Coming Soon, Some Questions Perhaps You Might Answer?

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02 Mar 2016 3:31 AM by eyeoncarl Star rating. 3 posts Send private message


I'm 52 and in receipt of a couple of Tax Free Army Pensions so am making the move to Spain in September 2017.

I've already decided not to take my car given the associated issues with registration etc and am effectively just walking out of UK, booking into a hotel for a month and finding somewhere to rent for the winter.  I'm aware of the NIE etc

Questions then...

I won't need to work so I'm looking for somewhere that has an ex-pat community that isn't too raucous... Any ideas?

An area where I can socialise with others, make friends, start a new life?

What are the best options for private Healthcare insurance (and what use is the E111) and will I require separate dental or inclusive?

How best to pay Spanish Direct Debits and get money from UK to Spain on a monthly basis?

If anyone would like to share their thoughts, I'd appreciate your responses, so Thanks

My name's Carl... and I'm coming soon

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02 Mar 2016 8:52 AM by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1836 posts Send private message

Hi Carl.

Most Spanish communities are very noisy and busy in the summer months due to private holiday letting. Very quiet the rest of the year. They are generally mostly the same but the more expensive the price the better the quality of life.

If you want to socialise you will need to choose busy expat urban developments close to the sea or golf resorts if you play golf.

The E111 no longer exists it is now the EMIC a plastic card which allows emergency cover for visitors only, not residents. The NHS at Newcastle provide them. Private medical is expensive of course. Sanitas in my view is one of the best. None will cover pre-existing conditions or cover after 65 years.

You will need to open a Spanish bank account and have your pensions transferred direct from the UK in Euros. Government pensions attract the best rate. Just give your pension provider the IBAN number.

Good luck, rent for a minimum of 6 months, try different regions and beware that Brexit may change everyones life in Spain if the UK votes to leave.

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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02 Mar 2016 10:54 AM by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4556 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Strangely sweeping comment about "Most Spanish communities"? I assume this refers to large purpose built urbanisations? There are plenty of "real" villages, towns and even cities, including in the major tourist areas, that are perfectly good places to live year-round. They are most definitley NOT all the same. Depending on the region of Spain, the language isn't even necessarily the same.

Unless you can give any more specific requirements, I would also suggest you spend that first month traveling around a bit until you find a place you like and feel you could settle in. Everyone has different tastes, so it's not really possible to recommend any one place or even area without knowing you!

The EHIC covers you for emergency health care. Can't advise on provate cover, other than to shop around.

Direct transfer to a Spanish bank account definitely the easiest and best way to receive your pensions here.



"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




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02 Mar 2016 12:33 PM by eyeoncarl Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Thank you both for your comments so far, it's good to get differing opinions on the wider perspective


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02 Mar 2016 1:11 PM by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 798 posts Send private message

Contrary to the opinions of many on this forum most Brit expats living in Spain do not live on the purpose built urbanisations. Be it for golf or otherwise.

Such places are more for the 2nd home owner. Busy only for 6 months of the year when properties are rented out to all and sundry. Certainly not ideal for finding " karma" let alone community spirit.

As Roberto wrote there are many expat communities throughout Spain.  Even I have been amazed when after traversing a mountainous road , in deepest Spain, to find villages taken over by Brits and other nationalities.

Reading the Costa freebie newspapers that you can get online will give you a good idea of what areas may initially be of interest to you.



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02 Mar 2016 1:46 PM by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1836 posts Send private message

The OP wrote he was looking for an expat community where he 'could socialise and make new friends'. He may struggle to do that in Spanish communities out in the boomies.

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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02 Mar 2016 2:24 PM by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1234 posts Send private message

The OP is ex forces so will have had a variety of accommodation throughout his service time, as he is proposing to rent he doesn't have to get it right first time, and won't be phased if it doesn't come up to scratch. I've never got the golf complex facination, I know lots of people who play golf without living on a golf course, however I'm with Mark Twain where golf is concerned. My choice would be in or on the edge of a village with shops, bars, cafes etc, along with good transport links as he will be visiting a lot of places in his search for a permanent home, good luck to him.


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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02 Mar 2016 2:28 PM by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 798 posts Send private message

Why the constant tunnel vision that the mention of a community = an urbanisation. Doesn't in UK , so why in Spain.

It may come as a shock but lots of Brits will be found in living, permanently, in villages and towns all over Spain and as I have previously mentioned  the numerous animal charities, all of whom advertise in the freebie papers, are constantly organising brilliant evenings , from Quiz nights to evenings with professional entertainers.

Everyone is welcome and welcomed. Thus not only is it as easy, or easier, to Integrate BUT there is less likelihood of falling out with other retired expats because we are not crowded together. 

Amazingly the latter being the easiest thing of all.........


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02 Mar 2016 5:22 PM by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4556 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

I don't equate community with urbanization, but the comment about communities being very noisy and busy in the summer months & very quiet the rest of the year led me to presume (rightly or wrongly) that the poster was referring to urbs.

Whilst I agree that it is very difficult to "socialise & make new friends" amongst Spaniards, it does seem to be true that expats are ubiquitous throughout Spain, and not just on the Costas or on the urbs. The recent UK TV series about expats making a new life for themselves in the sun featured a couple opening a bar and social centre in the middle of the Almeria desert. I couldn't for the life of me imagine who they expected to come through the doors in a place that only has running water three days a week (they said!), but on opening night they had 150 mostly British punters. (Maybe they were bussed in by the TV production company, who knows?!) When I first moved to Spain I lived and worked in the old town of Palma de Mallorca - not your typical expat bargain loving Brit scene. However, it was a surprisingly cosmopolitan & multinational community.

So to go back the OP's question of "where?", there's no simple answer. Do you want village/town/city? country/coast/mountains? Free of the usual constraints of financial or family matters, I'd buy a campervan and just drift until I find my Nirvana!



"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




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02 Mar 2016 6:37 PM by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 798 posts Send private message

My posting wasn't aimed at you Roberto but those who constantly refer to all types of purpose built developments as being the only communities.

Personally think they are missing out on what Spain is really like....not to be confused with the statement  " real Spain".....which is actually everywhere.

Piedro Amarillo is near Albox. For about 30 + miles radius the area has been developed with the Brits in mind, who came here in their droves, buying individual inexpensive houses on small plots . Unfortunately many of the new builds have yet to be legalised !  But, like Camposol, they still seem to be saleable.

So don't believe everything you see on these programmes. It is very easy in this part of Spain to make it look deserted but look over your shoulder and the opposite is the truth with rows of houses everywhere. Totally  overrun with expats and subsequent Brit businesses and bars to keep them all happy campers. So definately not difficult to meets ones fellow countryman in Spain these days.

In fact from Mojacar inland to Baza down to Antas the area is known, by our Spanish neighbours as " little Britain" and know this is how many areas of Spain are now described by the indigenous folk.



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02 Mar 2016 8:16 PM by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4556 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

"...they are missing out on what Spain is really like...."real Spain".....which is actually everywhere"

Couldn't agree more! And as I said, very varied as well, so impossible really to make specific recommendations. There's no "one size fits all" when it comes to suitable places to live.

I last passed through that area more than 15 years ago, and it was utterly desolate. I doubt there were 150 Spaniards living in the whole region, but the bar at "Yellowstone" attracted that many expats! Incredible. I guess when everyone wanted a slice of the boom, if it was cheap enough, they came. Never mind it's a freakin' desert, where the "indigenous" folk had resisted settling for thousands of years!! And I love the comparisons these TV programs make - all the land and property they bought for tuppence here would have cost them so many ££££s "back home". Yeah, right. But last time I checked, Whitby wasn't in the wild wild west! It's like comparing Manhattan property prices to those in Arizona.




"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




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03 Mar 2016 8:08 PM by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9380 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Welcome to Spain Carl!


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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16 Sep 2018 1:01 PM by miguelv14 Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Spain is a beautiful country to live in, you shouldnt have problems adapting.

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