Spain is one of the best countries in the world to retire to. Warm weather, a relaxed lifestyle, excellent cuisine and culture. These are just a few of the things that Spain offers to expats.
In this blog will provide you with all the information and some tips you need to know on how to retire in Spain. Including information on the cost of living, legal procedures to live in Spain, taxes, the best places to retire, etc …
Benefits of Retiring to Spain
There is no such thing as perfect, unfortunately. Spain is a fantastic country in general. Here are a few benefits of retirement in Spain:
- Friendly locals and a welcoming culture
- Fantastic cuisine which is renowned for its variety and deliciousness
- Warm year-round weather and excellent beaches
- The cost of living in the country is low compared to other European countries
- Life in Spain is quite and happy
- High standards of living, education, and healthcare
Who Can Retire in Spain: Visas and Residence Permits
Spain has been in the European Union since 1985, this means that it’s very easy for EU citizens to retire in the country. As an EU citizen, you don’t need any visas or a residence permit to live, work, retire, or study there.
There are two types of visas that non-EU citizens can acquire: a Long-stay visa (visado nacionale) and a Residence Visa (visado residencia)
Long-Stay Visa (visado nacional)
The long-stay visa grants you temporary residence in the country. It also allows expats to work, study, retire, or live in Spain. The long-stay visa is indefinite and renewable annually. In order to renew this visa, you’ll need to spend at least six months per year in Spain.
Residence Visa (visado residencia)
This is the most common visa for foreigners who want to retire in Spain. It is easier to obtain than a long-stay visa. It allows you to reside or retire in the country without being able to work there.
The requirements for a visa in Spain depend on what type of visa you’re applying for. You will have to first prove that you can support yourself in Spain without working.
You should always check with your local consulate for a list of requirements and documents.
Another common way for non-EU residents to obtain a residence permit in Spain is through the Spain Golden Visa.
The Spain Golden Visa
Is a residency by investment scheme which grants the investor permanent residency in Spain. This may also eventually lead to citizenship.
Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE)
The NIE number is the number that the government assigns to foreign residents. It’s important for opening a bank account, establishing bills in your name, filing taxes, and so on.
Acquiring a NIE number is pretty easy. you need to go to the nearest police station and provide them with the following documents:
- The NIE application form (obtainable at the police station)
- Original passport valid for at least one year
- Photocopy of passport
- Two passport-sized colored photos
Keep in mind that depending on where you live, you may not find English-speaking officials at the police station.
Taxes in Spain
If you live in Spain for 183 days (six months) of any calendar year, you become a tax resident there. Since you generally need to live six months there to maintain your visa, it is a smart idea to learn about the taxes there.
When dealing with Spanish taxes, we recommend that you seek professional help as they can get complicated.
Cost of Living in Spain
Spain has a much lower cost-of-living than many other first-world countries and one of the cheapest lifestyles in Western Europe.
How much you spend can vary hugely. Living in a big house in a fancy Madrid suburb will cost you much more than an apartment in a small inland town. In general, premium cities like Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastián, or Sitges can be up to 50% more expensive for rent than inland areas. A couple can live a very comfortable life on 2.000€ to 2,500€ in a medium-sized beach town or in the islands.
This means that many things in Spain are very affordable. Eating out is cheap, with a three-course lunchtime “menu del día” often costing under €10 – €20 with a glass of wine thrown in. Fresh food is also reasonable, with local markets being a great source of fresh, seasonal produce.
Utilities in Spain are in relation to the cost of living in Spain, they are, in general, cheap and of good quality. In order to choose the best service provider we advise you to choose those according to your needs, Tiekom is a telecom and services provider focus on the expats living in Spain. Your home will be fully equipped with the best broadband, mobile, energy, IP tv, security systems, health insurances and others. All with the best quality and personalized attention in your language (full English service).
Best Places for Retirement in Spain
The best place to retire in Spain depends on what you like and how you want to live. You may want to settle in an expat beach community on the Costa del Sol, or integrate into Spanish culture in a major city, or find bucolic isolation in the countryside. The main ones chosen by expats living in Spain are: Costa del sol, Litoral Mediterráneo, Baleares y Canarias. If you want more information about each of them visit our previously published blogs: Best Places to Retire in Spain and Best Places to Retire in Spain II in which we show you in detail each of these destinations.
Spain is a fantastically well-developed country with an excellent standard of living. The cost of living there is very low compared to other European countries, the friendly locals and breezy lifestyle are excellent for retirement, so you can spend your golden years in peace.
So if you’re thinking of somewhere nice and sunny for your retirement, then you might want to live in Spain.
Remember also that at Tiekom we are happy to help you and to make your life easier here. Check our services for foreigners in Spain.