Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all... I am brand new to this forum and looking for some good constructive advice on some thoughts myself and my partner have about moving over to Spain. We recently holidayed in Torrevieja (Costa Blanca) and loved the experience. We talked a lot while we were there (without the children) about how different and improved life could be if we moved out there. Our children are age 5 & 9 (almost 6 & 10). Now, I have read a lot on here so far and spoken with a lot of British families whilst we were out there and so I am not completely naive to the realities of such a big move, and I know how glossy a thought it can be initially - it's not something I plan to do on a whim and I am here to find out as much information as possible from people who know exactly how it is.

I am 35 years old and my partner is 26. As I said, we have two young children. My daughter (age 9) loves foreign languages and is highly intelligent, does seriously well at school and excels at everything she does. My son, age 5, is slightly more laid back, shall we say :) He just wants to play, do little boy things although still does well at school. He is only in primary 1 and so recently learned about English (never mind Spanish!).

I own a thriving beauty salon in Edinburgh with brilliant reliable staff, one of whom would make a great manager. I only work 1 day a week within the premises as it is and still manage a good income from it. I do also however qualify for child benefit and tax credits to supplement. A question I have here is, do I still qualify for any of this since my UK business would still be feeding into the British tax system in m absence? I did read here somewhere that as long as you are not paying into the British tax system you don't qualify - what if I am paying taxes here but living abroad? I would likely look to open another salon in my chosen location abroad with local staff who speak the language. I would strive to open a high end salon, as I have here in the UK. My partner is in a 'dead end' job that he hates - and is close to quitting anyway. He works in sales with a strong background in sales and customer services, and DJ'ing.

With regards to finding a property, we would look to rent short term initially whilst finding the right one (our UK neighbours have a villa which we could possibly look to rent short term as it is smaller than we would need). So I guess we are in a better position than some??

I am looking for any advice possible - everything I read and hear seems to be negative :-( I would love, whilst we are still a young family, to take the opportunity of travel and sampling another life for us and the children. In the sunshine and with an easier pace of life. Would it be so bad to go for it with say 12 months trial in mind, put everything into storage and see how it goes? We rent at £1200 per month here in the UK as it is! Surely anything in life is a risk - and I have taken my fair share of those with my business to get it where it is today... we are thinking 'why not?!' I would love to give my children the opportunity of a new lifestyle and a new language, with the excitement of potential new business in the sun. I should also add that my mum would possibly want to trial with us - she is early 50's, single with no job at the moment - does some cleaning locally.

Are we mad? lol....
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,467 Posts
Hello all... I am brand new to this forum and looking for some good constructive advice on some thoughts myself and my partner have about moving over to Spain. We recently holidayed in Torrevieja (Costa Blanca) and loved the experience. We talked a lot while we were there (without the children) about how different and improved life could be if we moved out there. Our children are age 5 & 9 (almost 6 & 10). Now, I have read a lot on here so far and spoken with a lot of British families whilst we were out there and so I am not completely naive to the realities of such a big move, and I know how glossy a thought it can be initially - it's not something I plan to do on a whim and I am here to find out as much information as possible from people who know exactly how it is.

I am 35 years old and my partner is 26. As I said, we have two young children. My daughter (age 9) loves foreign languages and is highly intelligent, does seriously well at school and excels at everything she does. My son, age 5, is slightly more laid back, shall we say :) He just wants to play, do little boy things although still does well at school. He is only in primary 1 and so recently learned about English (never mind Spanish!).

I own a thriving beauty salon in Edinburgh with brilliant reliable staff, one of whom would make a great manager. I only work 1 day a week within the premises as it is and still manage a good income from it. I do also however qualify for child benefit and tax credits to supplement. A question I have here is, do I still qualify for any of this since my UK business would still be feeding into the British tax system in m absence? I did read here somewhere that as long as you are not paying into the British tax system you don't qualify - what if I am paying taxes here but living abroad? I would likely look to open another salon in my chosen location abroad with local staff who speak the language. I would strive to open a high end salon, as I have here in the UK. My partner is in a 'dead end' job that he hates - and is close to quitting anyway. He works in sales with a strong background in sales and customer services, and DJ'ing.

With regards to finding a property, we would look to rent short term initially whilst finding the right one (our UK neighbours have a villa which we could possibly look to rent short term as it is smaller than we would need). So I guess we are in a better position than some??

I am looking for any advice possible - everything I read and hear seems to be negative :-( I would love, whilst we are still a young family, to take the opportunity of travel and sampling another life for us and the children. In the sunshine and with an easier pace of life. Would it be so bad to go for it with say 12 months trial in mind, put everything into storage and see how it goes? We rent at £1200 per month here in the UK as it is! Surely anything in life is a risk - and I have taken my fair share of those with my business to get it where it is today... we are thinking 'why not?!' I would love to give my children the opportunity of a new lifestyle and a new language, with the excitement of potential new business in the sun. I should also add that my mum would possibly want to trial with us - she is early 50's, single with no job at the moment - does some cleaning locally.

Are we mad? lol....
:welcome:

As soon as you live in Spain for more than 183? days you are tax resident in spain & have to declare/pay tax here because you become tax resident whether you want to or not

If living here you have to register as resident within/after 90 days - as a resident of Spain you will no longer get child benefit/tax credit or anything else - you can only get that if you are resident & working in the UK

However - if you could live in the UK taking the benefits & your partner's income out of the equation, then why not? The cost of living is pretty much the same overall as in the UK - in some areas & for some things cheaper, but IMO it's swings & roundabouts when you have kids. You can certainly rent a much nicer property here for less rent & if you shop the Spanish way, food is cheaper.

BUT - if you will need an income of any kind here.......... not a good idea :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you so much for your advice, this is really useful information :love:

We currently live from my income in a £1200 a month luxury home so I am sure we could be good in one lots cheaper also... we are fully aware my partner isn't likely to find work and that is the worry - for esteem as much as anything?

How would my children do with Spanish speaking schools do you think? The advice I have so far is that my 5 year old is a perfect age but my 9 year old may struggle?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,467 Posts
thank you so much for your advice, this is really useful information :love:

We currently live from my income in a £1200 a month luxury home so I am sure we could be good in one lots cheaper also... we are fully aware my partner isn't likely to find work and that is the worry - for esteem as much as anything?

How would my children do with Spanish speaking schools do you think? The advice I have so far is that my 5 year old is a perfect age but my 9 year old may struggle?
my two were 5 & very nearly 9 when they started in Spanish school & have always done well - they are tri-lingual now because in our area they also speak Valenciano.


the older one will obviously find it harder than the younger - but with support from you & exposure to the language 24/7 (so no english tele ;)) will probably be fine

to be fair though, you never know- I have known & know English kids who are now 16+ who have been in the state system since age 5 or 6 who still can't really speak Spanish & will leave/have left school with no qualifications - but I also know a few who started age 12 who graduated with good grades & on time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
If you're moving to Spain because you want a better life then dont. You are in a safe and protective country right now, dont take that for granted. Spain is harsh and hard. Life is infinitely easier in the UK.

Jo xxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for advice - I am honestly taking all of it on board :) Nobody is better placed to advise us than those living there already or those who have lived there and had to return home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,362 Posts
Saly, Jo is right.
Prospects for starting a business of any kind in Spain are not good.
We owned medium-sized businesses in the UK so we have had considerable experience and no way would we contemplate starting a business here now.
Holidays are not real life. I visited the Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia for thirty years, spending much time there. I moved there in 2005 and came to Spain in 2008. You don't know a country until you've lived in it. Holiday experiences don't correlate with everyday life - after all, if they did, we wouldn't need them!:)
Unemployment is running at three times that of the UK, more than four times on the Costas, where you would stand the best chance of success. One-third of British immigrants to Spain have returned to the UK. Many more want to but are trapped with homes they cannot sell and which are worth half the purchase price.
There are very many beauty salons in my area (near Marbella), many 'high end'. The market is saturated. Few people even in Marbella have money to spare for non-essentials.
We have had several posts from people hoping to move to Spain in the past week. My guess is the UK weather,the gloomy economic climate and the recent election results.
But believe me, Spain is far far worse in every respect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,362 Posts
... apart from Spain has the summer coming up - the UK has had theirs!! :rolleyes:

Jo xxx

Maybe that's why people's thoughts are turning to emigrating?
I can understand that...but the economic climate should be the determining factor....


Sandra took Azor for a walk this morning by our rio which now has some water -rather murky water - only to find a Spanish family doing their washing in the river....bed linen, everything.

Spain 2012....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
Sandra took Azor for a walk this morning by our rio which now has some water -rather murky water - only to find a Spanish family doing their washing in the river....bed linen, everything.

Spain 2012....
Thats shocking! Its one thing electing to save money, its another not having any to save.

Jo xxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
wow that is sad :-(

But surely if my family had an income coming from my business in the UK we would have a running start. It isn't all about money for us - sure we need it to survive and to live a nice life and I believe we have that, it's about a lifestyle choice for us. I know that the UK is protective and we reap a lot of benefits from that, but Spain must have its lifestyle benefits too - when you remove the financial aspect? Of course I appreciate finances are a massive factor, but remove that - what does Spain offer my family? That is my other question...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,055 Posts
This post is completely irrelevant to the discussion.

Here on the small Canary island of El Hierro we do not have a single beauty saloon, neither are there any Scots and all the river beds are dry.

One thought though, forget the Costas consider a fact finding tour of the larger Canary Isles
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you Hepa... I will certainly look at this.

One thing I will add is that, whilst I appreciate every single piece of advice I receive here, if I had listened to people telling me not to open a salon here in Scotland I know for sure I would be a very poor mummy with nothing much going on. As it is, I ignored advice re my business and used determination, ambition and professionalism to make it the success it is today. No it was not easy and I appreciate furthermore it certainly seems even harder in Spain, but perhaps location really is everything? There is a recession going on here in the UK also but my business isn't feeling it for whatever reason?....
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,467 Posts
wow that is sad :-(

But surely if my family had an income coming from my business in the UK we would have a running start. It isn't all about money for us - sure we need it to survive and to live a nice life and I believe we have that, it's about a lifestyle choice for us. I know that the UK is protective and we reap a lot of benefits from that, but Spain must have its lifestyle benefits too - when you remove the financial aspect? Of course I appreciate finances are a massive factor, but remove that - what does Spain offer my family? That is my other question...
yes, you'd have a running start - but don't expect it to be easy - don't forget you'd be living on much less than you do currently if your partner isn't working


remove the financial aspect & Spain is a great place to live

where I live we have fresh air, the sea, I can afford a much nicer property here than I could for the same rent in the UK

yes, the weather is generally better if by that you mean warmer, so a lot more time can be spent outside

however.......... I have to work so my life is much the same as it would be in the UK - just more pleasant surroundings & blue sky

if you are lucky to get work, you would usually be working much less family friendly hours here - I'm a widow with 2 teens (thank heavens they ARE teens or I don't know how I'd work :eek:) & although I don't work a huge number of hours some of them are in the evening & at weekends. It's my business so to an extent I can dictate the hours I work, so I'm home when they get in from school & we eat lunch together - if I was working for someone else that would probably not be possible

I know a lot of families who returned to the UK simply because the quality of their family life decreased dramatically - when they moved here because they thought it would be better
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,055 Posts
wow that is sad :-(

But surely if my family had an income coming from my business in the UK we would have a running start. It isn't all about money for us - sure we need it to survive and to live a nice life and I believe we have that, it's about a lifestyle choice for us. I know that the UK is protective and we reap a lot of benefits from that, but Spain must have its lifestyle benefits too - when you remove the financial aspect? Of course I appreciate finances are a massive factor, but remove that - what does Spain offer my family? That is my other question...

Well it is cheaper here, we get a year long mostly sunny warm climate, the people are friendlier, parents do not seem afraid to let their children play out and wander where they want. I enjoy living here, but I am retired, do not need work, I have my own property so for me life is easy.

I would say if you have an income and have researched well, then go for it, your decision though. Best of luck,

Hepa
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,362 Posts
wow that is sad :-(

But surely if my family had an income coming from my business in the UK we would have a running start. It isn't all about money for us - sure we need it to survive and to live a nice life and I believe we have that, it's about a lifestyle choice for us. I know that the UK is protective and we reap a lot of benefits from that, but Spain must have its lifestyle benefits too - when you remove the financial aspect? Of course I appreciate finances are a massive factor, but remove that - what does Spain offer my family? That is my other question...

Sun. Better weather.
For some, a more relaxed lifestyle.
Otherwise,more of the same.
We retired early, have no money worries, no children to think of, just a dog to walk.
We enjoy living in Spain, true, but then we have lived in other countries and enjoyed those experiences too.
To be honest, I find it difficult to understand why British people in particular view Spain as a 'dream'.
It's a very pleasant place to live with lovely people but as I said, we don't need to work, have no foreseeable financial worries and that makes a huge difference.

One small point: we have seen the value of our UK investment assets and income devalue by around one third since we left in 2005. We can absorb that and still live comfortably as we lived in the UK.
No-one in 2005 could have foreseen that fall in the value of sterling.
Will it fall further? Who knows?
Today the euro has devalued...for how long?
The future for all of Europe is very uncertain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,362 Posts
Thank you Hepa... I will certainly look at this.

One thing I will add is that, whilst I appreciate every single piece of advice I receive here, if I had listened to people telling me not to open a salon here in Scotland I know for sure I would be a very poor mummy with nothing much going on. As it is, I ignored advice re my business and used determination, ambition and professionalism to make it the success it is today. No it was not easy and I appreciate furthermore it certainly seems even harder in Spain, but perhaps location really is everything? There is a recession going on here in the UK also but my business isn't feeling it for whatever reason?....

There is no way you can compare opening a business in Scotland with opening one in Spain. Neither are determination, ambition and professionalism lacking here in Spain. You need all those qualities to run a successful business, true, but they count for nothing if you have no customers with money to spend.

As for the UK recession...no comparison with that in Spain. The UK has prospects for growth...Spain has few if any. You cannot compare unemployment at less than 9% (UK) with 34% (Spanish Costas).
My partner is Scottish. Edinburgh is a relatively prosperous city with people with money to spend. My daughter-in-law flies to Edinburgh each week in her work for RBS and works with people all with six-figure salaries who can afford to spend on non-essentials - maybe some of them are your clients.. The very many financial institutions in Edinburgh and the spin-off industries associated with them, as well as the location for Scottish tv, Scottish National Theatre, Ballet and Opera provide a ready source of clients with money to spend on their clothes and general appearance. No such client base on the CdS apart from Marbella where the hair and beauty market is already sewn up with well-established high-end businesses (patronised by my partner...)

THe best thing you could do is to visit and get a sense of how things are. The Costas would be a good location - but you have to visit all the Costas to see which has the best possibilities for your business.
You also need to do some thorough market research which I'm sure you did before opening your business in Scotland and which is even more essential if you are to stand any chance of succeeding here..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,383 Posts
Hello all... I am brand new to this forum and looking for some good constructive advice on some thoughts myself and my partner have about moving over to Spain. We recently holidayed in Torrevieja (Costa Blanca) and loved the experience. We talked a lot while we were there (without the children) about how different and improved life could be if we moved out there. Our children are age 5 & 9 (almost 6 & 10). Now, I have read a lot on here so far and spoken with a lot of British families whilst we were out there and so I am not completely naive to the realities of such a big move, and I know how glossy a thought it can be initially - it's not something I plan to do on a whim and I am here to find out as much information as possible from people who know exactly how it is.

I am 35 years old and my partner is 26. As I said, we have two young children. My daughter (age 9) loves foreign languages and is highly intelligent, does seriously well at school and excels at everything she does. My son, age 5, is slightly more laid back, shall we say :) He just wants to play, do little boy things although still does well at school. He is only in primary 1 and so recently learned about English (never mind Spanish!).

I own a thriving beauty salon in Edinburgh with brilliant reliable staff, one of whom would make a great manager. I only work 1 day a week within the premises as it is and still manage a good income from it. I do also however qualify for child benefit and tax credits to supplement. A question I have here is, do I still qualify for any of this since my UK business would still be feeding into the British tax system in m absence? I did read here somewhere that as long as you are not paying into the British tax system you don't qualify - what if I am paying taxes here but living abroad? I would likely look to open another salon in my chosen location abroad with local staff who speak the language. I would strive to open a high end salon, as I have here in the UK. My partner is in a 'dead end' job that he hates - and is close to quitting anyway. He works in sales with a strong background in sales and customer services, and DJ'ing.

With regards to finding a property, we would look to rent short term initially whilst finding the right one (our UK neighbours have a villa which we could possibly look to rent short term as it is smaller than we would need). So I guess we are in a better position than some??

I am looking for any advice possible - everything I read and hear seems to be negative :-( I would love, whilst we are still a young family, to take the opportunity of travel and sampling another life for us and the children. In the sunshine and with an easier pace of life. Would it be so bad to go for it with say 12 months trial in mind, put everything into storage and see how it goes? We rent at £1200 per month here in the UK as it is! Surely anything in life is a risk - and I have taken my fair share of those with my business to get it where it is today... we are thinking 'why not?!' I would love to give my children the opportunity of a new lifestyle and a new language, with the excitement of potential new business in the sun. I should also add that my mum would possibly want to trial with us - she is early 50's, single with no job at the moment - does some cleaning locally.

Are we mad? lol....
I agree with practically everything that has been said here, and you would be really wise to read it over and over and take notice of it.
Your children are good ages to come over, but you're hitting the danger zone for the older one so you might have to calculate for a private school for him if you leave it much longer.
If you have a good reliable income from your British based business then yes, of course that's an advantage.
If you have enough time and energy to research another business in Spain that's another advantage. I even think that a high end beauty salon may do well in certain areas as long as it really is that and not just a hairdresser's with a sun bed in the back. There is a growing interest here in massage and spa treatments and super luxury facials, weight reductions and hair treatments involving technology and and techniques that I couldn't begin to understand. Why do I think that? Because the gap between those with money and those without, is growing, and the prices of many things are falling or not going up, so the well off can do even more with their money than before. Also I see loads of offers for beauty treatments. That may be a disadvantage actually because you're up against stiff competition, which brings me to the disadvantages...
You'd be coming over to a completely cold market, unless you take over a salon that's up and running. You won't have your own portfolio of clients so surely you'll need a Spanish partner, especially as you can't speak the language. (Please don't tell me you expect to pick the language up in a few months, or even years because unless your under 10 it doesn't work like that :)) and I doubt that you'd be earning that much to start off with so a Spanish partner may be too expensive.
Another thing is the other person in this team. If he doesn't get work here, what's he going to do?
Lastly the children. The crisis is a huge crisis. Schools are getting fewer resources, teachers will be getting less training, some schools are without supply teachers, heating and support teachers - things that may directly affect your children. At the moment there are more young people (16 - 25) out of work than working. Can you imagine that? The voices of doom are talking about the end of the crisis in 2020. Think about it, and think about it a lot. You need to research areas extremely well and consider your present situation AND the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
How much of an impact would not getting child support and tax credits make to your finances? As soon as you are officially resident in Spain, would stop and you would receive nothing from the Spanish system...
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top