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Tanksgt
6/13/2019 15:52 EST

My wife and I are about 12-17 years out from retirement. I receive a military pension and will receive social security. We have medical thru our retired military plan. We are strongly considering retiring to Spain. Financially, my pension is about 55k a year (gross). Coupled with SS this should go to about 80-90k. What things do I need to consider for our move? We have lived abroad before (Germany, Korea, and Jordan).

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mishakaro
6/14/2019 08:59 EST

Congratulations!

Spain is not for everyone but it's great for those who want to chill in the warm weather year round, in most places.

You can probably start with the information provided on Expatechange, which is pretty comprehensive.

I would suggest that you consider travelling the country to see what it offers, then select a place or two to actually stay a spell (one or two months).

I picked Costa del Sol cuz of the warm climate, physical beauty and easy and convenient access thanks to the closeness of Malaga Airport and the costal train system. I rent my place in the heat of the summer to europeans mostly while I travel Europe or return to Canada. I also ,believe that overall, Spain is a bargin, and probably even cheaper than most of Latin America.

Your pension will more than provide you the financial security you need. If you choose to become a resident, the only financial requirement is that you can prove that you have a minimum 25,000 euros annually to live. I chose not to do this at this point in time, cuz I prefer to stay in close contact with my homeland.


Once you determine your options, get a reliable real estate firm to help you settle, whether you rent or buy. If you need someone, I can refer you to my firm, who provided me with all the necessary documentation and legal representation.


All the best

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gvb
6/14/2019 12:41 EST

Your pensions will be fine to live most places in Spain. While you can use TriCare while living overseas (by paying cash, filing claims, and being reimbursed) you will still need private full coverage, zero deductible, zero copay insurance for your nonlucrative visa and renewals (unless Spain changes its requirements before you retire). If you retire permanently to Spain, you will pay tax in both the US and Spain. Your military retirement is taxed only in the US, but the rest is taxed in both Spain and the US, with a credit given in the US for the (higher) taxes you pay in Spain. In both places, your total worldwide income is used to determine your tax brackets even though some income is not taxed. That makes your tax situation more complicated (and your tax bill ultimately higher than if you lived in the US) and it is something you should understand completely before moving here. In some parts of Spain, you might also have to pay a wealth tax each year on your assets although there is a hefty exemption amount so unless you have north of 3 million euros of assets (home, investments, etc) it probably won’t apply. Since you have so much lead time, things could change significantly before you retire, so all this could be moot. But it is a good time to start learning Spanish (and/or one of the other languages spoken—we live in Catalonia so are learning Catalan and wish we had learned more before we moved). There are so many resources available that you should be all set before you say Hola to Spain!

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caligirl40
6/14/2019 13:05 EST

Hi,

You probably need to speak with a tax consultant that specializes in US Citizens living abroad.

The US has a treaty with Spain were your SS is NOT taxed. I live her and pay very little in taxes to this country as well. If taxes were so high Spain would not have millions of Americans living her.

You will love it. The quality of life is far superior than in the states. Suerte.

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Expated
6/14/2019 14:11 EST

Caligirl, you are incorrect regarding the amount of Americans in Spain. Spain has slightly over only 23,000 but there are 320,000 Brits here

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Expated
6/14/2019 14:13 EST

Caligirl you are incorrect in the amount of Americans here. There are only 23,000 but there are 320,000 Brits

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Expated
6/14/2019 14:19 EST

Oh, also, the IRS form 8802 provides one with a Tax Residency certificate stating that one is in fact a Tax resident of the US. It costs $80:per year. For those retired, most on SS and IRS distributions only pay US taxes and if ever asked by the the Spanish IRS, they will have the tax certificate filed for immediately after filing US taxes.

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caligirl40
6/14/2019 14:42 EST

Sometimes it feels like we are millions.

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gvb
6/14/2019 15:09 EST

If you are a tax resident of Spain, SS is taxed in both places. You can take a credit against Spanish taxes for the amount paid in the US or against US taxes for amount paid to the US. According to the Spain/US tax treaty. I’m a US tax preparer who has been studying Spanish tax law.

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Expated
6/15/2019 01:44 EST

Incorrect, do your research and contact the Spanish IRS.

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