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Thinking about moving to Valencia

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geonerd20
7/1/2018 20:38 EST

I am a US citizen currently living and working in Arizona. I plan to retire in about 5 years and move to Valencia. I am trying to get a feel for the cost of living. I would rent an apartment, not buy a car, and would like to live comfortably. I looked at some of the online calculators (Numbeo, for example) and the estimated cost of living for what appears to be a comfortable lifestyle is around $2500. How reasonable is that? Thank you for your thoughts!

sdamazo
7/1/2018 21:49 EST

This is a high amount and it is possible to live well with less. Renting is not that expensive and regular expenses is average low.

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sdamazo
7/1/2018 22:01 EST

I mean, regular expenses are average low. If these items are the basic ones being considered without the extras.

MT2Espana
2/5/2019 17:21 EST

Just read your post about moving to Valencia in 5 years. I am working on the exact same timeline and Valencia has really caught my eye. Haven't actually been there but my wife and I spent a month in Spain in the fall of '17, staying in Madrid (our favorite), Barcelona, Cuenca, Tarragona, Sevilla and Granada. I can't stop thinking about our time there and finally told my wife I want to retire there. She didn't get on Amazon and order a strait jacket, so that's a good start. I'm being quiet about all the research and reading I am doing. Don't want her to think I am becoming too obsessive. Although I am.
I think it would be fun and helpful to connect and converse about our plans and preparations, if you are interested.
We live in Montana, by the way.

sdamazo
2/5/2019 18:16 EST

Seems a wonderful plan and those places are quite nice, but when are you going to visit Valencia?

Another place I like is Galicia and the north in general. Going back to Spain to visit in a month time.

MT2Espana
2/5/2019 18:23 EST

Lucky you! I can't wait to go back. Don't have a plan yet, but not in a hurry.
My sister has been to the San Sebastian area and loved it.

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PeraEspanol
2/6/2019 05:10 EST

Where in Montana do you live? I am native Montanan (from north of the High Line) and currently live in Jávea, south of Valencia about 100 km. Have been here a year and in process of renewing my visa. I really like it. Valencia is a nice city - 1.5 million people, 3rd largest in Spain - but it has a small town feel because of the various neighborhoods. And the old town is small and walkable. I've always thought if I got tired of living in a resort town and wanted more culture, I would move to Valencia. In fact, I will be spending a few days there soon as an American friend is coming to visit.

Sharonadam
2/6/2019 08:58 EST

Spain is incredible!....my husband and I are Americans who moved to Nerja. It will be eight years this March. Nerja is about 40km east of Malaga. So much to do here, great weather and lots of friends. We do a lot of hiking. When we came, we shipped our household goods and car, so we are really settled in here and loving it!...cost of living is good here too....

Sharonadam
2/6/2019 08:58 EST

Spain is incredible!....my husband and I are Americans who moved to Nerja. It will be eight years this March. Nerja is about 40km east of Malaga. So much to do here, great weather and lots of friends. We do a lot of hiking. When we came, we shipped our household goods and car, so we are really settled in here and loving it!...cost of living is good here too....

MT2Espana
2/6/2019 11:05 EST

We live in Billings. I am born and raised here and have lived here the majority of my life. My wife grew up on a ranch in the Big Horn valley.
I have read great things about Valencia, that it is sort of a Barcelona without the craziness. We loved visiting Barcelona but it would be too expensive living there. Ditto Madrid. That's one of the reasons for retiring to Spain...it's cheaper than Montana, except for those two, and maybe San Sebastian. Many people would find that hard to believe. Montana has gotten quite expensive. An old high school friend moved back here from Savannah and he was astonished at how much more real estate costs here vs. most of Georgia.
But that is not the primary reason, which is, we love Espana! We found the people so open and friendly and the vibe and ambiance everywhere we visited was so appealing. I'm not wearing rose-colored glasses, I know there will be lots of obstacles to overcome and many inconveniences. But the though of spending the rest of my life in a completely different culture really calls to me. I've been to Italy, France and the UK but the thought of moving there never occurred to me.
Are you working or retired? There is so much I need to learn over the next five years and it would be great to have contact with people such as yourself who have done it.

MT2Espana
2/6/2019 11:10 EST

That is great to hear. I may still have a bit of selling on this idea to do to my wife, so comments like that will be helpful. She's not opposed but she's not totally gung-ho about this like I am.
Did you know any Spanish before moving there? I have a year of college Spanish but that was eons ago. I am able to do some rudimentary conversing. I had a woman in Barcelona say to me, "that's not Spanish. That's Mexican!" My wife has no Spanish at all. I'm wondering if you have any advice about learning programs. And any other advice at all would be most welcome!

anlgza
2/6/2019 14:54 EST

As much as we love Spain after being here for three years, we have to remind new expats of the tax issues (no.2 we did not know before we came.)
1. Income tax (renta)
Spain taxes on worldwide income - you can deduct what you pay in the US from them and what you pay in Spain from your US taxes. You are a tax resident if you stay longer than 180 days per year or if you own property here. If you stay less than 180 days a year having a non-lucrative residency visa, they will not renew it.
2. Wealth tax (Patrimonio)
This is an annual tax on your net worth (anything over 500,000 euros.) Pensions are exempt but they do have to be legitimate like government or state=based. Investment income from 401Ks for example is not exempt. This tax was suspended a few years ago but it has been reinstated. The good news is that some cities give a discount. For example though you do have to file it each year, in Madrid they give a 100% discount where Barcelona gives no discount. I have not been able to find information about this discount in other cities.
Good luck - it will be a great, fulfilling experience.

MT2Espana
2/6/2019 16:15 EST

Interesting. Thanks.
Is the 500k individual or joint? No worries for us if it is individual!

Expated
2/7/2019 00:37 EST

Generally most communities have Escuelas de Adultos where one may take from beginning through B1 level Spanish. In larger cities English support is not so much of a problem. I took a bit in HS nas well as in undergrad school but returned for two years of ubpndergrad Spanish before retirement. It helped but after arrival we enrolled in free community classes. I can understand most now but my conversation remains a bit on the rough side. My wife had no Spanish at all previously but not gets around rather well.

Expated
2/7/2019 00:39 EST

Depends on where you live but that sounds more than sufficient.

Sharonadam
2/7/2019 07:53 EST

Where we live, in Nerja, they have Spanish classes available. I have never taken them, but have friends who have. I am definitely not fluent, but know enough to get by.

Sharonadam
2/7/2019 07:53 EST

Where we live, in Nerja, they have Spanish classes available. I have never taken them, but have friends who have. I am definitely not fluent, but know enough to get by.

Sharonadam
2/7/2019 07:53 EST

Where we live, in Nerja, they have Spanish classes available. I have never taken them, but have friends who have. I am definitely not fluent, but know enough to get by.

PeraEspanol
2/7/2019 10:35 EST

I am retired. I am trying to learn Spanish, but I do live in a town with a lot of expats, so it is difficult. In Valencia, you will have more opportunity to use Spanish - although in the Old Town many people in the restaurants and shops speak English. I lived and worked in Paris when I was younger, so I do speak French - which sometimes helps with the Spanish and sometimes interferes. If you know how to do a private message to me, please feel free to do so and I will give you a direct email. I don't see how to respond privately to your message. Sometimes it's obvious, other times not.

Expated
2/7/2019 11:14 EST

Expated
2/7/2019 11:16 EST

I am an admin on a page for Americans

PeraEspanol
2/7/2019 13:05 EST

It's 700k euros per person.

Explore007
7/4/2019 21:46 EST

Hello from Colorado! We are planning at trip to Malaga & Valencia as possible retirement planning. I'm 55 and my husband is 62. We love to be active w/ hiking & bicycling here in Colorado. What do you like best about your 8 yrs in Nerja. Cheers! Julie & Tom Z.

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