Retiring In Spain – What You Need To Know

Spain is home to the highest number of retired expats in Europe. Those who have chosen to retire in Spain, for the most part, choose to settle into coastal resort cities such as Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Costa Brava or one of the great golf properties in Murcia. It’s hardly surprising given that the country combines just about every ingredient most people want for a perfect retirement. These are affordable homes by the sea, low living costs, and a fantastic climate. Here is what you should know before deciding to retire in Spain.


Transferring your pension

Retirees living in Spain who receive their pension in their country of birth can choose to have their monthly payments paid into their bank can have their pension transferred to a Spanish bank account. If you are choosing the second option you will want to take note that you will need an international bank account number as well as a bank identification code for the Spanish bank of your choice.


It is also important to note that when doing this you will have no control over the exchange rate used for the transfer. It is for this reason that many retirees prefer to have their pension paid into their local account and then making use of a currency transfer specialist to send euros to their Spanish account.


Cost of living in Spain

With a little careful planning, the day-to-day cost of living remains cheaper in Spain and many other European countries. One of the first savings you will notice in Spain is on the council tax bill. Spanish council tax is paid directly to the town hall and is based on the rateable value of your property. These rates will vary by area and region but they are generally much cheaper than anywhere else.

Things such as utilities are priced around the same but retirees can expect to pay more for internet and satellite connections. Public transport is also much cheaper than anywhere else.


Settling in

You will find that many of the English-speaking estate agents in Spain will help you get settled into your new home. They may also assist with administrative duties such as getting the utilities transferred into your name. You are also sure to quickly find the best English bars in the area you choose to settle into. In general, the Spanish people are friendly and they will quickly be able to help you settle in by offering you advice.


Spanish Healthcare

If you are a British expat and you receive a UK State Pension you will be entitled to the same level of state healthcare as a Spaniard under the national insurance scheme. To this, you will need to apply for an S1 certification and ideally, this process should be started long before you leave your home country for retirement. UK citizens who reside in Spain and who have registered an S1 form can return to the UK and receive NHS treatment for free.

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