Shattered Dreams…

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 7 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #54591
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    From the article:

    “I would also say if you are going to be broke, don’t be broke in Spain. There is no one to turn to here. We are still foreigners in Spain, and yet now we don’t belong in the UK.’
    For the past three years, Martin Fleet has run a bar in the Costa del Sol resort of Calahonda. But on New Year’s Day he will hand back the keys to his landlord and close the business down.
    ‘I came out to Spain for a better life – sunbathing on the beach, sitting on the terrace and al fresco evening meals,
    ‘But the past few months is the worst I’ve ever seen it. At this time of year we’d normally get the golfers in, as well as the pensioners who come out for the winter, and Brits with second homes.
    ‘But I’ve made a loss for the past three months, and it’s got to the point that I can’t afford to pay the rent on the bar any more. On January 1 I’ll be handing in the keys.’

    I have a couple of questions:

    -when did the obsessions with living in the Sun (Spain, Cyprus, Turkey, Italy, GReece) appear in UK?
    – was it peer-pressure or created by media?
    – did people ever contemplated the idea that the Pound would lose value?
    – what would happen if overnight the Pound becomes equal to 2 Euros?
    Would everybody be happy then or many would still feel homesick
    and disgusted with living in a country where they could not integrate as they were expecting?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1098865/End-Eldorado-dream-A-plunging-pound-property-crash-left-thousands-expat-Britons-breadline.html

  • #88745
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Yes I read it! They are the least sort of people for the UK to have sympathy with. The woman who has gone from designer shops to charity shops (a bit of a rapid decline!) she is also renting, she could walk away tomorrow. A couple in their sixties sell in the UK and buy a 150,000 house in Spain and have managed to aquire a 100,000 mortgage. (do people really take out mortgages in their sixties?!) Then we have the Bar owner, 3 years in Calahonda, there are so many Brit bars there I am suprised he lasted three years( average is one season).

    You raise some interesting points though. Never before has the desire to own a property in the sun been so evident. It used to be only the rich or the comfortably retired who bought here. The sale of three/four bedroom detached house in the UK would buy on the CDS a decent villa with a pool, car and all the furniture with a substantial sum to invest. We got into it by default as we were given an apartment by my Grandfather and my parents had a place here too.

    Did we consider the exchange rate…never. The only margin we thought would be the normal swings ie. 10% either way which was not a problem. When we moved more or less permanent to Spain the bank rate here varied between 12% and 15%. Considered it could drop but only to about 6%.

    Many came here and did not consider anything..even that they had to find work and did not speak the language. They had seen the TV programmes like ‘Place in the Sun’ and it all looked so easy. Was also aided by articles (really paid for advertisements) from the Daily Telegraph etc. It was the new Gold rush/dot com bubble.

  • #88746
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    Anonymous
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    @katy wrote:

    Many came here and did not consider anything..even that they had to find work and did not speak the language. They had seen the TV programmes like ‘Place in the Sun’ and it all looked so easy. Was also aided by articles (really paid for advertisements) from the Daily Telegraph etc. It was the new Gold rush/dot com bubble.

    Then many started to hate the place after few months/year when they found out that there were few jobs, that the Sun is good it cannot be used instead of food and drinks…

    It is hard to understand how after retiremenet somebody could move to
    another country where he/she does not speak the language, does not know anything about the local rules. On top of it, many were basing on a
    £600 pound/month pension which now is equal to 600 Euros…

  • #88748
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m personally getting fed up reading patronising/sarcastic comments criticising those who decided to try and make a change in their life and move from UK to where they genuinely felt they could improve their quality of life.

    No-one, I repeat, no-one predicted such a devasting state of affairs that the world is now in and until it happened, many were successfully embracing their new life and many retirees were happy as bunnies exchanging the wet and cold for the warm. Many suffering arthritic conditions found relief from aching joints, always exacerbated in UK’s damp and cold.

    Some of the comments on the Have Your Say at the end of this DM article I find absolutely disgusting – how on earth can some say any expat not surviving now financially should not be allowed back into the UK to receive any help/benefits, that they only have themselves to blame for their current predicament. Sour grapes and envy over people who at least tried to make a better life for themselves seem to turn some people into really nasty vindictive saddos. It’s like they are taking delight and satisfaction at their misfortune.

    I know some really nice people who successfully made good, new and independent lives for themselves overseas for many years, only to now find their situation has all gone belly-up through no direct fault of their own. And on top of this, there are people who have been caught up with all the corruption and have lost their life savings .
    I wish everyone now struggling abroad good luck with the position they find themselves in, and despite myself being one of the lucky ones who is out of property at the moment with my money tucked safely away, know that not everyone thinks you were fools and deserve everything you get.

    My Sunday moan over.

  • #88750
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well said charlie.

  • #88751
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Spot on Charlie.

    I felt the same reading those comments.

    Taking the plunge and moving abroad takes guts and a pioneering spirit, and gets my full respect.

  • #88752
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    A good , well thought out post Katy

  • #88753
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well said Charlie. My blood pressure was rising as I was reading those comments.

    I don’t think people moved here and thumbed their noses up at those in the UK. Don’t forget they have left behind children and grandchildren. No-one knows how they will take to a move. My parents went to Hong Kong to work for 10 years when I had just left home and I thought I too would like to do something different.

    However, one grandchild later, we miss being closer to our family, and if it was not for the corruption by our local town hall etc. etc. we might have been able to sell up and move back before now.

    By the way I studied Spanish for two years before coming out here, and my husband went to classes when he got here.

  • #88760
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    @flosmichael wrote:

    It is hard to understand how after retiremenet somebody could move to
    another country where he/she does not speak the language, does not know anything about the local rules. On top of it, many were basing on a
    £600 pound/month pension which now is equal to 600 Euros…

    My goodness flosmichael I had to laugh at your posting.
    Do you really believe what you write ❓
    Seems to me you think that all retired folk should sit in a rocking chair all day waiting to die !
    Whatever one’s age life is for living and experiencing new things. It maybe harder to learn new skills like another language but it’s not impossible.
    For some of us that meant living in another country. NOT because we detest Britain…far from it…but you only live once.

    As for the DM article and some of the 107 replies well think this “rag” could have chosen two better examples of “impoverished” expats but then it wouldn’t have created such interest 🙄

  • #88765
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @melosine wrote:

    @flosmichael wrote:
    It is hard to understand how after retiremenet somebody could move to
    another country where he/she does not speak the language, does not know anything about the local rules. On top of it, many were basing on a
    £600 pound/month pension which now is equal to 600 Euros…

    My goodness flosmichael I had to laugh at your posting.
    Do you really believe what you write ❓
    Seems to me you think that all retired folk should sit in a rocking chair all day waiting to die !
    l:

    You have a wrong impression. 😆

    I was refering to the people who do not speak the language, do not know anything about the local rules and were basing on a
    £600 pound/month pension which now is equal to 600 Euros.

    If this does not apply to you, then why did you and Charlie get upset?

  • #88766
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Generalising does sometimes get under the skin flosmichael, particularly when for the majority of retirees what you wrote is at least 90% untrue.
    We, of any generation, know that for every high there is a low and although research into Spanish laws were done by the majority unfortunately few of us realised that the Spanish system is totally illogical.
    Until recently tell me where one will read that …anywhere.
    Totally expat communities I agree learning another language is probably not deemed important 🙄 but the vast majority don’t live permanently in these ghettos.

  • #88767
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
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    @melosine wrote:

    Generalising does sometimes get under the skin flosmichael, particularly when for the majority of retirees what you wrote is at least 90% untrue.

    I said many not all… I am sure that many will not even care about the value of the Sterling , etc. If one has a decent income in Pounds and
    have thought deeply before moving abroad, then the life in a Mediteranean country has more to offer than the one in UK.

    But somebody who moved abroad because the Sterling was strong and life seemed to be cheaper abroad, then the current situation is a bad nightmare…

  • #88768
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Anyone who believes that anyone moves to another country because stirling is strong is a fool.
    Most move for a better quality of life and despite being robbed some of us are still looking to make the move regardless of the value of sterling.
    We will try to integrate in Spain as we have done in our many moves in this country.
    You do yourself no justice with your ill informed and unwelcome comment.
    With a bit of bad luck you could be our new neighbour.
    Merry Xmas scrooge.

  • #88769
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    Anonymous
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    @vilprano wrote:

    Anyone who believes that anyone moves to another country because stirling is strong is a fool.
    Most move for a better quality of life and despite being robbed some of us are still looking to make the move regardless of the value of sterling.
    We will try to integrate in Spain as we have done in our many moves in this country.
    You do yourself no justice with your ill informed and unwelcome comment.
    With a bit of bad luck you could be our new neighbour.
    Merry Xmas scrooge.

    Hmm, well I have to say that this post seems foolish & ill informed to me 🙄

    People did move to Spain because the cost of living was so much lower, in there thousands! You don’t believe it, well I guess you are the one being foolish.

    It is also clear that many of the Brits are not trying to integrate, I have lived here for 5 years now, and I know many retired Brits who have absolutely no idea about Spanish laws, customs, or the language. My opinion is shared by some of the local Spaniards I have spoken to, who regard the mainly British urbanisations as colonies!

    So, whilst I accept that some, (maybe many) did not come here to live in a Little Britain, nor because things were cheap. It is clear to me that many did.

    So, “You do yourself no justice with your ill informed and unwelcome comment”… Right back at ya!

  • #88770
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I hope this doesn’t disintegrate into how many expats did what and where and why.
    Though my two pennyworth is that most Brits aimed for Spain for one reason only – for them it was already almost like a second home after years of holidaying there. The first ever package holidays were to Spain and many of my relatives have been going every year since the 60’s.
    If one wanted just a lower cost of living, Romania would be top of the list!

    The thread title is regarding shattered dreams of those who were brave enough to make the move abroad, admittedly some less prepared than others. But even those who have stayed in the UK are equally having their dreams shattered – the Council of Mortgage Lenders have warned more than 200 homes will be repossessed every day next year.

    It’s shattered dreams for countless people, everywhere – regardless of where they are.

    Paint-sprayed on a building yesterday in Athens during the on-going protests:
    “Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear”.
    Just about sums it up for many.

  • #88771
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    Anonymous
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    @charlie wrote:

    If one wanted just a lower cost of living, Romania would be top of the list!
    .

    Not really. I spent 10 days this month there and the cost of food is higher that in UK (comparing Carrefour in Bucharest with Tesco/Asda).
    The good thing is that I had access to some low cost professional health care that it is not easily available in UK.

    But try to avoid BUcharest, it is a nightmare to drive there.

    In what concerns the worldwide stattered dreams, I agree with you Charlie. We all believed that the prosperity is permanent when it was only a temporary thing and now we will all pay for our excess.

  • #88773
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Charlie 😀
    What a spot on posting.21/12/08

    Just Frank 8)

  • #88779
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Having not made the move yet, and it will most probably be two months on two months off I offer the following to the ones who think that times are hard.

    Tighten your belts in the same manner that you would have done in the UK, eg;

    ” A 4 euros bottle of wine now costs 4 pounds”. Answer, buy a 2 euros bottle that costs £2.00.

    “Fillet steak is nearly as expensive as it is in the UK”. Answer, so is leg beef, but it costs far less than fillet steak, cook a stew to last for 2 days.

    “A gas bottle has gone from 9 euros to 14 euros”. Answer, do you want to have a look at my gas bill?

    “I can’t afford to go out as much as I did”. Answer, then stay in, at least you have more chance of eating your stew and drinking your 2 euros bottle of wine outside than I do.

    You can handle a temporary blip for gods sake, remember what your parents and grandparents told you about life during the war.

  • #88791
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Problem is many have been doing this for a while. I have seen posts on other forums where people stated their budget was 500 to 700Euro pm. That was at 140 E to the pound.

    Anyone got any wartime recipes…don’t know what to give up first, Golf, eating out, holidays 😉 😆

  • #88797
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    We are already drinking the 1.30€ wine from the local supermercardo.

    We don’t eat steak.

    The gas central heating is too costly to run, we have to make do with a log fire and plenty of jumpers, and a hot water bottle in the bed.

  • #88807
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    No more…………PLEASE !!!!!!!

  • #88809
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I thinking of starting up a Money Saving Expert forum for Spaniards. Anyone want to give me a hand 😆 , given I can’t speak Spanish.

  • #88812
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Charlie
    When I was in Nam I cant start to tell you that hell that I went through.
    Just cant as it hurts TOoooooo much so dont ask.

    Just Frank 8)

  • #88814
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Great idea. One obvious suggestion would be to shop Spanish & avoid the overpriced ‘Brit goods’ supermarkets.

  • #88815
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Lidl do an excellent bottle of wine for only 45c. 😯
    I am NOT joking .It was given a definate thumbs up by all who drank some.

  • #88817
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @hudson wrote:

    Great idea. One obvious suggestion would be to shop Spanish & avoid the overpriced ‘Brit goods’ supermarkets.

    Think most people who live here have sussed that. However, the Spanish supermarkets aren’t exactly looking a bargain either….unless you live on booze 🙄

  • #88821
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Driving back through France recently, in Beaune I bought a beautiful bottle of 2006 Bourgogne Hautes Côte de Nuits for 21 euros.
    Can’t wait for Christmas morning.

    Am I off topic? 😀

  • #88826
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I don’t mean to be flippant but some of you must remember 15% interest rates and 24% inflation. Extreme times such as those and the ones that we are currently going through have a habit of reversing in as fast a time as they came forward.

    On paper I am well over £150K down but don’t have to sell anything at the moment. My job will come to an end in Spring and I will have to survive on deposit investments until an upturn arrives. It’s the 9th anniversary of one of my best friends death on 27th December, he was 53. He would love to have your problems.

  • #88828
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @crookesey wrote:

    Extreme times such as those and the ones that we are currently going through have a habit of reversing in as fast a time as they came forward.

    With even banks etc. having to beg for handouts to survive? I don’t think so, not this time. I think you may be off the mark somewhat crooksey with your “temporary blip” analysis but hey, why not. Keep the faith….and optimism and let’s all hope you’re right.

  • #88829
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Just Frank wrote:

    Charlie
    When I was in Nam I cant start to tell you that hell that I went through.
    Just cant as it hurts TOoooooo much so dont ask.

    Just Frank 8)

    Frank – be honest now. The only hell you went through back in the 60’s was when you were caught scrumping and the farmer gave you a hiding.

  • #88830
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @charlie wrote:

    @crookesey wrote:
    Extreme times such as those and the ones that we are currently going through have a habit of reversing in as fast a time as they came forward.

    With even banks etc. having to beg for handouts to survive? I don’t think so, not this time. I think you may be off the mark somewhat crooksey with your “temporary blip” analysis but hey, why not. Keep the faith….and optimism and let’s all hope you’re right.

    Well I’m off home now, off until Monday. There’s nothing that a few beers, half a bottle of red and a large brandy won’t make look better.

    This can’t destroy our car and ship manufacturing industry along with our steel and engineering industry, they were destroyed years ago. We only make parts of aircraft these days and import practically all of our electrical goods along with our coal and gas.

    Sure some areas will suffer, retail will take a huge hit along with the legal profession and banking sector but this is not like losing our industrial base, we have already lost that. All this money that has disappeared as if by magic still exists, albeit with no security behind it, the financial services sector got us into this mess and it is they that will have to get us out of it. I fear for the likes of Marks & Spencer if the dealers get back to short selling, their share price is too low to sustain a major attack, this is what the government should be protecting.

    My predictions are:-

    A 5500 FTSE by June 2009.
    A 120 cents euro to the pound by June 2009, increasing to around 130 by the end of the year.
    The UK housing market to start getting back on it’s feet by late 2009/ early 2010.
    Spanish house prices to continue to fall until they bottom circa June 2010.

    Anyway, enough of this, what the hell do I know anyway? A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. 🙂

  • #88831
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Crookesey
    First rounds on you 😆
    The Euro prediction could not be far off as lets face it the real sh-t has not hit the fan there yet.

    Happy Christmas to all and I mean 😆 all
    Hope many have a better time of it in 2009.

    Just Frank 8)

  • #89044
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    We moved here on retirement about 19 months ago. After looking at about 40 houses we chose our villa in El Portet, the best part of Moraira. However after giving it a good go, and abiding by all the rules and laws we could we are going to give up – if we can find a buyer for our house. My husband was only 57 when we came here, and we expecetd there would be some kind of part-time work for him to do – fat chance!
    I am reasonably fluent in Spanish and taking classes as well as going to a regular conversation group.
    BUT the Anglican Welsh Priest who sold us the house had a memory lapse when it came to letting us know that the septic tank was not functioning. He had been having it emptied every 6 weeks and it cost us 3,000 to get a new one. There was also a toilet which regularly flooded the underbuild – this meant getting new plumbing put in. Also the notary/gestor landed us in ti with the Land Registry and because our NIE numbers were delayed for 3 months by being lost in Madrid we were fined 1500. Then, on New Year’s Day we got a traffic fine for crossing a white line of 60 euros – the last straw. We also had a horrific experience with the ITV centre in Benidorm when trying to change our car to Spanish registration and were unable to proceed until we illegally paid 1000 to get the paperwork forged.
    Yes the weather is usually great, and on the whole Spanish people are great – unless they are the little Hitler jobsworth. However we have found ex-pats very weird, they were all top managers and owned mansions in England. There are some real snobs around this area, and some dreadful back-stabbing goes on.
    Then to add to it all the drop in our pension icome of about 30%. Please come and buy our beautiful villa – I promise we have sorted out all the problems and spent all our capital doing it! We are going back to England where we will moan about the Government and the cost of living and the weather but at least we will have neighbours to moan to 🙁

  • #89045
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    janetwestgarth

    just want to say how sorry i am that things haven’t gone as well as you hoped, and in particular the villa not being in the condition that you paid for. Things like this in Spain are done all to often from what i can gather, (often by UK owners) due to knowing they can more than likely get away with it!.
    Anyway, sounds like you have a nice place now it’s all sorted. Several people on here are saying places in the right location at a resonable price will still sell, so i wish you all the best and as trouble free as possible return to the UK.

  • #89046
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    Anonymous
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    Hi janetwestgarth, sorry things didn’t work out, hope 2009 is better for you. In case you haven’t found it, there is a property for sale section on this forum where you could list your villa.
    http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=5

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