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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi there
my name is stacie i am married with 2 great kids an ok hubby and one hell of a mad dog and we live in the north east of England

i have always wanted to live in Spain ever since i took my first holiday there when i was 8 but the time have never been right but lately this country has been getting worse and my family and i don't wont to live hear any more so any help or advice u can give me would help as i seem to spent all my spare time on the net trying to find things out about
1. where to live
2. schools
3. work
4. animals
5. life style
6. things i need to do before we leave
7. money
and so on you get the pitcher lol

my dad has also showed interest in coming with us witch i think is a good idea as its a built in babysitter lol
right enough about me I'm just babbling on now so thanks for reading this and i hope to hear from some one soon
thanks :) :spit:
 

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Hi Stacie

I hope you dont mind but I have moved your thread into the main Spain forum as you will probably get more viewings and replies!

Sue :ranger:
 

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Hi again Stacie

Well if this is your first step to researching living in Spain you will have a lot to do! :)

We have been discussing emigrating to Spain a lot over the past week, probably because of the economic situation here which is making it difficult for a lot of people to survive.

I suppose your starting point should be how you are financing the move - do either, or both of you need to work ? if so what line of work are you in ? do you speak any Spanish ?

The income / work issue is always important of course! but at the moment unless you can deal with this its going to be practically impossible to consider being here! Unemployment is running at just under 20% - and as immigrants we are some of the hardest hit in terms of available employment.

Its a great place to be if you can finance living here .... but I would answer that question first before moving onto more day to day practicalities.

Sue :ranger:
 

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hi there
my name is stacie i am married with 2 great kids an ok hubby and one hell of a mad dog and we live in the north east of England

i have always wanted to live in Spain ever since i took my first holiday there when i was 8 but the time have never been right but lately this country has been getting worse and my family and i don't wont to live hear any more so any help or advice u can give me would help as i seem to spent all my spare time on the net trying to find things out about
1. where to live
2. schools
3. work
4. animals
5. life style
6. things i need to do before we leave
7. money
and so on you get the pitcher lol

my dad has also showed interest in coming with us witch i think is a good idea as its a built in babysitter lol
right enough about me I'm just babbling on now so thanks for reading this and i hope to hear from some one soon
thanks :) :spit:
Hi Stacie,

Loads of stuff you can read here to help you make a decision.
The important thing is not to confuse 'holiday Spain' with 'living permanently Spain'.
As many people have pointed out, you need a job, reasonable income, knowledge of Spanish and to understand that times are hard in Spain in fact harder than in the UK.
It's not all sunshine, sea and sangria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hey guy's thanks for the comments i am able to work but my hubby might not he is reg disabled in this country and has limits on what he can do i no holiday Spain is sooooo different from living there like i said i have been going since i was 8 made some good friends and i have a few family members already over there i don't speak any Spanish but its not stopped me trying on average what is a good week or a bad week living in Spain and what the average of living ??
 

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hey guy's thanks for the comments i am able to work but my hubby might not he is reg disabled in this country and has limits on what he can do i no holiday Spain is sooooo different from living there like i said i have been going since i was 8 made some good friends and i have a few family members already over there i don't speak any Spanish but its not stopped me trying on average what is a good week or a bad week living in Spain and what the average of living ??
Hi Stacie and welcome to the forum. I'm assuming you're asking abgout the cost of living by good week, bad week. Well I have an allowance of 1500pounds a month for me, two children and three dogs, I can just about manage, but its not easy (I'm desolate until pay day tomorrow LOL), the exchange rate is appalling at the mo and my husband earns in sterling (he commutes and works in the UK). I would say, rule of thumb the cost of living is roughly the same as the UK. Petrols cheaper, but then distances are greater, some food is cheaper but that gets balanced out by some dearer things, heating in the winter here is dearer cos there is very little central heating, houses are all tiles and we rely on electric heaters and of course in the summer air con is electric too! But electricity is about the same as the UK, maybe a tad more!

Have a look thru the various topics on the Spain forum. How are your friends in Spain coping with the recession, lack of work and the exchange rate??

Jo xxx
 

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Hi Stacie

Ok ..first of all I do not think your husband will be able to claim any disability benefits here in Spain (I hope Im not presuming too much in thinking he may be getting this in the UK?). I dont want to ask you personal questions obviously, but it will depend on the nature of his disability as to what work, if any, he can get here.

It isnt going to be the same for everything - but on average I would consider 1200 euros per month to be a good salary here at the moment!!!! - thats if you can find the job, a job that has a basic salary (many are commissions only!!!), and one that has a contract.

1200 euros per month (less after tax and social security) on the costa del sol where I live is not going to be enough to support a family of 4.

Rents are cheaper in certain coastal areas - more expensive in others - I would guess anything between 500 and 800 euros a month depending on area for a 2/3 bed apartment for a family of 4 and a dog!

If you decide to work self employed (or Autonomo) you will be expected to pay 241 euros per month into the social security system, this is a bit like national insurance and goes towards covering health care etc.

if you are self employed and then lose any work you wont be entitled to any unemployment benefits at the moment.

If you are on contract, you will need to have contributed to the system here for approx 2 years I think before you will be entitled to any form of unemployment benefit should you then lose your job. There is no real social security / unemployment / housing benefit system here at all!!

If your children go to Spanish state school it is free once you are a resident - BUT you will need to buy all their text books etc as the schools dont provide them.

If you want them to go to an international school (where they can be taught in English) then you obviously have to pay school fees like any private school in the UK.

The cost of living here is more or less the same as the UK these days, other than cigarettes which are somewhat cheaper.

Electricity is more expensive than the UK, water is cheaper, telephones are more expensive as are the internet and mobile phone charges.

Phew .... thats a start ... let me know if you want anything more specific.

Sue :ranger:
 

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There are some disability benefits you can claim if you are in Spain I think Sue, certainly a portion of it?? But you cant claim child benefit and you cant claim dole money or any other related benefits (housing etc)


Jo xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hi jojo
thanks for that i will go and have a look around but there is so much to look at lol i saw the pic's of ur house and family wow (o i hope ur the right jojo) sorry if not my friends are up and down the have there own business so they are finding it hard but they still love there life over there what are wages like is it like this country min wage?
 

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hi jojo
thanks for that i will go and have a look around but there is so much to look at lol i saw the pic's of ur house and family wow (o i hope ur the right jojo) sorry if not my friends are up and down the have there own business so they are finding it hard but they still love there life over there what are wages like is it like this country min wage?
As far as I know, wages are in general much lower than in the UK, I wish I did know for sure cos it would mean I had a job LOL!!

I do know that there are a lot of Polish working in Spain and undercutting the Spanish, who were already working for a lot less than the UK. There is nearly 20€ unempoloyement over here as opposed to 8% in the UK, it is really grim at the mo. But if you want to come over then maybe start planning now, but leave it til the spring when it warms up and the holiday season and possibly more jobs are available!

Or of course, come over and have a look around, see what jobs, properties etc are available. You may hit lucky, often over here, its not what you know but who you know

Jo xxx
 

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hi jojo
thanks for that i will go and have a look around but there is so much to look at lol i saw the pic's of ur house and family wow (o i hope ur the right jojo) sorry if not my friends are up and down the have there own business so they are finding it hard but they still love there life over there what are wages like is it like this country min wage?
The minimum wage isnt really relevant here Stacie! believe me a lot of people work for peanuts, cash in hand ... or dont get paid at all! I did give you an example of what I would consider to be an average salary in my previous post .....

Best of luck
Sue
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
wow there is so much i am leaning i no a bit about the benefits my hubby gets but I'm working with the job centre with that as well but what happens about ur child benefit i did not even think of that one. u both sound like u enjoy ur lives and i am very thankful for all the help u are giving me xx
 

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There are some disability benefits you can claim if you are in Spain I think Sue, certainly a portion of it?? But you cant claim child benefit and you cant claim dole money or any other related benefits (housing etc)


Jo xxx
Thanks Jo - I will get the link the UK government site for Stacie to take a look at - that explains benefits a lot more ...

sue x
 

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Just a passing thought.....do sites like expats.france or expats.italy get so many posts from people hoping to move to those countries, get work etc.
I suspect not and that package holidays have a lot to answer for..:)
There was a post somewhere from someone asking if they could get a place to live for a family, near the beach, shops, public transport etc. with utilities included for 500 euros a month.
That's around £450 at the current exchange rate. Where could you get a place like that in the UK for that much a month???
Do people think we live on fresh air and sunshine here?:D
Jo's figure of £1500 a month is realistic and I think she must be a financial wizard to manage on that - Alisdair Darling, move over!:D
There are two of us and a large dog and without including rent we spend almost 900- 1000 euros a month on utilities, petrol,insurances, food and all the other necessities such as cleaning materials, clothes now and then, car maintenance, vets bills and so on and so on..
In order to keep finances under control I keep meticulous records of what is spent and anyone looking at them would certainly not conclude we had a lavish lifestyle. Comfortable yes, luxurious, no, although the bulk of our outgoings are on rent.
I don't smoke, don't drink a lot and we don't eat out that often.
The quality of life is great though and you can't put a price on that.
 

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Another passing thought....you don't want to pour cold water aka dash of reality on people's dreams but neither do you want to see people giving up an established life they had, whether great or not, to come and be miserable in their new life because the economics don't add up for them.
You really do need to be financially independent/secure already before you contemplate a move here, at least in these hard times, what with the depressed economy here, poor rate of exchange etc.
Maybe in the next few years things may improve and it might not be as much of a gamble?
 

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Another passing thought....you don't want to pour cold water aka dash of reality on people's dreams but neither do you want to see people giving up an established life they had, whether great or not, to come and be miserable in their new life because the economics don't add up for them.
You really do need to be financially independent/secure already before you contemplate a move here, at least in these hard times, what with the depressed economy here, poor rate of exchange etc.
Maybe in the next few years things may improve and it might not be as much of a gamble?
Ah yes, but what about those people on borderline. A couple, retired, on about 800. They are barely getting by in the UK (on 800 a month pension for both of them, no assistance - is there?), the 120-150 a month rates is killing them. What do they do if they're thinking of moving to Spain on only €900. Would they be better off staying put? - keeping in mind that their heating allowance comes with them (as does the £10 for Xmass :)) and if they were to move lock stock and barrel, one hell of a lump sum from the equity of their house sale.

Where would these people in the latter stage of their lives be better off?

Xose
P.S. Majorly simplistic I know, but I am talking purely financially.
 

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Ah yes, but what about those people on borderline. A couple, retired, on about 800. They are barely getting by in the UK (on 800 a month pension for both of them, no assistance - is there?), the 120-150 a month rates is killing them. What do they do if they're thinking of moving to Spain on only €900. Would they be better off staying put? - keeping in mind that their heating allowance comes with them (as does the £10 for Xmass :)) and if they were to move lock stock and barrel, one hell of a lump sum from the equity of their house sale.

Where would these people in the latter stage of their lives be better off?

Xose
P.S. Majorly simplistic I know, but I am talking purely financially.
On balance, I'd advise them to stay put, but it's a hard call. There are all kinds of additional benefits pensioners on lower incomes are entitled to- housing benefit if they are renting, Council Tax rebate,plus all the NHS stuff like eye tests, dental care and all in English,and free bus passes etc.
If they have equity from their house sale, though, that would make things a lot easier. It would also preclude any return if things didn't work out here.
Difficulties with language, getting your health care sorted, possible loneliness after death of a partner...all to be considered.
But admittedly they wouldn't need to look for work, which is a big problem at present.
In the current situation I'd advise anyone who is struggling in the UK to stay put. You have a good, steady IT business and we are early retirees so we are both in a fairly privileged position. At a guess I'd say you speak fluent Spanish and that you've travelled around quite a bit. My Spanish isn't fluent but it's adequate and I'm working on it and we've visited or lived in many other countries. These are considerable advantages.
I think that people should only consider relocating if they are fairly well-travelled, speak Spanish, have well-paid secure employment lined up, have a property in the UK they can return to if things go pear-shaped and have a contingency fund of around £20k.
But then I'm well-known for being risk averse - although being so has kept me solvent!;)
 

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On balance, I'd advise them to stay put, but it's a hard call. There are all kinds of additional benefits pensioners on lower incomes are entitled to- housing benefit if they are renting, Council Tax rebate,plus all the NHS stuff like eye tests, dental care and all in English,and free bus passes etc.
If they have equity from their house sale, though, that would make things a lot easier. It would also preclude any return if things didn't work out here.
Difficulties with language, getting your health care sorted, possible loneliness after death of a partner...all to be considered.
But admittedly they wouldn't need to look for work, which is a big problem at present.
In the current situation I'd advise anyone who is struggling in the UK to stay put. You have a good, steady IT business and we are early retirees so we are both in a fairly privileged position. At a guess I'd say you speak fluent Spanish and that you've travelled around quite a bit. My Spanish isn't fluent but it's adequate and I'm working on it and we've visited or lived in many other countries. These are considerable advantages.
I think that people should only consider relocating if they are fairly well-travelled, speak Spanish, have well-paid secure employment lined up, have a property in the UK they can return to if things go pear-shaped and have a contingency fund of around £20k.
But then I'm well-known for being risk averse - although being so has kept me solvent!;)
Well, I agree with you in that when looked in isolation, in black and white, one should stay where one is familiar with the jungle when things are not easy. However, I know of a couple who have chosen to do exactly as you suggest. I suspect that cold feet, the language issues and the idea of getting to know a new jungle was just too much.

The thing that makes me so very, very sad is that I know roughly what their income is (Pensions, private and government, investments, property value, savings et al). These people are OK in the UK - and they will continue to be OK in their 3 bed semi. They are in their comfort zone, so good on them. But why am I sad.... because I know that here they would live like kings on a guaranteed monthly income, with a lot of equity and one hell of a property in comparison. What makes it even more sad is that they absolutely love it here. They just find it too frightening to contemplate the move at their stage in life no matter how much they are reassured.

Don't get me wrong, I fully understand their position and actually understand it. I've been there at an earlier age and it's only because of my age back then that I made the moves I did and I also know that "nothing ventured, nothing gained" is SO true in life.

So, they're happy and Gordon gets to keep a couple of fantastic silver surfers in blighty. Everyone's happy..... except the ghosts of "if only".

Xose
 
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