Britons living in Spain ‘not prepared when dream goes sour´

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 7 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #54725
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    Anonymous
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  • #90053
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    Anonymous
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    Interesting article from the DT.

    Oddly enough, I don’t know of any pensioners in my area who live here on just a basic state pension, I couldn’t possibly imagine how anyone could live on one, either here or in the UK.

    I do know of many pensioners here though, all of whome have decent company or civil service pensions. They seem fine, they have no mortgages and enjoy low energy bills on average throughout the year.

    They are also getting the benefit of reduced fuel costs for their cars and taking advantage of some very cheap flights to visit family in the UK.

    In all honesty, I don’t know of any of them who would wish to go back to the UK.

    I think health care here is excellent, the husband of one of our friends has just had a tripple by-pass last November, he was on his garaage roof this weekend fitting a new sat-dish.

    But I do understand there must be many pensioners here on little more than a stste pension, with failing health, it’s natural to want to be back in the UK with family at such a time, but they would probably have returned to the UK anyway for the health reasons alone, as most never bothered to learn enough Spanish to feel confident about living in Spain.

    Over the years I have been quite good at spotting the stayers and the returners, not just pensioners but young families too. Not everyone can make a go of a new life in Spain so returning to the UK is certainly going to be a better decision.

    One thing I always say to my clients is, you are only fullfilling an adventure by coming to Spain, if you don’t like it, then at least you have tried something many people are afraid to do. You haven’t failed, it’s just that your adventure has come to an end, there will others.

  • #90054
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    Anonymous
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    There are many people moving from many countries to many countries. Some adjust, some don’t. Some thrive, some fail. Some stay and enjoy, some return to their own country.

    Life is hard, not everybody can succeed.

  • #90063
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I have seen a lot come..and go. Generally the people who go back (aside for economic reasons) are the ones who have listened to the Estate Agents blurb or some forum posters. They plod on for a couple of years refusing to believe it is not all sun, sangria, gin and tonic on the terrace and then head for “home”

    Unlike Peter I know a few pensioners that are struggling and they have company pensions. Some of these people have been here a long time, they are now in their seventies or eighties. See them in the shops too with a few purchases such as fish fingers, usually drive a clapped out Mercedes or similar which was bought during the good times. Their pensions have not kept up with inflation and the fall of the pound was a double whammy. Worse many have lost money through dodgy British Financial advisors, others who have investments will see their income sliced this year. Many of these pensioners would be entitled to additional help with council tax and pension top up in the UK. Council tax for a villa here averages 1000 euro (although sure someone will come on here and say theirs is about 4 euro a year 🙄 )

  • #90064
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    katy
    Spectator

    Just to add some parts of the Health Service is good but waiting lists are getting longer. A Friend who needs a “new knee” has been told he cannot have one until he is 70. Waiting list for an eye specialist…9 months!

  • #90067
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    Anonymous
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    @katy wrote:

    Just to add some parts of the Health Service is good but waiting lists are getting longer. A Friend who needs a “new knee” has been told he cannot have one until he is 70. Waiting list for an eye specialist…9 months!

    Fly to many places in Eastern Europe and can get highly qualified oftalmologists for a £20 consult without waiting lists.

  • #90091
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    Anonymous
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    In this article, the Minister for Consular Affairs Gillian Merron says:

    “….. there is a limit to what we can do”

    “We want expats to know they have not been abandoned by the British government”

    This is rubbish. As Peter Woodall (founder of the British Expats Association) said, “pensioners were suffering more than they would at home because they get no extra help from the British government.

    “For example they can’t claim the winter fuel allowance from Britain even though it does get cold here,” he said. “People are now being forced to choose between a bit of warmth or a bit of food.”

    These pensioners paid into the system all their lives, they should get this allowance wherever they decide to live.

    It’s the same with the genuine disabled. If you retire abroad, those on the care component and mobility component of the DLA have their benefit stopped.
    A year ago, the EU ruled in a case regarding the care component that it was illegal for the British Gov. to withdraw this benefit. A year later, HM Government are ‘still considering’ the EU ruling and in the meantime, despite thousands of names on a petition, their benefit has not been reinstated. (The mobility component is not affected by the EU case).

    Gillian Merron – there is something your Government could do so pensioners do not feel abandoned – give pensioners and the disabled their rightful benefits, even if the have retired to another country in the EU.

    If Polish workers in Britain can claim child allowance for their children, despite their children still living in Poland, how is it Brits. cannot receive their allowances??

  • #90092
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
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    How much do you get from a state pension in Britain?

    or better said how much would you as a british citizen be entitled to in spain?

  • #90093
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    Anonymous
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    Charlie
    Great post, totaly agree

    Fuengi
    Basic state pension £90.70(102 euro) single person £145.05(165 euro) married couple.
    All per week, paid monthly if you are in Spain

    Steve

  • #90094
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    A widow here told me she receives 96 pounds weekly. Her husbands annuity died with him. Barely enough to pay the utilities..if she wants to keep warm and pay community fees, taxes etc. Savings falling fast.

    If she were in the Uk she would receive fuel allowance, pension credit top up, council tax paid and rent free! She is fairly isolated as she has had to sell her car.

  • #90111
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    Anonymous
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    As an American, it is interesting for me to read about all the subsidies and allowances and “top ups” (??) and rent whatevers that British residents can receive. I must admit to quite a bit of envy! Evidently the lack of these benefits is a cause of potential problems for a British resident in Spain. While I applaud a system that provides these humane benefits, I live in the jungle. We have virtually no safety net; if you starve so be it, if you freeze, you freeze, if you can’t afford rent, hit the street. If Spain is the same, perhaps this at least won’t be a cause of shock for us when we eventually relocate there.

  • #90112
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    Anonymous
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    “For example they can’t claim the winter fuel allowance from Britain even though it does get cold here,”

    If the pension is paid into a UK bank account,then surely the winter fuel payment will automatically get paid to the pensioner, regardless of where they live. . (?)
    I say this because of a couple living in Spain told us that they do receive the winter fuel allowance.

  • #90113
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Yes, some do receive it legally in Spain, can’t remember the exact legislation but there were some cut off dates. Many do not get it. Others get it because they are not officialy registered as having left the UK and use a UK address.

  • #90114
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    SherryfromSeattle

    i also applaud a system that provides humane benifits. What annoys most i think is the distribution of this money. We feel that far to much goes to those who have no intention of contributing to society, while at the same time, many hard working people with a concience who have paid in to a system for years are not recieving benifit they are due. The unrest in the UK will continue to grow while this continues i feel. Bit like high rollers in the banks who have failed, still getting huge bonuses. We all know it’s wrong, and want assurance that changes are being made to stop the rot.

    As for benifits abroad. I think as you say, most in UK take for granted that our humame benifit system will provide a safety net, as long as we are in the EU. That notion also spreads to humane legal issues. Many of us wrongly assumed that being in the right meant that sooner or later we would get justice in a black and white situation, as is taken for granted for most (not for all i realise) in the UK.

    I guess much of the problem comes down to having the right knowledge of just how the system, the laws, the regulations, the justice, the benifits, corruption etc, could actually effect your day to day life. If we are least all armed with the true facts, however ugly, and plain wrong in many ways, then it should indeed be less of a shock when what we consider as ‘common sense’ might well stand for very little?

    If people don’t have this knowledge, then it will remain a lottery i feel. Some will win, but many will lose!

  • #90121
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    Anonymous
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    Does, not matter which Country one lives in. One has to know the system be flexible in case it changes to keep up with politics/economics.

    Once, armed this knowledge of know how, use what is legally yours not what you think is morally yours. The law does not provide for morality 7 besides morality is very subjective.

  • #90122
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    @SherryfromSeattle wrote:

    As an American, it is interesting for me to read about all the subsidies and allowances and “top ups” (??) and rent whatevers that British residents can receive. I must admit to quite a bit of envy! Evidently the lack of these benefits is a cause of potential problems for a British resident in Spain. While I applaud a system that provides these humane benefits, I live in the jungle. We have virtually no safety net; if you starve so be it, if you freeze, you freeze, if you can’t afford rent, hit the street. If Spain is the same, perhaps this at least won’t be a cause of shock for us when we eventually relocate there.

    One cannot really compare. In UK one pays National Insurance which is then used to provide Health Care and Pension. In USA there no such tax so the salary is at least 10% higher.

    The state UK pension is a joke in comparison to other pensions in Europe (Germans get about 60% state pension of the last 5 year salary, etc.).

    Also, in USA one gets a tax cut if being married (about 5% of salary) and another one for having children (about 10% of salary I think).
    In UK there is no marriage allowance and there is some child benefit (about £70/month per children)which is excellent for people on low salaries but it is almost insignificant for people on high salaries.

  • #90124
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    Melosine
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    To recieve WFA whilst living in another EU country one has to have previously been in receipt of it.
    For everyone this tax free allowance is payable from the age of 60 . However if birthday falls latter end of the year (from about September) then you have to wait a further year.

  • #90125
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    skakeel

    as you say, law does not provide morality. In Spains case though, because of lack of implementation, law often doesn’t even provide law!!

    People need to be very aware of this. Being clearly ‘in the right’ often stands for very little, and certainly doesn’t often lead to justice.

  • #90142
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    Thanks to all for your posts on this topic, they have been truly helpful and informative to me. Salary differentials in the US are totally offset and then some by the high cost of current medical insurance; that alone is easily 10-12% of salary per individual, and our “pension” and old age medical deduction is 7.65% of salary. The only reason I’m mentioning it is because I learn about Spain through the lense of the British, but must keep in mind that the British have a different template too. And bottom line, Shakeel is right. It isn’t about what’s moral, it’s about dealing with reality. Thanks again.

  • #90144
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    SherryfromSeattle

    true, it might not be about morality, but at some stage when buying, you do have to rely on it from either a lawyer, a town hall, the justice system etc. This is what catches so many out. When morals do have to come in to play, they are often replaced by betrayal through corruption.

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