More people than ever before are actively contemplating a retirement, business or work abroad, and Spain is very popular.
Two horrible summers, property prices falling, a recession, banks in chaos, all topped up with a dour Gordon Brown promising us years of belt-tightening and adversity. Even Bobski the builder is going home.
But before you fall over one another on the way out the door and to the airport, on the way to sunny Spain:
Think ahead – whilst at the age of perhaps 50-something when you’re planning a retirement to Spain the idea of ever needing a home help or good access to local medical services will be a million miles from your mind, one day down the line it may well become important for you or your spouse. So, if living the dream in Spain for you is retiring to a rural community – just take a few moments to be as realistic as you can be about how that will impact upon your life in 10-20 years time when getting out and about is less easy.
Spanish healthcare is run locally, so find out for where you are going to work or run a business, not just what the official rules are on whether or not you get free or discounted healthcare, but how it operates locally in practice.
Actively begin looking at health insurance options now for when you are in Spain. If you’re going to be beyond retirement age when you end up living in Spain you will be covered by a reciprocal agreement between the UK and Spain for your basic health care needs. However, if you are retiring early, still working, or want more than just access to basic health care, you will need to look at insurance. The sooner you search out a suitable policy the better, as some insurers refuse to cover those over a certain age unless they have already been paying into a policy for a set term.
As well as the UK insurers offering wide cover, look at some of the local ones targeting expats who may be cheaper but will not cover you for treatment in the UK.
You will be entitled to some health care in Spain once you reach the age of entitlement as things stand at the moment, but when it comes to at home and residential care for older people, the standards are just not as high as in the UK.
The way of life and pace of life in Spain are different to what you’re used to. Chances are this is one of the main reasons you’re contemplating Spain in the first place. Many people fail to grasp what that will actually mean to them. You need to be aware that life slows right down, you will literally get nowhere fast if you try and rush and you will come up against a brick wall if you try and rush Spanish officials.
International health insurance: News update: October 2008