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Shall I stay or shall I go?

Here we are in soggy Tunbridge Wells, in a house we hate, but still we can't quite make the decision to leave. This is the story of why we are in this position, and hopefully how eventually we'll change life for the better. Maybe it will ring a few bells with some of you!

Stuck in the middle with you....
Saturday, February 18, 2017 @ 5:21 PM

...So here's the thing........... I'm 60 years old, though, I'm told I look and behave younger, (about 59!), married for 30 years with two grown-up Sons.

We live in a house we hate, having 'downsized' from our large family home of 30 years last year.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, - sensible, but we hate semi-detached suburbia. It's not us at all.

There's Me & Husband here, & our youngest Son (24). - Elder Son is married with 2.5 kids, soon to be 3, and lives in nearby Sevenoaks.

We are very lucky, and I do count my blessings, but the everyday pressure of trying to earn money and live in the cold and damp when we are acutely aware that today we are the youngest we will ever be again, is really eating away at our contentment.

My Husband and I are both self-employed, always have been, both completely unemployable. He repairs and installs garage doors, (thrilling eh?) and I am a dealer in ladies fashions and accessories ancient and modern. Our youngest Son has just returned home from Australia like a prodigal, and now has to start his life all over again.

The thing is.... Since I was 9 years old when I went to my Sister's new apartment in Estepona fifty years ago I have loved the place. My parents loved it too and eventually they bought a flat right on the seafront which we went to a couple of times a year.

After a long time away in my early 20's, I bought a holiday on the credit card for my family to Nerja and made my Husband drive me the two hours plus to visit Estepona. It felt like coming home, and I manged to persuade and cajol him into buying our own place there. Just a one bed apartment, in the port but it was bliss!

This is the story of what happened next, and what we'd like to happen next, and whether or not we'll ever do it.

I'm sure there are loads of us out there trying to work up the courage and the wherewithall to move to Spain. People, who like me devour all the 'escape to the sun' programmes, and all the ex-pat books and blogs. Living the life through their experiences without actually changing anything.

I hope I'll do it, but it's scary, watch this space.

Like 5


scubydoo said:
Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 8:16 AM

Sounds like you probably won't but you will have missed out on a wonderfull relaxed life in lovely country!

wigmore said:
Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 8:20 AM

I have lived in spain on and off for 45 years. I live in a very small village of Granada. my son lives with me since I lost my husband. I love it. it is a very small, not ver pretty villlage, but very friendly, and we are surrounded by lovely olive groves. I would never go back to the UK I used to live in Fuengirola, and I go there often to see all my friends, but it is so expensive now. Inland is so much cheaper
A large whisky - 1.50. A large vino 1.20
Do it!!

Cottonfamily said:
Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 9:31 AM

We bought a holiday home near Torrevieja last year. Like you, we want to make the big move out to Spain, and both of us are also self-employed. However, in our case our youngest daughter still has a couple of years of school, then 2 more years of statutory higher education. Then maybe she'll want to go to university like her older sister.
That's at least 4, and possibly 7 years before she'll be independent!
We spend all our days thinking about our little place in Spain and wishing we were there instead of here. If only we could think of a way of making enough money to live on in Spain (without actually 'working' of course!) we'd be out like a shot. Wouldn't we????

anthomo16 said:
Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 10:42 AM

Like you we too bought a place in the sun (Puerto Banus) 12 years ago I was 63 and still working loved my job as it was in the airline industry so I could travel the world but I never did after buying the apartment (with a hefty mortgage) my husband and I loved our apartment. Now we have some problems with squatters however once this has been dealt with we are going to sell the apartment and buy another mortgage free up in the Orihuela area. I want to live there permanently even with my health problems as the warmth is so so good, my husband doesn't want to stay permanently but will visit often. I don't know,like anybody, how long I have left but I want to spend it in Spain. I love the way of life I love trying to speak spanish (I aim to learn much more) and I plan to live on my little pension. So when your pensions are due please do go and try it you will regret it ifyou don't. You are in fashion well the spanish love fashion so take your business with you andit sounds like your husband is a handy man? if so he can find work yes you will need to take enough money with you to carry you through until your businesses start to flourish but do it you only have one life.

robertt8696 said:
Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 3:25 PM

anthamo16 pretty much sums it up, you need work at least till your pension is due. I would think your husbands garage door experiences would translate into building devices such as electronic gates and access equipment , so i would think there would be quite a demand for his skills. Also as said, i think you could find plenty for your clothes experience, either maybe a small shop, or even working for a retailer. Whats stopping you? Go for it!

jsevanbergen said:
Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 5:20 PM

Thanks for your feedback folks. I'm pretty sure that I will be able to make a bit of money in Spain, as you say there is always a market for fashion. As for my Husband, he's feeling his age now, already in quite a lot of pain. Manual workers often find they can't working much past 65 as things wear out, something politicians don't consider when raising the retirement age.
He will want to keep busy doing something though, if he doesn't we'll both go mad!

Margaret123 said:
Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 11:48 PM

Great stuff. It's scary taking the leap in the dark !
Our safety net is my daughter who lives in Madrid. It's where to go on the south of Spain that is the stumbling block for us at the minute.

jsevanbergen said:
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 @ 12:33 AM

I think you need to have a good look around. Different areas have different personalities, just like in the UK.
I have loved Estepona since I was a child, so it was a no-brainer for me, but my Sister who initially introduced me to the place, now lives in Murcia and has done for over 20 years.
At least you will have a pension if you move out and it will go a lot further than in the UK. We have no savings and no pension just assets, which is great, but you can't spend a brick. The only reasonable way we could move out before we reach 67 and get a state pension would be if we were to let our UK home, but I would need somewhere to go when I went back to England to work. It's a catch 22.

Margaret123 said:
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 @ 7:37 PM

Thank you Joanna. Yes we will have our state pensions and some savings too if we have to dip in to for emergencies.
I have been looking at caravans and lodges as well around the Torreviecha area.

Margaret123 said:
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 @ 7:37 PM

Thank you Joanna. Yes we will have our state pensions and some savings too if we have to dip in to for emergencies.
I have been looking at caravans and lodges as well around the Torreviecha area.

sue62rsh said:
Friday, March 3, 2017 @ 9:51 AM

We moved to just outside Torrevieja 2 years ago and have never regretted it, we love the lifestyle and food and drink is so much cheaper. my husband has retired but I still work you dont earn anywhere near as much as I would in the UK but you dont need to. You feel so much healthier as you live your life outdoors and are not tied to the TV like in the UK. I would always say if you can afford it do it, you wont regret it
Sue x

PablodeRonda said:
Saturday, January 14, 2023 @ 11:42 PM

Just do it, is my advice. I'm in my 15th year living in the Ronda (Málaga) area, and I don't regret it in the slightest. I'm in my early 70s now yet still pretty active, eg I've just finished doing up a house. My social life is much better than it would be in the UK.
I like both Estepona and Nerja but Ronda is the place for me.

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