Spain in a nutshell for British retirees

Spain in a nutshell for British retirees

Spain in a nutshell for British retirees

Spain is still one of the most attractive destinations for retirees, in spite of possible post-Brexit problems as regards healthcare and pension payments.

Need to knows for potential British expats planning to settle in the country include the cost of living and, crucially, the standard and cost of healthcare once the European Health Card is no longer available, with expat forums the best places to get the lowdown on both these issues.

The Spanish climate is getting hotter during the summer months, but the 320 days of sunshine along the southern coastline still come as standard, whatever the season. In the Sierras, winters are bright but colder than on the coast, and rainfall in the northern region is enough to keep the countryside and hills green and verdant. Dull, dreary, drizzly days are rare, a bonus for Brits. Life in Spain is an outdoor pursuit for most of the year in many of Spain’s regions, and its slower pace is a refreshing change from the frustrations of living in Northern Europe and the UK.

Leisure opportunities including riding, golfing, beachcombing and hiking give fitness as a bonus to enjoyable days out, and the health-boosting olive-oil and vegetable-rich Spanish diet helps activities and improves the health of retirees. Property prices are still affordable compared to the UK and Northern Europe, whether buying or renting is the goal, and are expected to rise over the next few years, giving capital investment bonuses to expats. Generally speaking, the Spanish welcome the Brits, and not just for their contribution to the local economy. Having a few sentences in Spanish will help new arrivals, but continuing studying until a degree of fluency is reached will make finding long-term Spanish friends far easier.

Spanish life centres on the family, with four or five generations sitting together enjoying a meal a common sight in local restaurants. Kids playing in the streets close to midnight may shock a few new arrivals, but children’s laughter makes up for a raft of cultural differences. Spain isn’t just tourist-heavy beach resorts, with its many other faces including mountain villages and towns, southern white-painted pueblos complete with birdsong and the sound of goat bells, and the magnificent historic cities with their monumental traditional architecture, UNESCO world heritage sites and futuristic ultra-modern buildings. Transportation is inexpensive and efficient, roads are usually toll-free and the rail and bus network is efficient. Retirees will, no doubt, have their own reasons for choosing Spain over the UK, but they’ll not be regretting their decisions any time soon.

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