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Peniscola, Spain

Living in Spain

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jan 04, 2024

Summary: People often describe life in Spain as vibrant, exciting, and full of culture. Expats love the warm climate, the delicious food, the friendly people, and the relaxed lifestyle. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,500 to $2,000 per month, depending on the city and lifestyle. The population of Spain is approximately 46.7 million people, and the largest cities are Madrid (3.2 million), Barcelona (1.6 million), Valencia (800,000), Seville (700,000), and Zaragoza (660,000). The cons of living in Spain include the high cost of living in some cities, the language barrier, and the bureaucracy. Additionally, the country has a high unemployment rate, and the healthcare system is not as comprehensive as in other countries.

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What do I need to know about living in Spain?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Spain, they said:

"1. Expats should research different regions of Spain to decide on the best place to retire. 2. It is important to know the language, as even if English is widely spoken in Spain, proficiency in Spanish will be necessary for everyday life. 3. Expats should review the country’s tax laws and determine if there are any special exceptions for retirees. 4. Healthcare is excellent in Spain, but it is important to check on the particular provisions for retirees, such as available discounts or special coverage. 5. International expats will need to arrange for a long-term visa or residency permit prior to moving. 6. Expats should become familiar with the various regional or cultural customs in their chosen area of retirement. 7. If planning to retire in Spain, it is important to acquaint oneself with the country’s real estate laws and regulations. 8. Shopping around for the best deals on everyday expenses is essential, as cost of living in some areas of Spain can be high," said one expat in Spain.

"Number one advice...learn Spanish. This is one of the few places in Europe where no one speaks English," said one expat who made the move to Madrid.

"The following applies to anywhere bt applies to my wife and living on the Costa Tropical. 1. Establish Goals for how you want to live your life 2. Choose a location wisely based not only on geography, weather and climate but also based on the local cultural opportunities and transportation infrastructure. 3. Try out the place, visit the place and give it a dry run 4. Consider health care, it doesn’t matter how old you are 5. Figure out the local housing market to establish your new home 6. Check out the cost of living to know if your budget plan and goals work 7. Understand the Visa requirements 8. Get a grasp of the local culture 9. Be aware of local opportunities for sports, leisure, entertainment and cultural activities 10. Become familiar with issues relating to taxes and banking 11. Work out issues relating to communication technology. I have written a short book called "Renaissance in The Sun" Its virtually FREE. You can find it on Amazon and Kindle. Its about life and Spain," explained one expat living in Spain.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Peniscola, Spain

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