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Retirement in , Orihuela Costa, Costa Blanca, Spain


Retirement in Spain

Spain is the ideal place to live when you retire.  Approximately 2 ½ hours flying time from the UK.

The mild winters appeals to many Europeans wishing to live in Spain, the majority move to coastal areas, although living inland is becoming more popular.

Property prices in Spain are slightly lower than the UK as is the cost of living, good reasons for retiring in Spain.

During winter the average temperature is 16c and more often than not, much warmer in the sun.

The Costa Blanca and Costa Del Sol are still among the favourite areas for the British, Irish, Germans and Norwiegens to settle.

If you want to live in Spain permanently you will be required to register on the Padron at the Town Hall, this is similar to the Electoral Register in the UK, thus the Town Hall can provide the services you need to enjoy you retirement.

You may want to apply for residencia, although this is not compulsory anymore. The Residencia card entitles you to equal treatment with Spanish citizens.

If you are not of retirement age, you should ensure you have private health insurance. You can contact Bupa International who cover you in Spain, the insurers are known as Sanitas. If you shop around you can find other health insurance companies, I can personally recommend Sanitas as I had a bad fall and a cancer scare, immediate treatment and care, fantastic. You just call them direct, they offer you a choice of hospital or specialist in your area and you just go, you do not need to see the local Doctor and wait for hours or months for treatment.

The hospitals in Spain are of a high standard. About 5km distance from Flamenca Beach the new Torrevieja Hospital opened in October 2006, with state of the art technology, experienced multi-lingual staff who deal with private and state care.

The general opinion so far is that the service is far better than the UK, so do not be put off considering living in Spain because of healthcare or language difficulties, the Spanish staff are very helpful and most of them do speak English anyway, wonderful! You will need to apply for the E111 card and you need to carry it with you at all times,. The E111 card guarantees free healthcare across the EU which can be interpreted differently from country to country and in Spain, from hospital to hospital. The E111 is mainly for emergencies but may not cover you for everything, so it is best to take out private health care if you are not eligible for state care.

Some hospitals in Spain do not offer after care services, they expect relatives to bring meals or wash patients and a charge for all ancillary services. If you move to an area where English is the main language, you most probably will feel that you do not need to learn Spanish, but when you need to speak to Spanish companies, you will find it hard to be understood, so it is best to try and learn the basics of Spanish.

There are Spanish courses and translators advertised in local papers. Lifestyle For generations, Spanish families have enjoyed unspoilt beaches, stunning scenery and a gentle pace of life - and this same lifestyle is now readily available to overseas buyers.

The Spanish lifestyle is relaxed and unhurried, everything is ‘manana’ - tomorrow. The characteristics of the people who live here, for whom life is definitely for living and enjoying, more than matches the warm, sunny climate. Spain comes alive when the sun sets.

There is a wide variety of social activities and groups for International communities and Spanish alike. Over the years and more so recently, thousands of British people have settled in Spain, opening restaurants, clubs and other businesses, many with young children hoping to give them a better way of life, people retiring early and many having a holiday home in the sun. If you are considering retiring to Spain, the warm weather and easy lifestyle makes the Mediterranean Costa’s the perfect setting.

Winters are always mild, the coldest month is normally February. During the months of November, December, January and most of March, you can relax on the beach or your solarium, it never gets cold like it does in the UK. Summer is very hot and whatever time of year it is, you can sit and imagine what was like in the UK. When you hear people say ‘back home’ its windy, rainy and cold on a summers day you realise that you have forgotten that awful weather.

Many arthritic sufferers have said their aches and pains have gone and those who had bad health in the UK say how much their health has improved within 3 months - wonderful! . The Costa Blanca benefits from more than 320 days of sunshine every year.

Visit the local street markets where you will find locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables cheaper than the UK and tastier too. You will find many restaurants offer ‘menu of the day’, 3 course meals for less than 10 euros. At a Chinese Wok Restaurant you eat all you can for 8-10 euros, what more could you wish for and you do not have to wash up!!!.

Substantial EU investment over the years mean that the infrastructure on the Costa’s is excellent. Sanitation is now good, the beaches fly Blue Flags for cleanliness, the drinking water is crystal clear, the roads are superb and public transport is excellent. Put this all together and you have a perfect environment, just 2.5 hours away.

Your family and friends are only ever a half day's travel, with air fares becoming easily affordable the dream of a life in Spain is ever more achievable - come on and live your dream!!

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