Belgium Tips: Living, Retirement, and Cost of Living for an Expat or Retiree

Belgium is one of the nicest countries in Europe. It is also a good tourist destination. This blog will give you ideas and help you decide whether you want to live, work, or retire in Belgium. Consider some points that this country has a high cost and high standard of living.

Where is Belgium located at?

Belgium is a country located in the heart of Europe, surrounded by nearby countries like the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Luxembourg. If you visit Belgium you can also drop by in the neighboring countries.

What do you need to know as an expat or retiree before Living in Belgium? Watch this video!

Belgium Tips: Living, Retirement, And Cost Of Living For An Expat Or Retiree | Pinoy Real

What languages do people living in Belgium speak?

Belgium is divided into three languages over three nonemerging regions. These regions will never integrate for whatever reasons. These three regions are Flanders(the Flemish-speaking), Brussels(the French-speaking), and Wallonia(the French & German-speaking). Each region has its own state or administration.

As an expat or retiree, language is the first thing to consider if you want to move to Belgium. You should learn, speak and understand their language. Although some locals can speak well in English. However, older citizens can’t speak English most of the time. The Flemish government offers a low-cost to almost free flemish language course for expats and foreigners. So grab the chance for this offer.

What is the tax rate in Belgium?

Belgium has one of the highest taxations in the world. That’s not pleasing news for employees, self-employed or retirees. Personal Income Taxes in Belgium are highly dependent on your income. It depends on which category of personal income tax you belong to.

Expats and retirees are considered to be tax residents in Belgium if they principally work or live in Belgium and register at their local municipal office. An expat may be subject to Belgian tax on their general income. Good thing, Belgium has double taxation avoidance agreements with many countries around the world.

As an expat or retiree, It’s better to consult a specialist regarding taxation in Belgium.

Are investment incomes taxed in Belgium?

Please be reminded that income from capital includes interest, dividends or other forms of investments are also subject to taxation. Tax rates for investment start from 15% to 30%.

How good is the healthcare in Belgium?

Healthcare Services in Belgium is one of the most creditable and dependable in Europe. Hospitals there offer a high-quality service. Pharmacies and emergencies are widely available over the country.

Health Insurance in Belgium is also quite sensible. Good thing their government assists through tax payer’s money. Standard healthcare costs range only from 49 Euro to 189 Euro per year.

If you’re an expat or retiree, you should inquire if you qualify for this benefit. You may not be required to contribute to national security and may be covered by your employer’s healthcare scheme.

How is the lifestyle in Belgium?

If you work in Belgium and drive your car, traffic in main cities is horrible, like in Brussels, Antwerp, and Gent. Taking public transportation like train and tram is not the most dependable way. So if you are an expat, find a place to live which is near to your working place. In that way, you can get to your work on foot or by bike so you will not get late and avoid traffic.

What do you need to know before buying a property in Belgium?

Buying a house or apartment in Belgium is quite expensive. Before you buy, you should do research or ask a specialist to give you ideas and advice
before purchasing a property. For example, an ordinary semi-attached house costs 200-300 thousand Euros on average.

How about renting an apartment or a flat? For example, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can charge 730 euros per month on average and 616 euros per month externally of the city center.

What is the general cost of living in Belgium?

Belgium is not an affordable place to live, because of the high cost and high standard of living. Belgium is one of the world’s top 15 countries in terms of a high standard of living, according to the OECD.

In general, the cost of living in Belgium is high compared to the neighboring countries in Eastern and Southern Europe.

What do you need to do before deciding to move, live, or retire in Belgium?

If you are planning to live or retire in Belgium, make sure you inquire or research first before you decide to move. Come and visit first to see and check if this place is the best for you and works for your lifestyle. If you know someone like relatives & friends, reunite with them to get some information. Bear in mind that their language is also important as they do all government transactions in their languages: which are Flemish, French, & German.

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