Congratulations (מזל טוב) on your decision to retire in Israel! Here are some factors that you have to take into account when you move to Israel. The first is that you have to be able to live within a budget. In Israel there are some items that are less expensive, and some that are the same as in a major city in the United States. Make up your monthly budget (תקציב) now and learn to live within it.
Expenses to take into account when you retire in Israel
Rent (השכרת דירה) is about the same. Take this into account when making up your monthly budget. Many people buy (קניה) their own apartment, find an English speaking Realtor(מתווך) who will help you through the process. Other people rent an apartment directly from the owner.
Food: processed foods are more expensive especially if they are imported. Fresh food, especially if you shop in an open air market such as the Ben Yehuda market in Jerusalem is much cheaper( זול ) and fresher than in the United States.
Transportation: a big part of everyone’s budget is transportation. (תחבורה) You can bring your car (מכונית) for personal use, but it is very complicated (מסובך) and there are lots of rules about the model and year of the car. So it is best to use a car importer, which could be expensive. The best, in my opinion is to buy one here. You might find out that traveling by bus or taxi is more cost efficient because of the high cost of car insurance (בטוח)
Learning Hebrew as a retiree
It is best to have a working knowledge of Hebrew before you come to live in Israel. If you can already speak the language, then when you go to Ulpan, a school to learn Hebrew, you can then get the finishing touches on your language acquisition. When you finish, you will feel that you can really interact with Israeli society. You will learn vocabulary that will help you in finding a part time job or a volunteering opportunity, instead of still tripping over your tongue when you want to find out where the bus goes. I once had a bus driver give me a 10 minute grammar lesson when I asked ” Where does this bus go?” ( “איפה האוטובוס הולך”) Well, the problem word was “go or travel” (נוסע) I used the word for walk. (הולך) So he told me how to rephrase the question. Where does this bus line travel? ( איפה הקו הזה נוסע)
Good luck in your new home in Israel!
Vocabulary about retiring in Israel
איפה הקו הזה נוסע