If I am going to leave my job, I have to spend less. Some people live in their car or under a bridge. I’d rather consider a much cheaper country. Let’s face it, the US is not cheap. I realize you get what you pay for – but maybe there are some non-homeless, less standard options to control the cost of day to day living. In all the articles on living outside the US in retirement to control costs, I haven’t yet seen Slovakia highlighted. I’m an optimist. It’s just an oversight.
As an American, I don’t understand what living in a cheap country looks like. I don’t look at the Christmas lights downtown and think “Wow, wonder what those cost”. I like the lights. I kinda feel entitled to the lights. Honestly, I have no idea what austerity looks like. In the 70s it was buying those “no name” brand super market products. A white can with big black letters which said “green beans” was my idea of austerity.
Austerity is more of an every day reality in Slovakia. In a country where the average person makes about 1000 dollars per month, austerity is potholes, graffiti, a dead dog on the highway. I’m not sure I can give the services up which keep my life quite so pristine. I’m also not sure I can afford them for the next several years.
Living in Bratislava is a good test. It’s also a humbling reminder of how easy we American’s have it. But so far, so good. Austerity does not imply a lack of good people, interesting architecture, fine arts and great wine and food. We have friends, opera, and 4 dollar pizza with a dollar beer.
It’s only been a bit more than 3 months since we moved here. Time will tell. As of right now, I think living in a cheap country, for a medium or long term, is an option. And for the moment, I’m just figuring out my options.