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Buying Property in Spain

7. Retiring in Spain

Many thousands of retired couples have successfully made a new life in Spain, enjoyed some of the happiest years of their lives here and just wished they'd made the move when they were much younger.

The mild year-round climate, in all but the most northern areas, an active outdoor lifestyle and the company of like-minded couples are among the many attractions which induce so many pensioners to retire in Spain.

Many older people have found that the climate, especially in areas such as the Costa Blanca, has worked wonders for their health and improved various ailments such as arthritis, rheumatism and asthma.

But, as usual, I have some words of caution for those of you now considering retiring to Spain. Without wishing to be always the voice of doom, I must tell you that for every couple who have made a success of life here, there seems to be another couple whose dreams have turned sour.

There are many reasons for this. The main one being a failure to discuss the proposed move in sufficient depth before taking such a dramatic step. I often talk to retired couples who came to Spain with different hopes and expectations - and very often it's the case that the wife was persuaded to make the move against her deepest feelings and better judgement.

Problems inevitably arise when children are left behind, even if they're grown up "children", and especially if there are young grandchildren. Women usually feel the wrench more than men and in many cases the homesickness is just too overwhelming for the new life in Spain to be a success.

My advice to you, if you think you may be one such couple (or even if you're both convinced that moving to Spain is the right thing to do), is to rent a villa or apartment in your chosen area for at least a few months before you buy anything.

Get a real feel for the place and the way of life - all year round, preferably, not just in high season when resort areas are quite different than in the winter.

You may decide that the lifestyle really doesn't suit you at all, that one or both of you is too homesick or that you like Spain but you've chosen the wrong area. All good reasons for dipping a toe in the water before you take the final plunge.

And consider your own state of health and that of your partner. No-one likes to think about the possibility of a long term illness, much less their own mortality. But these are facts which have to be faced and it's better to do it before you move to a foreign country and culture.

If either of you is in poor health you'll need to consider the availability and proximity of appropriate medical services. And maybe you should consider buying property in an area with all amenities on your doorstep in case one or both of you is unable to drive in the foreseeable future.

Many rentals are available at a cheap rate during the winter months so "try before you buy" - get to know other retired couples in the area and glean valuable information from those who've gone before you.

Next I'll be talking about the advantages (and of course the drawbacks!) of buying a property within a community of owners.

8. Buying within a community of owners

Content for these pages is © Ann Knight, all rights reserved.

Related Links

Andalucia Real Estate - Property for sale in Andalucia.

Buying a property in Spain - Ann's own site promting her book.

Properties In Europe - European property portal with a searchable database of properties to buy and rent in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Includes for French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese properties.

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Hotels in Spain

Car Hire in Spain

Organised Tours in Spain

Buying property in Spain

Choosing the right location

Buying as an investment

Must I use an agent?

Must I use a lawyer?

Buying "off-plan"

The importance of learning Spanish

Retiring in Spain

Buying with a community

Costs of buying

And finally ....

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