Spain is easily, and consistently, the top choice of destination for Britons retiring abroad and if you plan to join them then you have probably already built have a vision of what your ideal new Spanish home will look like. However, often our views can be influenced by the experiences we have in our brief summer holiday or by what we read and see in the media, without really thinking clearly about some of the key things that might really matter to us.
Here are 5 things you might want to consider in helping you find that idyllic retirement dream:
- Rural or urban
Spain offers a rich variety of choices from buzzing metropolitan cities to seasonal coastal beach resorts and traditional, rural villages; so it’s important to think carefully about which might be right for you. Whilst the romanticism of ‘getting away from it all’ in a countryside location might seem attractive and idyllic, the reality of day-to-day living without quick and easy access to amenities and a large surrounding community can lead to feelings of isolation. Alternatively, spending endless days on a magnificent beach might be the vision you have dreamed of, but the endless tourism of the summer months might become frustrating day after day when everywhere is busy, crowded, and noisy.
- Type of property
City apartment, villa with pool, new build resort property, traditional Spanish townhouse or coastal cottage? What type of property would suit you best? This might partly depend on the location you want to be in, whether you want city living or beach life, a golf resort or a Spanish village. However, you might also want to consider things like indoor living space, outdoor facilities, and property maintenance and upkeep costs in your decision-making.
- Expat community or mixing with the locals
Do you want to be mixing and mingling with the locals or settled in a community amongst other British retirees? Over the years, some areas of Spain have developed concentrations of expats along with bars, English food restaurants and expat clubs and societies which make it feel like a home from home, as well as allowing for easier integration. On the other hand, fully immersing yourself in your newly adopted homeland amongst the locals and embracing the Spanish culture and way of life, as well as mastering the language, might be more appealing.
It’s also important to consider what your chosen location might be like in the winter ‘off season’. Larger cities will be less affected by the winter season with facilities and amenities open and busy throughout; lively coastal resorts and cities will lose the ‘buzz’ of the tourist season with many restaurants and bars closing and holiday homes shut up; whilst in inland areas, as the temperatures drop, many people retreat behind closed doors for much of the winter period. Most areas will have a very different feel about them during the winter months.
- Lifestyle and day to day living
How do you plan to spend your days? Will you still be doing some part-time or consultancy work and need good internet access and other communications or do you plan to spend days on the golf course mixed with long, lazy lunches? Perhaps you want to stay active and get out exploring the walking trails and great historical towns and cities or maybe you prefer to stay closer to the coast, enjoying sailing and fishing around the fabulous coastline? You might need factor in all of these thoughts both in the location that you choose and the finances that you will need to see you through your retirement years.
Whatever your vision Spain can offer everything you have dreamed of and more besides, so enjoy the opportunity to embrace the familiar and the new, in equal measure!