Retiring in Spain can be a dream come true if you manage your expectations right. ‘Do I have enough money in my savings account?’ ‘Is there a culture fit?’ These are just a few of the questions you’ve to ask yourself.
So before you make your move we’ll walk you through:
Once you’re familiar with the above, you can start arranging your move!
But first things first;
Retiring in Spain is surely a good idea if you’re looking for a place with a warm climate, extraverted cultures, relaxed lifestyle and low prices.
Here are the main reasons why you should retire in Spain:
Of course, retiring to Spain isn’t for everyone. It’s a common mistake to be blinded by the pictures of sunny beaches and forget to research whether the culture and lifestyle of Spain fit you personally.
Some of the pitfalls of retiring in Spain are:
Convinced that Spain is the place for you to retire? The good news is that anyone who meets certain criteria can choose to retire in Spain.
European citizens are free to live and work anywhere in the EU and can easily retire in Spain. As a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to get the appropriate visa, have the right resident permit, and meet the minimum requirements to retire in Spain.
Yes, you can retire in Spain after Brexit. In fact, more than 168,000 Brits received their pension in Spain in 2020! However, British citizens who wish to move to Spain need to follow the same process as any other non-EU citizen.
Yes. Retirement in Spain for US citizens looks the same as for other non-EU nationals, including Brits.
The requirements to retire in Spain are simple and easy to follow. Here’re the requirements you’ll need to meet:
Thanks to Spain’s relatively low prices and high quality of living, retiring in Spain won’t break the bank.
You can retire comfortably in Spain at about €20,000 – €25,000 a year.
But keep in mind that if you’re from a non-EU country, you need to make at least €27,793 of passive income a year to get a Spanish retirement visa and move to Spain.
The Spain non-lucrative visa (also known as a Residence Visa or visado residencia) is the most popular visa among non-EU citizens who wish to retire in Spain. Because you’re not allowed to work with this type of visa, the main requirement for obtaining the non-lucrative visa in Spain is having sufficient financial means to support yourself and your family without undertaking any type of professional activity.
In 2022, you’re required to have a passive income of at least €2,316 per month (400% IPREM) or €27,793 annually.”
And for each dependent you’d like to bring along, you need to earn an additional sum of €6,948 (100% IPREM) annually.
Income such as pensions, dividends, savings, or other income-generating investments counts as a passive income.
Another popular option for retiring in Spain is the Golden visa. This visa is aimed at high net worth individuals who wish to make an investment of:
You must maintain that investment and meet the same financial requirements as for the non-lucrative visa until you get a permanent residence permit__.
Spanish Golden visa is a pretty straightforward way of getting a residence permit for you and your family, with all the benefits including access to the Spanish job market and hence public healthcare.
Another advantage of Golden visas is the very fast application process. This type of visa gets preferential treatment and you receive your residence permit by fast track.
Finally, if you plan to spend less than 183 days in Spain, you’ll benefit from not taxing your worldwide income. However, if your goal is to obtain Spanish citizenship, you should live in Spain full time.
Now that you know the main requirements for both types of Spanish retirement visas, let’s compare the two:
|Non-lucrative visa||Spain Golden Visa|
|Visa application||around 3 months||around 20 days|
|Passive income requirement||at least €27,793/ year||at least €27,793/ year|
|Investment required?||no||at least €500,000|
|Access to healthcare?||only private||can request public healthcare|
|Stay requirements per year||at least 183 days||1 visit|
|Tax residency required?||yes||no|
|Apply from Spain?||no||yes|
With both types of visas, you get a temporary residence permit for 1 year. Once that period comes to an end, you can renew your permit for another 2 years and then for another 2 years.
When you’ve lived in Spain uninterruptedly for 5 years, you can request a permanent residence permit. That means you no longer have to meet the requirements for your visa.
After living for 5 years with a permanent residency, you can request Spanish citizenship through naturalisation.
The current retirement age in Spain is 66 years and 2 months.”
If you want to earn a Spanish pension as a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to have contributed to Spain’s social security for at least 15 years.
To access your foreign pension, make sure that before moving to Spain, you contact your pension provider about transferring your pension to Spain. That’s possible for all the EU/EFTA citizens, British and US nationals, as well as residents of non-EU countries that have a pension treaty with Spain.
Your pension in Spain will be taxed as general income at a progressive rate between 8-40%.”
If you can’t transfer your pension to Spain, you’ll have to rely on a private pension, occupational pension, or personal savings. It’s best to seek professional advice as there might be some tax implications to consider.
When choosing a Spanish city to retire in, you should consider the lifestyle you’d like to have. Do you enjoy going to museums and visiting concerts? Or would you rather spend your day on the beach and take trips to the nearby mountains? Maybe a combination of both?
Let’s see what the most popular places to retire in Spain offer!
Retiring in Valencia is surely a good option if you’re looking for comfort, an urban feel and proximity to the beach. On the other hand, the weather can get too hot in summer.
Transport links in Málaga are very efficient, the winters are some of the warmest in Europe and the cost of living is surprisingly low. That said, we highly recommend retiring in Málaga if you’re looking for a quieter place popular among other expat pensioners.
Retiring in Javea you’ll have many fellow expats to mingle with, a great marina for afternoon walks and plenty of things to do. But prepare for the high costs of real estate and having to own a car to get to the nearby cities.
Retiring in Madrid means having access to a well-developed public transportation system and plenty of cultural events. On the downside, Madrid has no shores, the winters can get pretty cold, and it’s more expensive than most of the other Spanish cities.
However, retiring in Barcelona might be hectic if you live close to the centre. You’d also need to get some basics of the Catalan language to be able to read the signs and information boards. And finally, the prices in Barcelona are on the higher side compared to the rest of Spain.
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