You’re approaching retirement and probably looking forward to relaxing in the sun after years of dedicating yourself to supporting a family. But are you really aware of what you are letting yourself in for?
Many Brits are anxious to find warmer, more exciting and less heavily taxed places to live in retirement; even those who aren’t willing to emigrate expect to be able to travel. Whether it’s a decision made based on great holiday experiences, disillusionment with the UK or simply a whim, there are many factors to consider before deciding the grass is greener elsewhere.
As it goes, Alicante is one of the most popular Spanish locations for living abroad. The Alicante economy relies on both tourism from its Costa Blanca beaches and the construction boom caused by demand for second homes and holiday homes. In fact, the percentage of Alicante’s foreign population is relatively high; a combination of both immigrants from destinations such as Argentina, Ecuador and Colombia and, in addition, retired citizens from Northern Europe that are officially still residents of their own countries.
The British population in Alicante is the largest group of foreign nationals. With clubs and activities advertised and run in English, there are already lots of retired expatriates living similar lives to those they would have led in the UK. And for those who speak Spanish, every area in Spain provides some leisure and recreational facilities on offer for pensioners.
The 200 kilometres of Costa Blanca coastline belonging to the province of Alicante in Spain are an understandable pull when choosing a location to retire abroad. Its mild climate and clean beaches are more than sufficient to attract those who plan to escape the coldness of the UK. But before jumping on that plane, it’s important to consider the reality of living abroad while elderly.
It is a legal requirement to have a Community Residence Card (Tarjeta de Residente Comunitario) if you intend to live in Spain; this entitles you to equal treatment with Spanish citizens. Indeed, many doctors and nurses in Spain speak English, while most hospitals and clinics in tourist areas provide interpreters, though you may have to pay for this service yourself.
Of course, the main concerns experienced by many about moving abroad include homesickness and the loss of family and friends. However, with frequent flights to Alicante being available throughout Europe from the UK, this has helped lead to increased international mobility. Therefore, people can enjoy holidays abroad, whilst retired expats are not as cut-off from family and friends in the UK as they once may have been.
Overall, it’s important to weigh up the benefits of beautiful Alicante against the realities of living and retiring abroad before taking the plunge and buying your retirement property abroad. However, once this decision has been made, you can be sure that you will be spending plenty of your time, retiring in the sun.
The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author and is intended purely for information and interest purposes only. It should not be used to make any decisions or take any actions. Any links are included for information purposes only.