Five Things to Consider When Retiring to Spain

1. Don’t Forget the Traveling Family (and Friends)

You may be leaving your country behind, but no matter what distance you go you will not be able to leave behind the memories of your friends and families. The older one gets, the more they appreciate the loved ones in their lives. When choosing a Spanish house to retire in, consider what its location and amenities offer to visiting relatives. Living near an airport will make it easier on your future guests to book trips to come visit you. Does your new town offer eventful things for the younger people in your life to enjoy like museums and swimming pools, or are there nearby natural landscapes to enjoy like the beaches?

2. Know the Annual Climate Changes

Spain has the complete gambit of seasons. While the country is particularly renowned for its warm and temperate summers along its Mediterranean coastline, some regions of Spain can reach uncomfortably hot and humid summer temperatures. Consider different regions of Spain before retiring; the southeast contains more semi-arid areas while the interior can get very cold in the winter. No matter where you end up in Spain, you will likely want to be sure your home has both an air conditioner and heater installed in the main living room and the main bedroom. You won’t be using either all year, but you will find them a boon to have in the peak summer and winter months which exhibit extreme temperatures in both directions.

3. Know the Medical System Inside and Out

While Spain’s public health care system is quite good, as a UK retiree, obtaining health insurance can be a wise option, particularly if you are at all unsure of your ability to become a beneficiary of Spain’s health care. Health insurance will grant you access to the private health sector where the quality and time access to direct health care is better. For those who do not speak Spanish fluently, one is more apt to be able to find English-dominate facilities in the private sector. Your health, if it has not already, will become your number one concern in your retiree years, and as such it is important for you to feel confident in your health care access.

4. Finding Community

For the expat retiring in Spain, this may be the last home you will ever want to buy. Be sure to locate to a place that has more to offer than charms; find yourself a community. In retirement, you will find you suddenly have a ton of time to yourself. Locating a home within an area with a high concentration of English-speaking expats is a great way to easily find yourself in a supportive and interesting group of neighbours. Ask your realtor about local clubs or meet-up groups in prospective neighbourhoods who offer organized outings like day trips or bridge nights.

5. Learn the Language

Before retiring to Spain, or any country for that matter, it is very important to consider first learning the language. From visiting the local food market to talking to your neighbour about the weather, being able to communicate with the people around you will become increasingly important. You will not want to simply stay locked behind your front door for fear of non-comprehension. Your retiring years are not your dead years. Get out and learn the language and enjoy the local culture.

About author

Will Vicary writes about expat life, life after retirement and topics such as de-risking and auto enrolment pensions.