How to make moving to Spain a success

You might wonder if everyone who moves to Spain loves it.  Does everyone fulfill their dream.  The honest answer is no.  Moving to Spain is not for everyone, some make the move and find out afterwards.  By reading this article you will get a headstart in deciding if moving to Spain is for you, before you spend any money.

So how do you make moving to Spain a success I hear you ask.

All about the P’s   Prior Planning Prevents P*ss Poor Performance or in this case Prior Planning Prevents Losing money and reduces stress.


Not a life long holiday


I see so many people arrive in Spain with no idea of what they will do with their time.  This also applies to many retirees.  Retirement is something that you look forward to without getting a grasp on what that is going to look or feel like.   So I strongly advise you to think about what sort of lifestyle you want once in Spain.

Perhaps you will go for long walks to enjoy the countryside, indulge your passion for art or golf or volunteer for a dog rescue charity.   Whatever you want to do it is probably there for you to do it.    Having an idea of how you want to spend your time just gives you a framework of life.  No need to fill every hour or every minute as life in Spain is all about a bit more relaxation and just being, right?

Having this framework will also keep your budget on track.  Treating life as one long holiday soon gets expensive even with the cheaper prices of eating out or entertainment.




It is really common for couples to come to Spain where one half is really leading the push to move over and the other one is going along for the ride.  Have some really good chats before you get too deep in planning.  Explore why you both want to come.  Is one of you just saying Yes without really thinking about their own needs?   If you both have your why nailed settling in will be so much easier for you.  Not sure you can chat without one person getting upset?  Then you really really need to find a way to get the conversation flowing.  Is there a family friend or professional therapist who could act as a mediator.

Generally people are either moving away from something e.g. moving away from damp dark Winters or moving toward something e.g. looking forward to being able to have a mediterranean garden growing your own food.  What are you moving away from or towards?


Family and Friends


Many people return to their home countries because of grandkids or parents and the guilt they feel over leaving them.  This is your life, living it via your parents or grandkids isn’t really living.  Consider whether being close to family and friends is actually more important than moving to Spain before you go.  It might be and that is OK.

If you have a big group of friends at home and like to be sociable think about how you can recreate some of that once you are here.

If you really want to live in Spain but others are saying how disappointed they would be if you do it is time to strengthen your boundaries.  We can help you do that.  Learning how to have difficult conversations without either ending up in a fight or feeling guilty is a bit of an art.  Once you know the tricks you can do it every time…  If you ask for people’s support rather than asking for permission things will go more smoothly.




If you are moving from outside the EU then the chances are that you will have to have health insurance in place in order to move.  To get affordable health insurance you will be in decent health or have deep pockets.  So your health may not dictate whether you come over but it could dictate how long you stay for or where you choose to live.

Most small towns have their own A&E with hospitals in most bigger towns and cities so healthcare is generally available and is of good quality.  If you have a chronic issue consider living close to where you can be treated.  For instance, I live in Almeria province but 90 mins away from major hospitals so if I needed regular consultant appointments it would be a chore to drive down or ask my partner to, wait and come back.

We tend to forget how old we are, I am 50 but feel like I am 22, kind of.  What we were once capable of and happy to do often changes so be honest with what you want.   Would single level living or a lift be best?  Would you be best off in a town close to amenities?  Or could you cope and thrive in a country property because it has more space.  Think about transport links too, especially if you are a couple and only one of you drives.


Couples often divide tasks according to who is best at them.  For instance one person may do all the financial admin and the other may do all the driving.  What if one of you is incapacitated?  Do you know enough to take over?  Are there local resources to help you?  Would you be comfortable living here by yourself should your partner pass over?

If you can be as independent as possible you have a choice of what to do if something sad happens.  If you depend on each other the choice may be pushed upon you.

Summary of how to make moving to Spain a Success

Moving to Spain, finding it doesn’t work for you and going back “home” can be a very costly mistake in terms of both heartache and money.   By following the tips above you have the best chance of making a successful move to Spain.

You may have been dreaming of moving to Spain for years but have you considered the important points?  All too often people focus only on the dream and don’t think of the practicalities or of how they actually feel.   Tap into your feelings as well as your thoughts.  Are you excited or scared or both?

Think long term,  what do you need in 10 years time?  What facilities, how will you spend your time?

Often one part of a couple settles in faster than the other, just knowing this can help you hold space for one another and strengthen your relationship.  Moving to Spain can be a great success, I know it has been for us.  I am here to help you make the right choices for you and to be able to feel that moving to Spain has been a great success for you when you forward wind 5 years.

Join The Discussion

Compare listings