The Next Move: Dublin or London?

Dublin or London

The Next Move: Dublin or London?

Hello everyone! Welcome back to The Green Swan. Today is an “ask the reader” day. I need your help and consideration, expert knowledge, and previous experiences to weigh in on a potential decision of ours. To move or not to move…to Europe…specifically either Dublin or London. Let me explain, then let the debate began.

The Job and Logistics

Dublin or London
Dublin looks nice…

As some of you may know, I am a banker for a large international bank. Like many banks, we have offices throughout Europe. The job itself would be similar, but slightly different from my job today. The similarities consist primarily in terms of my true day to day responsibilities. I would have a book of clients that I would be responsible for in terms of monitoring and approving commercial loans. The size of clients and types of loans I would make would be similar as would the normal bank approval process, etc.

The differences would be that today I have a healthcare industry focus, and the potential job would be more general / broad industry coverage. There are also significant differences in terms of how the debt markets work and operate in the US compared to Europe, so I would have to get up to speed on that quickly. But I don’t expect that to be an issue.

Any potential move would be staying within my bank and would represent a lateral job transfer. While there may be a moderate pay raise, that is TBD and there would be a number of other TBDs in terms of cost of living adjustments, relocation benefits, etc. But for this process, I would prefer to put the money questions aside. I don’t want this decision to be made based on an assumed 10% +/- change in my take home discretionary income (in real purchasing power). As many of you know, I’m about 5 years from FI, and maybe up to 10 from pulling the plug, so a potential change in income would be important but probably wouldn’t move the needle much on these dates.

Regarding timing, that too is TBD. I’ve had discussions (aka initial interviews) with a few hiring managers in Europe and there will be opportunities for me. My background and experience is very transferable to the roles they are seeking to fill (currently or in the near term). While transferring me overseas would be difficult and costly for the business unit, the benefit I offer is my experience and being internal so I could hit the ground running immediately for them. I would expect something to come up for me in the 6 months, perhaps sooner or perhaps up to a year. The location would either be in Dublin or London (because at this point I can only speak English) and it may ultimately be my choice between the two cities.

Regarding my wife, she works for an international hospitality company. We would plan on her finding employment in a similar role. And similar to our situation today, our two year old will be enrolled in daycare. As you know from my post Moving to Move Up, both my wife and I have been lucky and fortunate to move across the country twice with our current employers…and if all things work out again maybe now we jump the pond…

Regarding Visa’s and the logistics of the employment transfer, this will all be taken care of. There is a process in place and my Company has experience navigating it with previous transfers. The costs are significant, but they would not come out of my pocket.

Regarding learning additional languages, the answer is yes. I have limited ability to speak Spanish and for all intents and purposes would need to brush up on a foreign language or two. I took Spanish in high school, but that is mostly gone today. I would serve companies across the EU. I think the primary language I would need to learn is German, but there may be others as well. Or, if the business unit was nice and took it easy on me, maybe they’ll only hire me to manage English speaking clients…

History of Moves

Dublin or London
London looks nice too…

A move like this would be big, but we’ve been there before. Both my wife and I grew up in the Midwest, went to college close to home, but then shortly after college we began moving around. As I outlined in my Moving to Move Up post, our first major move was out to San Francisco and then we moved to Charlotte where we currently reside. We’ve been here for about five years.

We could never have made such big moves without each other to rely on. Living far from home (both our parents and most siblings still live in the Midwest) without a known support structure is tough, but together we’ve done well. We would consider a move to Europe in a similar vein, tough, but we can do it together. Family is important to us, and while we will live far from our parents and siblings, we would plan on traveling home once or twice a year and technology makes it feel not so far too. We are frequent users of Skype with family and I think that has made a big difference for everyone.

Pros and Cons

So with some of the background and history explained, let’s get into the pros and cons! This is particularly where I’m looking for readers’ thoughts. For instance, experience of living near or around Dublin and London (yes, I’m looking at you Mr. and Mrs. Pie, Francesca at From Pennies to Pounds, Amber Tree Leaves, and I know there are others), or experience being an expat or traveling abroad (Stefan at The Millennial Budget or Money Nomad), an expert in analyzing big decision (Vicki at Make Smarter Decisions) or anyone else with an opinion, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts! We’d love to hear your thoughts.

So, I’ve laid out an initial list of pros and cons below. There are still a number of TBDs, like I mentioned before. The primary decision would be whether we would want to move overseas at all:

Dublin or London

And the secondary decision would be choosing between Dublin or London:

Dublin or London

Just to be clear, one of the major reasons we’d consider this move is because we both enjoy traveling and this would be a good opportunity to go all around Europe for relatively cheap while still getting paid full salaries and contributing to our retirement accounts (and hopefully not delaying our FIRE timeline). The alternative to this opportunity would be continuing as, status quo, and wait until retirement 10 years from now or so to begin traveling more (although kids would be getting into elementary and middle school, etc.).

I would consider any move to be a minimum 2 to 3 year trip, perhaps longer, but not necessarily permanent. Granted, the way this election is going…j/k. In 2 to 3 years’ time, we will be just another 2 to 3 years away from reaching FI. The thought would be then returning to the US to work a few more years and use the time back in the US to start planning our retirement (location, timing, etc). That would ultimately be our final leg before retirement. This lateral job transfer to Europe would in essence be the first stage of our descent and coasting into retirement life.

I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts and feedback!

Thanks for taking a look!

The Green Swan

Work Harder, Work Smarter, Retire Earlier and Find Your Beach


Dublin Pic Source: Adforce (dot) com

London Pic Source: Time Out London








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Jon @ Be Net Worthy

Can I give you the short answer? If the company is offering, than take it. I don’t have much of an opinion on which city.

Having been in business fo over 20+ years, I can tell you a few things. Companies only offer to move their high-potential employees overseas because it is so expensive. Having that on you resume is fantastic. Even if you are going to “retire” in a few years, you still want a strong resume until the end. With a little one, now is the time to get an oversears experience. When they get older, it becomes more difficult. Finally, what a great opportunity to have your company subsidize your global travel?

If you do take the opportunity, I suspect that you’ll be in a strong position when you decide to return. Having international experience is always a big plus, especially in today’s global economy.

Congratulations on being offered the opportunity! It’s exciting and I’ll be interested to see if any recommends against going. I can’t imagine anyone would.


Thanks Jon, I appreciate your perspective. I haven’t received a formal offer but I’ve been given a pretty strong indication of such. I would expect to learn more this month or next.


To add to Jon’s comment above, there’s no doubt that moving to Europe with your company is an opportunity you should take. The personal and professional experience is a huge plus. And either destination is a great location, you can’t go wrong.
From an experience stand-point, I would also say London to have the advantage over Dublin if only for : the proximity to the rest of Europe for week-end trips and the sheer size of opportunities for your wife in the hospitality business. Also, obviously London is the financial center of Europe so it might just be better for your resume to be there.
The only downside I can see with London is the potential that Brexit takes your bank’s office out of London to some other european country. But then, it could an opportunity to move again.


Thanks Money Mine. I hear you on the London considerations. I’d be curious more about the potential impacts of Brexit as well, but you’re right in that it could just be another opportunity. Thanks for your considerations!

Designing A Frugal Life

Doooooooo it! That sounds like an amazing life opportunity regardless of which city you choose. Without having been to either city, I would likely choose London. Hoping to have an opportunity to do something similar and work overseas at some point in my career. Good luck in your decision making!!


Like other commenters, my initial reaction is that you have little to lose and plenty to gain in taking advantage of this possible opportunity. I think you would be wise, as you suggested, to remove the financial considerations from your evaluation and decide based upon the host of other factors which you outlined.

The nice thing about decisions like this is that there really isn’t a “wrong” decision. I sense that you have a desire to experience a new adventure before hitting FI and living the “retirement” life, so going for it may be the right move.

On the surface, I would prefer London because of the increased opportunities for Lucy. But if she could secure a position in Dublin, that levels the field.

At any rate, this is certainly a big decision! It will be fun to see how this all plays out.


Thanks for the considerations. What I struggle with is really putting myself out of my comfort zone and deciding if that is just too much at this point for me and the family. It’ll be a very tough decision and I’ve been going back and forth a bunch.


As many have pointed out, the experience of working abroad and building your resume is priceless. Since your FIRE date is 5-10 years in the future, you will benefit greatly from the work experience abroad. London would look better on the resume as much as I like Ireland. Also, London might be taking a bit of a hit after the Brexit, so it might be getting more affordable (it got very affordable just through the GBPUSD FX rate, but maybe even in GBP as well). This might be the one small window of opportunity to do this. Will they pay you in USD or in GBP (London) / EUR (Dublin)? That’s a bit of a wildcard if you accumulate savings in a foreign currency and then have to transfer back to USD.
Best of luck!!!


Yeah that may be true about London. Although I wonder about overcrowding considering the big influx of immigrants.

I’m not sure if I’ll be paid in USD or foreign currency yet, but have thought how that may complicate things a bit.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, ERN.


I don’t have any experience with either of these cities, but it seems like you’re being offered an amazing opportunity – one that will enrich your life with new experience. I tend to have a pretty strong aversion to change, but understand that you can usually do much better than the status quo if you’re willing to take a chance on something different.

Stefan - The Millennial Budget

When you told me last night I would enjoy this post you sure were right! Congrats on this phenomenal opportunity.

To go off some of the earlier comments I think this is an opportunity that you should not pass up on. Having international experience in invaluable to yourself and your company. It can open many doors in the future for you. If your company is going to pay for the move I say go for it! Most of the time they will even pay for your travel expenses to return home so you may or may not have to incur those cost.

If I had to choose a city it would be London. This is the New York of Europe and will help bolster your resume even more. There is certainly plenty of activities to do in this bustling city and the rest of Europe is a quick train ride away. Many of my friends and family that live there never came back as it opened the doors to plenty of travel and job opportunity so who knows how long you will stay :p.

Best of luck with the decision. There is a lot to consider but I think you will regret it later on if you did not jump at this chance.


Thanks Stefan! Glad you liked the post and I knew you would offer some valuable feedback. I’ll likely be picking your brain more about as I know more details. Thanks for sharing!

Ty @ Get Rich Quickish

I lived in England for several years, several years ago. My kids are too old for me to consider moving them overseas right now, but if they were younger I’d snap up the opportunity faster than you can say “cheerio, guv’nah” (which absolutely nobody would say).

I’d go for the experience of “seeing the world” since you’ve already said it’s a lateral career move and you’re not considering the financial impact yet. I’d also choose London in a heartbeat.

It’s a financial hub of the world for starters (your industry), but it’s also a crown jewel city on our planet. It’s easy to get in and out of. Access to the continent from London by train is so simple, and your just a short drive to some of the best destinations that England has to offer.

Go my blogger friend! Go and don’t look back. Enjoy the experience for the next few years and come back better because of it!


I didn’t realize you lived in England, Ty. Thanks for stopping by and offering your thoughts. That’s good to know about how accessible London is which would be one of our primary considerations.

Lol, your last paragraph was funny. I appreciate the great advice Ty. I may be reaching back out with more questions as things develop. Thanks!


Hi! I might be a bit biased in that I’m from Ireland, but I’ve lived in both cities and in Australia. In short, the madness of London was too much for me! Monday to Friday 7-7 commuting, the tube, nobody smiling, I was just part of the cattle herd! However, weekends you could literally do anything! There was so much to see and do and never a dull moment! The cost of living was crazy though. Having just moved from Perth, Australia we were paying more for a dingy flat that was falling apart, although in a nice abs safe area, than we had been for a 3 bed house with a pool in Perth, also in a lovely central area! Dublin, though busy is a lot different. Not as much of a rat race. Loads to see and do, obviously not as much as London though. Cost of living lower, especially if willing to commute a little. If interested in driving it’s cheaper to have a car in Dublin which opens up a lot to go and weekends around the country. I’m sure London/England offers this but we didn’t have a car when living there it was too expensive and wouldn’t be used enough to justify. I noticed one of your pros for London was cheaper to travel Europe, bare in mind the cost of getting to and from the airport, there were times these fares cost more than the flight fare! Best of luck with your decision! If you have any specific questions feel free to ask! Steph


Love the advice, Steph. I’m glad to have such helpful readers, I really appreciate your thoughts. Especially considering you have experience in living in both of those cities! I hear you on some of the downsides to London, that’s how my wife and I feel a bit too about it. We aren’t big city people. While we loved San Fran, those were special circumstances and only a short time period, whereas we feel Charlotte is a good size city for us (I believe Dublin is a bit smaller than Charlotte). I’m sure we would get along fine in either, just as you were able to, but it is something we are thinking about.

Great point on the travel to the London airport, I noticed it is a bit away from the center of the city and may be a hassle getting there and back.

Good to hear you think both cities have a lot to offer in terms of things to do and see. While we would love to travel around Europe as much as possible, having good local options and shorter tourist trips is great too.

Thanks again for the comments. I’ll be sure to reach back out as other questions arise.


Could you work your way into an agreement where you work 2 years in one city and then 2 years in the other? Maybe start in Dublin, then go to London?

I’ve never been to London but I went to Ireland 2 years ago. I was shocked at how small Dublin is but loved how friendly and welcoming everyone was. London would probably be better career-wise but I think Dublin would be a more enjoyable place to live. And they have craic!

Either way, it’s a great opportunity. Looking forward to hearing how it all shakes out 🙂


That’s a good question, Kate. I’ll have to ask that. I would guess it’s possible but it would be a big accommodation by them so not sure it’s likely.

Thanks for sharing your experience in Ireland, but I’ll need to look up what craic is… 🙂

Thanks for the comment!


Hello GS,

Interesting and exciting stuff. I think it all comes down to experience desire. London will bring lots of that, certainly on the out of work front. London living is not for the faint hearted. It would be unlikely that you would live in the “city” due to astronomical housing costs. Think SF, NY, Tokyo. It would have to be an area that would realistically be a 45min to 1 hr commute each way (maybe even longer) on either the Tube or the train. Mrs. PIE brother commutes from a town north of London to the city by train. Need to factor in travel time and costs. Just to benchmark some housing costs for you, he just bought a new home in that town (3 or 4 beds, can’t remember – on a small lot – for $800k…it is not a huge home by any stretch of the imagination but it is pretty). Cost of housing to even commute to London from a desirable town with decent neighborhood choices is massive. You have a growing family right? That is a factor to consider also in terms of how much home you would need. And therefore cost.

London or Dublin will give you access to the EU on very cheap flights. That is not a problem. Navigating Heathrow airport is a test in patience, mental fortitude and physical ability. Getting there and going through the airport….

Other factors to consider – cost of living is generally higher in the UK. Food (especially restaurants), gas (petrol as they call it over there), car insurance, clothing as some examples. Gas prices are astronomical compared to the US. Around $7 per gallon….

If you wish to take a break from wealth accumulation, London can offer a myriad of ways to spend money without even thinking about it. You will find great experiences in this city. It will take much longer to build significant wealth in or near a city like London. Although I have no idea if your compensation will be adjusted accordingly.

Would I move back to the UK is perhaps a question you might ask? The answer is no. Not to live and work. But that is just me.

Dublin – big party cty for sure. Slower, much much smaller than London but still very cosmopolitan. Great people. Never lived in the Republic of Ireland – only city I spent any significant time around was Belfast in Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K.

Please Twitter message me if you have any specifics in mind. Either me or Mrs. PIE can perhaps help with specific questions. Happy to help.

Good luck thinking through this opportunity. Exciting times!!


Thanks so much for the thoughtful response, Mr. Pie. I knew you would offer very valuable insights and I will likely take you up on the offer to reach out with more questions down the road. You are right, the decision comes down to experience desire more so than building resume or contacts, etc., although it is still a consideration.

That’s great info on the London front. We are a growing family and the cost of living / commute / and general hustle and bustle of the city may be a bit much for us. While there is more research to be done on Dublin, that may offer a slower pace while still providing good access around Europe, plenty to do locally and the experience of living abroad. The question I guess is how much of a sacrifice experience-wise would Dublin be vs. London and maybe it isn’t much.

Lots to think about, that’s for sure. Thanks again!

amber tree

A life change like that is a great experience, not only for you, also for the kid. For me, that would be the major reason to take the challenge.
Yes, it might delay your FIRE plan. The opposite might be true as well: you will be travelling to a lot of parts of Europe, seeing places and doing things you otherwise plan to do 10 years down the road. To me, that sounds like a win! You get to do these things now!
I also think travel across Europe should be simpler with a younger kid than with a kid that is 12+. Some cities can be done on a long weekend trip out of London or Dublin. Brussels and Paris are about 2 hours with the train from London. How easy can it be? Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin are like a 3 hour flight. Imagine doing this 10 years from now. You would need to come in blocks of 2 months, in line with the school holidays.

As I live in Belgium, I can not give tips on either city. I was only there as tourist or for work (short stays). I read the Mr. Pie part: the commute might be a thing to look at. That being said, I would pick London: a lot to do, good connections to the rest of Europe, busy and relaxing at the same time (we one weekend took the bike and in 30 minutes we were outside London, among the Thames, cruising our bike)

All the best


Yeah very true, if we want to travel like that anyway we might as well do it on the job.

We were wondering how easy it would be with a two year old. He still takes a regular mid day nap but once he’s done with that it would make traveling much more convenient. And to your point, no school schedule to worry about.

I was looking forward to your thoughts given your local and convenience of traveling around Europe, thanks!


Having lived/worked in France, Japan, and the US, and having lots of colleagues in London, here’s my take on it:

– If the company pays for it, take the offer. It is good for your career, no matter how you look at it. I would move that “con” in your list to a “pro”. International experience is great on any resume, and I’m sure it’s especially true in your field.

– Don’t worry too much about your kid not being old enough to remember it. If the baby was old enough, then you would be worried about how it would impact his/her school schedule. There’s always a reason to worry about your kids no matter what you do, to a point that to me it’s irrelevant

– London is extremely expensive, and from what I can see, pays less than big cities in the US. I’m actually surprised that you’re expecting a raise. In my field (engineering), people moving to London get a pay cut and a higher cost of life. Make sure you check that clearly because it could actually have a massive impact on your retirement date. Moving from Japan to the US has cut my FI schedule in half, just because of bigger salary for same cost of life.

– I don’t get your point about overcrowding and immigration? You will be an immigrant yourself, you can’t start criticizing them already 😉 Seriously though, London is a crowded city, end of story. That’s not really correlated to the fact that many people there are immigrants. Tokyo is crowded to, and there’s almost no foreigner there.


Appreciate your perspective and points Stockbeard!

Ha and you make a good point on the last one giving that I’ll be an immigrant!:) What I was trying to say though was the influx of immigrants which are expected to rise resulting in an increasing issue of overcrowding. I read some news reports regarding it as part of the concern leading to Brexit.

But I get your point which I think is that it’s crowded today and will be crowded tomorrow too. It’s something we’ll have to take into consideration.

Thanks again for the great and very constructive comments!

Kelsey @ Tealmama

All I can add is go with your gut, it sounds like it has served you right in the past. 🙂 Dublin and London both sound like amazing opportunities. Best of luck making the best choice for you and your family!

Emily @ JohnJaneDoe

Go! Absolutely. What an amazing opportunity!
I think London would probably have more opportunities (for travel, for advancement, and for spending lotsa money), and I have always wanted to visit. But I think if realistically we were talking about LIVING somewhere, Dublin would be more appealing, just because it’s not as huge. (Raleigh’s too big for me sometimes though)


Thanks for your personal viewpoint, Emily! I hear you on the size of city, we are more comfortable with the size of Charlotte or smaller than (Dublin) than super big like London.

And yes, I would expect our cost of living will go up either way, but especially in London.

Thanks again!

Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions

Wow – what an awesome opportunity! I’m actually coaching a few people on relocation decisions right now (not to Europe) but from California to areas in the west that are not so expensive! Such interesting dilemmas! Sorry but I am totally not a go with your gut person for such a big life decision. Pros and cons lists are tough too. You might consider making a list of objectives or goals and ranking them in terms of importance – then you could compare the “stay or go” initial question to those. Just a thought 🙂 Exciting times! And Go Curry Cracker just wrote about taking his little one to many countries and traveling. You might want to check that post out!


That’s the type of feedback I knew only you could offer, Vicki, thanks so much for stopping by! My wife and I will do just that and see what we think.

I didn’t see that post, I’ll be sure to check it out. I appreciate the heads up.


Haha thanks Maggie. When do you plan on living out your dream!!! 🙂 Maybe we can see each other over there!

Thanks for your vote, we’ll keep everyone posted!

Dividends Down Under

Hey JW,

I think it would be a similar question if you asked yourself, would you prefer to live in Charlotte or New York. If the idea of living in New York puts off because of its size, busyness, etc then maybe London wouldn’t be the right thing.

But for all other reasons, I would say London is a better for you. London doesn’t have to be central London, depending where your work is, you could live in places where it’s actually not that far / or not that busy / or not that expensive / or a bit greener.

There is a lot of negatives to a huge city, but there’s also a ton of positives – it just depends what you are looking for, and what you’re interested in. I think when considering both of your needs, London sounds the better option and would only be for a few years. Heathrow makes everything (family/USA/Europe/rest of the world) much more accessible than Dublin. There is a lot, lot more to do in Britain than Ireland (no offence Ireland!) – I think you’d enjoy it a lot more.

I completely disagree (in a nice way) with any criticism of Heathrow. It isn’t the biggest airport, very organised and efficient. There is a tube line (picadilly) that takes you to all the terminals for a cheap price (compared to a taxi / Uber), look it up, I’m sure it’s only a few pounds each and it runs (pretty much?) 24/7.

Don’t worry about immigrants or immigration. I’m sure you will live (and be able to afford) in a nice part of London (there aren’t many ‘bad’ places). There are many immigrants. The UK is separated by water from all the refugees. London is a hugely global city. There are also Americans, Canadians, Australians etc etc.

I think even if your pay packet may be similar in Dublin or London, your wife’s would be higher in London, therefore easily offsetting any higher living costs of London.

Your resume will be a lot better in Dublin, plus in a financial (2008 type) meltdown, I’m sure London would be a better place to be employed than Dublin. Plus there are a LOT of other financial employers in London, you could probably move to any of them, if you wanted to, so many more opportunities.

Whether you’re into sport, art, fashion, I’d say on almost every level London is the better choice.



Yeah I agree with the New York and Charlotte comparison, I think that’s very applicable. While London may be a bit much for us, it may be more doable considering it’ll likely be short term.

Your insights are extremely helpful as we think through this. Especially your points on immigrants.

I’m all but positive my wife would have a way easier time finding a job in London considering the huge hospitality industry there. And good point that her salary may increase and help the transition too.

Thanks again for the great analysis and the time spent helping us out, Tristan.

Ms. Montana

We lived overseas for 4 years and LOVED it! I absoultly vote: go. It’s not only so afforable to travel, but really easy. We would go to Paris for the day, or to see the tulips over a weekend. I would never fly to Europe for a 4 day weekend, but we did it all the time when we lived there. Plus we had fun experiances traveling with family and friends who visited, that we might not have been able to have otherwise.


Very good to know Ms Montana, thanks for sharing your experience. The long weekend trips and quick day trips would just be unstable and certainly not doable unless we actually live there. That’s a huge plus!

And great point about visiting family and sharing those experiences with them too!

I may have to reach back out to you about logistics and the nature if things develop. Thanks so much for your comment!

Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor

I’ve only visited Dublin and London, but I’d vote for Dublin. It’s soooo much more affordable and manageable. London is amazing but I think it’d be overwhelming to live there. And as you said, you’re just a short plane ride from a visit.

Ray Ray

Wow GS! I really hope this works out for you!
I haven’t been to either… However, just going off what friends say I feel that London has more to offer career wise. Not sure what the banking industry is like there though!
Good luck! I hope you get it 😀

Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

This is exciting stuff!!! I think differently than most people (this can be bad or good ;-)) so I’ll share my two cents and hope it gives you some thinking points.

1. I would base my decision of whether or not to move on a worst case scenario. i.e. if the world goes to hell are we okay with not being able to drive home to be with our families ( I truly think chaos is coming, but I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist).
2. If you choose to move, I’d for sure pick Dublin, but I’ve got a heart for Ireland. 🙂 It looks so beautiful to me!!! And it’s much smaller but still very big city, which is nice, IMHO. 🙂

Honestly, I think you’ll find success and financial security whatever you choose, so I don’t think those factors should weigh into the decision. Opportunity to see and live in a different part of the world would be the main benefit, and an awesome one at that! Good luck on your decision!

Finance Solver

I think it’s a great opportunity and I think you should take it because
1) The opportunity might not ever happen again and there MIGHT be regrets
2) My dad moved his family (us) for his job from S. Korea to the US when I was 9 years old and I’m forever grateful that he did. I have a significant differentiator as a result because not everyone can say they have multi-cultural perspectives

It can be seen as a risky move because if the economy suddenly decides to tank the day after you move, you might lose your job and getting a new job in a completely different country is hard. I have no idea how my dad said yes to moving abroad but I think we are in a stronger position now as a result of him doing so. I would like to know if there’re details as to job security!


You bring another unique perspective, thanks so much for sharing! I agree, not taking this opportunity could very well lead to regret. We’ll see how it all plays out though.

That’s great your dad took that risk, glad it all worked out so well.

Job security is another great point, I would feel pretty comfortable about it though. Although you can never be too confident.

Thanks again for the comment, I appreciate you sharing!

Mustard Seed Money

First off congrats on even having the opportunity to work overseas in one of those cities. I would love the opportunity some day to work abroad.

One of the things I didn’t see addressed in the article but I may have overlooked is have you visited either one of the locations with your wife. Would it be possible to do a “pre-house hunting” trip visiting both locations over a week to get a feel for the environment before you accept a job?

Personally I enjoy London and their surroundings more than Dublin. However, as you know each person is different and Dublin may be better suited for the lifestyle that you are looking to live.


Thanks, MSM. No, we haven’t visited either together but that would be a good idea as we move down this path. I’ve been to London before, but it was probably a decade ago. It would be great to go back with Lucy and get a better feel for both cities.

Thanks for stopping by and the comment!

FI Champion

Sounds like some great opportunities ahead! I have had the privilege of living in London for 4-5 months and travelling to Dublin for a week. Although my Dublin experience is limited, I at least had some time in both locations.

I would choose London for a variety of reasons:

– Travel opportunities: A city with 5 airports and multiple train stations! You can get to anywhere in Europe very easily using London as your base. Plus they have the Eurostar that goes direct to France and Belgium. It opens up even more travel possibilities.

– Culture: Not to knock Dublin, by any means, but London is a city full of culture in every corner. You have a thriving arts scene, multiple multiple neighborhoods/cities that all have their own unique flare, more museums that you could care to count, vast food opportunities, and more. It should be impossible to get bored in London. Plenty to do, always!

– Cost of Living: Dublin might be lower, but I don’t think London is terrible by any means. Yeah more than your average midwest city. But I didn’t find it much worse than your average East coast city. Housing might be brutal, but you’ll make up for it in other areas. Food/drink isn’t that bad in all honesty. If you can cook, you can save considerably too. And transport….well, you don’t need a car. You’ll just pay for your metro pass.

I don’t think you could go wrong with either choice. Both are great opportunities. I wish you luck in the hunt….and I’m sure you’ll let us know what you decide!


Awesome insights, FI Champion. I’ve been just blown away by all the great comments and feedback from this post. And it is surprising how many have first hand experience in living in either Dublin or London.

I think I will have a very tough decision if I have to choose, I almost hope that I’m just told one or the other :)!

Thanks again for the great feedback. I will be sure to keep everyone posted, and as we move down this road it will be great identifying more specific questions and considerations, etc, that I will be able to ask for yours and others feedback on again!

Ten Factorial Rocks

JW, Not sure if my comment is too late but for what it’s worth, I hope my experience in both London and Dublin, along with other European and Asian cities help. Experience – That’s what you get from being a multi year expat. That and £2 will get you a ride on the London tube! Or something like that…..

Both are good cities but London is far better from a global and culturally diverse perspective. London is the epicenter of world finance, a good rival to New York this side of Atlantic. I would say London’s sheer diversity and ethnic melting pot makes it a great choice for any American (unless your views on diversity only means people in North Carolina can mix only with South Carolina – from what little I know, you certainly don’t seem to be that type). Embrace the glib a cultural diversity – it’s a great experience for any American. While the long term impact of Brexit is unknown, early feedback is things are fairly OK there. If you plan to live there only 2-3 years, and are adequately compensated, you should’nt worry too much about cost of living differences between London and Dublin. London would be my choice,

If you have the ability to choose the currency, I would opt for salary in CHF or Euros as you wait for the uncertainty around pound sterling to settle down. Even if they don’t agree, it’s OK to get paid in Pounds as it will remain a critical global currency. Beware of taxes though, as income taxes are high, though you should be able to claim foreign tax credit in IRS returns. This will help you when you return back to US as you can offset accumulated tax credits against future US income taxes. IRS gives a 10 year window for such credits before they expire. Maybe I should write an article on this?


Thanks, TFR! No you’re not too late so I appreciate the perspective. I didn’t realize you spent so much time overseas.

That’s good info regarding the taxes and currency I’d be paid in. I’m not sure the currency yet so more questions to be asked there. And I’ve only read a little about the taxes and it has sounded like there is a lot to it. I’d love to see a post from you on it!

Thanks again!

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