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    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 15th Aug 06, 1:03 AM
    • 34,010 Posts
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    seven-day-weekend
    • #2
    • 15th Aug 06, 1:03 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Aug 06, 1:03 AM
    We have just over £7k to live on at the moment, which is my husband's actuarily reduced Teacher's Pension. He also receives Incapacity Benefit (although we try not to use this for everyday living, as it could stop - it is being reviewed at the moment). We are not at State Retirement age yet.

    We can only live on £7k because we live in Spain (cost of living a lot cheaper) and we have no debts. Our 'Council' Tax here is 80 Euros a year, and our water rates 7E. Electricity is much cheaper and we use bottled gas. There is no TV licence. Car Tax is cheaper too. Telephone is about the same and internet is more expensive. Petrol/diesel is about two-thirds UK price. Groceries are cheaper, so is a night out at the local bar.

    The expenses on our UK house are paid for from the rents of two lodgers and our son, who lives there, so it looks after itself. We could not afford to live there at the moment as we wouldn't be able to have the lodgers if we did.

    We also have savings
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 15-08-2006 at 1:08 AM.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
    • Pobby
    • By Pobby 16th Aug 06, 9:34 PM
    • 5,227 Posts
    • 11,340 Thanks
    Pobby
    • #3
    • 16th Aug 06, 9:34 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Aug 06, 9:34 PM
    We have just over 7k to live on at the moment, which is my husband's actuarily reduced Teacher's Pension. He also receives Incapacity Benefit (although we try not to use this for everyday living, as it could stop - it is being reviewed at the moment). We are not at State Retirement age yet.

    We can only live on 7k because we live in Spain (cost of living a lot cheaper) and we have no debts. Our 'Council' Tax here is 80 Euros a year, and our water rates 7E. Electricity is much cheaper and we use bottled gas. There is no TV licence. Car Tax is cheaper too. Telephone is about the same and internet is more expensive. Petrol/diesel is about two-thirds UK price. Groceries are cheaper, so is a night out at the local bar.

    The expenses on our UK house are paid for from the rents of two lodgers and our son, who lives there, so it looks after itself. We could not afford to live there at the moment as we wouldn't be able to have the lodgers if we did.

    We also have savings
    by seven-day-weekend
    I would be very interested to know if you rent in Spain.My wife and I are thinking of moving there in a few years time and are considering renting.We own our home in the U.k. but maybe we would decide to sell it rather than rent.Should we rent it then we would clearly have the rent from that plus approx. 140,000 of savings giving us about 5 to 6k a year income plus my wifes pension of about 7.5k a year.

    Although she would qualify for health care,I would need to set up some health insurance.At the moment we would be happy to rent out there,and I know by renting our house at approx.500 a month would easily pay for rental accomodation.

    Then my state pension and private pensions would kick in after about 3 years.Any advice please.
  • krisskross
    • #4
    • 17th Aug 06, 8:47 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Aug 06, 8:47 PM
    I would be very interested to know if you rent in Spain.My wife and I are thinking of moving there in a few years time and are considering renting.We own our home in the U.k. but maybe we would decide to sell it rather than rent.Should we rent it then we would clearly have the rent from that plus approx. £140,000 of savings giving us about 5 to 6k a year income plus my wifes pension of about £7.5k a year.

    Although she would qualify for health care,I would need to set up some health insurance.At the moment we would be happy to rent out there,and I know by renting our house at approx.£500 a month would easily pay for rental accomodation.

    Then my state pension and private pensions would kick in after about 3 years.Any advice please.
    by Pobby
    My husband and i returned to the UK last year after living in Spain for just over 3 years.

    My advice would always be to rent. Property prices are dropping in Spain particularly in areas of high building activity. A 3 bedroomed property in the Costa Blanca would be available for long term rental for about 500 Euro a month. Electricity costs the same as here, some of our electric bills particularly in the winter were terrifying! Water rates were approx 45Euro every 3 months.

    Certainly Suma(like Council Tax) was low at about 250 Euro a year, but we had a property on an Urbanisation so had those fees to pay for the upkeep of the swimming pool, street cleaning etc. This was 300 Euro a year.

    We found food no cheaper, in fact if you want any English stuff you pay dearly for it. However the meat and fish were of wonderful quality.

    Alcohol is cheaper as are ciggies if you use these items.

    I paid 66 Euro a month to Crappyfonica as they are known for phone line and broadband. No calls included in that.

    Health care......we both came under the auspices of the Spanish Health Service as we are pensioners. Mostly it was fine but of course you need to find and pay for an interpreter, usually about 25 Euro a visit. All medications were free to us as pensioners. I do believe that even if you are not pensioners you can still access free health care but would pay towards your medications.

    Hope this helps , if you need any more just ask. I just wish I had known someone to give me the information, saves a lot of effort and aggravation.

    My most heartfelt piece of advice is to learn to speak Spanish before you go.

    A budget of approx 1000 Euro a month after rent would enable you to have a fairly good life.
    Last edited by krisskross; 17-08-2006 at 8:49 PM.
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 18th Aug 06, 9:26 AM
    • 10,199 Posts
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    margaretclare
    • #5
    • 18th Aug 06, 9:26 AM
    • #5
    • 18th Aug 06, 9:26 AM
    Hi

    I would echo krisskross's advice. I can't understand why anyone would want to move to a foreign country, ANY foreign country, and make no attempt to learn the language. And that applies just as much to those who come here as to those who are thinking of going to e.g. Spain.

    Assuming you are going to get health-care when you need it but factor in the cost of an interpreter is just plain daft IMHO.

    Margaret
    r ic wisdom funde, r wear ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • krisskross
    • #6
    • 18th Aug 06, 4:09 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Aug 06, 4:09 PM
    Hi

    I would echo krisskross's advice. I can't understand why anyone would want to move to a foreign country, ANY foreign country, and make no attempt to learn the language. And that applies just as much to those who come here as to those who are thinking of going to e.g. Spain.

    Assuming you are going to get health-care when you need it but factor in the cost of an interpreter is just plain daft IMHO.

    Margaret
    by margaretclare
    I very soon learned enough Spanish to deal with routine stuff like repeat prescriptions etc. but my Spanish was never going to be good enough to risk misunderstanding a diagnosis or drug dosages. The farmacia does not print instructions on drug containers like in England, you rely on what the doctor has said. Felt it was always preferable to pay for the services of an interpreter to be safe.
    Last edited by krisskross; 18-08-2006 at 4:12 PM.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 18th Aug 06, 10:01 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    • #7
    • 18th Aug 06, 10:01 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Aug 06, 10:01 PM
    Maybe our cost of living in Spain is so much cheaper because we DON't live in an urbanisacion for Brits, we live in a traditional Spanish village in the Sierra Nevada mountains. As I say, most (not everything) here is FAR cheaper than in the UK -Council Tax 80E a year, Water Rates 7E. Andalucia is an 'autonomous region' and I think sets it's own taxes etc., so they have obviously set them cheaper than the Costa Blanca!

    We can live here comfotably on £7k here a year because everything is much cheaper. We don't have a money to throw around, bur we don't do without anything either.

    Oh - and you have to know Spanish here, no-one speaks anything else! We're getting there slowly!

    We could not afford to live on £7k in the UK.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 19th Aug 06, 12:15 PM
    • 10,199 Posts
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    margaretclare
    • #8
    • 19th Aug 06, 12:15 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Aug 06, 12:15 PM
    Maybe our cost of living in Spain is so much cheaper because we DON't live in an urbanisacion for Brits, we live in a traditional Spanish village in the Sierra Nevada mountains. As I say, most (not everything) here is FAR cheaper than in the UK -Council Tax 80E a year, Water Rates 7E. Andalucia is an 'autonomous region' and I think sets it's own taxes etc., so they have obviously set them cheaper than the Costa Blanca!

    We can live here comfotably on 7k here a year because everything is much cheaper. We don't have a money to throw around, bur we don't do without anything either.

    Oh - and you have to know Spanish here, no-one speaks anything else! We're getting there slowly!

    We could not afford to live on 7k in the UK.
    by seven-day-weekend
    Wonderful! If I was going to live in any foreign country there is no way I'd want to live in a 'ghetto' or enclave where the only people I met day-to-day were fellow-Brits. And there is no way I could live without learning at least the basics of the language. However, I've heard of people who'd lived in countries like Spain for decades and never learned the language!!! Like some people choose to do here - don't get me started on that one!

    I would have seriously considered the idea of selling up here and buying a little property in the Pas de Calais/Nord area of France. We saw 'new-builds' in nice little towns and villages for half the price of this bungalow in Essex. Living in a country where you're forced to speak their language (the French are notorious about that!) would not worry me at all, but DH cannot get his head around the French language. So we scrubbed that idea.

    Margaret
    r ic wisdom funde, r wear ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • krisskross
    • #9
    • 19th Aug 06, 1:18 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Aug 06, 1:18 PM
    Wonderful! If I was going to live in any foreign country there is no way I'd want to live in a 'ghetto' or enclave where the only people I met day-to-day were fellow-Brits. And there is no way I could live without learning at least the basics of the language. However, I've heard of people who'd lived in countries like Spain for decades and never learned the language!!! Like some people choose to do here - don't get me started on that one!



    Margaret
    by margaretclare
    Sometimes people have the wrong idea about Urbanisations. they are not just for the British. In the street we lived in there were approx 24 houses. 4 were occupied by British people, 2 by Germans, 2 by Swedes, 1 Chilean. The rest of the houses were Spanish owned. We needed somewhere with public transport, phones and main sewerage
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 19th Aug 06, 2:32 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    . We needed somewhere with public transport, phones and main sewerage
    by krisskross
    We have all these.

    There is a bus from Granada to the coast and back every day, calling at most of the villages, and then from the coast there are buses to Malaga and Almeria. Both these have national bus and rail stations and airports.

    We have our own house telephone and we have a public telephone box in the village.

    Mains sewarage/electricity - I would not have moved here if these were not connected.

    We also have in our village ( permanent population c.400) a church a general store, a bakery, a jamon shop, a 3-13 school, a pensioner's club, a 'women's institute', access to banking and post office facilities, access to a Doctor and Nurse, a local councillor is available every morning and various mobile vans call frequently, selling everything from gas bottles to knickers, fish, blankets and live chickens. There is an open-air municipal swimming pool between us and the next village (about five minute's drive). We have a 24 hour health centre two villages away and a hospital with accident and emergency about 1.5 hours away.

    Most importantly, in our tiny village we have EIGHT bars!

    Sorry to go off topic - just wanted to make it clear that we DO have facilities, far more than an English village of comparable size would have.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 19th Aug 06, 2:37 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    Also meant to say, we don't rent our house,- we bought it for £35,000 in 2003.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • krisskross
    We have all these.

    There is a bus from Granada to the coast and back every day, calling at most of the villages, and then from the coast there are buses to Malaga and Almeria. Both these have national bus and rail stations and airports.

    We have our own house telephone and we have a public telephone box in the village.

    Mains sewarage/electricity - I would not have moved here if these were not connected.

    We also have in our village ( permanent population c.400) a church a general store, a bakery, a jamon shop, a 3-13 school, a pensioner's club, a 'women's institute', access to banking and post office facilities, access to a Doctor and Nurse, a local councillor is available every morning and various mobile vans call frequently, selling everything from gas bottles to knickers, fish, blankets and live chickens. There is an open-air municipal swimming pool between us and the next village (about five minute's drive). We have a 24 hour health centre two villages away and a hospital with accident and emergency about 1.5 hours away.

    Most importantly, in our tiny village we have EIGHT bars!

    Sorry to go off topic - just wanted to make it clear that we DO have facilities, far more than an English village of comparable size would have.
    by seven-day-weekend
    Sounds wonderful. We did enjoy living in Spain and would probably still be there if we could have got treatment for my husband's exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis. Winters were very cold and damp though, our house just was not built for cold weather

    It was a great experience but I feel a lot safer in England with the shelter of the NHS and the knowledge that should we have an emergency I won't be panicking trying to remember the Spanish and also knowing how the system works.
    • al_yrpal
    • By al_yrpal 19th Aug 06, 4:46 PM
    • 331 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    al_yrpal
    Absolutely fascinating
    What a fascinating glimpse of life in rural Spain.

    Some years ago we toured Andalucia by coach. Our lady guide and her Spanish flamenco guitarist husband accompanied us. Each evening we ended up in a bar singing flamencos with the locals. Our guide, who had lived in Spain for many years, used to point out the 'little old men' in the villages. She reckoned that all these wizened little guys were ejected shortly after 9 o'clock each morning and not allowed back for anything except perhaps lunch until evening by the Senora of the household. Hence all the bars!

    On a visit to Northern Spain earlier this year, the liittle guys were there as well, and the bars looked just as dingy. After a visit to the unspoilt parts of Lanzarote last year, we regularly ate in cafes with the local builders/cement lorry drivers etc each lunchtime €3.50 to €5, and absolutely delicious to boot. Did that in North Spain/Rioja too. What an eye opener.

    Oops - well off topic!
    Last edited by al_yrpal; 19-08-2006 at 4:52 PM.
    Survivor of debt, redundancy, endowment scams, share crashes, sky-high inflation, lousy financial advice, and multiple house price booms. Comfortably retired after learning to back my own judgement.
    This is not advice - hopefully it's common sense.
    .
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 20th Aug 06, 1:27 AM
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    • 68,605 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    Sounds wonderful. We did enjoy living in Spain and would probably still be there if we could have got treatment for my husband's exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis. Winters were very cold and damp though, our house just was not built for cold weather

    It was a great experience but I feel a lot safer in England with the shelter of the NHS and the knowledge that should we have an emergency I won't be panicking trying to remember the Spanish and also knowing how the system works.
    by krisskross
    Winters are cold here too, (I never had an electric blanket till I got to Spain). However, I think the Spanish NHS is much better than in the UK.

    My husband saw the doctor ten days ago for a condition which he had in England, and was successfully treated there, but has now recurred. Instead of waiting 3-6 months to see a consultant as he did in the UK, he has an appointment with a consultant for next Thursday.

    However, I agre that not being fluent in the language can be scary at times (and if you've not known Spanish until your 50s you are never going to be fluent).

    We will come back to the UK if anything goes wrong healthwise because of the language difficulty, not because the health service is substandard. IMHO (albeit limited) it beats the UK system hands down.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 20th Aug 06, 1:40 AM
    • 34,010 Posts
    • 68,605 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    What a fascinating glimpse of life in rural Spain.


    On a visit to Northern Spain earlier this year, the liittle guys were there as well, and the bars looked just as dingy. After a visit to the unspoilt parts of Lanzarote last year, we regularly ate in cafes with the local builders/cement lorry drivers etc each lunchtime 3.50 to 5, and absolutely delicious to boot. Did that in North Spain/Rioja too. What an eye opener.

    Oops - well off topic!
    by al_yrpal
    A colleague of my husband's (when he was working) who did his degree at Malaga University, reckons you haven't seen Real Spain unless the bars are littered with fag ends and napkins, the bar's TV is blaring away with no-one watching it, and at least half-a- dozen elderly men are sitting at the bar supping anis or sol y sombre.

    Having said that, a group of about half-a-dozen elderly men from our village regularly walk all morning up the mountain paths. They are as fit as fiddles. We call them 'The Last of the Summer Wine'. Then on summer evenings a group of about 25 can be found outside the pensionista, playing cards for matchsticks and shouting at each other at the tops of their voices (this is rural Andalucian normal conversation). When the last matchstick is lost, they all go home. Poor Luis (74) who has given up his evening to open the bar , has to go home without anyone having ordered a drink.

    We take pity on him sometimes and go in and order an anis each!

    Sorry, way off topic.....but I'm so proud of my little village! Sorry.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 20th Aug 06, 10:29 AM
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    seven-day-weekend
    Please use this thread for any hints, tips or just your experiences of re-locating abroad especially on a budget.

    Not necessarily for the retired but this discussion started regarding how much it costs per month to live in the UK when retired and living on a limited budget which made people talk about their experiences of living in Spain. No need to restrict the discussion to Spain though
    by Edinburghlass

    Hi there, thank you for enjoying our posts so much that you've started a new thread and not just deleted them for being off-topic!

    I do have an 'overseas' money-saving tip as it happens.

    In our area, not just our village, most of the bars and shops will not touch plastic money in any way, shape or form, so you have to live on cash. This makes life far more straightforward and budgets much easier to keep to. Our friends here even had to pay in cash when they bought their brand-new car!

    We work in cash except for household bills which are direct debit same as in the UK.

    So, work in cash (this applies to the UK too) and you will find you spend less money.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • krisskross
    Winters are cold here too, (I never had an electric blanket till I got to Spain). However, I think the Spanish NHS is much better than in the UK.

    My husband saw the doctor ten days ago for a condition which he had in England, and was successfully treated there, but has now recurred. Instead of waiting 3-6 months to see a consultant as he did in the UK, he has an appointment with a consultant for next Thursday.

    However, I agre that not being fluent in the language can be scary at times (and if you've not known Spanish until your 50s you are never going to be fluent).

    We will come back to the UK if anything goes wrong healthwise because of the language difficulty, not because the health service is substandard. IMHO (albeit limited) it beats the UK system hands down.
    by seven-day-weekend
    I think some things are treated well in Spain but we were told 18 months-2 years to see a rheumatologist within the health system , and in the interim no one but a rheumatologist was allowed to prescribe the can be toxic medication he needed. This was apparently because rheumatoid arthritis is not a "Spanish" ailment. We did eventually pay to see a consultant privately but were having to fund all treatment, blood tests and medication which was soooooooooo expensive. We had only been in the clinic 10 minutes and we had been given bills totalling 500!! Private insurance was never an option because it was a pre existing condition.
    18 months on and his steroid intake is gradually being decreased, but the monthly blood tests and hospital visits continue. We would have been bankrupt by now had we remained in Spain.

    Unfortunately you cannot mix and match which country you have health care in, you need to satisfy habitual residence rules and normally can only be treated in 1 country which is why we had to come back permanently.
    • al_yrpal
    • By al_yrpal 20th Aug 06, 11:49 AM
    • 331 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    al_yrpal
    Messy Bars
    you haven't seen Real Spain unless the bars are littered with fag ends and napkins,
    Sorry, way off topic.....but I'm so proud of my little village! Sorry.
    by seven-day-weekend
    We were told that the best bars could be identified as the ones with the most litter!

    On our visit to the North, we did stay in two Paradors - absolutely great, probably the best standard hotels you can stay in. You get a 35% discount at some if you are over 60, making them more affordable. But by far our best experience was staying at a very Spanish Hotel on the edge of the Picos. No-one spoke English, the food was very Spanish and it cost half what the Paradors did. So, by eating in cafes at lunchtime (look for the builders lorries) and going 'Spanish' on accomodation, you can do a very nice week immersed in real Spain.

    Easyjet return for two to Bilbao 85, 1 weeks car hire 155, diesel 40, 7 nights good standard 'Spanish' accomodation for two with half board 700. Lunches for a week at cafes 50. I am sure it is possible to do it cheaper and simpler if you wanted to.

    After rejecting Spain as a destination for our hols (lot of walking), because of the chicken and chips +hotel with pool images of the Costas, its now back on our radar.

    We also did a Natural History week in Lanzarote, staying at a sort of houseparty with a British Uni Prof and his Mrs, that was also great. We never got a sniff of beach/hotel/pool for 7 days and what we saw was fascinating. The real Lanzagrotty doesnt deserve that repution, its a very beautiful and interesting place.
    Survivor of debt, redundancy, endowment scams, share crashes, sky-high inflation, lousy financial advice, and multiple house price booms. Comfortably retired after learning to back my own judgement.
    This is not advice - hopefully it's common sense.
    .
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 20th Aug 06, 9:00 PM
    • 34,010 Posts
    • 68,605 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    One way to 'eat cheap' in Spain (at least in Andalucia) if you don't have to drive anywhere, is to go to a bar and ask for a 'cana' (Sorry, the n is supposed to have a squiggle over it, don't have one on my keyboard - the word is pronounced 'canya'). This is a small beer costing about 1-1,5 euros. With this you will be given free, a 'tapa', a small snack to go with your drink. Sometimes you can chose what you want, but sometimes you have to take pot luck. Do this two or three times and you have had lunch and drinks for about 3-4.5 euros.

    Otherwise, most restaurants offer a 'menu del dia' , the menu of the day, and this is a three course meal (which may or may not include a drink), and must cost less than if all the things are ordered separately from the menu. There is usually an element of choice. These are usually around 7-8 euros.
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 20-08-2006 at 9:02 PM.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • krisskross
    We always found that Chinese Restaurants were very cheap, menu del dia about 5 Euro but the Indian was really expensive, much more so than England.

    Lucky for my waistline the Spanish are not big on cakes or confectionary. Desserts are usually just icecream or frozen gateau.
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