now been reduced to 30 years but you need to check for yourself.)
Emergency numbers in Austria
There is one basic difference. The system in Austria actually works! If you are registered with a local GP then you will usually be seen without an appointment in under an hour. If he thinks you need to see a specialist, then he gives you a referral note and you then phone the specialist for an appointment. You would usually be seen within a few days but in no longer than a week. If he decides that you need hospital treatment then you will usually be admitted immediately or within a few days.
You pay for prescriptions, of course, currently 5.25 Euros (2014). However you do not get free prescriptions for life for chronic complaints, you just get the medicines at a subsidised rate.
Under the Austrian health scheme they prefer to try and keep you well. Therefore, you receive a full annual medical - comparable to a BUPA medical - completely free. This is designed to detect possible problems early. Hospitals are spotlessly clean, well equipped and even very small hospitals have MRI scanners, full physio facilities and a whole lot more.
As in many countries the state only pays for very basic care. A simple filling is covered but crowns and more complex treatment are usually payable. Remember that each Bundesland of Austria has a slightly different health system and some provinces pay for more treatment than others. We find that the Steiermark is quite generous. That said, there are plenty of dentists and getting an appointment is no problem. Remember though that Austria shares a border with Hungary so all you need do is drive over the border and get first class treatment at a much lower price. This applies especially to bridges and crowns.
Your existing UK state pension can be paid directly to your bank account in Austria and in Euros. You receive the annual increases as well as the Christmas bonuses and are still entitled to the annual heating allowance. Similar arrangements apply to all the other EU member states. Pensions and benefits can be paid to you in Austria.
If you are looking to retire early and have a pension then read this - you'll find it interesting.
Most of the population of central Europe visit these thermal bath resorts on a regular basis. It is regarded as being part of the process of keeping well and is great fun at the same time. They mostly cost about 15 Euros for four hours or so and you just turn up at the door and pay. No membership fees are payable. You can book a whole week including hotel and full wellness package including massage, water aerobics, beauty treatment and lots more. There are hundreds of these places right across Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and Hungary.
Cost of living
This is currently about 70% of the current cost of living in the UK. It is much cheaper to live there. Houses and apartments are also much cheaper - just check our listings.
You don't have to ski ! But if you do, there are thousands of ski lifts and it is a great place to pass the winter. Otherwise there is plenty of walking, riding, golf and also culture which is frequently absent in the sterile developments of coastal Spain.
We cannot tell you everything about Austria in this section but we make you the following offer . . .
Sunset in the Steiermark
You are welcome to go and see our family in Austria at Delta Immobilien GmbH without any obligation and they will talk it all through with you and answer all your questions. Please arrange a visit in advance though as they are always busy. see: www.deltaimmo.com
Their offices are in Bad Ischl - about 40 mins east of Salzburg by car.