The Top 7 Reasons for Retiring in Spain from the UK
Are more than 350,000 UK citizens wrong? That is the number of registered UK citizens living in Spain today. And you can be sure that the actual number is much higher. Spain has been a dream retirement destination for UK citizens for many years. And, although Brexit has made the process more difficult, many people still choose to move to Spain to make the most of their retirement.
So, what are the top 7 reasons for choosing Spain for your retirement?
1) The magical lifestyle
‘Sangria and sunshine’ make an easy headline. But there is more to life in Spain than just the tourism poster. Eating out is cheap, varied, and excellent. There are exciting festivals and cultural events throughout the year. Getting outdoors is easy, whether it is beaches, fishing, golf, hiking, or cycling that makes you happy. And the friendly, laid-back attitude of many locals makes you feel welcomed. Expats in Spain rank the quality of life as one of the best in the world.
2) Excellent, affordable healthcare
Spain’s healthcare service is one of the best in the world. The public system is excellent and used by many Expats. And the private system is world-class, with private health insurance just £30 – €150 per month in many cases. There’s a reason that Spain has one of the world’s highest life expectancies!
3) Low cost of living
When you can have a delicious three-course lunch and a glass of wine for less than £10 in a lovely beachside restaurant, you know your budget will stretch. Rental prices in popular UK retirement areas can be a fraction of what you’d pay for a comparable property in the UK. And, domestic help is much cheaper too, freeing up your time to go and enjoy yourself!
4) The weather
The well-named Costa Del Sol (Sunshine Coast) has an average of 320 sunny days per year. And the mild spring and autumn months mean that winter is just a short refresh! If you don’t like the heat, Asturias and Galicia are much cooler, while the Pyrenes are a snow-covered winter sports mecca.
5) Easy and cheap travel to the UK
The strong ties between the UK and Spain translate to cheap travel. Outside of peak times, return flights for less than £50 are common. Another bonus is that it is not just London airports to choose from; there are direct flights to more than 20 UK airports. Most flights are around 2.5 hours each way. Plus, there are also trains and ferries for more leisurely travel! All this means that you’ll be able to pop back for any occasion and friends and family can easily visit.
6) A huge range of retirement destinations
Spain has more variety than you’d imagine. The contrasting coastlines of the warm Mediterranean and the wild Atlantic. Cosmopolitan cities of Barcelona and Madrid, and traditional towns and villages. The hot south and the cool Pyrenees. There really is somewhere for everyone in Spain.
7) An easy Spanish retirement visa
There is no doubt that the UK leaving the European Union made retirement in Spain more complicated. But UK citizens don’t need to despair because Spain has a range of excellent visas that you can use. The most common is the Non-Lucrative Visa, which suits retirees with an income from a pension, annuity, or investment. And, if you are planning on buying a property in Spain for your new home, Spain’s Golden Visa could be a perfect fit. For those looking to bring in some money, Spain has ten different work visas, including for the self-employed and remote workers.
Will you join all those happy Expats in Spain?
A move to Spain in your golden years is a big decision. And, it won’t be for everyone, with a move to a foreign country a big commitment. But, for those that take the leap, the rewards of living in Spain are so worthwhile.
Alastair Johnson has lived in Sitges, near Barcelona for the last seven years.
He’s looking forward to retiring in Spain soon, until then he runs the Moving Abroad advice site, Where Can I Live.