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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are a retired couple in our 50's and will be moving to the Barcelona region hopefully next year. We both hold European passports and will have sufficient income not to seek employment. We will be renting as we feel that way it gives us the option to move around if we choose to. What we were wondering, is what life is like in Spain once you have settled and life has become 'normal'? We imagine the summers would be easier but as we've read on here the winters can be cold and do you become more housebound? We would really love to hear your stories, with both the good and the bad and what day to day life is like as a retired person. We have visited Spain on many occasions and both fell in love with it from day one.
 

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You've asked a question which has as many answers as to the proverbial ' How long is a piece of string?' question.:) There are as many different lifestyles as there are retired people as lifestyles vary with tastes, habits, health and of course one's financial situation.

To start with the obvious: there are many things you do in Spain that you do in the UK. You go shopping, do the washing, clean the house and so on. There's a lot more sunshine in the summer and indeed all the year round in some parts of Spain such as the Canaries and on the southern coast. It can also be very cold indeed away from the coast, colder even than in the UK and many Spanish houses aren't built for winter conditions.

Some retired British immigrants prefer to live in communities with a high proportion of fellow Brits. People who choose that lifestyle can get by with little or no knowledge of Spanish. Others prefer to 'go native'. There are no rules about how to live in Spain.

Many immigrants join local charity groups of which there are many in most parts of Spain. Age Concern, CUDECA, Royal British Legion, animal charities...there are many to choose from.

Your financial situation will of course play a huge part in determining your lifestyle. Will you be living in a villa on the coast with private pool? Or in an apartment with shared pool? In a large town? By the sea or in the campo? Your choice here will have a large impact on your lifestyle.

We came here after three years in Prague mainly for a change as we we had had enough of Prague. My son has property here so we moved to his house before finding our own. We intended to stay for a few years before moving on to France but have decided to stay as we are very happy here.

I'd say that if you plan your move well and come with realistic expectations and not 'dreams' you will make a happy life for yourselves in Spain. We certainly have.:) We are involved in our local community, have many friends of all nationalities, we both speak Spanish. No way are we housebound at any time of the year although when we have a couple of days of torrential rain we do tend to go out looking like rubber fetishists...

Our typical day is to get up around eight a.m., take our dogs for a long walk along our deserted village beach in spring, autumn and winter or in the campo in summer. Then we breakfast on the terrace by our pool, weather permitting. Shopping, meeting friends for lunch or coffee, afternoons relaxing,reading, swimming in summer, evenings spent on various activities....dinner out, talks, concerts., friends...the usual. We nearly always find time to walk the dogs in the evening,as this evening when we'll sit on the beach and watch the sun set. We spend a lot of time helping run a local dog rescue charity.

Apart from the swimming and the parts requiring sunshine, that's not much different to what we did in the UK.:)
 

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I retired here 5 years ago and live in a pueblo blanco 50 km from the nearest city, so my life is very different from what it would be in the UK. Shopping, cooking and eating are a completely different experience, for example. I buy and eat local seasonal foods, stock up on clothes and shoes when I visit the UK, and order lots of things from Amazon.

The English-speaking community here is tiny, so it can be hard work building a social life, at least with with people you have things in common with. My Spanish isn't bad but I guess it must be a pain for my friends to have to slow down and explain things to me. So I miss out on a lot of the fast-paced conversation, especially the humour.

As for lifestyle, pretty much what Mrypg9 says - lots of outdoor activities and plenty of leisure time to indulge my hobbies.

For me July and August are the "dead" months, it is too hot to do much (we don't have a pool) and I become nocturnal, going out for a stroll and a drink at 11 pm and dozing in the afternoons. I am far more active in the winter - the cold indoors was a bit of a shock at first, but you just adapt and wear more clothes.

One thing's for sure, I couldn't have such a nice life on such a low income back in Britain!

Good luck with your plans, whatever you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. We're really looking forward to our move next year to Barcelona and to enjoy all that Spain has to offer.
 

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That's just what I was thinking!
Well, we retired folks were working folks once, too. You'll be like us one day...
But being retired is great...if you are financially comfortable and by that I don't mean having megabucks, I mean being able to afford your chosen lifestyle.

I'm finding it very hard to understand what being retired means. After I 'officially' stopped work I started working on an expenses-only basis for my trades union. When all that travelling around Europe got too much ....I got involved with ADANA....
But it's been my choice which is the chief distinguishing feature.

Like Alcalaina, we tend to be nocturnal in summer, a bit like vampire bats...we go out only after dark. We walk the dogs at daybreak and sunset, do an afternoon siesta after a large lunch and sleep well after midnight, often after a moonlight swim.
Not the lifestyle we'd have in, say, Eastbourne or Leamington Spa...
 

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Well, we retired folks were working folks once, too. You'll be like us one day...
But being retired is great...if you are financially comfortable and by that I don't mean having megabucks, I mean being able to afford your chosen lifestyle.

..
In my case, I will be allowed to retire MUCH later than your generation, now 67 and climbing... I get the feeling I will be teaching the difference between make and do (hacer) until my grandkids hit university.
 

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I retired when we moved here, since when I have been busier than I ever was in UK. I never stop....I do, however, get paid for quite a lot of it, and OH gets paid oodles for landscape gardening but we obviously get nothing for our animal rescue work...
 

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In my case, I will be allowed to retire MUCH later than your generation, now 67 and climbing... I get the feeling I will be teaching the difference between make and do (hacer) until my grandkids hit university.
In my case, I will likely be practising make do and mend, indeed I am now. :eek:
 
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