I agree with Oldtimer.
Finding or generating work in BG is very difficult. The options that are available are extremely limited for non native speakers. Most work done by expats is for other expats and generally limited to realestate or construction services. Unfortunately both of these areas are saturated and have taken a massive down turn over the last year. I expect them to get worse as Europe's economic problems deepen.
Another problem is that once work has been found, generating a liveable income is very difficult. The lifestyle that most people wish to live is not compatable with a well paid Bulgarian salary and that lifestyle could hardly be called extravagent.
I can understand the reasoning of many people who wish to retire out here or retire early out here. Both can sell up and live on their pensions (or on their savings until the get their pensions), to a better standard than in the UK.
However, i don't understand the reasoning of many of the younger people out here (pre-pensioners?). Many have moved here with no clear plans on how to support themselves for the next 30-40 years. Either they thought they could sell up and never have to work (I wish!) or live on their savings until they found work or work found them.
Living on savings until you get your pension or until you find work has some major drawbacks. Firstly is that those saving quickly get used up. Things are always a lot more expensive than you think and if you want to sit in the village bar all day.....Secondly is what happens if you have problems with your pension etc? When you are eligable for it, will it be worth as much as you thought (have you converted it to Euros yet?).
What will happen when you get to the end of your savings and haven't got an income? Can you afford to go home? Will be able to sell you house? The number of Bulgarians i see driving UK cars is increasing all the time in my area (Yambol region). Is this a start of a trend?
This post is not meant to be doom and gloom just realistic. Many expats have found a way to live and work out here. However it is hard work and long hours. I have personally never worked so hard in my life and i thought i was coming out here for an easier life! The thing that makes it easier is that i love my job and i am in charge of my life.
On a slightly different note, please think long and hard about bringing children out here. Bulgaria is an excellent place to raise children, better than the uk in many ways but think about their opportunities. What are their opportunities when they are old enough to work after living in a small rural village for many years? Go back to the UK or move to Sophia? I suggest you have a reserve to financially back them when the time is right.
On a final note, the best and brightest Bulgaria has to offer have fled this country to live and work abroad, where they think they can provide a better life for themselves and their families. As a Bulgarian friend so neatly put it- "Why are you pissing into the wind Jerrard?".
Life is difficult in this country if you have to work. This fact cannot be sugar coated by the wonderful country that we live in.
I hope this post may be of interest to some. It will be interesting to see the replies. As requested by Amandi, it is also from someone who is younger than most expats out here, myself being a whippersnapper at 29 year old. Although being barely out of nappies, i hope my peers on this forum will not disregard my views due to my age alone but accept that i have some experience and knowledge of this fine country.