Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Contemplating a big move...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Contemplating a big move...

    Hi Everyone,

    We are contemplating a big move in the next 2 years, and we are starting to research possibilities for other places to live. We currently live in the Netherlands. It is quite a daunting task because we have a lot of criteria (healthcare, accessibility, business/employment, etc.), and because we are of different nationalities (US/Dutch), and not rich, immigration hassles are also a biggie.

    Our list of potential countries/areas is quite long (mostly the America's and Europe) and I'm making a spreadsheet so we can use it to help us make decisions to narrow things down. I've made a list (below) of some of the things dealing with disability. I'd be interested in hearing input from others of things we should be looking into.

    To give some background, my husband uses a chair full-time and requires care during the day and full-time when I travel for business. I will be looking for work, but he is for the most part not able to. He also has problems with regulating body temperature, so climate is important.

    Near a good major medical center with neuo/rehab facilities
    Good health care with choices and without too long of waiting times
    Reasonably priced health insurance, deductables, co-pays
    Handicapped accessibility in and around home
    Handicapped accessibility in the community
    Handicapped acceptance socially
    Funding available for personal care
    Within driving distance of an international airport with direct flights near family/friends
    Recreation outside that is accessible
    Ability to transfer disability pay and pension
    Mild climate with neither very hot summers nor cold snowy winters.
    Sunny, not too much rain, wind or humidity

    It's really strange needing to quantify all of this, but because we are both 50, we do not plan on doing this again. We would rather take it slow and think it all through as much as possible, than have regrets later.

    Thanks for any ideas you may have of other things relating to disability.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

    #2
    I would add low crime rate, low frequency of harsh weather events (hurricanes, tornadoes, and not weather related but earthquakes - this from someone who lives in the San Francisco area of California) , access to adult educational facilities and cultural events to your list.

    There are a few publications you might want to try to buy. The series Places Rated Almanac has several books that can be quite helpful because they rate cities for livability using some of the criteria you have mentioned and more. Ambience, housing, jobs, crime, transportation, education, health care, recreation, and climate are included in their rankings of cities. There are a couple sequel publications to this one, Retirement Places Rated and World Retirement Places Rated. These books are frequently, if not yearly updated. Several publishers have similar editions out.

    Several US magazines publish yearly list, including Forbes Magazine and Money Magazine.

    There is a website Sperlings Best Places at http://www.bestplaces.net/

    Then just for fun, I googled "Best Places to live with a Disability." You'll find quite a few options to explore with that search criteria.

    Good luck with your study. Let us know your plans as they become clear to you.

    All the best,
    GJ

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks GJ. I had some of the points you mentioned, but not under the disability area. Below is the full list as I have it right now (just started today). You might laugh at some of them, but as someone who has lived in a few countries and traveled a lot, believe me, there are reasons for them.

      Thanks for the links. I've been looking at most of them already for the US. I've found "Best Places to Retire" a good search topic also, even though I unfortunately need to work. Strangely, I had not searched on "Best Places to live with a Disability" and that brought up some good hits. Our list also includes other countries, and that is a bit harder to come by.

      Medium or small sized town, but close to a city for services
      Mild climate with neither very hot summers nor cold, snowy winters.
      Sunny, not too much rain or humidity
      Near a good major medical center with neuo/rehab facilities
      Good health care with choices and without too long of waiting times
      Reasonably priced health insurance, deductables, copays
      Handicapped accessibility in and around home
      Handicapped accessibility in the community
      Handicapped acceptance socially
      Funding available for personal care
      Wheelchair transportation, taxi or public possible
      Some family and friends within driving distance
      Within driving distance of an international airport with direct flights near family/friends
      Culture: arts, music, theatre, etc.
      Access to adult educational facilities
      Recreation outside that is accessible
      Ability to transfer disability pay and pension
      Low violent crime rate
      Progressive laws (euthanasia, no capital punishment)
      Natural beauty and open spaces
      Enough room to not have neighbours on our back
      Government: Political freedom, secular separation church/state.
      Republic, no dynastic monarchy
      Friendly open people
      Not too calvinist or puritanical - Joie de vivre
      Food choices, medeterianian, international, vegetarian
      Natural disasters infrequent
      Languages: English, Dutch, German, French, Spanish
      Immigration not too difficult
      Not sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.
      Consumer services high
      Employment/business opportunities
      Economy not to much protectionism / intervention
      Education/literacy
      Living standards good
      Cost of living not too high
      Income tax (local/national) not too high
      Propery tax not too high
      Sales/VAT tax not too high
      High level of technology

      P.S. I also found this site interesting for comparing things like cost of living, crime, etc. http://www.numbeo.com
      Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

      Comment


        #4
        Money will allow you to create any kind of utopia you desire. Money gives you choices. You simply wall off all the things you don't like. I thought the Netherlands was a pretty nice place to live?

        Comment


          #5
          That's our "wish list" knowing we can't get it all, with points that we will give to each, with a tally (score) at the end. Although money will not make us happy, it sure would make life easier. Although the Netherlands is good for some things, for others not. There is no nirvana.... We are weighing everything up at this point.
          Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

          Comment


            #6
            Canada has outrageous limitations for disabled people (just learned this yesterday) but I thought the US did too .. anyone that would tax their medical system or social benefits might have a difficult time getting in. Norway and England seem to have it great for disabled people!
            Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

            T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

            Comment


              #7
              Other than you would freeze to death here our area hits most of those. It would help to narrow things down based on how high you rank driving distance to family and friends versus overall accessibility. We've been back to Europe many times in the last decade or so and while access is improving I can't think of any place that I felt I would be able to get around on my own. We last lived in Augsburg, Germany and while they have 4 seasons the major areas were more accessible than just about any other place in Europe. But unless immigration laws were changed as part of the EU that can be a real problem. Great medical care and university and the sunny side of the Alps is a 3 to 4 hour drive. Can I ask what field you'll be looking for work in?
              Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

              Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

              Comment


                #8
                Elapsing, you described the land of OZ. To live in such a way you might as well bug Wise a bit harder for a cure.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think you are correct about Canada. I am not as sure about the US though. As I understand it for the the spouses of US citizens, it is only dangerous physical or mental disorders that are limited.

                  I don't know about Norway, but it's not on our list. In general, England is becoming much more difficult for disabled people with the switch to the Personal Indpendence Payment (PIP) to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA). I do think that it is still possible for the spouse of a EU citizen to immigrate to the UK though.

                  I think we can forget about any funding being available for personal care in pretty much any country except the Netherlands. Almost all countries have restrictions of residence for a certain number of years. This is probably going to be one of our deciding factors after general immigration issues.
                  Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I agree about the freezing in your area. It's a shame, because most of my family is in the midwest (WI, MI, IL). I worked in Germany a lot in the past and probably spent about 2 years in total there, but not much in Bavaria. We are in the process of ranking everything now, so the score will be based on rank. EU countries like Germany and any others except United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark, would be the easiest for us for immigration, with my husband being an EU citizen and me having a permanant EU residence permit. I work in IT.
                    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If you approach to this is similar to your systemic approach to power addons for manual wheelchairs I look forward to the results. I have a couple questions (basically to see if I can use your conclusions)

                      - what is your job (I don't mean who do you work for or anything personal, just what do you do and more specifically do you work remotely)
                      - The one I can't see working and moving countries is "Ability to transfer disability pay and pension". My belief is I would get whatever is due to me from social security wherever I live and my 401k and IRA are assets I own. I don't get either a pension or disability pay, do you see those two limiting you choices?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Every poll I have ever seen about Germans has their ideal place to live is in the immediate Munich area and yet all other areas put down Bavarians as being country bumkins. Most American military types still cannot understand why we gave up Munich and Augsburg but not Stuttgart or Darmstadt.

                        I doubt you'd have problems coming back to the US but other than Hawaii where the cost of living is very high most of the warmer states tend to be less progressive unless you live in a major university area and even then the state will still have the death penalty and bennies like accessible buses and taxis will be few and far between. I looked at my temperature control as nice warm houses and businesses versus every place in Florida blowing the AC sky high 9 months of the year every where. Of the 3 states with family Illinois is basically bankrupt. I have family there too. In many towns down state the state is not returning their taxes to run their school systems. Detroit has declared bankruptcy. Wisconsin has higher taxes and property taxes depend on where you live. We're lake front on Madison's largest lake so ours is high but so are services including almost immediate snow plowing, taxis on demand-almost always, dog parks, classical to garbage rock concerts and clubs, a growing art museum and community garden collectives including one that is accessible. Great university and health care is good and the only long wait is getting a PCP. Once you have one they are easy to get into but I can see specialists without her referring. If there is global warming I can't see it here and I grew up here!

                        You might check out the triangle cities in North Carolina. Raligh, Durham and Chapel Hill but they also get hurricane wash and an occasional tornado.
                        Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                        Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Your list is amazing... and daunting... and of course, likely impossible. But I am also curious what falls out in the mix.

                          May I ask, what are your main disappointments with where you are now?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I currently work remotely, with some business travel. If I can, I am hoping to continue like this. Transfering disability pay and pensions depends on the country they were earned, but some like the Netherlands lower the amounts to some countries (non-EU) and not others (EU).

                            Up until this year we could have also received transferred our care budget to an EU country. Unfortunately, they have stopped that now. I find it a bit unfair, because it is something we paid over $250/month in insurance for. It is also a very strong reason to stay where we are, because it is probably one of the best care budgets of any countries. Unfortunately, we also see that being cut down drastically. It went down a lot this year, and in 2015 it is very unclear what will happen.
                            Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I am absolutely sure that the list is impossible to meet all of. But, on the other hand, without some kind of an inventory, it is even more impossible , It is now up to about 50 things, so I think I need to break it down into separate topics spreadsheets. And I have not even started on business/employment and the specifics of what we want for a new house.

                              Although the Netherlands comes in quite high for many things, we (especially me) have a long list of things we are not happy about living here. No offense to anyone, but don't believe all that you read about the tolerant Dutch. Also, it's cold and wet, with very little nature, and is very expensive. We like our house, but find that we don't really want to be part of anything outside of it, and are finding ourselves very isolated. With the exception of a few friends who visit the only family support we have is 5000+ miles away. I'm also very tired of dealing with the high level of bureaucracy (also on the list now), especially in Dutch, and my husband is only of limited help due to health issues.
                              Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X