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I can see this is a common forum discussion, but I still find it confusing and unclear. I'm a retired UK citizen and my wife is Finnish and doesn't work. We have bought a house in Spain and want to live tin Spain permanently. We have our NIEs, we have our property deeds, registered in the town hall, have a bank account with Cajamar and have visited the local police to ask about residency. We have been told 2 things, but they are a unclear to us. 1. We must have private health insurance. 2. We need to show evidence of sufficient income.

My questions are:

Is it necessary to have private medical insurance, when the UK Government website states public health insurance is ok? What is this public health insurance and is this available to UK and Finnish citizens? How do we get it if it is sufficient for requirements?

My state pension and private pensions are paid into a UK bank and I intend to transfer money frequently for our living here in Spain. Is it enough to show a sufficient income coming into a UK bank, or do we have to show all pension money being sent direct to a Spanish bank?

We were also told it is favourable to show we own property here in Spain.

Here is the excerpt from the UK website relevant to health and income. It clearly says public health, but we don't know what this means:


<< c) People who do not work in Spain must produce documentation proving that they comply with the following two conditions:
i. Public or private health insurance contracted in Spain or in another country, provided that it ensures cover in Spain during their period of residence equivalent to the cover provided by the National Health System. Pensioners will be considered to meet this condition if they can prove, by means of the corresponding certificate, that they are entitled to health care paid for by the State from which they receive their pension

ii. have sufficient resources, for themselves and their family members, not to become a burden on Spain’s social assistance system during their period of residence. Proof of the possession of sufficient resources, whether from regular income, including work income or income of another kind, or from ownership of assets, will be given by any legally admissible evidence, such as property deeds, certified cheques, documentation proving that income from capital is received or credit cards. In this latter case, an up to date bank certificate proving the amount available by way of credit on the aforesaid card shall be produced. The assessment of sufficient resources must be carried out on an individual basis, taking into account the applicant’s personal and family circumstances. The possession of resources that are more than the amount established each year by the State General Budgets Act “Ley de Presupuestos Generales de Estado” that justifies the right to receive non-contributory benefits, taking into account the interested persons’ personal and family circumstances, will be regarded as sufficient proof to meet this requirement >>

I hope someone can clarify this, please?

Thanks.
 

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I can see this is a common forum discussion, but I still find it confusing and unclear. I'm a retired UK citizen and my wife is Finnish and doesn't work. We have bought a house in Spain and want to live tin Spain permanently. We have our NIEs, we have our property deeds, registered in the town hall, have a bank account with Cajamar and have visited the local police to ask about residency. We have been told 2 things, but they are a unclear to us. 1. We must have private health insurance. 2. We need to show evidence of sufficient income.

My questions are:

Is it necessary to have private medical insurance, when the UK Government website states public health insurance is ok? What is this public health insurance and is this available to UK and Finnish citizens? How do we get it if it is sufficient for requirements?

My state pension and private pensions are paid into a UK bank and I intend to transfer money frequently for our living here in Spain. Is it enough to show a sufficient income coming into a UK bank, or do we have to show all pension money being sent direct to a Spanish bank?

We were also told it is favourable to show we own property here in Spain.

Here is the excerpt from the UK website relevant to health and income. It clearly says public health, but we don't know what this means:


<< c) People who do not work in Spain must produce documentation proving that they comply with the following two conditions:
i. Public or private health insurance contracted in Spain or in another country, provided that it ensures cover in Spain during their period of residence equivalent to the cover provided by the National Health System. Pensioners will be considered to meet this condition if they can prove, by means of the corresponding certificate, that they are entitled to health care paid for by the State from which they receive their pension

ii. have sufficient resources, for themselves and their family members, not to become a burden on Spain’s social assistance system during their period of residence. Proof of the possession of sufficient resources, whether from regular income, including work income or income of another kind, or from ownership of assets, will be given by any legally admissible evidence, such as property deeds, certified cheques, documentation proving that income from capital is received or credit cards. In this latter case, an up to date bank certificate proving the amount available by way of credit on the aforesaid card shall be produced. The assessment of sufficient resources must be carried out on an individual basis, taking into account the applicant’s personal and family circumstances. The possession of resources that are more than the amount established each year by the State General Budgets Act “Ley de Presupuestos Generales de Estado” that justifies the right to receive non-contributory benefits, taking into account the interested persons’ personal and family circumstances, will be regarded as sufficient proof to meet this requirement >>

I hope someone can clarify this, please?

Thanks.
If you are a UK pensioner in receipt of the state pension, you can apply for an S1 form, from the U.K. government, that allows you to register here for healthcare within the Spanish state system

Income

Not sure actually... I think, but I'm not sure, it needs to be in a Spanish account. Others will know the answer

I'm unsure how this works for your wife
 

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If you are in receipt of a state pension from an EU country, you should apply for a form S1. With that, you will be able access state healthcare, paid for by the issuing country. With an S1 or working, spouse & children would also be covered.

If not, & you aren't working either as self employed or with an employment contract, each person would need private insurance.

As far as sufficient resources is concerned, a state pension would be considered sufficient. If you are working either as self employed or with an employment contract, that also covers the income requirement.

If you are having to show funds in another way, anecdotal evidence is that currently 700€ a month per person & / or a bank balance in excess of 7000€ is required.
 

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I can see this is a common forum discussion, but I still find it confusing and unclear. I'm a retired UK citizen and my wife is Finnish and doesn't work. We have bought a house in Spain and want to live tin Spain permanently. We have our NIEs, we have our property deeds, registered in the town hall, have a bank account with Cajamar and have visited the local police to ask about residency. We have been told 2 things, but they are a unclear to us. 1. We must have private health insurance. 2. We need to show evidence of sufficient income.

My questions are:

Is it necessary to have private medical insurance, when the UK Government website states public health insurance is ok? What is this public health insurance and is this available to UK and Finnish citizens? How do we get it if it is sufficient for requirements?

My state pension and private pensions are paid into a UK bank and I intend to transfer money frequently for our living here in Spain. Is it enough to show a sufficient income coming into a UK bank, or do we have to show all pension money being sent direct to a Spanish bank?

We were also told it is favourable to show we own property here in Spain.

Here is the excerpt from the UK website relevant to health and income. It clearly says public health, but we don't know what this means:


<< c) People who do not work in Spain must produce documentation proving that they comply with the following two conditions:
i. Public or private health insurance contracted in Spain or in another country, provided that it ensures cover in Spain during their period of residence equivalent to the cover provided by the National Health System. Pensioners will be considered to meet this condition if they can prove, by means of the corresponding certificate, that they are entitled to health care paid for by the State from which they receive their pension

ii. have sufficient resources, for themselves and their family members, not to become a burden on Spain’s social assistance system during their period of residence. Proof of the possession of sufficient resources, whether from regular income, including work income or income of another kind, or from ownership of assets, will be given by any legally admissible evidence, such as property deeds, certified cheques, documentation proving that income from capital is received or credit cards. In this latter case, an up to date bank certificate proving the amount available by way of credit on the aforesaid card shall be produced. The assessment of sufficient resources must be carried out on an individual basis, taking into account the applicant’s personal and family circumstances. The possession of resources that are more than the amount established each year by the State General Budgets Act “Ley de Presupuestos Generales de Estado” that justifies the right to receive non-contributory benefits, taking into account the interested persons’ personal and family circumstances, will be regarded as sufficient proof to meet this requirement >>

I hope someone can clarify this, please?

Thanks.

If you are in receipt of a UK state pension, then you can request an S1 form from the Department of Work and Pensions, which means the UK Government would fund your healthcare under the Spanish state system. That's what they mean by public healthcare being accepted for residency purposes (the same would be true if you were working or self-employed in Spain and paying social security contributions, and therefore covered under the Spanish state healthcare system). If you don't come under any of those categories, then you need private health insurance instead.

If your wife is currently under state retirement age, you could also request an S1 for her (she needs her own individual one). However, if she is already 65 or over, then I am not sure of the position as she is not a UK citizen and that might depend on which country her state pension is paid from.

It is very difficult to say any more about the "sufficient income" requirements as each case is supposed to be assessed on its merits and there is no actual figure per person set down anywhere. The very rough "rule of thumb" which often seems to be applied is around €700 per month per person, but if you own your own house and take your escritura as proof, then a lower figure might be accepted. However, it is very much up to the discretion of the staff at the particular Oficina de Extranjeros where you apply, I'm afraid. A local gestor might be able to tell you what kind of figures are normally asked for at that particular office.

You will, however, need to be able to show income coming into a Spanish bank account regularly, a UK bank will not do.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Megsmum & xabiachica. So I assume the S1 is the public health insurance mentioned in the UK govt translation of the requirements on their website? It's good news that I can apply for this S1 and my Finnish wife will also be covered. I was worried about private medical insurance 'cos I had 2 heart artery stents fitted and my wife has thyroid medication so we would both probably have exclusions. (even thought we are fighting-fit!)

I can provide a copy of my UK Pension letter for this year showing £187.70 per week (i.e. £750 every 4 weeks). Do you think this is sufficient?
 

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Thanks Megsmum & xabiachica. So I assume the S1 is the public health insurance mentioned in the UK govt translation of the requirements on their website? It's good news that I can apply for this S1 and my Finnish wife will also be covered. I was worried about private medical insurance 'cos I had 2 heart artery stents fitted and my wife has thyroid medication so we would both probably have exclusions. (even thought we are fighting-fit!)

I can provide a copy of my UK Pension letter for this year showing £187.70 per week (i.e. £750 every 4 weeks). Do you think this is sufficient?
A state pension is considered to be sufficient.


You will almost certainly be told that they want to see transfers into a Spanish bank account.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you are in receipt of a UK state pension, then you can request an S1 form from the Department of Work and Pensions, which means the UK Government would fund your healthcare under the Spanish state system. That's what they mean by public healthcare being accepted for residency purposes (the same would be true if you were working or self-employed in Spain and paying social security contributions, and therefore covered under the Spanish state healthcare system). If you don't come under any of those categories, then you need private health insurance instead.

If your wife is currently under state retirement age, you could also request an S1 for her (she needs her own individual one). However, if she is already 65 or over, then I am not sure of the position as she is not a UK citizen and that might depend on which country her state pension is paid from.

It is very difficult to say any more about the "sufficient income" requirements as each case is supposed to be assessed on its merits and there is no actual figure per person set down anywhere. The very rough "rule of thumb" which often seems to be applied is around €700 per month per person, but if you own your own house and take your escritura as proof, then a lower figure might be accepted. However, it is very much up to the discretion of the staff at the particular Oficina de Extranjeros where you apply, I'm afraid. A local gestor might be able to tell you what kind of figures are normally asked for at that particular office.

You will, however, need to be able to show income coming into a Spanish bank account regularly, a UK bank will not do.
Thanks Lynn

My Finnish wife is currently 58 and I don't believe she will receive a pension in a few years time because she only lived in Finland for 15 years and didn't work there all this time. But it seems from what you are saying we can apply for an S1 for her also.

Do you know if showing a bank statement with regular payments in from our UK bank is sufficient? I prefer to use Transferwise or Azimo for overseas transfers as the charges are much less.
 

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Do you know if showing a bank statement with regular payments in from our UK bank is sufficient? I prefer to use Transferwise or Azimo for overseas transfers as the charges are much less.
It should be, but as others have said, there is no set of detailed rules written down anywhere. One Oficina de Extranjeros may say that's fine, another one in the next town may say no. Like so many things in Spain, civil servants (funcionarios) use their discretion to a much greater extent than they do in other countries.
 

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Thanks Lynn

My Finnish wife is currently 58 and I don't believe she will receive a pension in a few years time because she only lived in Finland for 15 years and didn't work there all this time. But it seems from what you are saying we can apply for an S1 for her also.

Do you know if showing a bank statement with regular payments in from our UK bank is sufficient? I prefer to use Transferwise or Azimo for overseas transfers as the charges are much less.
You really would have to ask at your Oficina de Extranjeros, or as I said, a local gestor might know what their usual stance is. I have heard of some of them requiring a letter from your Spanish bank confirming that you are receiving income which would satisfy the requirements, others might accept copies of a Spanish bank statement but I expect they would have to cover at least a 3 month period. I arrived before any of these requirements came into force so I have no personal experience to go on.
 

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Thanks Lynn

My Finnish wife is currently 58 and I don't believe she will receive a pension in a few years time because she only lived in Finland for 15 years and didn't work there all this time. But it seems from what you are saying we can apply for an S1 for her also.

Do you know if showing a bank statement with regular payments in from our UK bank is sufficient? I prefer to use Transferwise or Azimo for overseas transfers as the charges are much less.
You will find you get a better rate of exchange if you have your OAP deposited direct to a Spanish bank account (once you have one) - the UK govt gets a better exchange rate than you would :)
 

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You will find you get a better rate of exchange if you have your OAP deposited direct to a Spanish bank account (once you have one) - the UK govt gets a better exchange rate than you would :)
That is interesting, thank you. I just made the assumption that TransferWise, using the middle rate would beat most other ways.

Do you simply ask for the transfer through the UK Govt website, do you know, please?

As I said, we have our Cajamar account already ( we found their fees were cheaper than Sabadell and I find their website easy to use).
 

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That is interesting, thank you. I just made the assumption that TransferWise, using the middle rate would beat most other ways.

Do you simply ask for the transfer through the UK Govt website, do you know, please?

As I said, we have our Cajamar account already ( we found their fees were cheaper than Sabadell and I find their website easy to use).
Someone else here will be able to tell you - I don't have a UK pension myself. If no one answers your question, you could send a PM to Baldilocks.
 

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That is interesting, thank you. I just made the assumption that TransferWise, using the middle rate would beat most other ways.

Do you simply ask for the transfer through the UK Govt website, do you know, please?

As I said, we have our Cajamar account already ( we found their fees were cheaper than Sabadell and I find their website easy to use).
I do not receive the UK State Pension, but a lot of clients tell me that the rates they get from HMG are not as good as they would get from TransferWise. You pays yer money!

Also, good luck with Cajamar......you'll need it!!!
 

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I do not receive the UK State Pension, but a lot of clients tell me that the rates they get from HMG are not as good as they would get from TransferWise. You pays yer money!

Also, good luck with Cajamar......you'll need it!!!
Thanks. Perhaps someone else has experience of the rates so I can get a balanced opinion. What have you found wrong with Cajamar? So far we have found them cheaper and their website and App seem to be ok. Sabadell were expensive for us. We used them to buy the house, then decided to change banks to a local one.
 

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Thanks. Perhaps someone else has experience of the rates so I can get a balanced opinion. What have you found wrong with Cajamar? So far we have found them cheaper and their website and App seem to be ok. Sabadell were expensive for us. We used them to buy the house, then decided to change banks to a local one.
I've been with Cajamar for years & have never had a problem. In fact I find their service excellent - to the point that they ring or text me if I forget to transfer funds from one accoungt to the other to pay bills!


I used to get a widow benefit via the DWP in the UK. I simply gave them my account number here & it arrived in the account every 4 weeks on the dot.

I've never before heard of anyone getting a better rate by using a transfer company - unless maybe by letting money accumulate in the UK & transferring a lot at a time when the rate is better.
 

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Thanks. Perhaps someone else has experience of the rates so I can get a balanced opinion. What have you found wrong with Cajamar? So far we have found them cheaper and their website and App seem to be ok. Sabadell were expensive for us. We used them to buy the house, then decided to change banks to a local one.
As someone who works in a professional capacity, and talks to a lot of expats, most of the complaints regarding banks have been leveled against Cajamar. It didn't help that they closed branches with little or no notice. I am surprised that you found Sabadell expensive as for most it's usually the other way round. As I say best of luck!!
 

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I've never before heard of anyone getting a better rate by using a transfer company.
Certainly, that has not been the experience of those I speak to. I will be of state pension age next year and I will be having my pension paid into my UK Account.

After all, who do you want to be in charge of your finances, and who do you think is likely to get the best deal.......YOU or faceless civil servant?
 

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As someone who works in a professional capacity, and talks to a lot of expats, most of the complaints regarding banks have been leveled against Cajamar. It didn't help that they closed branches with little or no notice. I am surprised that you found Sabadell expensive as for most it's usually the other way round. As I say best of luck!!
You help people fill in forms, don't you? Do you need a degree to do that?
I really do wonder how some jobs get 'bigged up' these days:cool:
Anyone with experience, real professional experience, of the business world will know that a bank is as good as the service you get from your local branch.
I have had experience of banking in five countries and have heard good and bad said of each bank I've used.
I currently have a Spanish and an offshore account. The first couple of years with the offshore bank they mishandled my account to the point where I was awarded compensation.
That was nine years ago. Since then I have had zero reason to complain.
My Spanish accounts are with Sabadell. My local branch gives superlative service.
I know of people who have used other Sabadell branches who've had dire experiences.
You can't generalise about a bank - not even RBS....
 

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Certainly, that has not been the experience of those I speak to. I will be of state pension age next year and I will be having my pension paid into my UK Account.

After all, who do you want to be in charge of your finances, and who do you think is likely to get the best deal.......YOU or faceless civil servant?
I guess it really depends whether you want to receive your pension payments regularly at the best available rate. There is no way an individual would get a better rate with Transferwise than the UK Govt gets through its provider, that's because of the vast sums the government regularly transfers. Plus it takes the pain out of watching the exchange rate all the time and wondering when would be the best time to do a transfer. Sure, people may find they do better by holding off and transferring when they feel the exchange rate is right, but with Brexit that's a risk.

Oh, and it's not a faceless civil servant who does the transfers - it's automated.
 

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You help people fill in forms, don't you? Do you need a degree to do that?
I really do wonder how some jobs get 'bigged up' these days:cool:
Anyone with experience, real professional experience, of the business world will know that a bank is as good as the service you get from your local branch.
I have had experience of banking in five countries and have heard good and bad said of each bank I've used.
I currently have a Spanish and an offshore account. The first couple of years with the offshore bank they mishandled my account to the point where I was awarded compensation.
That was nine years ago. Since then I have had zero reason to complain.
My Spanish accounts are with Sabadell. My local branch gives superlative service.
I know of people who have used other Sabadell branches who've had dire experiences.
You can't generalise about a bank - not even RBS....
I am assuming your degree wasn't in English, as you would know what a professional is. My Websters defines a professional as: " engaged in by persons receiving financial return".

As someone who gets paid for helping people fill in forms, I guess I'm a professional.
 
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