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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi i hope im doing this right if not sorry,me and my wife, and two children aged 4 months, and ten years old are moving in june to spain we have the house up for sale and we have a family holiday home to stay in, there is so many questions i would like advice on but maybe i will just start with one,if there is any one who could maybe help that would be great .
me and my wife are both 36 old im a bricklayer my wife is a special needs teaching assistant ,the question is about health care how much does it cost etc,the dentist also how much etc thank you very much for looking kev
 

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hi i hope im doing this right if not sorry,me and my wife, and two children aged 4 months, and ten years old are moving in june to spain we have the house up for sale and we have a family holiday home to stay in, there is so many questions i would like advice on but maybe i will just start with one,if there is any one who could maybe help that would be great .
me and my wife are both 36 old im a bricklayer my wife is a special needs teaching assistant ,the question is about health care how much does it cost etc,the dentist also how much etc thank you very much for looking kev
welcome to the forum

If you can get a job with a contract or pay 'autonomo' (self-employed) you are covered on the spanish 'NHS', but this doesn't include dental care

autonomo is age-related but figure about 250 euros a month, on top of tax

dental charges are similar to those in the UK I believe

private health care costs obviously vary


the BIG IF will be work - there is about 20% unemployment here - the building industry has pretty much ground to a halt

your wife won't get work in a state school without fluent spanish - if then, & private english speaking schools are suffering because so many 'expats' of all nationalities are returning to whatever country they came from


who knows though? by June it might have all changed:)
 

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I would suggest that when you come over in June, you dont "burn your bridges" in the UK. If your wife has a job there, then maybe she could just take a big unpaid holiday rather than handing in her notice. That way you have an exit if it doesnt work out over here! Also I wouldnt sell your house until you know for sure - house prices are apparently going up over there and if you do have to go back, then you would have lost a fair bit of money - maybe??! So think about renting it out??

Of course, by June things could have changed - who knows?

As for health cover, you can get initial cover with the E111 but thats only if you're a temporary resident

Jo xxx
 

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I would suggest that when you come over in June, you dont "burn your bridges" in the UK. If your wife has a job there, then maybe she could just take a big unpaid holiday rather than handing in her notice. That way you have an exit if it doesnt work out over here! Also I wouldnt sell your house until you know for sure - house prices are apparently going up over there and if you do have to go back, then you would have lost a fair bit of money - maybe??! So think about renting it out??

Of course, by June things could have changed - who knows?

As for health cover, you can get initial cover with the E111 but thats only if you're a temporary resident

Jo xxx
Jo, it's now called the EHIC, and it is for emergency treatment for holiday makers only!
 

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Jo, it's now called the EHIC, and it is for emergency treatment for holiday makers only!
Ooopps, I stand corrected lol!!

I have private insurance, as do my kids, but the other week when I made an appointment for my daughter to see the GP, they were happy with just seeing her NI card and passport, I filled in a form and that was that - she was seen by the GP and then was forwarded on to a Specialist at Málaga hospital. No money or private cover details were handed over?? I had to pay for her prescriptions, cos apparently they're only free for babies under a year old?!

Jo xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks so much for your reply a couple of more questions if any one could help that would be great does any one know of any schools in torrevieja for my ten year old that they could recommend,the situation me and my family are in is that we have set aside a amount of money to live of for one year,within this year we hope to learn the launguage and see if the kids settle as for work we are under no illusions about getting work for the first year if we do that would be a bonus we are selling are house and moving over we feel that if it doesnt work out in spain we could always come back and buy again,does this seem a wise move whats your opinion we are so disillusioned with the uk thanks for your time
 

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thanks so much for your reply a couple of more questions if any one could help that would be great does any one know of any schools in torrevieja for my ten year old that they could recommend,the situation me and my family are in is that we have set aside a amount of money to live of for one year,within this year we hope to learn the launguage and see if the kids settle as for work we are under no illusions about getting work for the first year if we do that would be a bonus we are selling are house and moving over we feel that if it doesnt work out in spain we could always come back and buy again,does this seem a wise move whats your opinion we are so disillusioned with the uk thanks for your time

I cant help you with schools over there I'm afraid, we're in Málaga. I can say that at 10yo it maybe quite difficult for he/she to pick up the language very quickly (altho quicker than you lol, thats kids for you), so you may find that schooling and education maybe a bit of a hurdle!!??

As for selling your house?? Well I wouldnt advise it, as I said before, house prices in the UK are apparently rising, so you could end up selling it, then if you need to return, the house you sold maybe worth more - thats assuming you dont have and wont need a mortgage. If you do, it may not be as easy to get after all the bank stuff thats been going on in this last year!!!

I'm disillusioned with the UK too, I cant stand the place anymore, IMO, its all but finished. However, reports are seeping out that Europe isnt in as good a shape as it makes out. Also Spain has mass unemployment, food prices and utility prices are going up, hous prices are falling - petrol is no longer cheaper here...........

I'm not saying you shouldnt come over, but I think you should have a safety net should you find it doesnt work out!

The grass is always greener!!

Jo xxx
 

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thanks so much for your reply a couple of more questions if any one could help that would be great does any one know of any schools in torrevieja for my ten year old that they could recommend,the situation me and my family are in is that we have set aside a amount of money to live of for one year,within this year we hope to learn the launguage and see if the kids settle as for work we are under no illusions about getting work for the first year if we do that would be a bonus we are selling are house and moving over we feel that if it doesnt work out in spain we could always come back and buy again,does this seem a wise move whats your opinion we are so disillusioned with the uk thanks for your time
What's my opinion?
I think you're in the same position as a lot of people in the UK - fed up with it and want to get out!
BUT... Is it feasible nowadays?:confused2:? Well, the first thing you've done right is try and find out a bit about it, which some people don't; they just assume everything's cheaper and life is easy here, which it isn't. Life, as Jo has often said, is the same in as much as you go to work, do the shopping and nag the kids. It's just that you do in Torrevieja and not some town in the UK.
I think in general life is better here. The climate is better, I enjoy the lifestyle and I find people "nicer" all in all, but it's not all sun and sand.
But if you're not retired you'll need jobs and that's going to be difficult. In the past many people have lived off the UK/ European immigrant market and that market is shrinking at the moment so you have to have transferable skills starting at the basics with Spanish. After a year you should know some Spanish, but I don't know if you'll know enough to work in the language and with Spanish unemployment so high why would somebody employ a newbie who doesn't speak the language very well??
So, it's more or less the same message as Jo. Come over and try, but make sure you've got something to go back to, just in case:). Or leave until later ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for your opinion

thanks for your comments every opinon helps it is a very hard decision to make about leaving th uk we live in londonderry in northern ireland we have a good lifestyle with a reasonable income im a self employed bricklayer and my wife is has regular wage coming in, but its the amount of time we as a family have to stay indoors there is the weather factor cant seem to do anything or plan anything then there is the social side of things people seem to work come home have dinner and get ready for work the next day,same thing day in day out no social life at all,in my case i would be happy to work for half the wage as i get now and be able to take the kids for walks,swimming etc and be happy,seems to me that people are so busy in there own lives trying to earn a living that they have forgoten the most important thing you are only here once and you have to enjoy your kids and family life whatwould your opinion be about bringing and family up in spain opposed to the uk thanks for your time kev
 

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thanks for your comments every opinon helps it is a very hard decision to make about leaving th uk we live in londonderry in northern ireland we have a good lifestyle with a reasonable income im a self employed bricklayer and my wife is has regular wage coming in, but its the amount of time we as a family have to stay indoors there is the weather factor cant seem to do anything or plan anything then there is the social side of things people seem to work come home have dinner and get ready for work the next day,same thing day in day out no social life at all,in my case i would be happy to work for half the wage as i get now and be able to take the kids for walks,swimming etc and be happy,seems to me that people are so busy in there own lives trying to earn a living that they have forgoten the most important thing you are only here once and you have to enjoy your kids and family life whatwould your opinion be about bringing and family up in spain opposed to the uk thanks for your time kev

I know exactly what you mean and totally agree with you - we were the same! Spain is without doubt a much better place for kids. Altoh my husband commutes to the UK to work, he still has more time to spend with the kids. In the UK he was home late, out early, worked 6 days a week and hardly saw us - well not with any "quality time", he was always stressed out and tired! When he's here, he's here for a few days and can spend all his time with us, relaxing, doing things, without work getting in the way! So yes, its much better!

The downside tho - and you have to think about this! You'd be surprised how quickly the novelty wears off! The kids love seeing dad, but when he's here now, half the time we plan to do things, but the kids dont want to. They've got bored with the pool, they dont like the beach, in the summer its too hot to do much and they get sick of the heat and the constant sunshine (unbelievable but true!!). Mine still miss their UK friends, they dont like going out and doing things much - they'd sooner watch tv or play on their wretched computer games (Xbox, PS3 etc). I still have the housework to do, washing, ironing, the obligatory nagging....

Also , you have to think about work, cos without money, it is no fun - trust me on that!!!! We've had it fairly tough due to the exchange rate and the cost of the international school! Its not cheaper in Spain anymore, all the "fun" things to do like the waterparks, adventure parks, zoos, eating out.... whatever, cost money and if your kids are anything like mine, its a constant "can we have" wherever we go. So, work!! There are squillions of unsold, half built properties in spain. There are squillions of out of work builders, etc. If you can get work, the pay is lower than the UK, so to even earn half what you're probably earning now you'd have to work full time and being self employed means that you're constantly gonna be worrying where the next job will come from - I'm sure its a bit like that already for you, but where you are now, you probably have your reputation, contacts, the language etc...

Then you've got the school issue. Well your little one should be ok, cos he/she will pick up the language quickly and wont have any preconceived ideas of school, your older one may well struggle with the language, finding friends and may go thru the "I miss my friends, family, life", which is difficult to deal with and could make you wonder whether this was such a good idea??

I'm not trying to put you off, I think you should just give it a trial run to see how it works for you! We're all different so I cant tell you how it will be for you! Try it, But, I repeat DONT BURN YOUR BRIDGES til you're sure!!

Jo xxx
 

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thanks for your comments every opinon helps it is a very hard decision to make about leaving th uk we live in londonderry in northern ireland we have a good lifestyle with a reasonable income im a self employed bricklayer and my wife is has regular wage coming in, but its the amount of time we as a family have to stay indoors there is the weather factor cant seem to do anything or plan anything then there is the social side of things people seem to work come home have dinner and get ready for work the next day,same thing day in day out no social life at all,in my case i would be happy to work for half the wage as i get now and be able to take the kids for walks,swimming etc and be happy,seems to me that people are so busy in there own lives trying to earn a living that they have forgoten the most important thing you are only here once and you have to enjoy your kids and family life whatwould your opinion be about bringing and family up in spain opposed to the uk thanks for your time kev

First of all, after a bumpy start I love it here. But we have a paid for house, which is in the family for 35 years in an established urbanisation at the coast and work via the internet. All around us you have everything in english (comes with the area lol). You get used to all the cut of electricity when it storms and the regular water outtakes ;) for us it was quite an easy transition, with the odd problem that needed solving at the start.

Would I want to do all this without a house and job with my kids? Probably not without enough preparation, which involves learning the language NOW and not when comming over. It's a massive risk but a big opportunity at the same time. One year is a short period, we're here for 8 months now and it feels like 2! I had big hopes to get the language right as soon as possible. Forget it! ;) Im still not past my basics, admitting it gets better, but you can't get fluent enough within one year just by living in spain, it needs lots of work to get your spanish to a level that would enable you to work in a spanish environment. When you come down here there is so much to do (new house/flat, finding school for kids, sorting out all your utilities etc.) that I am sure you will struggle to find the time to concentrate on learning the language within the first months.

But let's put all this to the side, the forum is full with posts that advise you not to underestimate the step. You was talking about doing more with the kids and quality of life. Yes, the quality of life is so much better here and there is lots to do. But if you have to work full time, don't forget: in spain wages are low and I mean really low. Ontop of this you are expected to work more hours. So with a full time job you probably won't come home at 5 every day and then have the rest of the day for your family. At the end of the day it's the same as in the UK. You get up early to go to work, come back in the evening, have your dinner and prepare for the next day. So you'll have the week end for those things like in any other country. Might sound gloomy - take my word for it spain is great, but don't get illusions to how different it really is :)
 

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thanks for your comments every opinon helps it is a very hard decision to make about leaving th uk we live in londonderry in northern ireland we have a good lifestyle with a reasonable income im a self employed bricklayer and my wife is has regular wage coming in, but its the amount of time we as a family have to stay indoors there is the weather factor cant seem to do anything or plan anything then there is the social side of things people seem to work come home have dinner and get ready for work the next day,same thing day in day out no social life at all,in my case i would be happy to work for half the wage as i get now and be able to take the kids for walks,swimming etc and be happy,seems to me that people are so busy in there own lives trying to earn a living that they have forgoten the most important thing you are only here once and you have to enjoy your kids and family life whatwould your opinion be about bringing and family up in spain opposed to the uk thanks for your time kev
I can see where you are coming from, and yes the weather is generally 'more reliable'

but as jo said, family life really isn't that much different, except we actually work LONGER hours here!

say for instance you work in a shop or an office....a normal working day will be 10ish to 2ish then 4.30ish to 8ish - so when would see the kids?

you say you're a builder- they can start as early as 7am and finish as late as 9pm - obviously with a 2-3 hour break at the hottest time of day


the kids get a 12 week summer holiday - if you are both lucky enough to be working - what will you do about child care?

I'm not saying it's impossible - we manage by being organised & a lot of time juggling

nor is it really worse

it is very different to what most people expect though - and not so very different to family life in the UK - there's still the same [email protected] to deal with


but yeah - the weather is usually better & as the kids get older we do give them more freedom than I think they would have had in England
 

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I have lived in Torrevieja for 8 years and have written extensively about the Spanish education system so maybe I can add something.

Work? Forget it. Punto, final. You will be self-employed and will join the hundreds scrapping for every hint of an underbuild, loft or new gate. To get the work you will have to quote at rates you would not dream of in NI.

Education? At 10 kids will survive but much older than that and it becomes more difficult ......exponentially. You will have little choice in the school you go to - you will be allocated a school. The standards change from good to ........ (The schools' inspector famously asked, "What crime have I commited to be given Torrevieja?) Some of the classes are 65% expat and it's not uncommon to have 10 or more nationalities in one class. That also means that you will have 20 or more different standards of Spanish spoken by the kids. Does that create challenges? Yes .... but the kids often seem to cope with it better than the teachers! Remember you will be expected to help with homework which will be in the Spanish language.

Spain is my home and my life BUT I have no children to worry about, no mortage or finance to worry about .... and I already speak Spanish so my thoughts will be different to others.

Simple question? Should I come? You have to make YOUR decision. My suggestion would be that I'd keep the rain and the relative security in favour of the better weather and (presumed) better quality of life. Sorry if that's not what you want to hear but I fear you would be another statistic of the thousands and thousands who have gone back in the past 7/8 years.

Whatever decision you make I wish you every success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for your response seems to be the general opinon of most posts that i read that things are bad there, i have made my decision the house is up for sale i just feel that there has to be a better quality of life than the uk for my kids whether that is spain i dont know.Iam still going in june but i will not be looking to work, my wife and i are going to take a year out and make a decision where to settle, whether thats spain , i hope so if not well we will try somewhere else, but i know one thing if you dont try something different you will never know,whether it is for you,if you had the chance to start agin what country would you choose,thanks for everyones responses it really helps to paint a picture of whats ahead kev
 

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All very valid points - GOOD LUCK

If I had the chance to start again it would still be Spain but only because I do not need to worry about work, mortgages, education etc

If I had to consider those then it would be Sweden or Norway which would not be obvious choices for many, I know! What I do know is that I could earn x times more for the same work in Spain, I know that my children would get a quality education and that housing/cars/food are "relatively" affordable (as a percentage of a realistic salary) I also KNOW the downsides, the nanny state, the PC brigade ...............and the weather! (Minus 5 today - positively tropical !!)
 

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if you had the chance to start agin what country would you choose,thanks for everyones responses it really helps to paint a picture of whats ahead kev
Have you thought of Germany, in particular Berlin? Low rents, English spoken everywhere, building work available even in these hard times...hot summers but cold winters. A very lively city with parks, shops, restaurants -everything for adults asnd children and a good education system, from what I've experienced of it.
I had to smile when you mentioned rain...here on the southern CDS we've had torrential rain, gales, thunderstorms for four days now and apart from a break of a couple of hours today, more on the way.
But I do realise it's compensated for by the many months of sunshine.:)
In general though I do agree with Steve Hall and others in that life here is basically like family life elsewhere -same chores and responsibilities but with longer working hours with lower wages.
 
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