Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Retirement Options - Spain

Retirement Options

You've worked the majority of your life and now you're retired. As part of your Retirement Plan you may very be thinking it's time to start anew - to experience life again as though you were in your youth - to  have fun - to learn and to relax. Many retirees feel that a big change is in order and are considering the move to another country. Their desire to to truly start fresh  in a new environment where they are surrounded by all things different and new - a different culture - different opportunities to learn but at a slower pace with peace and tranquility. Europe offers all of these qualities and one country in particular conjures up the image of an ideal retirement - Spain.

It's no surprise that many retirees opt for the romance and culture of Europe and Spain. The lifestyle activities are almost limitless. With a rich history and colourful culture anyone will surely be please with a Spanish Expat existence. Old cathedrals and palaces make one feel like they are stuck in time and that  these ancient structures are still alive. Spain has been described as "Heaven on Earth" especially for people who love to study history and ancient civilizations.

Moving to Spain

Spain has been one of the most frequented countries in Europe for many many years, not only as a tourist destination but as a retirement 'Hot Spot'. In fact Spain is still considered to be a top tourist magnet and an ideal retirement location for those who want to move here. It's certainly not a surprise as Spain has some of the best beaches in Europe and is known as one of the best places to quality of life and living. Spain offers relaxation and comfort to those who decide to retire there. All of this said its important to think over some things before you relocate here for good.

Spanish Retirement and Social Security

The most vital consideration of all is your pension. Knowing where you stand financially not only in terms of savings but also in regards to your ongoing sources of income, aka your pension, will determine whether or not your Spanish retirement plan will continue or you whether you need to forget Spain and look elsewhere. As in most life decisions most things or at least majority of them will depend upon your income. Whether it's the house of your choice or just your daily expenses it will all come down to asking yourself what you can really afford. It obviously makes things a lot easier if you have a nice chunk of  savings in your bank account as this will help with major purchases and to supplement your pension.

Health in Spain

Another key consideration to think about is how you will handle future problems like homesickness and your health - or if your health fails in some way. No one can deny that as we age in retirement we become more prone to illness and injury. It can strike at anytime. The location where you will be living is something that you need to consider seriously. Accessibility is key and proximity to a hospital and the best healthcare services is important. Even being close to a market and pharmacy takes on a level of importance in retirement. If you are hurt or sick you don't want it to be difficult finding and buying everything you need. Your priority is having any medical needs cared for quickly and easily.

Getting a Spanish Visa

Having a proper residency visa is also an important issue to consider. If you happen to be from a European country already then you do not need to apply for a Resident Visa. As a member of the EU you can move any place within the EU freely. On the other hand if you are from somewhere outside of Europe then you will be required to obtain for a Resident Visa.  Be prepared and allow time to get everything in order and for the lengthy approval process. You will be asked to present numerous documents that will prove you are qualified to become a resident of Spain without becoming a burden on the government or the Spanish people.

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