Monday, February 3, 2014

Moving to Spain - Reboot for 2014!

If Moving to Spain is your idea of Quality of Life welcome! Spain came up 17th on the International Living list of the Best Places to Live back in 2010- only 17th? But who doesn't love Spain or at least the idea of living in Spain? Today Spain is even more attractive particularly for expats. Real Estate is at an all time low as is the cost of living and yet the Spanish people remain some of the most friendliest and hospitable in the world. For 2014 I.L. upgraded Spain to 5th spot for the best place to retire. 

We recently visited Spain and it's now top of our list for places we're seriously thinking of moving. Check out the great checklist below courtesy of SpainExpat for.....

How to move to Spain

If you're seriously considering a Move to Spain then there are quite a few things to take care of before you go like: learning at least a bit of Spanish; obtaining a visa; gaining residency; health insurance; opening a new bank account; and finding Property in Spain. I discovered a convenient checklist of 'Things to do before Moving to Spain' on and summarized it below:

SpainExpat suggested Things to do before moving to Spain:
  1. Print this check-list for your move to Spain.
  2. Take at least a 'Basic Spanish' language course - anyone who has moved to Spain will tell you this!
  3. If you aren't retiring to Spain then you will need a job. Unless of course you're in a position to retire. With Spain's ultra low cost of living and Real Estate bargains you may find early retirement in Spain a real possibility. It's a good idea to have employment locked down before you move to Spain.
  4. Maybe you're considering opening your own business in Spain. Be sure to find an English speaking lawyer in Spain and get as much done by email and phone before you move.
  5. Apply for your Spanish Visa. This needs to be done in your home country before you go. Look up the nearest Spanish Consulate and get the ball rolling - it may take some time.
  6. Do you plan on making this a permanent move to Spain? If so you may need to change your residency. This can also have some tax advantages particularly if you are Canadian.
  7. Check into health care. What are the costs health costs and how will you pay? Make sure you have this set up before you change your current residency or cancel any insurance coverage you now have in place.
  8. If you are not sure whether this will be permanent plan on sharing residency between home and Spain.  Keep some ties and in particular keep a bank account and credit card in your home. Find a bank that offers special accounts and perks for travellers and international residents. Many have low fee plans for example when it comes to taking money out in a foreign country.
  9. Make certain your drivers license or passport are up to date. If they are getting old then renew them now before you go.
  10. Remember living in Spain means most things will come with Spanish instructions. Computers and cell phones will have different, Spanish language keys etc. You may want to consider buying items like this at home before you move to Spain. Trust me, learning how to use a Spanish keyboard and settings can be very frustrating and time consuming. On another note make certain any electronics you buy at home will work in Spain.
  11. If you are buying Property in Spain and need to move household items be sure to make your flights and arrival dates convenient for being there when your furniture arrives.
  12. Will you be moving a car too (not recommended) or buying one once you settle in? If so you want to be familiar with the Spain Car Hire Agencies in particularly ones that offer long term car rental rates.  Also check into public transit. In Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia this is a great way to get around.
  13. Is Fido moving to Spain too? You may be surprised what it takes to move a pet out of your country and into a new one. Allow time to get all the required paperwork done.
  14. Go to your local post-office and arrange for your mail to be redirected to your new home for at least 6 months.You may even want to consider keeping a permanent post box at home and have your mail forwarded indefinitely.

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