Spanish flag to illustrate Retiring in Spain

You’re considering permanently retiring in Spain. The idea of taking your pension overseas is fantastic. Life in Spain is easy, sunshine all year round, the Spanish way of life is enjoyable, and the low cost of living is affordable, especially on pensions income. 

The five tips given in this article will help you relocating and settling into your new life as an expatriate.

1. Rent a property before buying

You have decided on the best places to retire, Costa del sol, Barcelona, Valencia. You’re excited about it, and you’re already looking at buying a place to live that fits your desires. It’s all terrific, and buying property in Spain is always a good investment as the median home price is cheap.

What if a few days after moving to your place, you realize that you don’t like the city. Maybe you don’t like Spanish people’s way to live, perhaps there are not enough English speaking expats, maybe your spouse gets homesick and wants to go back home. 

Illustrating renting a house in Spain

The safest way to avoid those situations is to try first by renting your new home

Also, as you are planning to rent for a few months and especially during winters’ season, you can get a cheap deal, particularly in tourist destinations.

2. NIE is the Grail of retiring in Spain

Within three months of your arrival, you should apply for an NIE (Numero de Identification de Extranjero). This number is imperative because it identifies you as an expat in Spain. Furthermore, you need it for most administrative stuff, like residency, opening a bank account, getting connected to electricity, and also to take advantage of your retirement benefits. 

You can apply for this number at the locals’ police precincts, the Spanish embassy, or consulate in your home country.

3. Sort out your health insurance

The free public healthcare and social security benefits in Spain are excellent, so you will want to check if you have access to it.

Money and stethoscope to illustrate cost of health insurance

If you’re an EU national, you need to do some paperwork to get an international health insurance card and access low health care costs.

If you have got non-EU citizenship, the chances are that your country doesn’t have an agreement with Spain. In this case, you will need to get private medical insurance giving you access to the private health sector. The private sector offers the advantage of shorter waiting times, and English is better than it does in the public sector.

4. Choose the law of which country apply to your inheritance

If you want your country’s law to apply to your inheritance, you need to specify it in your will; otherwise, the Spanish legislation will apply.

On the topic of legislation, living in Spain and choosing Spain as your taxation country might be financially attractive as the tax burden is lower than in many countries. 

5. Choose your friends carefully

Illustrating theft in Spain

Surely you’ll meet new peoples and make new friends in the expat community. Still, you should be careful. Spain has a low crime rate, but tourist areas are full of professional crooks targeting seniors. They’re more interested in the Euro in your wallet than by your friendship. But don’t worry, common sense and advice from your real friends and family should stir you away from them.

You are ready for retiring in Spain

If you follow those easy steps, you should have no problem to start your new life as a retiree. A smile and a few Spanish words can take you a long way.