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Rob Ainscough

Norway

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I'm seeking information in regards to living in Norway.  My wife and I are planning to retire outside of the US and Norway is one location we have our eye on.  We've done very limited research on Norway, housing is certainly affordable so no problems with cash purchase.  We've seen a few "SLOW TV" programs on Norway and read up on it's crime rates, cost of food/living, etc. etc.  We plan to vacation there next year October to soak up as much as we can (road, train, cruise) in 3 weeks.

 

I'm seeking opinions from those who have lived there for at least 4 seasons, any information would be appreciated ... the good, the bad, the ugly.  I think perhaps our biggest challenge (well my challenge, my wife is pretty good a learning languages) is learning the language.  I have no idea how we would go about setting up legal residence in Norway ... there is the possibility (if motivated) I'd do some freelance programming (my own projects) that I would attempt to sell.

 

All input welcome.

 

NOTE: we live in the US California, but we've both travelled (and lived) the world most of our early life (up to about age 27) from Pakistan to Bahrain to Iraq to Ghana to Spain to France to Netherlands to England to Scotland to Montreal, etc. ... so we're very adaptable to our environments.

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

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I've never lived there but be prepared for long dark cold winter days!

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My only experience of Norway was two weeks in dry-dock in Haugesund. I seem to remember the prices were high when compared to those in Britain - Sweden was the same, by the way. As for language, I found most Norwegians of my age group ( I was in my twenties then ) had a very good command of English, so you'd probably get by with the essential stuff like food shopping, to start with. You might want to check out the health-care regime there. I've just returned from the USA myself, and having listened to my sister's woes regarding medical insurance costs in America, you might find Norway a little more benevolent.

 

Oh, and Norway was home to the woman who looks most like Kate Bush without actually being Kate Bush. Her name was Horsa, and I was in love. :wink:

 

Just out of interest, why Norway in particular, Rob ?

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Since you aren't going to work, you'd get by with English most of the time. Most speak at least some English and you wouldn't have any problems doing day to day stuff. But to be fully integrated I think you would have to speak some Norwegian. Speaking it is more important than writing it to be connected to your local community.

 

You can check out the formal requirements for you to gain legal residence in Norway here.


 

Feel free to ask if you have any spesific questions, I'd be happy to answer what I can and if possible point you to the right place.

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Haven't lived their for 4 seasons but spend 11 summer vacations over there. Beautiful country. And as a result I have been flying solely in FTX Norway since the day of its release.

 

Looking at the countries you have lived in in the past I do wonder why you have your eyes set on Norway. Winters are long, cold, lots of snow and short days. (Then again, days in summer are long.) As much as I love Norway I don't think I'd actually want to live there. Living is also pretty expensive over there, specially if you don't make your money there and have to rely on savings.

 

Another reason why I wouldn't want to live there is that you are quite limited in where you can go, at least that was my experience. You can go left or right and often that is it. I live in the Netherlands (oh, the contrast when it comes to beauty...) and there you can travel in every direction you want. There are roads everywhere. In Norway roads are more sparse. And so are (big) cities. Although that has its charms too, of course. And I also think I could get a little bit claustrophobic living in some areas, caught between high mountains where the sun hardly shines, hardly anywhere to go... but I think that is also due to me being used to the open spaces in Holland where the cloudy skies give me a new 'mountain landscape' every day, if not every hour. ;) (EDIT The above was said while thinking about living in one specific place: it does not apply when traveling around the country on vacation. All the holidays I went there I traveled around the country, never staying longer on one spot then 3 days or so.)

 

Again, I think that if you want useful information it will be handy to tell us why you are thinking about Norway. But let me be clear about the beauty of Norway: imho it is one of the most beautiful countries on earth, no question about that, but actually living there is another story.

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You can check out the formal requirements for you to gain leagal residence in Norway here.

 

Thank you for the link, unfortunately I don't see how one would apply for a "residence permit" ... none of the options in the list seem to apply to what we'd like to do i.e. buy a home and live in Norway.  Or does one automatically get a residence permit when buying a home?

 

But thanks for the link, I've found the contact info and have sent an inquiry.

 

 

 

Just out of interest, why Norway in particular, Rob ?

 

I don't want to turn this into a political conversation which is not allowed on AVSIM per ToS.  But some reasons are low crime rates, low gun usage, some good hi-tech areas, no water shortages, slower pace of life, lots to explore, beautiful country and more.  A couple of other countries are also in our retire list ... Italy, Germany (my wife's favorite), and New Zealand (we'll be visiting them all before we make the retirement decision).

 

Cheers, Rob.

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But some reasons are low crime rates, low gun usage, some good hi-tech areas, no water shortages, slower pace of life, lots to explore, beautiful country and more.

Well, then Norway certainly fits the bill! Let me add that looking at that list Germany in general does not fit the bill... I also don't want to talk politics but since this is your wive's favorite I feel inclined to say this. (And my apologies to all Germans. ;) ) BTW New Zealand sounds like a very good option too! Never been there but from what I have heard I always regarded it a bit as the Norway of southern part of the globe. It's a good (and rather obvious) thing you are going to visit all those countries. ;)

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Rob,

 

Ray Smith the guy who does the sceneries is from New Zealand.  You might send him an email.

 

blaustern

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Rob, from what you say, I think Norway is a very nice choice - yes, the winters are long and dark, but if you are retired, all you need do is stock up with plenty of food, bottles of decent red wine, logs for the fire, and warm clothes for when you brave the outdoors to watch the Aurora Borealis. Given the choice of cold or heat, give me the cold every time - its nice to stay indoors and cosy. Go for it ! :smile:

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This is a very interesting topic.  I myself have had the (whimsical) thought of moving to Norway.  I did some light research on what it would take too and could have sworn I remember reading something that in order to live there permanently, you would need to learn the language.  But, maybe that was to become a citizen?  And/or maybe to be employed there or something along those lines.  Can't quite remember.  But, I am envious definitely!!!!!  I would love to be able to seriously consider a move there myself.  Right now, it's mostly just a dream.

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Switzerland? It's one of the countries with the highest quality of life. Probably expensive though?

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Hi Rob,

Interesting idea. I wonder though what you are planning about health insurance. Medicare will not work there, I don't think. Not sure what Norway offers along those lines for non citizens. Let me tell you that aging has i's price. Health does deteriorate and the cost for medical help is enormous. I think you have to consider this no matter where you decide to live.

Good luck.

Howard

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Wow, some great input, much appreciated.

 

Howard, we would expect to be paying for medical coverage, whatever we can get in Norway.  My assumption is Norway would offer something similar to US pay-as-you-live coverage like Blue Shield?

 

Switzerland was considered, but we would get considerably more home/land for the same cost in Norway.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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Excellent link, just what I suspected, there is private healthcare available and dental care appears to be private only anyway.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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I've spent some time in Norway and it's a very expensive but beautiful place and it's one of those places I've also considered moving to. Apart from the bad weather and the very expensive food and beer, I really like the place. The difference I've noticed though is that the people I've spoken to there are all very happy with life there and wouldn't want to live anywhere else unlike people from the other countries you've listed who seem to moan much more about where they live. 

 

Regarding Language, I never met anyone who couldn't speak fluent English (except other foreigners), and even if you spoke Norwegian, they'd answer you back in English anyway. Learning the language is a must though if you are going to work.

 

Regarding moving to New Zealand. I don't think they'd just let you move and retire there (even if you have money to support yourself). They have quite a strict immigration policy, and unless you have a job to go to, or family there you might find it hard to get residency. I've known many British people who want to retire there and simply can't even though they have money).

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AT least here in Portugal I could share my cockpits with you, the real and the virtual !... And the Weather!!!! THE WEATHER!!!! is much much better... Not to talk food and wine...

 

But I'd love to visit Norway for sure.

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The difference I've noticed though is that the people I've spoken to there are all very happy with life there and wouldn't want to live anywhere else unlike people from the other countries you've listed who seem to moan much more about where they live. 

 

Well, we moan a lot, but I can assure you, few Norwegians would like to live anywhere else! :) 

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Thanks again for all the great feedback, we'll know more next year when we visit Norway (May/June or Sept/Oct).  Looks like immigration requirements might mean we need to purchase home and setup as self employed and work out of our home on a casual basis for a little while to get residence permit.  I'll also need to provide university degrees and my existing work experience ... hopefully will get more info later.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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Would Ireland be appealing to you?  It is certainly less expensive than Norway overall, and language would not be an issue - all while it is also very beautiful. On the top, the winters aren't that cold and long. I have no idea about the housing market, but I can't imagine it being more expensive than in Norway. 

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What about Canada?  Up the coast from Vancouver is very Norwegian-like scenery; but nicer climate ( as long as you don't mind rain).

 

Brian

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Looks like immigration requirements

 

Have you considered visiting one of their consulates?

 

blaustern

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Regarding moving to New Zealand. I don't think they'd just let you move and retire there (even if you have money to support yourself). They have quite a strict immigration policy, and unless you have a job to go to, or family there you might find it hard to get residency. I've known many British people who want to retire there and simply can't even though they have money).

It all depends on how much money you have. Over a certain age you have to invest money in New Zealand to get a residency. They do it on a case by case basis. It can be done.

 

I moved here in my early 40s which that age scores low points but I have a skilled trade and business that got me in without a letter from an employer. Been here almost 6 years now

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I moved here in my early 40s which that age scores low points but I have a skilled trade and business that got me in without a letter from an employer. Been here almost 6 years now

 

That's brilliant :-). We (My girlfriend and I) have been researching this. I've been visiting New Zealand (Wellington) every year to support a customer and love the place and I'm always sad to leave. Even with my IT qualifications and experience I don't have enough points to simply walk in, I need a job to go to or be self supporting. Maybe I should start a company selling flight-sim scenery ;-) (My New Zealand scenery for X-Plane will actually be out soon :-)).

 

 

 


I have no idea about the housing market, but I can't imagine it being more expensive than in Norway. 

 

Like in Sweden, I think property is generally cheaper because there is much more space. In the UK and Ireland, buying property is extremely expensive unless you can settle for a small 1 bedroom flat. That being said, it's all relative as the cost of living in Norway is very high.

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