Retire in Georgia?

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Sounds like as a strange concept, but please look closer, and you would realize that this is not a bad idea.

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The Georgian visa is the best visa we have seen during our four years of retirement: it is free and you can stay in Georgia up to one year!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Georgia

Where to live in Georgia?  We like Tbilisi.

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It is a modern city with a good infrastructure and entertainment (museums, theaters, expos, parks & historical monuments, cafes & restaurants, etc.)

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The medical service is affordable; the private facilities are good, even excellent.  Don’t know too much about the public medical service.

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The cost of living… it is cheap.  The biggest expense is the rent.  You can rent the apartment through the various websites, local real estate agents or local contacts, which is better.

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For the short term we usually rent via Airbnb, where we can read reviews. The rent prices, like everywhere else, are based on the location/area and the size of the apartment.  We like to stay near the Liberty Square &  Shota Rustaveli Ave.  This is a very touristy and the most expensive area, but everything is within the walking distance, including the metro (subway), taxis, minibuses, local produce markets and supermarkets.

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Internet and mobile phones are cheap.  A free WiFi is available everywhere, even on the streets. We paid around $15 for two local SIM cards with unlimited local calls & 2GB internet on each card. This year we bought a SIM from the MAGTI provider. Beeline, the last year provider, did not have a good coverage in remote areas.

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Tbilisi is safe, the tap water is drinkable and delicious, and people are friendly.  The young generation speaks English, and the old folks speak Russian, so the language barrier should not be the issue.

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The weather is nice.  Even the +35C is more bearable because of the low humidity. We can walk and walk for a long time … can’t imagine walking like this in Asia.

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The food.  The Georgian cuisine is delicious, although it could be challenging to be a vegetarian or even a vegan in Georgia. The key word for the vegans is “POSTNOE” (lean food).  During religious fastings, the Georgian people avoid eating meat, fish, dairy and eggs.   Although, they don’t fully understand vegetarianism and vegans, the word “POSTNOE” is well known. You can ask: “Is this POSTNOE?”  (This is how we discovered vegan pastries at the French bakery Entrée).

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You can see a short video about fruits and vegetables in Tbilisi:

From Tbilisi you can make a few short trips to see historical monuments and natural wonders.  The trips booked on the Internet are more expensive than if you book them locally.

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You can book your radial trips from the Pushkin or Maidan Square areas.  The prices would be the same, so select the more reliable operator (individual drivers also offering excursions, but make sure that the car is in good condition).

Here are a few videos from ur trip to Kazbegi:

The taxi scam does exist.  The taxi drivers do not use the meter or  A/C, even at +35C.  Make sure that you know the cost of your ride and offer that price before jumping into the car.

We like Georgia and Georgian people.  This is why Tbilisi is on the list of our favorite retirement places where we can live comfortably for at least 5-6 months (from April till September – October).

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