Worried about retiring to Spain

Hello all. Newbie here. My Wife and I are considering retirement next year and moving to Spain (Valencia Region). We are financially secure, speak Spanish and will have medical insurance. The posts on some sites are worrying my Wife and I regarding the possible attitude the Spanish authorities may have toward us as potential retirees in Spain regarding Brexit. We are trying so hard not to be a burden to the Spanish authorities.  Does anybody have recent experience of moving to Spain and would you be willing to share with us the process?  I appreciate it's a big ask, but we are clueless at the moment.
We have heard mention that being a pensions are taxable in Spain; is anyone willing to share with us what taxes you pay? BTW, we will not be pensioners for a few years yet.  Many thanks. Paul

The rules about moving to Spain are pretty straightforward for EU citizens, 

Basically you have the right to live here providing you have sufficient income (OAP in UK is OK) and full medical cover.    If you are retired in UK,   DWP will provide an S1 form which shows that  they will pay the £3,000 or so annually for your otherwise free cover in Spain.  Failing that an insurance which provides 100% cover if required.

Of course all that may change with Brexit and at present no one can tell you what will happen.


Once you move to Spain (become tax resident) with the exception of a UK Crown Pension (Police, military  etc) and income from letting property in UK (which may be subject to a top-up tax in Spain) , all worldwide income must be declared in Spain.  Also if you own any property, in addition to your Spanish home, even a garage space, anywhere in the world including Spain,  an imputed tax is applied to that each year- 

As from last year even a Crown pension must be declared in Spain although it cannot be taxed here. For me, euphemistically 'not taxed' meant I paid 150% more tax than I had the previous year on the same income.

Thank you Joncar.  We won't have a government pension for another few years, only our personal pension, but we will have sufficient income.  You mention having to pay 150% more tax than the previous year; is that on your personal pension or for another reason. Sounds astronomical!

There is a double-taxation agreement in place between the UK and Spain.  What these mean in general is that you shouldn't be taxed twice on the same income income in either country.  Where people come unstuck with these is that the UK just has Income Tax, whereas many European countries have split their tax streams into different types of tax (i.e. different social taxes), so if they exist you do have to pay tax on these in the country where you live.

If these are an issue for you and a critical part of your decision as whether to move or not, then I'd always advise you to speak to a tax-consultant before you move.

Expat Team

Thank you Cynic.  That was my next question; would anyone be willing/able to recommend a tax consultant in and around the Valencia/Denia/Gandia area?

PKC     I did say it was as a result of my Crown Pension  " being taken into consideration "   that in reality  I had to pay 150% more tax.

The current Double Taxation agreement between Spain and UK, which i am very familiar with,  in particular Article 18,  is at:- … _force.pdf

Johncar :

PKC  I did say oit was as a result of my Crown Pension  " being taken iinto consderation "   that in reality  I had to pay 150% more tax.

The current Double Taxation agreement between Spain and UK, which i am very familiar with,  in particular Article 18, is at:- … _force.pdf

Tell me about it, I also have a Crown Pension, the Dutch got me on it because of their tax structure. :)

There doesn't appear to be a step by step guide or a logical sequence of events to follow in order to make a transition to Spain.  For instance: should we sell our house in England; move to Spain; apply for residency, or start the process prior to the move.  It may help if I Mention that my Wife and I had a rental house in Mojacar for 11 years, but only visited it infrequently.

PKC     It is just about impossible to set out a step by step guide as each person has different priorities, desires, income, etc.

However, if one is moving to Spain, as opposed to coming here for  a stay of up to 3 months permanently or less than 183 in total in a year,   then they must apply for EU Citizen Registration, in effect as soon as they arrive.    That cannot be started before they arrive in Spain,

What one should or might do in almost any circumstances can be found on the internet.  I have posted maybe hundreds of answers to such questions across the net, and to be honest I am a little tired of repeating info. 

When I moved to Spain 30 year ago there was no internet so then it was a 'little complicated' now it just requires a little research by those who need to know, avoiding the incorrect info so often posted.

Is anyone, not tired of helping out newbies like us, willing to recommend a currency specialist? Apologies for going over ground trodden by many before, but I can't find up to date posts on this site that cover this or the Tax issue.

On that subject; is there anybody living in the Valencia Region who is willing to divulge how much they pay on taxes for their private pension?  Obviously specifics is too high an ask, but for budgeting purposes, anything would help. Also taking into account the Spanish personal allowance, presuming they have one.

Please don't laugh too hard concerning our naivety. We all have a start somewhere and we are trying not to be one of those gullible couples who blindly blunder into retirement. Even links would help.  thanks

Hello, if you are looking at purchasing property abroad then I can recommend First Rate FX. They are a currency specialist and their rates are really good. They also don’t charge any fees to transfer your money, It’s worth giving them a call and see if they can help. Good luck.

Thanks Cora. Will do.

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