At Maltainsideout, we get a lot of correspondence from people thinking of moving to Malta, and who want to know not just about the specifics (cost of living, schools and so on) but also simply ‘what it’s like’, day to day. This is always hard to answer in brief, but here, Andy May gives the family man’s viewpoint. If men are on corporate moves to Malta, they often have a ready-made routine waiting for them, but it doesn’t mean they don’t worry about how trailing wives and kids will get on. Every family member’s welfare counts if a new working life in Malta is going to work out.
Telling your family you’re all moving to a new country is certainly not one of the easiest things to do in life. Playing the bad guy is not a role I enjoy and to see the tears in the eyes of my 10-year old son and his seven-year-old sister as we said goodbye to our friends and headed over to Malta is something I will always remember.
Kids are fairly resilient and easily bribed with a nice house with a swimming pool and a few days at the beach. Once into a routine, everyone soon settled down into Malta life and as a family we began to enjoy the experience. We do more family stuff than we ever did in the UK, we spend more time outside and we can now afford to give the kids all the after school interests they want such as private tennis, music and dancing lessons.
As for me, moving to Malta has made a massive difference to my quality of life – a two-hour daily commute into London has been swapped for a short cycle ride to work. I work in a medium-sized office with a friendly group of people many of whom find themselves in a similar position to us so there is a real feeling of team spirit and ‘being in it together’ which is a refreshing change from the impersonal business relationships with the hundreds of work colleagues back in the main London office.
The ‘work hard, play hard’ phrase gets overused but I can honestly say it’s a winning formula and is one which we adopt in our Malta office. Outside of work the families of work colleagues tend to socialise together; the guys play sport together at weekends, and the mums and kids get together when we are out at work. It takes time to integrate into the wider community, so having a ready-made social group from day one was a real help.
Given the doom and gloom of the recession, which seems more acute in UK than it does in Malta, I’m in no rush to go home just yet. A crumbling economy, high levels of unemployment and the highest tax rates in Europe make the UK a fairly unattractive option right now. I’ll happily sit out the recession in the sunshine of Malta with a nice cold Cisk beer in hand!
martin holt says
Having been going to malta for the past 30 years both myself and my wife are going to make the move within 3 years.
The island is very easy to come to terms with (paperwork is only as hard as you make it) when planning a big relocation.But if you do everything right things should slot into place.
Having maltese blood in me my great great grandmother left me a itching to go back to what i would call my real home
Elizabeth Ayling says
True, the Scandi countries have higher rates. This post is year or more old now, and the writer has since gone back to live in the UK, so that probably says it all.
Highest tax rates in Europe? You have got to be kidding.. The UK taxes aren´t half of the taxes in Denmark,
malta is really lovely in summer..
I’m giving Malta serious thought to make a move even for a short while at beginning of summer. I have recently set up my own events company and i have a full time job in my current position until May. I currently live in Ireland and really want to get a break from this gloom and doom i hear and see on radio and tv every day. I do check out job sites very frequently and there is certain positions i would be interested in. My background is Marketing but i have worked in events since i was 17(12years ago). I would consider getting a job and try to get my events company set up over in Malta. As i have my company set up as a limited company in Ireland, would i have much trouble setting up in Malta or what steps would i need to take.
Its mainly a lifestyle change i’m looking for and Malta seems like the perfect location. I have being there on 5 different holidays and love the lifestyle. I’m trying to get 2 friends over with me but i’m hoping it wont take too long to get settled in and meet people if i do make the trip alone..
I love reading the comments. A friend of mine told me about Malta and it seems a good idea to move there. I live in the UK for almost 9 years now, in London, and I have to say, I am so tired of London. A year ago I lost my job and since then life is tough. I used to work in the entertainment industry (movie distribution) and have an IT and Analyst background. I speak fluent German and English and could refresh my French and Italian. I was wondering if I would have a decent chance of finding work in Malta with a decent salary? What do I need to do in order to move to Malta (eg. which area is the safest and best to live in, what do I need, eg. Social security or National Insurance number, etc etc). My Nationality is German. Would you recommend to move? I am free and independent, so I could go in a heartbeat 🙂
Thanks so much for your help. Cheers, Stef
Hi Walter, are you and your wife American nationals? I am guessing that you are based on your question regarding living in Malta on a pension of $2,000.00 per month (€1,545.00).Certainly, this will afford you a perfectly good lifestyle here – depending on what area and quality of property you wish to live in. For example; a reasonable 2 bedroom apartment in the Sliema area would set you back about €600.00 per month where as a similar home in areas such as St. Paul’s Bay would be around €400.00 per month. Add to this the cost of utilities of say €200 per month (electricity, water and Internet). The cost of food and groceries are probably comparable to the USA – perhaps a little more expensive. Private healthcare is surprisingly cheap – i.e. a private Doctor’s consultation is about €10. Public transport is very good in Malta and also very cheap.
Working in Malta; as USA citizens you would require residential permits and work permits. For more information visit http://www.euro-malta.com/immigration/work-permits.htm. You don’t mention what your occupation is but if your wife wants to practise as a dentist, I am quite sure she would be welcomed with open arms.
If you have any questions I may help with, let me know. Good luck with the plan!
Walter McGrath says
Is it possible to live in Malta on a pensioner’s income of only $ 2,000.00 per month? We are interested in relocating and Malta seems very attractive to us. Is it possible to find work in Malta? I have a Master’s degree and my wife is a dentist. We only know we want to start a new life after suffering through the collapse of the stock market in October of 2008 and losing our savings. We have started to recoup, but we think a total change would be invigorating. Please help us with relavant information. Walter McGrath
I agree with you Max
High taxation in the UK? I live in Italy and I give almost 50% of my gross income to the tax office ad my gross income is not over 30K euros!
But Malta sounds really lovely!
What a lovely, well written article, very insightful, thanks Andy, definitely food for thought – and good reasons to get sporty.
Eagle, I’m Bulgarian and don’t know a lot of Bulgarians here but this is my decision. I had no problem socializing with other – expats or local people. As Liz said some groups are trying to stay together but generally you would not have problems finding your environment especially if you have a hobby or special interest.If you have job is much easier
Elizabeth Ayling says
Eagle, all good questions you pose. I’ll certainly ask around in the groups you mention – singles, various cultures etc. Off hand, I’d say that a lot of the now larger expat groups do tend to socialise together, but not exclusively with themselves. Those here on corporate moves like Andy, the author, and who are British or Swedish for instance, often find themselves in firms predominantly staffed by co-nationals and therefore immediately gravitate to playing, not just working together. One Swedish lady I know never visited the capital Valletta until this year (she’s been here 3 years almost) so you can see how some expats go from office, to office socialising and home without really bothering to ‘get to know Malta’. I have been here 15 years, and am married to Maltese, so have a mixed bag of both locals and expats in my groups of friends. In general, if you do wish to get to know the Maltese, they are very welcoming. You get out what you put in, so to speak, from friendships. I will ask around among other nationalities (non-Brit, non-Swede) to see if others have any particular experiences which might help. Eastern Europeans or Americans for instance may have a different take. I’ll post soon on this. And while Malta doesn’t allow divorce, there are rarely any eyebrows raised if a foreigner living here is. I have a divorced female friend here who gets on just fine here single.
Hello thank you for this great article,
what about divorced or single persons, how would the adaptation be?
Are there any social biases towards certain groups, do expat groups of certain language or ethnic origins cluster together?
Would be nice to know, thanks