The best age to move to Spain

Hello everybody,

No two people experience expatriation in Spain in the same way, depending on their age and personal situation. We would like to know more about you and ask you to share with us when you decided to move to Spain.

How old were you when you moved to Spain? Did you go alone or with your family?

In your opinion, was it the right time to move there?

Do you find this country welcoming for your age group or for certain categories in particular? Why or why not?

Are there any incentives (financial aid, lower taxes, etc.) and for which category of expats?

In your opinion, is there an ideal age to move to Spain?

Thank you for your contribution!

Cheryl,
Expat.com team

I was 4 days shy of my 75th Birthday when I moved here almost 3 months ago. Any age is great to move here.  It just depends what your inner spirit tells you.
I recently moved to Sitges from Dallas, Texas. Prior to moving here, I checked out some beach towns in Portugal, namely the Algarve. At that point in time, COVID hit the world so I couldn't continue my search in Portugal…I continued research on the computer and a friend suggested Spain…..as I looked in Spain and Southern Spain, I made the decision I didn't want to be in a climate of heat as in Southern Portugal and Southern Spain , so I searched more north…. And found what I wanted….perfect climate not too cold in winter, not too hot in summer….Boardwalk to run/walk, wonderful Mediterranean Sea, great food, shops, wine, economically feasible for me, way less expensive than Dallas. The rest is history…visited last May…moved here a month ago….Loving it! Single guy, retired from the Federal Aviation Administration….Sitges is where I want to stay!

Hola chicos y chicas,
I have been visiting Spain for over 30 years (mainly in the south for annual holidays), but also Barcelona and Madrid. I have walked the Routes Frances and Ingles of the Camino de Santiago and will walk the Via de la Plata in May. It has always been my intention to retire in Spain and separating from my wife in the summer of last year only increased my determination to speed the process. I retired a year ago at the age of 66 and started the long and winding road of the Visa process. I chose the region of Murcia as my research showed that property prices were lower than other regions. I moved out here in October 2021. I'd never visited this part and because I am now 'unattached' my choice of location and type of accommodation were influenced somewhat by finances, but also by personal taste. I did not want a shiny white rendered shoe box on a beach resort or urbanization. Neither did I want to reside in a British enclave. I love meeting my countrymen, but I dont want to fall into the routine that I have seen many indulge in. I am determined to be a reasonable fluent Spanish speaker before the end of the year.

Since arriving in October I have purchased an apartment in a neighbourhood in the beautiful city of Cartagena, I have my residencia, my solicitor helps me with some domestic issues, I cycle, walk and since last week have enrolled in a language school. I get my state pension paid into my bank in Spain. I did not buy a car and can walk to town in 30 minutes. There's a bus outside my apartment and I've never used it.
There is always a tendency to stereotype and yes, there is a little bit of mañana, mañana, but my experience thus far and the limited interaction (language) I have with Spanish people has been extremely positive. I have navigated the bureaucracy of getting here and settling down quite well. From the start of the process of Visa application through to finally being settled, whatever you think your budget should be, add 50%. There's been a few small curve balls that I thought, 'really?' but I just took them in my stride and of course, like always, you get what you pay for.

I always knew I'd be happy with my decision and I have never been so content in all of my 66 years. I'm happy to help with any practical advice/shared experience and of course if you are anywhere near Cartagena, always up for a coffee (beer, wine, gin).

Jim

Hi Jim, glad you are loving your new life in Spain. My husband and I are retired and we are hoping to move out in September, we have procrastinated for years but after the last couple of frustrating years we have decided the time is right. Sadly we have heard so many conflicting horror stories such as we as Brits can't have public healthcare, our medication will be very expensive and in some cases non existent. Also we might struggle with getting residential status etc.
Reading your post has given us reassurance that we can do this.
Thank you for sharing. I hope you have great happiness and a great future in your new life.
Chrissie

Hello Chrissie
Thanks for your message and good wishes. So, there are a few wee obstacles it has to be said. Part of the Visa application requires that you have Private Medical Insurance for the first year. You also have to have a medical report which pretty much says you wont be carrying any awful infections etc into the country. GPs are often reluctant to write them (because they have enough to do). I got an online GP to do it. I sent her an extract from my health record (from GP) and she wrote what I told her (following the guidelines). I've taken out medical, dental and accident cover. Given that I've retired and notified the pensions office in the UK, the NHS are also informed and they issue an S1 certificate. I have mine and my solicitor is applying on my behalf to the Murcia Health authorities. It could take many weeks/months before I can actually register with the authorities and tap into the NHS equivalent here. With residencia and Spanish healthcare you cant nip back and forth to the UK for any long term ailments. You'll also be deregistered from your GP.

I dont know what ails you, but clearly the climate and lifestyle here can only be good for our old bones and general wellbeing. (Unless you want to sit in the bar smoking & drinking all day). That's my experience with the British enclaves. I also dont know if you have experience with private healthcare, but pre existing conditions can be a bit tricky, but not necessarily insurmountable. Jumping ahead 30 years   :lol: I also have a funeral plan. You dont want to die without one (or if like me, you dont want to die at all) (yet). Spanish Will is sorted and pretty much reflects my UK will. My Spanish solicitor has Power of Attorney. There's a bit to do, but it's do-able.
If I can be of any use, just give me a shout. Regards. Jim

Many thanks Jim, it's always a relief when you get information from someone who has recently been through the process of moving to a new country. I had a heart attack 7 years ago and my husband has Angina so rely on daily meds, therefore thinking there might be a problem getting regular supplies was I think, what stopped us moving over in the past. But now at nearly 73 we are going to throw caution to the wind and follow our dream.
Again thank you for your very helpful post and reply.
Kindest regards
Chrissie

My husband and I moved here from the USA with our cat just after we retired - we were both 62. No regrets. The process of getting here was a LOT of work. We had to sell practically everything we owned. We shipped a small crate (4ft x 4ft x 6ft) with what we decided to keep. We had to do a ton of paperwork for both us and the cat. However, we were lucky that the Spanish Consulate in Chicago was very helpful, and they provided a detailed checklist of what wee needed. We found that some consulates only give vague/broad requirements (i.e., "proof of financial stability" vs "annual income in the amount of $X for the initial applicant, plus $X more for additional applicants).

We love living here. For us, one of the big plusses is the health care system. Prescription medications are so affordable.

The people so friendly and understanding. They actually apologize to us for not speaking English! Contrast that with how a lot of Americans treat non-English speaking immigrants! However, I would encourage anyone thinking of making this move to begin studying Spanish IMMEDIATELY. It is a lot easier if you have a handle on the language.

@Zdravich Hi great to read of your experience. I am curious where you have moved to in Spain. We are scouting potential locations for a move so we would love to know. Thx.

@Señor Jim 

Hi, nice post. Reflects my current position except I have not made the leap from UK yet. I am north of you in Pilar de la Horodada but might tap into your knowledge. 

G

@tangopapa46 thank you for the information. My husband and I 70 and 72. My biggest concern is elder care. Any thoughts on that?  Thank you!

@Zdravich 

Hi—you moved from the U.S. with a cat! I would love to correspond with you directly.
I have a cat also, & I have questions about the logistics of getting my cat over there—
I'm aware of the paperwork, chipping & vaccine requirements—I'm more interested 
in whether you found a permanent place before bringing your cat over, or whether 
you rented short term while looking for a place that would take a cat. None of the rentals 
I've come across seem to be pet-friendly. And I know that one has to have an address there
as a visa requirement, so how does that work? Scout out a permanent place, then come back
to the U.S. to retrieve your cat? Again, I'd be so grateful for any info you can provide. I'm in 
the information gathering stage with the intent to move to Spain within the next year. 

Dayna
A happy laidback-life all together along with our so-famous-called 'Mediterranean diet' lifestyle (what ever that is) in Spain, 
makes its residents live a much more 'than an average' lifespan..

gerontology.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_Spanish_supercentenarians
@rdruby699 Sorry you must be mistaken, i am moving from Australia not the usa. I also decided to move to Portugal and not to Spain,
I wish you the best of luck,

Regards Skilledhanslady.
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