living and working in spain

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19 May 2011 00:00 by kerry44 Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Hi i am interested in moving to spain,Im 44 and a single mother of a thirteen year old boy.I worked in the costa del sol 20 years ago and benidorm when i was 18 ,iv always loved spain and always felt i belong there.I would like to still follow my dream so whats the best way to go about this.if anyone could help

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19 May 2011 21:07 by wend691 Star rating in Lincoln & Rojales (C.... 179 posts Send private message

Hi Kerry

There are a number of threads on this site where others have asked similar / the same question as yourself, and I would suggest you check them out. The offers of advice are very helpful and you will glean some useful insight into the problems people are facing and the many things people need to consider if they need to work, have a family etc etc were they to relocate to Spain.

There are a number of challenges facing people who are living in Spain and are at the point in their lives that they are not in a financial position to just retire in Spain's sunny climes. Many are unfortunately having to return to UK or other home country due to the dire economic climate and lack of sustainable / consistent employment. For you, an additional and IMHO most crucial of all aspect to consider very carefully is your son's education.  A move at this time when he will soon be studying towards his GCSEs may not be the best option (that is obviously for you and your son to decide). What does he think about a move?Im not in a position to comment on education in Spain, but others will, Im sure.

Not disregarding the above, key things to consider should include:

- will you have sufficient funds to live for at least 2 years in Spain should you not be successful with employment?

- do you have an idea on where in Spain you would like to relocate to?? If not, research on the website (alot!!)

- have a few hols in the sun, hire a car and travel / explore the country as part of a research plan. Spain is a large county and whilst you have obviously seen some of it (CdS and CB), there are many other parts of the country that may be just up your street.

- what contingencies will you put in place if your dreams turn into a nightmare?

- what about timescales? perhaps it would be better to keep a close eye on the Spanish economy and when (I say WHEN rather than IF as Im a glass half full type of girl!!) the economy is showing strong signs of improvement, revisit your dreams / goals

Good luck with your dream ... I genuinely hope it becomes a reality (whenever that may be)




This message was last edited by wend691 on 19/05/2011.

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19 May 2011 21:28 by campana Star rating in Marbella. 474 posts Send private message

campana´s avatar

Totally agree with your excellent advice, Wend.

And I would also add that in any country there is more demand for certain professions than for others. 

Do a lot of homework, Kerry, and it will pay off. 




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19 May 2011 21:39 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

It's a crazy time to move to Spain In my opinion, especially with a 13 year old child.  Unemployment is 21.3% in Spain, and in Malaga province (Costa del Sol), so you have got pretty much zero chance of getting a job, unless you know someone.

You couldn't send a 13 year old to a Spanish school unless he was fluent in Spanish.  Your only option would be a private school, which can be expensive.

Why not leave it another 5 years, and see if the Spanish economy is any better then...?  Your boy will have finished school by then as well.



Read my blog: Spain Money Saving Tips and Offers 

Use TransferWise to send money abroad. A lot cheaper than the bank and other online currency exchanges!.



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20 May 2011 01:04 by Bigwilly Star rating in Spain of course. 118 posts Send private message

I agree its a crazy time but life is about living and doing what you feel and takign chances often brings big rewards.

Opportunities are hard to come by unless you want to move to costa del sol and have some skills that can be used in gibraltar.

They are always looking for call center people in gib but they dont pay so well these days and the exchange rate has made it not so nice to work in gib and live in spain on a lower wage.

Rents are at an all time low in the Manila area which is the commuter belt to gib so its is balanced out though

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20 May 2011 13:36 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

My original post didn't make sense.  What I meant to say was

"Unemployment is 21.3% in Spain, and in Malaga province (Costa del Sol) it is 33%, so you have got pretty much zero chance of getting a job, unless you know someone."


Read my blog: Spain Money Saving Tips and Offers 

Use TransferWise to send money abroad. A lot cheaper than the bank and other online currency exchanges!.



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20 May 2011 13:41 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message


Yes, I agree that there are opportunities in Gibraltar.  I actually work there and live in Manilva.  I'm on a pretty decent UK equivalent IT salary.  However, I wouldn't fancy trying to live on £15K doing a call centre job, especially with a child.


Read my blog: Spain Money Saving Tips and Offers 

Use TransferWise to send money abroad. A lot cheaper than the bank and other online currency exchanges!.



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09 Sep 2011 11:42 by niclavida Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

Hi Kerry,
Almost everyone I know who has been working here over the last few years since 2007 either has gone already or wants to go back, mainly due to financial situation, even some Dutch I know who speak both fluent spanish and english have found it hard to secure continous employment. I think this is the worst time ever to move to Spain, however I completely understand that you have strong feelings for the place. Perhaps instead you could create some links here.   One idea is to get an online intercambio, often this way, you get invited to see them and vice versa. I have friend who knows a family in Seville and she visits as many times per year as she can, often staying with this Spanish family.

t can be very isolating living here so if you do decided to come, make sure you do lots and lots of research. I believe there is still plenty of money circulating around the Puerto Banus area. I would not fancy that kind of place myself at all but guaranteed to be around Brits, if that is what you wants, and perhaps chance of a job depending on what you have to offer.

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12 Feb 2012 09:38 by JeanieP Star rating in Manchester. 1 posts Send private message

Hi Kerry

We too are planning to move to Spain. We are hoping to work part-time, as some kind of home help, we have experience / NVQ. We know finding work will not be easy. Just wondered how you went on? Have you made the move? Is it going well?

Good luck with whatever path you chose


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13 Feb 2012 18:47 by MizzFixit Star rating in Sunny Marbs. 46 posts Send private message

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MizzFixit´s avatar

 I've lived and worked in Spain for 22 years and arrived as a single girl with 2 suitcases.  I've never looked back BUT........  be warned and be prepared.  Making friends here is not easy, although you have the advantage of having a child which means that you will have contact with other mothers.  Learn spanish and fast.  It really depends on whereabouts you want to live, and admittedly if it's Benidorm, there'll be more English speakers around, but why would you want to live in a foreign country and not learn the language?  It may open up opportunities and it will make life easier.  Do not come if you NEED to work, or at least come with some significant savings and be prepared to lose them all and go back to UK if necessary.  

I have a friend, also a single mum, who returned to the UK with her 14 year old son, after trying to survive here for 4 years.  She's now struggling even more in the UK.............

There is no formula to moving out to Spain, other than be brave and be smart.  It could be the best decision you've ever made - it was for me!  :)


I organise, you relax

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13 Feb 2012 22:15 by ojosazul88 Star rating. 171 posts Send private message

 Interesting replies here. It seems a lot of people are talking about a very small part of Spain to Kerry, ie Costa del Sol and Benidorm. Although she mentioned she used to live in these parts years ago, she also refers to the whole of Spain as she says "ive always loved Spain". Therefore why not think out of the box and maybe look at other regions of Spain to live in that are not the usual expat colonies as you love Spain. Yes, things are not economically good in Spain, Austerity has taken its toll here but i believe the country will pull through. Of course it will be hard, learning Spanish, new environment, meeting new genuine friends etc but if you really believe in your passion it will work. Perhaps look  at work opportunities online or teaching english in certain areas is still in demand due to the young Spanish professionals realising English is beneficial for their careers or to find work abroad. So why not consider, Seville, Bibao, San Sebastian, or numerous others? All great places and just think you could take advantage of being in the minority as a native English speaker!


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18 Feb 2012 18:00 by Foxilady Star rating in surrey. 277 posts Send private message

Foxilady´s avatar

Kerry follow  your bliss, but have a escape plan.  Dreams are important. 


If I shine too brightly, then put your sunglasses on oy vey

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19 Feb 2012 14:49 by evento Star rating. 33 posts Send private message

 Hi Kerry,

I am a great believer in following your dreams, but Spain right now has a huge amount of problems.

I moved to the Canary Islands 20 yrs ago and never had to look for a Job, I was always offered 

something and was very happy living and working here. All that changed in 2009, when I lost my

Job that I had been doing for 7 yrs. I had always worked so had full entilment to "El paro" for 2 yrs.

Since then I have only had 1, 6 month Contract and am once again unemployed. I am in the postion

that my Spanish Parnter is working and my 10 yr old daughter is in a good Public school, so we are getting 

by. I was offered a job here in a call center, part-time and was offered 400 euros, which I could not believe

as I had been earning a lot more than that 10 yrs ago when my daughter was a baby. The new "Reforma Laboral"

has made the situation even more complicated. Think about it carefully and AS some-one else said, if you can 

obtain a decent level of Spanish and then offer English Classes, in an area in Spain where there is demand.

Good luck and let us know how you get on. Spain is a lovely country and I have made my life here but it is very

difficult at the moment !!

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19 Feb 2012 18:51 by maddiemack Star rating in Grantham, Lincolnshi.... 194 posts Send private message

Evento....which Canary Island do you live on?  We are including the Canary Islands in our search for a place to spend part of the year when we are fully retired in a couple of years.  Would you say the economic sutuation is better or worse in the Canaries?  My feelings are that, even if things are bad in the Canaries, the year-round sunshine must add some sort of feel-good factor?


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19 Feb 2012 23:09 by MizzFixit Star rating in Sunny Marbs. 46 posts Send private message

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MizzFixit´s avatar

 I spent 13 years living and working in Gran Canaria before coming to the mainland.  My best friend there is also about to move here also with her husband.  Things in the Canaries are no easier than on the Mainland.  If you're just looking to spend your winters there, then of course the warmth and sunshine helps (don't forget though, that the sunny days are alot shorter in winter).  BUT they are islands - small and restricted.  I am in exactly the same position as Evento and always had a job until September 2010 when I was made redundant.  Fortunately, I've been able to set up business on my own thanks to my years of experience here and language skills.

All that said, I'm not sure that anywhere in Europe is particularly healty economically at the moment, and I'd much rather be here than anywhere else.  


I organise, you relax

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20 Feb 2012 13:24 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

The Canary Islands has one of the unemployment rates in Spain.  It's around 30% at the moment, so one of the hardest hit regions of Spain.


Read my blog: Spain Money Saving Tips and Offers 

Use TransferWise to send money abroad. A lot cheaper than the bank and other online currency exchanges!.



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