Why Retire in Moldova?

If you are seeking a place to retire that is somewhat similar to mid-America, Moldova is it. Nestled between Romania and Ukraine down near the Black Sea, Moldova enjoys a climate of 4 distinct seasons with the side benefit of very low humidity in the Summer. Excellent air travel connections to most major European cities and train service connecting to all of Europe.
Cost of living that is about as low as you will find anywhere and a personal safety factor that is just not found anywhere else I have been.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Moldovan Adoptions

If you are considering the adoption of a child you would do well to check out Moldova.  There are approximately 17,000 children in Moldovan orphanages.  During the process of some of the Humanitarian programs I have been involved in, I have visited several Moldovan orphanages.  The children are for the most part very well cared for and well behaved.  They are beautiful children and certainly deserve a loving family.

Trust me on this one, you would be well served to have a conversation with me or one of my English speaking Moldovan associates who are very familiar with the orphanage system here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Moldovan Wine

If you like wine, you will not find a better place to live than Moldova.  Just about everyone in Moldova is a veritable master wine maker.  Every home in the villages has a "Podval" which is a cellar in Russian.  Every Podval will have a couple of big wooden barrels filled with the best wine that will ever pass your lips.  I always tell people, "just lock me in the podval with a siphon hose and come back in a few weeks, I will be just fine"

The most unique wine experience I have had is tasting white wine made with red grapes.  Not many people make it for obvious reasons, but it is an absolute must taste experience for anyone who likes wine. 

Moldova boasts the Guinness World Record for the largest wine cellar in the world AND the worlds largest wine collection.  It is the Milesti Mici underground winery here in Moldova. There is also Cricova which is a huge underground wine cellar. These wine cellars are kilometers in length and are so huge they have street names.  The Cricova wine tour is a must do.

You can buy a really good bottle of wine for $3 or less, but I have found the bottled wine has things added to it that do not agree with me.  Moldovan village wine is made and kept cold in the podval until you drink it and is just much better as far as I am concerned.

Here is a link to the Moldova Wine Guild for more in depth information about Moldovan wine culture:

Moldova Wine Guild

Mobile Phone Service in Moldova

Moldova is awash in mobile phones.  There are several providers, Orange, Moldcell, YoYo, and Eventis. Competition is strong, prices are cheap compared to the U.S.  

Phones are bought "unlocked" you buy a SIM card for the provider you like and away you go.  Most people just do the prepay plan.  I tried the contract plan but I found it to be much more expensive. I use Orange prepay now.  Until recently you had to buy a "scratch off" card to refill minutes, but now there are electronic machines in many places where you can enter your number, feed money to the machine and refill without the bother of buying the card.  There is no cost to receive a call.  Only the calling party pays. 

The plan I have gives me really cheap talking to two favorite numbers and a lot of time free on nights and weekends. I spent about $10 on phone service last month.  

The mobile providers also have high speed internet available with a cigarette lighter size USB modem.  That service is basically unlimited and is about $12 a month.  So if you want to live out in the sticks in a village you can and still have great internet connection anywhere in Moldova.  

The land line carrier, Moldtelecom also has high speed DSL available.  I was in the village Easter weekend at the home of my wife's uncle.  No inside running water or toilet.  The kitchen is an outbuilding with a 2 burner butane stove and a big wash tub for doing dishes.  They have a laptop with high speed DSL.   

A lot of people in the rural areas still use horse and wagon for transportation.  It is not at all uncommon to see a guy driving one of them and have a mobile phone hanging around their neck.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Look Around Chisinau

Chisinau is a beautiful city the site at the link below will give you a chance for a small preview

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Some basic costs

This is for about an 1100sf 5th & top floor apartment.

Electricity  about  $30,  Natural gas for heat, cooking and hot water, February $92, Water and community costs $20

Normally in the states, the rule of thumb for rent is 1% per month of the sale value of the property to be rented.  Rents here run about  1/2% per month or less of the sale value.  There are times when renting is smart. Given current interest rates being paid by the local banks it is very smart.  Foreigners are allowed to buy apartments and stand alone homes on a standard lot. They cannot buy large pieces of land.  That is done by long term purchase lease-back.  Prime farm land is on the order of $800 an acre.  

Taxes on property are so small as to be inconsequential.

Corporate taxes are 0%

Personal income taxes are flat 18% 


Automobile gas is expensive by American standards as it is in the rest of Europe.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chisinau Organ Hall

The Organ Hall in downtown Chisinau is just one of many places to go for an evening of cultural entertainment.
There is always a schedule of performances, and not all revolve around the organ, which is a magnificent instrument made by the Czech company Rieger-Kloss.  More information about the Hall in English can be found at the link below.

Gambling in Moldova

Moldova has Casinos, both large and small.  Gambling is not my cup of tea so I have yet to darken the door of one of them. 

I have not a clue how honest they are or if there is a prescribed maximum "house take" but if I were a big gambler and in this part of the world already, I would just fly off to Monaco and do it right.