Your trusted Marbella real estate agent and property specialist on the Golden Mile.
Are you thinking of retiring to Spain?
6th Oct 2022
By Michael Dolan
With its incredible beaches, year-round temperate climate, a rich cultural calendar, and mouth-watering food, it is easy to see why hundreds of visitors to the Costa del Sol decide to come back time and time again, and some even make the more permanent move to living here full-time.
It is especially popular with retirees, and has great English, Scandinavian, Dutch and German speaking communities and clubs geared towards expats. This is particularly true in the coastal towns where you will normally find the largest settlements of foreigners who have immigrated so they can wake up every day to a stunning view of the sea and skyline.
These coastal areas and municipalities - such as Marbella East, West and Centro, San Pedro and Estepona – have all the necessary facilities and amenities to make life comfortable within easy reach. Health care, grocery and retail shopping, banking, sports centres, and plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes.
If what you are looking for is a relaxed way of life with plenty of sunshine, as much (or as little) to do as you like, in what is considered one of the most affordable countries in western Europe to live – then Spain is your answer.
Moving to Spain – requirements and visa
The first thing you will need to do if you are thinking about retiring, or moving to Spain, is to check the requirements for residency.
If you have an EU/EEA/Swiss passport, you have freedom of movement throughout the EU and can easily retire in Spain. If you are planning to be staying for longer than six months in one go, you do however need to formally register your residence.
As a citizen of a non-EU country, (for instance the UK or USA) if you are not intending to stay for more than 90 days in any 180-day period, then you don’t need to get residency status. Be aware though the 90 days includes a stay in any Schengen zone country (Portugal, France etc). Meaning once your 90 days is up you will need to return to your country of permanent residence, or only travel to countries outside the zone until you have had 90 days outside the Schengen area.
If you want to stay for longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, you will need to meet the obligations to stay in Spain and apply for an appropriate visa.
The current requirements needed to retire in Spain are:
Non-lucrative Visa – Spain
The non-lucrative visa is popular for retirees and anyone not wishing (or needing) to work for a year (minimum). This visa allows the holder to live in Spain for one year, without undertaking any paid employment. The holder will need to demonstrate that they are able to financially support themselves, and any dependents.
Once you are living in Spain you can then apply for a one-year residency permit, which (if you continue to meet the requirements) you can extend for a further four years (two-years, and then two-years), and at five years you can apply for permanent residency.
To apply for the non-lucrative visa, you will need to show –
It is worth noting, that if this is the route that you choose to take to gain Spanish residency rights, then to keep these rights you won’t be able to leave the country for more than six months in any one year during this period, or more than 10 months in total for the first five years.
Spain’s Golden Visa
The golden visa is available to non-EU citizens who make a significant investment in Spain. The most common way is to invest €500,000 or more in property.
Eligibility for the golden visa requires one of the following investments -
To apply for the Golden Visa, you will need to show –
The benefits of this visa mean you can work whilst living in Spain; and you are not tied to the country. You must visit Spain at least once a year, otherwise you can come and go as you like; and if you choose to spend less than 183 days per year in the country you don’t need to become a tax resident.
If it is your dream to retire to Spain, then we suggest you –
Either would be able to look at your specific case and advise you best on next steps.
Property Sales in Marbella
Whether it is a short stay or a more extended visit, Marbella, and the surrounding areas of Estepona, Benahavis, San Pedro de Alcántara and Nueva Andalucia all have lots to offer. There is an eclectic mix of urbanisations and developments - the prestigious, the picturesque, and the tranquil - which attracts a variety of different people and nationalities.
This year has been an exceptional year for property sales with figures back up to pre-pandemic levels, and in some cases even exceeding them. We are seeing a huge demand for all categories of real estate - apartments, townhouses, detached villas - and we are actively looking for all types of properties for our buyers. Whether it is a holiday getaway destination or a family home you are after - the Costa del Sol is, without a doubt, the place to buy a property in Spain. It is a vendor’s market and if you are looking to sell, now is the time.
Dolan Property is based in the heart of Marbella’s Golden Mile, and we specialise in high quality, desirable properties in prime residential locations. We understand that choosing a new home is a big step, and for those of you buying or selling a property in a foreign country, it can be very stressful. Our team of real estate experts provide a full ‘hands on’ service.
Dolan Property specialists are committed to the highest levels of business and ethical standards, and we are proud members of the Leading Property Agents of Spain (LPA).
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