SPAIN – Not so good to retire to!

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 7 years ago.

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  • #55226
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Interesting Sunday Times article today lists 8 countries to retire to:

    Best at No. 1 Australia
    2 Cyprus
    3 Hong Kong
    4 Panama
    5 New Zealand
    6 France
    7 Britain
    Worst 8 Spain

    Spain in 8th has 43% income tax, 43% CGT and 34% IHT (Greedy Gov’t)

    Australia in 1st has 0% IT, 45% CGT and 0% IHT (based on over 60’s)

    More evidence that Spain is no longer the inexpensive country to retire to, and with exchange rate at near parity with Sterling, the reason why so many Brits cannot afford to live in Spain anymore.

    Mind you, Britain is not much better either 😉

  • #94431
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    43% Income Tax doesn’t sound right. Is that the base rate?

    IMHO Spain is a great place to retire too, but maybe not for Brits on a UK funded pension. Nor, for those that don’t integrate into the Spanish culture (at least a little). Nor would I advise anyone to buy in Spain at the moment, at least not unless they have a really good understanding of the market here, as it’s still very easy to loose a lot of money on property.

    IME the cost of living here is still a lot less than the UK too, just look at how much council tax bills are in the UK, and lets not forget the cost of booze 😆

  • #94432
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    My Council tax (Marbella) is a little over 1000 euro. Also have to pay urbanisation fees of almost 800 euro for services that marbella council should provide eg. street lighting, sweeping etc. Low council fees are only when rural. Add the cost of broadband at 39.90 plus IVA., many basic foodstuffs double the price of the UK. Booze isn’t always cheaper, is for 1 0r 2 euro type plonk but have seen some wines on sale in the UK for £5.99 which cost 7.30 in Mercadona. Larios gin 11.25 euro, Sainsbury’s own brand (better quality than Larios) £11.40…not so much difference!

  • #94434
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Wow, taxes in Marbella are high! Maybe you live in a mansion 😆

    I guess it also depends on what you spend your money on, and I agree that Broadband is a rip off in Spain.

    However, my perception of a few weeks in the UK (in December) was that it was still a lot more expensive. Things that seemed very different included the price of beer, parking in town, and eating out. But, I concede that it can be just as expensive here, it just depends on lifestyle/region I guess.

  • #94436
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Katy,

    When you say council tax – I presume you mean Suma? I have an apartment in south costa blanca and the Suma is E186 per year, the urbanisation fees are E600 at the tops per year. The La Renta tax is approx E450 per year. Eating out – Menu Del Dia can range from E9.00 to E13.00 in a nice restaurant and restaurants not doing Menu Del Dia for a family of 4 including wine and water would be between E60 to E70. I have to say this summer I found groceries in the likes of Carrefour now more expensive than in Ireland whereas in the past it has always been the opposite e.g. sliced pan anywhere beween E1.75 to E2.35 in Carrefour whereas in ireland E1.00 to E1.45 – Milk also more expensive in spain. I find eating out very cheap in spain compared to Ireland.

  • #94439
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @El anciano wrote:

    Wow, taxes in Marbella are high! Maybe you live in a mansion 😆

    I guess it also depends on what you spend your money on, and I agree that Broadband is a rip off in Spain.

    However, my perception of a few weeks in the UK (in December) was that it was still a lot more expensive. Things that seemed very different included the price of beer, parking in town, and eating out. But, I concede that it can be just as expensive here, it just depends on lifestyle/region I guess.

    Tesco and Asda are cheaper than any Eroski/Carrefour/Auchan I have been to in Spain.

    Lidl is Spain is at least 10% more expensive than the counterpart in UK. Petrol is same price.

    I do not know about eating out as I do not have time for this either in Spain or UK.

  • #94440
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @angela wrote:

    I have an apartment in south costa blanca and the Suma is E186 per year, the urbanisation fees are E600 at the tops per year. The La Renta tax is approx E450 per year.

    Who created the legend that the taxes in Spain are much lower than the ones in UK?
    I pay £1200 council tax/year which is more or less the same as the taxes in Spain for an apartmanet…

  • #94446
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Flosmichael,

    At the moment there isn’t any council tax here in ireland certainly – better not speak to soon! Refuse costs me about E400 per year to be collected which includes recycling – so on that front the suma which includes refuse collection is cheap in comparison. The La Renta tax even though you don’t rent out your property is expensive.

  • #94447
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @angela wrote:

    Hi Flosmichael,

    At the moment there isn’t any council tax here in ireland certainly – better not speak to soon! Refuse costs me about E400 per year to be collected which includes recycling – so on that front the suma which includes refuse collection is cheap in comparison. The La Renta tax even though you don’t rent out your property is expensive.

    There is no La Renta tax in UK and the council tax includes the Refuse costs.
    It seems that La REnta + refuse + community fee in Spain = council tax for a house in UK

  • #94449
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “Spain in 8th has 43% income tax, 43% CGT and 34% IHT (Greedy Gov’t)”

    Completely inaccurate and dud info once again !!

  • #94451
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Ubeda, these figures are from the Sunday Times, not me.

    Please correct them by giving below the real figures of Spain and if possible the other countries mentioned, then tell the S. Times.

    It doesn’t get away from the fact that Spain is too expensive for Brits to retire to with current exchange rates etc 😉

  • #94453
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “Spain in 8th has 43% income tax, 43% CGT and 34% IHT (Greedy Gov’t”

    Hi Angie, well income tax starts at 25% and the top band is about 43%; CGT on housing is 18% for nationals and foreigners (most don’t pay anyway) and if i’m not mistaken IHT has been abolished apart from in Catalunya!!!!!

    Also, don’t ever think the Sunday times is always correct !! they’re not; I’d just hate people not to come here because of dud info in the papers or on SPI……

    regards cost of living here, the prices are coming down by the day !!

  • #94454
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    angie,

    do you have a link to the article?

  • #94456
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    Yes, I saw this article as well.

    As an Aussie expat, I couldnt agree more.

    Euro retirement is only if you want to be close to family.

    If not, then its finished.

    Only concern is the strength of the Aussie dollar — as its resources based, it will only get stronger/remain the same as long as Asia gets its resources from us. China just signed multi year coal/iron ore deal along with all the others (as far away as Turkey).

    The *only* reason I would retire in Euro is to have a house in Northern hemisphere and a house in Southern hemisphere and travel between the two.

    Euro retirement potential has had its day (sorry) — if only because Brits have ripped off and preyed upon each other.

    Cheers & Bananas

    –Munky

  • #94457
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just shows how figures can be distorted and twisted to produce any result you want… there is quite a lot that is relevant not included in these results. For example:

    Heating costs in Spain are vastly lower than in the UK, especially if you rely on solar for a high proportion of your water heating needs.

    Electricity can also be generated in Spain easily from solar (photovoltaic) panels and can easily produce 50-60% of your total needs. Try that in the UK.

    Obviously, if you live in an urbanization overhead is very different if you live in a rural location. We have a substantial property in a rural area, and estimate our running costs are roughly 1/3rd of the cost in the UK.

    Andy

  • #94459
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @66d35 wrote:

    Heating costs in Spain are vastly lower than in the UK, especially if you rely on solar for a high proportion of your water heating needs.

    Electricity can also be generated in Spain easily from solar (photovoltaic) panels and can easily produce 50-60% of your total needs. Try that in the UK.

    Obviously, if you live in an urbanization overhead is very different if you live in a rural location. We have a substantial property in a rural area, and estimate our running costs are roughly 1/3rd of the cost in the UK.

    Andy

    #

    Yeah, right. So many people have solar panels in Spain… I have not seen any.

    Then Spain has a high cost for air-conditioning too, it is never needed in UK.

    To live in a rural area in Spain is not something than anybody can do. Living in a rural area of any country reduces the cost by at least half (but then one needs to give up a lot of everyday life neccesities…).

  • #94460
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @flosmichael wrote:

    Yeah, right. So many people have solar panels in Spain… I have not seen any.

    I have 😀

    @flosmichael wrote:

    Then Spain has a high cost for air-conditioning too, it is never needed in UK.

    Depends on location, house construction….

    @flosmichael wrote:

    To live in a rural area in Spain is not something than anybody can do. Living in a rural area of any country reduces the cost by at least half (but then one needs to give up a lot of everyday life neccesities…).

    What rubbish, plenty of people are able to live in rural Spain, and it depends what you consider necessities.

  • #94461
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @66d35 wrote:

    Electricity can also be generated in Spain easily from solar (photovoltaic) panels and can easily produce 50-60% of your total needs.
    Try that in the UK.
    Andy

    “Try that in the UK”.
    Why not?

    Solar PhotoVoltaic panels (for electricity) do not need sunshine – just daylight. Hence Germany has such a high proportion of houses successfully using PV.

    It is Solar Thermal panels (for hot water) that need the sun to produce results.

    Solar PV would work very successfully in the UK.

  • #94462
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @El anciano wrote:

    What rubbish, plenty of people are able to live in rural Spain, and it depends what you consider necessities.

    For me necessities include:

    – museums
    – good libraries
    – excellent schools for children
    – shopping malls with varietes of food, cloth, house appliances
    – possibility to go to work by metro if I want to

    Plenty of people live in rural areas of many countries and they pay much less.

  • #94465
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The yields from PV panels in the UK are incredibly poor, making them uneconomic in most (domestic) situations. I know because I had a 2 kW array there until earlier this year. The very same system is producing over six times as much electricity in Spain as it did in the UK (Wales)…..

    Regarding water heating via solar, it is a shame it is not used more in Spain because it works brilliantly there. It is also much cheaper to install (around 2-3K Euro vs around 5K in the UK). That said, I know plenty of people in Spain who do have it and are very happy with it.

    We are in a rural location in Spain, but are only 10 minutes from a Lidle, etc., so most of the necessities are certainly within reach. Having lived in cities in the UK and New Jersey (US) we find the pace of life in Spain a pleasant change.

    Andy

  • #94474
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    flosmichael,
    I too live in the campo surrounded by farmers of livestock and vegetables. Have all utilities connected and water is potable so not quite country bumkins.
    Because there are excellent tarmaced access roads I can be in Lorca City within 10 minutes where there is an abundance of upmarket shops,museums, a University and even a castle.
    No metro though but do have two train stations.
    Also in recent years one has seen loads of solar panels erected. Not pretty but they are neat.
    You name it.We have it.

  • #94476
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Solar panels are few even in Marbella. The ones that do have it find that it doesn’t work well due to inferior installation.

    Electricity has increased about 34% over the past year.

  • #94477
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If you install a solar water heating system correctly, it works superbly. It will produce 100% of your hot water needs in Spain even if you have a large family. It really is down to doing the job right. Simple as that.

    I really cannot understand anyone constantly paying out for electricity/gas in a location like Spain where the energy you need (once the upfront cost has been met) is basically available forever – free.

    I run an entire house and quite a large office on Solar PV panels, with the mains only serving as backup and to run 24/7 appliances such as fridges/freezers, etc.

    Have no need of air conditioning because the house is well built (reformed Cortijo) with thick walls and good airflow, with added benefit of double glazed windows. Warm in winter – cool in summer.

    Andy

  • #94492
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I don’t seem that many solar panels in Spain whereas in Cyprus just about every property have them, as flosmichael says, you need air conditioning on in Spain which must equate to heating costs in northern europe.

    There do seem to be a lot of house trapped Brits in Spain who can hardly afford the living costs because of the exchange rates, plus general higher prices as well as euro mortgages which they fund with sterling.

    Fuengi, I don’t have that link but the article was definitely there.

  • #94503
    Profile photo of zoro
    zoro
    Participant
  • #94504
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Katy: “Electricity has increased about 34% over the past year.” Can you please expand on it. Do you mean panels, capacity or price ?

  • #94515
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    thanks for that link zoro, I don’t think it is the story I read as they don’t show the comparison graph I saw, however it is still a useful story. 😉

    We know Brits in Spain who are now struggling with their euro mortgages and cost of living funded with sterling, they don’t go out to eat now and they can’t sell their homes either, it’s a growing problem.

  • #94750
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    , you need air conditioning on in Spain which must equate to heating costs in northern europe..

    No, you don’t – depending on the property design/construction. I have owned well-built properties in Morocco that don’t either (thick walls, tiles, adobe type construction with correct airflow). You probably DO if you live in a thin-walled, non-traditional type apartment… it is down to design and construction. My current house in Morocco has no A/C but is warm in winter, cool in summer, because it is built properly. It is well insulated, in a nutshell. If you have that, then A/C (which is hugely expensive in energy costs) is not required. Traditional houses in Morocco have never had A/C. They simply don’t need it.

    My house in Spain (old reformed cortijo) also has no A/C (and does not need it, also).

    Andy

  • #95294
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I live just on the Outskirts of Lorca in the campo and the town has everything you could want as Melosine said. Solar panels are everywhere and they and also solar water heating are a requirement for any new construction. Failure to put these in means the council witholds the ‘certificate of habitation’ until they are installed.
    Spain is also at the top of the list for world installed solar power for electricity.
    Electricity prices are rising and will continue rising because the gov. sets the price and for many years has set a price below the cost of producing it or buying it in. The 3 main electricity suppliers have a combined defict of 16 billion euros.
    My IBi ( council tax ) is 15,92e a year but then the house is 100+ years old.Also since the revaluation in 2005 the amount has dropped each year from the 24e i was paying when we bought the house.
    Rubbish collection 12e every 2 mths. Adsl 25e a month+iva.
    If I want to take the train into Murcia( 70km ) it’s about 6e return.Down to the beach by train,Águilas, 1,75 return. Museums, Excellent library,good schools.
    Yes if you live on an urbanisation you have far more additional costs which can bring it up to British levels, but the running costs of my house , car, insurance,etc, are barely more than the 2000 pound council tax on my old house in the U.K

  • #95295
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Another thing I have just remembered is that if you wish to construt an industrial building in our area no electricity supply is allowed by law, it has to be supplied by solar panels. All new buildings around me in the last 2 years have got solar panels installed.

  • #95296
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Sounds like paradise…the Brits will be flocking there 🙄

  • #95298
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Not anymore. The secret is out .

  • #95301
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    katy

    it seems that in the UK, when something is wrong we grumble, groan and ridicule it until something is usually (but not always) done about it. In Spain, when something is wrong, those who ridicule it are often blamed as doom mongers, stirring up trouble or guilty of criticising Spain, so nothing much changes?. Do you think this attitude is mainly ex-pats defending their life style decisions or do the Spanish people also tend to think that way?. The reason I ask, is because it seems that despite everything that has landed Spain in it’s current mess, the people of Spain seem in no hurry to demand the change required to get the country out of the shite?

  • #95305
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @goodstich44 wrote:

    The reason I ask, is because it seems that despite everything that has landed Spain in it’s current mess, the people of Spain seem in no hurry to demand the change required to get the country out of the shite?

    I do not know about Spain, but I can tell you about other countries where the property boom was on, especially based on foreigner ramping the prices up:
    – many people have pocketed a good amount of money and they are much happier than before
    – some people did not sell at the right moment and now they own overpriced property that nobody wants
    – the estate agents/developers blame the foreigners for the greed.
    – many foreigners lost money in off-plan projects due to developers going bankrupt or simply fleeing. the locals are mostly happy with foreigners losing money.

    Again, this is not in Spain but in places like Romania. Spain might be different…

  • #95307
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    No, they’ll moan and groan about it without doing anything constructive normally.In 2007 a co-operative that rents 2/300,000m2 land opposite me startedto construct an irrigacion water deposit and I asked the neighbours ” is it legal”, no idea. ” where’s the water coming from as we are all on restrictions?”, no idea. ” why don’t you complain?” What’s the point they’ve friends in high place and it will end worse for us!
    I even offered to make the complaint for them as I having voting rights with the comunidad de regantes, I am English and it is not a problem to me and also threats of water cuts don’t affect me. They declined as they said it will be known that you are doing it on our behalf and we will still get problems.
    So nothing was done. When it was finished the water supply into and out of the deposit is by huge 3phase pumps, run by an unsilenced generator. The first time they were using it I went over at 1-30 in the morning, turned it off and took the fuses out and went back to bed.
    In the morning I confronted the boss and said I had no problem with it running up to midnight but it wasn’t running during the night unless he put in a silenced generator, because it was not possible to sleep.
    He threatened to call the police and I replied that’s a good idea, then I can make a complaint re: the legality of the deposit, the noise during the night, the fact that you are running it during the hours of 2pm-4pm when it is against the law and also why do you only fill it with water when it is fiesta days? No problems since but afterwards all the neighbours said thank you the noise was terrible! Sorry why didn’t you complain?

    They’ll talk the hind legs off a donkey but very rarely will they do anything about it.

  • #95308
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    FlosM I think that is about the score for Spain too. I sometimes read spanish forums and generally the view is that

    Foreign buyers caused the large increases in property (they conveniently forget it was the spanish themselves who were asking crazy prices).

    The British who bought in rural areas knew exactly what they were doing and colluded with the Mayors. (why they should think this I assume it is because that is what the spanish did!)

    The British who have bought and have legal properties don’t really care. (except for people like myself. Lenox, Shakeel etc.) case of I’m allright Jack! Many Brits have the same view as the spaniards above. What these people don’t realise is that all these illegal properties and people who have lost deposits affects their investment/asset too.

    People who live in Axarquia don’t yet know if they have a legal property or not. The Junta has taken over the responsibility of deciding. Until the inventory is complete most will not know if they are one of the 10,000 marked out.

  • #95311
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I agree with all that you say Katy,but for every Brit. that will listen to sensible advice there are 5 who know best. In the end you give up trying to help.It is a completely different situation in Spain, I personally would never trust the advice of 1 abogado without checking with another, a ridiculous state of affairs to say the least.

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