Is The Spanish Dream Dead?

Published on 06/04/2010 in Relocating to Spain

Forums are generally great if you want to see a distorted picture of whatever subjects they cover.  They are a real bonus for people to go to when they need help when things go wrong.  When people are unhappy they complain and tell others about it.  That's the way it is and the Internet is a fantastic tool for venting ones anger.
 
Living in SpainThe Eye on Spain forums are no different.  But why don't we have more "fun" threads being started about what's good and makes us happy about Spain?
 
Is it that the Spanish dream is now history?
 
I am reading a great book at the moment by Paul McKenna titled "I Can Make You Rich".  Now, don't laugh.  This book was lent to me by a friend as I had finished reading all my other books.  To be honest, I thought it was going to be a load of old waffle with Paul trying to hypnotise me with his words.  But that's not the case.
 
After the first couple of pages I was hooked.  I don't personally have any aspirations to be particularly rich, although if it happens I won't complain.  But the essence of the book is about the fact that many of us already lead "rich" lives but we just don't always realise it or appreciate it.
 
Although money can make your life easier in removing that related stress, money certainly can't buy you everything.
 
If you lost your sight today no amount of money would bring it back.
 
If you lost ability to move today no amount of money would bring it back.
 
If you lost a family member today no amount of money would bring that person back.
 
So where am I going with this?
 
When we moved over to Spain nearly six years ago, we came with very little money and suffered very badly because of it.  We therefore always advise people now to make sure they have plenty of money in the bank if they plan on moving here, or anywhere else for that matter.
 
I was 30 when we moved here but today things have changed considerably and for young people it can be very tough to make a living out here.  Young people really do need a lot of money if they want to work for themselves and set up a business here.  They will also have to work incredibly hard and master all aspects of running a business, selling, marketing, etc.
 
But for these people, Spain isn't so much a dream as an opportunity.  An opportunity for their lives to take a different path than it would have if they had stayed put.  It's a tough opportunity but an opportunity none the less.
 
The Spanish dream belongs to those who have, or are about to, head into retirement.

 
For this older generation (hope I'm being PC enough with this!) of people, the Spanish dream can be, and still is, very much alive.  They have worked hard all their lives, saving up and dreaming of a retirement in the sun, relaxed and happy in a new environment.
 
And why not.  You get one life and you have to live it as best you can.
 
For every negative story that comes up about Spain you will find another hundred who are quietly enjoying their part of Spain.  Whether they are living in a very expat area on the coast, or living as the only "guiri" in a village far in the mountains of Jaen, these people are relishing their new lives in Spain.
 
Before I get shot down...
 
Whenever I say anything nice about Spain I get criticised about it.  So this is for those that aren't appreciating what I've written so far.
 
I live in Spain and have experienced the frustrations of living here.  I know, and have helped, thousands of people who have lost money buying properties during the boom time.  For many of these people the dream has turned very sour and who could blame them.  If you've saved up all your life only to lose all that money buying the wrong property, it would shatter anyone's dream.
 
Also, in our recent poll, 73% of respondents voted that Spain isn't that cheap a place to live anymore and in a separate poll 70% believe that the property market will continue to decline for the foreseeable future.
 
Should all of this put you off of your Spanish dream?
 
NO!  You have one life and you can make it as rich as you want it to be.
 
Things have changed considerably in Spain over the past 2 or 3 years but the essence of the country and its people is very much still alive.  The Spanish dream no longer means that you have to buy your own property here.  Renting long term is very cheap now so why buy?  It isn't as cheap as it was but you don't have to eat out every week.  Throw up a quick barbecue on the terrace instead and just relax.
 
As Paul McKenna tells us, we can lead a rich lifestyle without having much money at all.
 
Some very good friends of mine are estate agents and, as with all estate agents here at the moment, they are having a very tough time of it.  But, after hearing Paul in my head (his writing IS hypnotic!), I made them realise how much richness they have in their lives.  They have a house by the beach!  How many people have a house by the beach?  It's a dream.  As long as they can cover their bills they already have a rich lifestyle.

Focus on the good and not the bad
 
The dream isn't dead.
 
There are thousands of expats living a perfectly happy lives in Spain, they just don't feel the need to shout about it.  The exchange rate may not be making their pensions stretch as far as they would like, but ask them where they would rather be and most will tell you that counting pennies, sat on their terraces on a warm night sipping a glass of wine easily beats their old lives.
 
One Life So Live it!

Written by: Justin Aldridge (EOS)

About the author:

Justin has been running Eye on Spain for over 5 years and recently with his partner Susan launched their popular moving to Spain video guide, Spain Uncut.




Right arrow icon Send to friends   Right arrow icon Printer friendly version    Right arrow icon Submit your own article


Comments:

normansands said:
08 April 2010 @ 13:30

Putting the "sillies" aside together with Justin's commercial interest I suppose the picture tells it all.
It is not of Justin but a couple of rosy coloured pensioners who have sufficient wealth to play the "born again" peasant in the sun. Scratching around in the earth, in touch with nature producing tasty veg' without a care in the world. Why???????
because they are flush with money to sustain them without having to make a living, so dream on wherever your head may be. Enjoy but don't let Justin use you to spin matters whatever books he is currently reading.
Keep getting things in perspective Anne & Karl and Justin back to telling it like it is please.
Regards
Norman




Anne said:
08 April 2010 @ 12:22

"They have a house by the beach! How many people have a house by the beach? " Well not many if the Junta have anything to do with it!
Seriously though, there is definitely something in Justin's message that money is not the essential ingredient to ensure happiness. But neither is it realistic to assume that where injustice exists that you should overlook the need to come together as a people and rigorously strive for reform (or seek compensation for those who have suffered injustice) just because you have achieved that happy state of mind. Happiness is not all about achieving that happy state for one's self but also being mindful and active to assist others in need. Unfortunately to achieve that state of fair play in Spain it's necessary to spread the message and open eyes to injustice as well as all that is right, and since many believe that the injustices occurring right now are sufficiently serious both in number and effect, it's inevitable that the message is perceived as predominantly negative. Work towards eradicating injustice in Spain and perhaps we can all achieve a more happy state of mind.



Peter said:
07 April 2010 @ 16:11

Wouldnt want to be your neighbour Stormin Normin. I thought I'd escaped that kind of attitude coming here but then again that was 19 years ago, but things have changed, not a white van driver are you.


normansands said:
07 April 2010 @ 12:58

I am afraid the "sillies" just get sillier.

OK so I am not yet dead, hip hip hurray, three cheers for that.

Norman Sands says how do you get over a fraud which takes your life savings. I've been here 8 years and just lost my wife to cancer I would have prefered to have lost my savings and everything else for that matter, don't forget money and material things mean nothing against a life. 06/04/2010 14:09:00 Sam
Money is not everything. Health is the major factor in one's life. You just need to start thinking an living in a different way. What would they do with their life savings with them in the cemetry through dying early with ill health. Sure it is not good to have things stolen/lost/taken from you. But worse things happen. 06/04/2010 14:35:00 Colin

Carte Blanche for the thieves then, just don't damage the poor victim's health.

What a barmy attitude.

Thanks for your complete stupidity

Regards

Norman



Claire said:
06 April 2010 @ 22:27

I have owned a property in Spain for 4 years and frequently visit. I am so sad to leave to come back to the UK each visit that my partner and I are going to move over in 2 years. I know the ecomomy is bad in Spain but the UK is probably worse and at least the sun is shining most days!


KP said:
06 April 2010 @ 21:42

Justin, living in Spain has really taken it's toll on you, you have gone grey!!!


Lance said:
06 April 2010 @ 17:34

Great article Justin and you are right. "For every negative story that comes up about Spain you will find another hundred who are quietly enjoying their part of Spain". We have a humble duplex in Spain and visit every 3 months for a couple of weeks; and we ALWAYS return to the UK fully recharged. We lead a simple life when there; long walks, reading, healthy food and red wine and, watching plenty of sunsets. I was told once "how can you be happy with more if you cannot be happy with what you have got" It has held me in good stead. I do sympathize with the folks who have lost their houses or savings to fraud though. I suppose my attitude to Spain would change too if it happened to me.


sue young said:
06 April 2010 @ 17:27

We only want good things to happen so when the rough times come we moan!! I think the worse is when the expat takes advantage of another expat. We just expect better of them.
As far as the Spanish system they were alway corupt we just didn't see it and now the EU is trying to clean things up and it's hurting a lot of people.
We just need to remember why we came to the SUN and remember that things only look better from a distance. Tough out these next few years, the UK is also having tough times.



Jon said:
06 April 2010 @ 15:53

Yes Justin Good one, we all see life in our own little way, Sometimes Good or bad in a lots of ways. I purchased 10 years ago, Never has a day gone by with any regrets, I have a 3 bedroom house by the beach. I have my own pool and car, I have a quality of life that only the sun can bring and as I always say Remember to keep the sun in YA heart. I also have my UK dream after down sizing 5 years ago to a bungalow. I work in the UK and enjoy trips out to the house in Spain each month. I find it hard to believe that so many seem to be so unhappy. Given the choice I would rather be unhappy in the sun. Yes it is great to be mortgage free. But there are always the bills to pay UK or Spain.
I think that people felt safe with there investment in the sun. Those that said we have left the UK behind us now feel that perhaps they never meant the Spanish dream to be forever. If you only get back what you put into the dream you have lost nothing.
Hold on in there, Life will get a lot tougher before it gets better wherever you are. Remember 2 thirds of the world are starving. The rest are at war.
J



Karl Dunn said:
06 April 2010 @ 15:03

Justin, you are right, life is all about an attitude and a positive attitude will certainly help.
We bought a house in Spain ten years ago, the first five years a simple and pleasant existent, mostly amongst peasant farmers.
The last five years I removed my head from the sand and realised that the criminal fraternity, mostly organised from local and regional governments are homing in on foreign expatriates, easily recognised by their rose tinted spectacles.
The expats. with their trusting, positive attitudes have missed the message, it is loud and clear, "get out", or get fleeced.
One hundred thousand homes at risk along the costas, eleven thousand in the Almanzora valley. It is naive to suggust all those people have done something wrong. Secret legal proceeding are taking place, the chances are, any of our names could well be in the courts. The stories and miseries are escalating.
Spain has proved time and time again that trampling over the rights of European citizens is a way of showing their power to the World.
Please do not walk over the elderly bodies of your fellow countrymen and woman being sacrificed in the quest of greed and power by the Spanish authorities.
Remember the nice Spanish are not in charge, the criminals and racketeers are running the show.
So the positive attitude may be to stick your head in the sand and hope for the best, it works for chickens.



Colin said:
06 April 2010 @ 14:35

Money is not everything. Health is the major factor in one's life. You just need to start thinking an living in a different way. What would they do with their life savings with them in the cemetry through dying early with ill health. Sure it is not good to have things stolen/lost/taken from you. But worse things happen.


Sam said:
06 April 2010 @ 14:09

Norman Sands says how do you get over a fraud which takes your life savings. I've been here 8 years and just lost my wife to cancer I would have prefered to have lost my savings and everything else for that matter, don't forget money and material things mean nothing against a life.


bill said:
06 April 2010 @ 13:41

Hola Justin,
I agree with your article,we bought 5 years ago,and things have certainly changed.But we would rather downsize our English home,to keep our dream in Spain.
Jane is right meet it dont moan,health is everything possessions are a bonus.



bill said:
06 April 2010 @ 13:41

Hola Justin,
I agree with your article,we bought 5 years ago,and things have certainly changed.But we would rather downsize our English home,to keep our dream in Spain.
Jane is right meet it dont moan,health is everything possessions are a bonus.



normansands said:
06 April 2010 @ 13:33

Justin you are in denial and spinning to prop things up.

"NO! You have one life and you can make it as rich as you want it to be."

without being sour, bitter and twisted - just exactly how do you recover from having your life savings stolen from you in a fraud???

with the money gone the dream is dead and cannot be denied by those more fortunate and their silly "don't moan" nonsense.

Regards

Norman



Jane said:
06 April 2010 @ 13:08

A rainy day here is far better than a sunny day in the UK.

Your attitude goes with you wherever you go. If you were a "glass half empty" person in the UK, it won't suddenly change when you move here.

Life is a challenge - meet it - don't moan


Only registered users can comment on this article. Please Sign In or Register now.

Comment Using Facebook:




Related articles in this category

14 Top Tips For Moving To Spain

16 Great Tips For People Thinking Of Moving To Spain

A Guilty Pleasure

Adapting to Life in Spain: Be Prepared to be Unprepared

Alicante and the Realities of Retiring to Sunny Spain

Being a British Pensioner in Spain

Can You Afford to Retire to Spain?

Considering Moving To Or Buying Property On The Costa Blanca?

Do People Still Want to Move to Spain?

Find Yourself in Spain

Guide on Flying Pets to Spain

Have Pet Will Travel

Is The Spanish Dream Dead?

Jobs in Spain - What you really should know!

Live in Spain and Work in UK

Living / Retiring In A Mobile Home In Spain: The Pros and Cons

Lonely in Spain

Looking for Work in Spain

Moving To Barcelona With Children

Moving to Spain - Getting Ready

Moving to Spain - Mark's Move To Javea

Moving To Spain Has Never Been Easier

Moving to Spain: Do's and Don'ts

NIE number - What it is and how to get it

Opening a Bank Account in Spain

Padron Municipal - What you need to know

Relocating to Spain – The Settling in Period

Relocation Relocation Relocation - Part 1

Relocation Relocation Relocation - Part 2 (Arriving in Spain)

Relocation Relocation Relocation - Part 3 (Yes, But Why Spain?)

Relocation Tips

Removals: Scania truck or Covered Wagon?

Retiring in Spain in a Retirement Village

Return to the UK? No Chance

Should You Retire Abroad? It's a Massive Decision

Some of the Bureaucracy Around Moving Explained

Spain - Just Do It!

Spain – So just how much are we talking about?

Spain - The Homewrecker

Spanish Property Market Crash - How to Sell Your Home in the Spanish Property Crisis

Three Years Make Or Break

Tips For Moving To Spain

Top 10 Reasons To Rent Before You Buy In Spain

Travelling With Your Pet To Spain From UK

We're Still Moving to Spain

Why Sun, Sea And Sand Is Not Enough Any More

Working In The Costa de la Luz

Youth Settling in Spain

Click here for a list of all the articles from our magazine 

Spain insurance services


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x