Writer from America
Before we moved to the Netherlands, our jobs in the US had become less than ideal. People were getting fired or laid off. It was clear management was slowly shutting down the project we were working on. We discussed looking for new jobs and the possibility of moving. We didn't own a house or have kids or pets to worry about uprooting.
In the fall of that year, we visited friends who had just moved to the Netherlands. During our vacation, my husband's former boss (who had also relocated here) asked if he could swing by for an interview. My husband agreed and by the time we returned from our vacation he had a job offer. It was an interesting and challenging position: head of post production for a game company. Plus, it paid more than his job at the time. The company would also cover a portion of our moving expenses. It was a bonus that he would be working for his old boss and we were a train ride away from friends. Overall it was an appealing offer.
We jumped at the opportunity and within a month, my husband and I moved to the Netherlands. We thought we would end up staying here at least a year possibly more if his contract was renewed. Six months in, the company downsized and he lost his job. We panicked. We had moved halfway across the globe and now it looked like we would have to move back. Fortunately, my husband's tech and management skill set were in high demand and within a month he had a new job.
We have lived here almost 5 years and if the 30% ruling is cut to 5 years we will lose the benefit next year. We were hoping to have those three extra years to build up a savings buffer. Losing the 30% ruling now means covering bills will be tight and we will lose our ability to continue saving for the future. We had discussed buying a house but that doesn't look feasible anymore. To prepare, we are tightening our budget and I am looking for a job that will cover that loss of income. But I am worried I won't be able to find one. If that happens, chances are we will have to leave the Netherlands. Something neither of us wants to do.
From the start, we fell in love with the Netherlands, the culture, the pace of life. I love being able to spend so much time outdoors and living close enough to walk or bike most places. We've made new friends (both Dutch and expats) that we meet up with regularly for game nights. We've been able to do a little traveling (including one trip back to the US to visit family). We adopted two kitties. I learned Dutch and I started volunteering with an organization in Amsterdam to give back to the local community. In short, the Netherlands is our home.