The Quality of Life Index.

LoadingFavourite

This topic contains 43 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of katy katy 6 years, 1 month ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #55868
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Forget the recession, unemployment and property crash, Spain comes top of the Quality of Life Index.
    http://www.uswitch.com/press-room/press-releases/uk-and-ireland-rank-bottom-in-european-quality-of-life-index-1388.pdf
    The UK is the worst place to live in Europe according to uswitch.
    Some of us have known that for a very long time. πŸ™‚

  • #100831
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    According to the Daily Mail it is France πŸ˜†

  • #100832
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Today, the Dail Mail (I know, don’t say a word πŸ™„ ) printed an article on this – putting France as top of the league above Spain.
    Interesting that their table puts a French basket of food cheaper than UK as against the other way round to logan’s link.

    Maybe it depends on the supermarket? πŸ™‚

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314112/France–Lets-British-quality-life-compare-continent.html

  • #100833
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Beat me to it Katy!

  • #100834
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    43 days holiday / year? I must have the wrong job! I know, I’ll become a councillor for Torrevieja town hall, that’s at least 150 days holiday a year.

  • #100837
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Is that just the official annual holiday, or does that include all the Saints days off?

  • #100838
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Allowing for the exchange rate difference, food is not cheaper in France than UK. I live there and spent the summer in UK. Food quality however is much higher in France and the French spend by far the most on food than perhaps the Italians. The French live to eat, most other Europeans except again Italians eat to live.
    In Spain (imo) the food quality compared to other places is poor. However life in general is by far a long way more agreeable in Spain and France than UK and I think the surveys have it right. What is the point in having a high earned income when it all disappears in living costs.
    It’s the bottom line that matters and anyway who on earth believes The Daily Mail. πŸ˜†

  • #100839
    Profile photo of petej
    petej
    Participant

    I am surprised they managed to collect any data from the French, they are always on strike πŸ™‚

  • #100854
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @petej wrote:

    I am surprised they managed to collect any data from the French, they are always on strike πŸ™‚

    Tell me about it. I’m stuck in London for an extra 2 days because the French air traffic thugs are on strike again.

    Turning to topic, I’ve lived in lots of countries in my life, none of them better than Spain. It really is number 1 for quality of life, assuming you don’t have a property nightmare. I’ve always thought renting is a good idea, as that way you are flexible if it doesn’t work out, or you need to move away from nasty neighbours.

    Mark

  • #100855
    Profile photo of Tinnat
    Tinnat
    Participant

    This report is 2 years old. I wonder if the listing has changed since then.

  • #100857
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    From experience and not stats (they should sack those researchers!) I travelled frequently to Paris and The Hague. For at least the past three years I found basic food items and fruit and veg cheaper than Spain in both countries. An easy comparison with euro being standard currency. Not only on prices but choice and quality. Friends from Ireland say that the UK is much cheaper than Ireland.

    Quality of life…….different according to a persons priorities. Weather is a feel good factor but for others a well-paid secure job is everything. Long as a piece of string.

  • #100858
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I thought the figures were a bit misleading – certainly you would not have the same net income now in Ireland. The basic shopping basket as dropped in price since last year which is a good thing, wages have dropped here as has price of property – to conflict this mortgage interest rates have risen. I was in London lately and I found it to be expensive but that was mainly due the sterling difference also – in Convent Garden for a small cup of coffee, a small cup of tea, two soft drinks an icecream and a small brownie Β£27.00 – E33.75 – I thought this was expensive.

  • #100859
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Buy in open air market in Spain. Cheaper for seasonal fruit and veg everytime. Out of season produce, imported, is usually not competetive in Spain.
    Paris and Hague cheaper than Spain? Where were you buying? I frequently go to Amsterdam and Utrecht and I need double the money to buy fruit (never bought veg). And eating out? A fortune.

    Anyway, I don’t want to get into some arguement about who and what is cheaper. The report says what it says. You can either take it or leave it. I’m sure if unemployment was taken into account the story would be a different one.

  • #100860
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    All statistics are simply an approximate guide to an overall picture. You cannot accept them as set in stone. They are a sign post that’s all. Prices fluctuate from day to day. Its a market economy. That’s how millions make a living. Buying it on Tuesday morning and sellling on Friday afternoon when the price rises a tick.
    Quality of life is subjective but I think these stats. have it about right. I have been lucky enough to have lived all over the world and for me and with the exception of a few islands in the Bahamas, Spain and France cannot be beaten for many reasons. (except perhaps taxation but nothing much worth having in life is free). πŸ˜†

  • #100861
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I can see why people are attracted to a lifestyle in Spain – it ticks most of the boxes. It is good to see something positive written about it as there has been so much negativity. Viva Espana!

  • #100864
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Well if a basket of shopping is only 4 quid more in Sweden than Spain there has been a drastic change since I was there, probably one of the most expensive place I have visited.

    Since you asked where I shopped in the Netherlands I have relatives there…still what do they know eh!

    Angela, Covent Garden is one of the priciest areas. I often meet friends in the Crusting Pipe and you can get a light lunch for about Β£8 (wine about Β£4 per glass πŸ˜† ) On the main road leading from CG there are a lot of restaurants offering two courses for Β£7-10. Those Brownies are damned expensive, not always nice either.

  • #100865
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Like I said, I’m not going to get in a debate on the subject. My question was, where do you shop in Spain? My Dutch colleagues (all 3 of them) do say that Spain is much cheaper. I suppose it depends where you buy (HiperCor is not the same as buying in Lidl or open air market).

    And I would also think that it depends what you buy. Local produce in Holland will not be the same as Murcia or Alicante.

    Though there was a news report today that said, depending on where you did your shopping you could save up to 1300 € a year…just over a 100 €/month.

  • #100866
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @marjal wrote:

    Like I said, I’m not going to get in a debate on the subject. My question was, where do you shop in Spain? My Dutch colleagues (all 3 of them) do say that Spain is much cheaper. I suppose it depends where you buy (HiperCor is not the same as buying in Lidl or open air market).
    I would rather pay a few euro extra to avoid the Lidl experience πŸ˜† I used to shop wherever I happened to be but the nearest store was mercadona.

    And I would also think that it depends what you buy. Local produce in Holland will not be the same as Murcia or Alicante.

    Nope, won’t have as many phosphates for one thing! I do look at what I am buying. I also assume that tomatoes in a Dutch winter won’t be local.

    Though there was a news report today that said, depending on where you did your shopping you could save up to 1300 € a year…just over a 100 €/month.

    I am always suprised at the knowledge of you guys on a cost of living forum. My OH wouldn’t know the price of a bag of potatoes (which BTW are sooo much cheaper in the UK)

  • #100867
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    katy wrote:

    My OH wouldn’t know the price of a bag of potatoes

    I’ve got one of those OH’s Katy. Same applies to just about……?? everything ( except utility bills) ! πŸ™„

  • #100885
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I remember we talked about the cost of living before, and Katy’s experience was then as she states now, my experience is different, but I think it all depends on what you spend your money on, & where

    I have worked a lot across Europe, and found France & Holland quite expensive, and Spain still seems cheaper to me than the UK

    Spain is also good at providing local services at low cost, for example I have small children, and the Ayuntamiento run guardaria is only 50€ a month (for mornings), there cannot be many places that provide good quality care for this small a fee

    Another example, I have joined the local Union Musical, and annual fees to learn music & instrument lessons are 165€

    However, I think France is a fine place to live also, I do wish that the food quality here was better, so France wins on that score πŸ˜€

  • #100888
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Spain is also good at providing local services at low cost, for example I have small children, and the Ayuntamiento run guardaria is only 50€ a month (for mornings), there cannot be many places that provide good quality care for this small a fee

    My grandaughter can go to an excellent playgroup at no cost to my daughter as under a government scheme she is entitled to 15 hours a week at a nursery school. She actually only goes 2 mornings. This is open to all children aged 3 and over (I think). However, she has to pay Β£50 per day, per child for full daycare on the 2 out of 3 days she works. I do the third day for total love and enjoyment!! πŸ™‚

  • #100891
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant
  • #100892
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Interesting article, quite a few kids at our guardaria are always dropped off, and collected by older women (I assume the grandmothers), and to be fair they do look like they struggle to manage the little darlings πŸ™‚

    Although our guardaria is great, the hours wouldn’t suit a working family, so I guess that explains the grandparents getting stitched up

    Luckily we don’t have grandparents in Spain, I wouldn’t want my folks looking after my kids 😯

  • #100893
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    It is an interesting article and one that I fully empathise with. I notice where we live that more & more grandparents look after their grandchildren. Whilst I love looking after my two granddaughters (3.3/4 & 15 months) I am exhausted at the end of a loooong day. How older people in their 70’s cope I don’t know!!!

    I was very fortunate in that I did not have to work at all when my children were growing up,therefore not needing parental help. These days, most young families need two incomes and often, young women do not want to give up their financial independence. Personally, I think mothers of young children should be able to stay at home and raise them until at least the age of 10. There should be good tax breaks for these families whatever their social status. I’m sure society would benefit in the long run by having more disciplined young adults.

    El Anciano wrote

    I wouldn’t want my folks looking after my kids

    My daughter feels the same about her in-laws who live locally, hence we fill the “gap” 100%! I’d like to think it keeps me fit…A workout at the gym would be an easier option but less enjoyable!! πŸ˜€

  • #100895
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    When my Grandson was born, Daughter decided to take 4 years out of work as she was allowed (unpaid!) As her Husband could be based anywhere they bought a house close to us in marbella. After a year she was bored to tears and went back to work based in Paris. (From where came the realisation that Spain wasn’t cheap anymore).

    There does seem to be cheap childcare in Spain but the standards are not all as good as the UK. Does illustrate though that quality of life means different things to diverse families. Anyone on a low income would be far better off with UK benefits. A spanish relative, an eye specialist, would earn at least another Β£50,000 pa. in the UK but prefers to be around friends and family and the life he is familiar with. Another spanish friend in the health service is due to leave marbella this very month. They are starting a new life in New Zealand. Quality of life is about being happy….whatever floats your boat πŸ˜€

  • #100896
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Quality of life is about being happy….

    So right, Katy. Is there any country that ticks ALL the boxes (generally)? It also depends upon what stage you are at in life. Different requirements at different stages.

  • #100904
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Quality of life to me does not always boil down to material thinks. To me it’s pace of life, people’s attitudes towards each other, getting on with neighbours, being able to give time to my kids and family. Would like the weather to be a bit better in Ireland!

  • #100905
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    What bothers me is while France, Spain and other EU countries quite rightly place quality of life high on their agenda and allow a much earlier retirement age, are tax payers in the UK who have to work much longer subsidising this? The UK is one of the highest net contibutors to the EU, if not the highest. Even though France and Spain are talking about making their retirement age higher have they actually done so yet and even then will it be as high as the UK? I don’t care what age they set it at as long as the UK are not somehow working longer to subsidise an earlier retirement for other countries.

    And off topic, where has the Should Bulls Still Be Used As Entetaiment forum gone? Has it been removed by the moderators?

  • #100906
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    And off topic, where has the Should Bulls Still Be Used As Entetaiment forum gone? Has it been removed by the moderators?

    Yes Poppyseed, it was removed by Mark because Alan Thornton , YET AGAIN, resorted to his usual rudeness & provocation, ruining a good thread. 😈

    Mark has told Charlie, who started the debate, that he will reinstate soon……when he can clean it up!! Preventing AT from posting would be a good place to start.

  • #100907
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    claire
    get real it came from you because you cannot accept other peoples points of views. your the one that needs to be booted. i,m still waiting for an answer to my question though, which i know you wont give. the old adfage, the truth hurts.

  • #100908
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Poppyseed wrote:

    What bothers me is while France, Spain and other EU countries quite rightly place quality of life high on their agenda and allow a much earlier retirement age, are tax payers in the UK who have to work much longer subsidising this? The UK is one of the highest net contibutors to the EU, if not the highest. Even though France and Spain are talking about making their retirement age higher have they actually done so yet and even then will it be as high as the UK? I don’t care what age they set it at as long as the UK are not somehow working longer to subsidise an earlier retirement for other countries.

    Germany is the largest contributor to the EU budget,(21.13%) followed by France (16.44%) and Italy.(13.64%) The UK is fourth at around 13% of overall expenditure. In contrast Spain contributes only 8.51% and is fifth. The current increase in retirement age in the EU has nothing to do with these budget contributions.
    Later retirement within the EU is all about population demographics. The working population of any country support the retired and the ratio keeps on increasing because of the baby boomers born at the end of WW11, now retiring and the longer life prospects for us all.
    In the UK at the moment 40% of working people support the remaining 60%. That’s a ratio which cannot continue. Hence the need to have the population working longer to reduce said ratio. The current plans of EU states to change the retirement age are mild in comparison to the real need.
    They are increasing the age slowly to make it politically acceptable. I estimate in a few short years 70 will be the age when most people retire, at least on a state pension.
    In France the Unions strike whenever a government initiative for political and social change is even suggested. It’s just part of the fabric of French life. Almost always governments cave in and compromise.
    Meanwhile the remainder of the EU deal with the real world and force through much needed changes. How long France can remain out of the loop is any one’s guess. Had the French government voted through the kind of required reform Spain has just passed the country would be at a stand still for good. πŸ™‚

  • #100918
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I understand all the reasons for making the retirement age higher and how state pensions are funded (I spent many years assessing claims to retirement pension) and the political fall out, but my point was whether the poorer countries who receive a lot of EU money should have a lower retirement age than the richer countries providing this money for them. Why should our people work till they drop to effectively help subside another country’s lower retirement age. I think Greece is one example.

  • #100921
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I think the answer is of course a fat NO, it’s unfair and plainly unaffordable in an interdependent Europe. It will likely change in the future to a standard age if the political will exists and the IMF twist enough arms. However politicians can only change things in the end with the acceptance of the majority. No one wants to give up hard won retirement concessions and work till they drop.
    I can remember a time during the early eighties when early retirement was considered desirable because it freed up employment prospects for the young. I wonder what happened to that idea?
    With so many young people out of work in Europe why do governments insist on us all working longer?
    Older people earn higher salaries for doing a job younger people would/could do for half the wage. Train ’em up to do it and allow folks to depart with a decent pension.
    It makes sense and perhaps that’s why it will never happen. πŸ™

  • #100853
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Very enlightening Logan.

    What about the non-existant 40 hour week? I only know town hall workers and bank staff who have these hours. I knew France had a 35 hour week, what about the rest of Europe?

  • #100822
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Logan, completely agree with you, it somehow seems wrong for older people to hog the jobs leaving young people out of work and all the social problems that brings, but I guess many old folk can’t afford to retire now because of the way our pensions industry has been decimated and the measly state pension. Why are we all so complacent in the UK? Seems our spirit has been drained to.

  • #100856
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Which companies will employ all these oldies? Even in banking and other jobs they are considered too old at 50! What about the people doing hard manual work, heavy lifting, bricklaying etc. Surely they can’t expect 65 year olds to do those types of jobs, especially when there are lots of healthy teenagers lazing around all day receiving dole money.

  • #100863
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
  • #100927
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The study was of 2,000 individuals in 20 countries with assets of at least Β£1 million, excluding their own homes, by Barclays Wealth.

    A somewhat “selective” poll is it not?? Not at all representative of the “general” workforce.

  • #100930
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    There is a big difference between working because you want to and working because you have to. Wealthy people work because they enjoy it and it usually involves making more money. They simply would not know what else to do with their time.
    Forcing people to work in their sixties is not going to be very successful unless they enjoy what they do. Most folk of that age want to do other things with their before it’s too late.

  • #100923
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    This particular survey was very selective, however just about every pensions expert including Ros Altman for whom I have much respect say that there is a pensions timebomb. Returns are half what they were even 10 years ago (for those who’s pensions haven’t bombed completely) and many ordinary people are going to be faced with the choice of retire in poverty despite having saved or keep working. We have had to revise our plans of how much we need in the pension pot and actually doubled the target. New legislation means employers cannot force people to retire at 65 and the dream of retiring and doing other things for many will remain just that, a dream. The days of early retirement or even retirement at 65 on good pensions are over for most people.

  • #100939
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Poppyseed wrote:

    The days of early retirement or even retirement at 65 on good pensions are over for most people.

    Only if your pension come from the UK.
    In France, Germany, Holland, Italy and even Greece pensions are principally state provided and if your last years salary was decent, so is the pension. It’s only the UK that has relied on market provided private and employee pensions which have proved less than effective.
    Margaret Thatcher decided in her first term that government should only provide a minimum state pension and put in place structures to make sure that happened, including removing the link to earnings. Succeeding administrations of both parties did nothing to change that until recently.
    I agree pensions in Britain are a national scandal unless you have a gold plated public pension. It did not have to be like that. Government just had other priorities, and cared little for the old.

  • #101021
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Allowing for the exchange rate difference, food is not cheaper in France than UK. I live there and spent the summer in UK. Food quality however is much higher in France and the French spend by far the most on food than perhaps the Italians. The French live to eat, most other Europeans except again Italians eat to live.
    In Spain (imo) the food quality compared to other places is poor. However life in general is by far a long way more agreeable in Spain and France than UK and I think the surveys have it right. What is the point in having a high earned income when it all disappears in living costs.
    It’s the bottom line that matters and anyway who on earth believes The Daily Mail. πŸ˜†

    I find the food prices suspicious. I live in Poland and food is way cheaper than the UK. I wonder if they simply bought the same food in each country or adjusted to the actual diet to match the nationality.

    To me, the price of beer in a bar is most important, its around 1/3 to 1/2 the UK price. Vodka is half the UK price, other spirits are more expensive – but hardly anyone buys them. Bizarrely, Poland’s alcohol prices are listed as more expensive than the UK, so I expect they have simply included UK brands.

  • #101022
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Price of alcohol may be important for a person taking a holiday but for retiring it is the cost of basic food items, utilities, community fees….

  • #101107
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    So Poland came pretty high in the index. It is evident they did not take these sort of situations into account πŸ™„

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1319880/Road-carnage-18-farm-workers-die-packed-van-crashes-truck-Poland.html

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.