Moving back to Tunisia

MO2915

New Member
#1
Hi,

I am Tunisian, been living in the UK (Scotland, Edinburgh) for about 27 years. My wife is Tunisian, and we have a 4 year-old daughter born in Edinburgh. I am a UK citizen, a fully qualified teacher since 2004, working in a permanent job since 2007 and I have been paying into my teacher pension. I have been paying National Insurance contributions throughout my life and work here and I should have a state pension at 67 or when this government decides otherwise.

My wife is a pupil learning assistant, she started her permanent job in 2014 and she’s also a UK Citizen. She pays into her pension but that’s not refundable.
We’re planning to move back to Tunisia. We have a home in Edinburgh that’s worth about £250000 to be fully paid by March 2023. We’re planning to sell it once paid and move back to Tunisia.

The plan is to buy a house in Ariana, Tunis and another flat or 2 to rent and hopefully live a better less stressful life.
I love Edinburgh, Scotland and the UK. They are home. But we find that life is getting more expensive, too many taxes and our jobs are very stressful. We yearn for a change and Tunisia ticks the boxes.
  • The major dilemma we’re facing is that we’ll ruin our daughter’s life
  • Our plan is to buy a detached house to live in (already sorted)
  • 1 flat or 2 for the future of our daughter
  • Get our daughter into Tunisian education, see what she would like in the future
  • live off my modest pension, at least £400 a month + rents from flats
  • Lastly, if our daughter wants to go back to the UK, she can.
I would be grateful for your opinions and input in this.

Thank you.
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I was living in Tunisia and my kids where school age and I considered what was best for them.

When I factored in a private school in Tunis (so they speak english and can work back home if required) and the precarious nature of the Tunisian economy I decided to come back.

I can get a job any day of the week in the Uk at the moment over 30k and if I every had to I would work minimum wage and that would be 8.21 per hour.

In Tunisia you dont have that option.

My wife who is Tunisian wants to go back from time to time but when we get into it it does not make sense.

Personally I would wait till my kids have graduated and have jobs in the UK (they will probably want to go work in the UK when they live in Tunisia)

For example where I live a 200-300,000 house rents for 800-950 a month which at the moment even with the weak £ is 3500 dinars a month every month. If Brexit goes ok then it may go over 4 dinars to the £ again.

So personally I would stay until my daughter is set or if your depressed and want to go back keep the house in the UK and rent it out + your pension and if that can give you enough money to send your daughter to a top private school in Tunis then why not.

My wife has a wealthy friend and spoke to her father and said what did he do and it turns out what made the difference in their life was that when he was working in the UK in the 1970s he bought a small flat in London and that flat has over the years been the best thing he ever did not just that London has gone nuts but all through the ups and downs in Tunisia he has had a source of hard currency.
 

MO2915

New Member
#3
Thank you, Kris, for your reply.

I understand your point of view and your choice of moving back to the UK. I think your decision is correct given the fact that you’re British (I assume) and like me I guess deep inside you yearned to be back home and coupled with a better future for your kids it’s a no brainer. If I had the money, I’ll retire here and holiday to Tunisia whenever I want.

Your kids will have a better future here than in Tunisia unless as you said, they go to a Tunisian private school and get a decent job and then they might still want to come to live in the UK. I know things are tough there.

To live happily in Tunisia, one needs a good income. Tunisians rarely leave Tunisia if they have a good future(money). They go to Europe or elsewhere on holidays instead.

I am indeed considering what’s best for our daughter and I am honestly in two minds and considering things very hard. My wife and I will adapt back to Tunisian life and we know that’ll be tough and our daughter will enjoy her life there until she’s of sound age to understand that we took her away from the UK. Then …

If we wait for her to go to uni here then we’ll never go back to Tunisia. Even if we decide to stay, she’ll need to study and work hard in order to get a job and buy a flat/house. Things are very expensive here for the young. My meagre pension and my expensive house eroded by exorbitant taxes, will not buy her a place. She’ll need to wait until we‘re dead for her inheritance.

However, my house here can buy us a detached house, a flat and I was thinking of either teaching in Tunisia (1%) or opening a nursery business. We can hopefully afford to send our daughter to a private school if needs be.

We really don’t know, we’re wishing, contemplating and kind of lost in this dilemma.
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#4
Thank you, Kris, for your reply.


Your kids will have a better future here than in Tunisia unless as you said, they go to a Tunisian private school and get a decent job and then they might still want to come to live in the UK. I know things are tough there.

To live happily in Tunisia, one needs a good income. Tunisians rarely leave Tunisia if they have a good future(money). They go to Europe or elsewhere on holidays instead.

I am indeed considering what’s best for our daughter and I am honestly in two minds and considering things very hard. My wife and I will adapt back to Tunisian life and we know that’ll be tough and our daughter will enjoy her life there until she’s of sound age to understand that we took her away from the UK. Then …

If we wait for her to go to uni here then we’ll never go back to Tunisia. Even if we decide to stay, she’ll need to study and work hard in order to get a job and buy a flat/house. Things are very expensive here for the young. My meagre pension and my expensive house eroded by exorbitant taxes, will not buy her a place. She’ll need to wait until we‘re dead for her inheritance.

However, my house here can buy us a detached house, a flat and I was thinking of either teaching in Tunisia (1%) or opening a nursery business. We can hopefully afford to send our daughter to a private school if needs be.

I dont know about Ariana but in Bizerte Corniche, Sousse, Hammamet or North Tunis all the nice houses where 600- 1 million dinars +170 - 300k £.

The taxes when buying where more than the UK so in a way considering the lesser rental yields Tunisia was more expensive than the UK proportionally imho.


We really don’t know, we’re wishing, contemplating and kind of lost in this dilemma.

At no stage would I leave all my assets in Tunisia as something goes wrong and you may not have the money to go back.

Tax is high here in the UK but then when you are ill in Tunisia with no NHS.... things get expensive quick
 

MO2915

New Member
#5
I dont know about Ariana but in Bizerte Corniche, Sousse, Hammamet or North Tunis all the nice houses where 600- 1 million dinars +170 - 300k £.
Yes, those places are very expensive, but you can still get a decent house for 300/400 k Tunisian dinar, obviously away from the very affluent areas. I’ll be hopefully buying my brother’s detached house in Ariana for about 300k TD.
The taxes when buying where more than the UK so in a way considering the lesser rental yields Tunisia was more expensive than the UK proportionally imho.
I know that taxes are higher in Tunisia when buying a flat/house and rental yields are lower, we can live with that. Living expenses are lower though, and I am not talking about luxury living. I am thinking that we can live on my modest pension + pension lump sum, the flat(1 or 2) or another house would be for my daughter’s future.

At no stage would I leave all my assets in Tunisia as something goes wrong and you may not have the money to go back.
I understand your view, but Tunisia had many ups and downs when I was there and after I left, life carried on. I hope that we don’t become like other middle east countries in troubles and wish for the best. After all, it is my country and we’ll survive. As for not being able to go back because of money I don’t think that’ll be a problem. We have British Citizenship and as you say, we can come back anytime and get a job in the UK. We’ll be happy with the minimum wage if needs be.

Tax is high here in the UK but then when you are ill in Tunisia with no NHS.... things get expensive quick
Yes, Kris I agree, NHS is great, but I currently pay about £700 a month in taxes and National insurance contributions, my wife’s pay goes to nursery. My council tax is about £1600 a year etc. However, I do somehow agree with the UK system even though we all moan here about it. It is somehow fair with flaws of course but it is better than in any other country in the world. As I said UK is home from home, but we yearn to go back to Tunisia to be with family and friends and that is the driving force in our decision.

We would love to retire here and be able to afford to live in Tunisia for some part of the year but that is expensive and not feasible.

The UK is a democratic fair country which we love but in the end, we miss our roots. We hope that our decision is right.

I hope you don't mind me asking:

How long have you lived in Tunisia, where did you live and what job did you do?
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#6
I dont know about Ariana but in Bizerte Corniche, Sousse, Hammamet or North Tunis all the nice houses where 600- 1 million dinars +170 - 300k £.
Yes, those places are very expensive, but you can still get a decent house for 300/400 k Tunisian dinar, obviously away from the very affluent areas. I’ll be hopefully buying my brother’s detached house in Ariana for about 300k TD.
The taxes when buying where more than the UK so in a way considering the lesser rental yields Tunisia was more expensive than the UK proportionally imho.
I know that taxes are higher in Tunisia when buying a flat/house and rental yields are lower, we can live with that. Living expenses are lower though, and I am not talking about luxury living. I am thinking that we can live on my modest pension + pension lump sum, the flat(1 or 2) or another house would be for my daughter’s future.

At no stage would I leave all my assets in Tunisia as something goes wrong and you may not have the money to go back.
I understand your view, but Tunisia had many ups and downs when I was there and after I left, life carried on. I hope that we don’t become like other middle east countries in troubles and wish for the best. After all, it is my country and we’ll survive. As for not being able to go back because of money I don’t think that’ll be a problem. We have British Citizenship and as you say, we can come back anytime and get a job in the UK. We’ll be happy with the minimum wage if needs be.

Tax is high here in the UK but then when you are ill in Tunisia with no NHS.... things get expensive quick
Yes, Kris I agree, NHS is great, but I currently pay about £700 a month in taxes and National insurance contributions, my wife’s pay goes to nursery. My council tax is about £1600 a year etc. However, I do somehow agree with the UK system even though we all moan here about it. It is somehow fair with flaws of course but it is better than in any other country in the world. As I said UK is home from home, but we yearn to go back to Tunisia to be with family and friends and that is the driving force in our decision.

We would love to retire here and be able to afford to live in Tunisia for some part of the year but that is expensive and not feasible.

The UK is a democratic fair country which we love but in the end, we miss our roots. We hope that our decision is right.

I hope you don't mind me asking:

How long have you lived in Tunisia, where did you live and what job did you do?
I lived in Tunisia for 3-4 Years

In the old days of this site before the revolution and ad blockers it was 25% website and 75% money from selling my business at the time.

I was on 3-4000 dinars a month nearly 10 years ago and once the kids (I have 3 ) started to get to school age and to to the doctors a few time a month it was not enough!

These days when my wife goes home she spends 100-150 dinars a day (to be fair renting a car is a part of that) .... no wonder she want to go back! Living like that is not possible without working in UK and spending in Tunisia!

I lived in Bizerte corniche modest house 500 dinars a month at the time.

I now live in the UK and I am director of a hotel company.
 

MO2915

New Member
#7
One of my favourite places in Tunisia is Bizerte. I visited many times and my wife loves it and I do too. I don't like touristic resorts such as Hammamet or Sousse. Furthermore I can travel to Bizerte any time I want from Ariana, Tunis.

By the way I grew up in Megrine, My mum now lives in Ariana, in my brother's house where I intend to live. That's why I 'll go there. I would live in Megrine if I had the money but it is more expensive than Hammamet or Sousse.

Yes your wife would spend that amount just on rental cars.

If you're happy working now in the UK and can afford to go on hols to Tunisia whenever you want so be it. That's what everybody wants.

Wish you well.
 
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