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Retirement in Europe?
Retirement in Europe?Posted by Mark Goldstein on April 7, 2023 at 8:18 AM
Would you consider retiring to Europe?
I will be visiting Malaga, Spain in September to see if it’s a place I may enjoy living in retirement.
Moving anywhere is a huge decision, especially moving to a different country from the one you’ve lived in all of your life.
What are your thoughts? What are the reasons you would like to move to Europe? I want to feel safe in a place that has no guns, and that accepts people for who they are, not for their race or sexual identity, or preference.
- 19 Replies
- MemberApril 7, 2023 at 8:29 AM
We have already made that decision. Our retirement is several years away but we already bought house. We want to be close to culture and beach but at prices that are well south of 1 million. We could not find that in states we would actually consider living in.
- OrganizerApril 7, 2023 at 9:05 AM
Where did you buy your house?
- MemberApril 7, 2023 at 8:46 AM
I’m not sure about Spain but lots of gays are retiring in Portugal. I know several who said it is a bit easier to retire there as an expatriate but I’m not sure I would want to do that, although with the current political climate it definitely makes me think about retiring in Europe. I loved visiting Barcelona and Cartagena and loved both places. If younger I would definitely have considered living there. I would love to hear more from those who have already retired in Spain. Thank you Mark for starting this discussion group!
- OrganizerApril 7, 2023 at 9:08 AM
I think Portugal is oversold, and they are no longer offering Golden Visas.
I am looking at Spain as a possibility.
- MemberApril 7, 2023 at 10:20 AM
I very seriously considered moving to Spain, which I feel a strong connection to, about two years ago. In the end, I decided against it due to the tax implications and related hassles. Also, the big counterbalance — universal health care — didn’t carry as much weight for me because Medicare is just around the corner.
Malaga is merely OK in my book, although I know sun/heat-oriented folks are attracted to it, which is why it’s full of expats (a plus or minus, depending on how you look at it). If I were choosing a place in the south, I’d go for Granada.
- MemberApril 7, 2023 at 11:04 AM
We are in the process of retiring in Portugal. This has been a decision 3 years in the making. We just returned from 2 1/2 months there and have seen through the veneer/marketing that gets promoted on social media during our long stay. Despite the challenges we faced (finding rentals is a serious hurdle, not to mention opening a bank account) we are going through with our plans. We are settling in Coimbra which so far doesn’t seem overloaded with expats. The cost of living, the feeling of personal ease and safety and the geographic and cultural diversity of this small country are huge pluses for us. The language is definitely a work in process but I take it one day at a time. Having French and German knowledge is helping.
It’s a very individual decision really to retire in Europe. All the discussion in the world and Facebook posts etc cannot substitute for seeing and experiencing it for yourself.
- OrganizerApril 7, 2023 at 5:06 PM
Best of luck! Please keep us updated as to your process!
- MemberApril 7, 2023 at 2:04 PM
My ideal is six months in Spain, and six months in Sydney Australia where I live. Obviously, this is not simple to achieve, especially with pets (Australian quarantine regulations are exceptionally strict).
Last year I was able to spend six months in Spain. Unfortunately, I had a heart problem and so had to navigate the Spanish medical system. I have no reason to think that the quality of care I received in Madrid was any less than I would have received at home. However, English is not spoken by everybody in the medical system, and English competency varies considerably even in the hospital I visited which specifically marketed itself to expats. The upshot of all of that is that even with full insurance to properly participate in all aspects of your own health care I believe you need decent Spanish.
That said I’m planning on returning this northern summer to look at a few more locations.
One place people might want to consider is the Canary Islands. Gran Canaria (especially Maspalomas) is very gay, the major city Las Palmas is beautiful with echoes of Rio de Janeiro and Valencia and there are VERY cheap flights to just about everywhere in Europe. For example, it can be cheaper to fly from Gran Canaria to Berlin than from Madrid to Berlin. The population of Grand Canaria alone is about 1 million people, so there is pretty much everything you might need.
- OrganizerApril 7, 2023 at 4:59 PM
So sorry to hear about your medical issues. That what scares me.
I will definitely check out Gran Canaria. I read that it was very gay.
Thanks for the info!
- MemberApril 7, 2023 at 2:43 PM
Hi Mark, I’m also considering retiring to Spain, probably Valencia area, but a scouting trip will take in a few other places. You might enjoy this YouTube by James and Yoly, They’re a great resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiVV5udK_NM
I have Portuguese citizenship and was considering Lisbon/Porto but it’s as affordable as Spain at this point. Anyone considering Portugal might want to check this Facebook group of people who moved to Portugal and are now leaving or have left, talking about their experiences – Leaving Portugal / Partida de Portugal
- OrganizerApril 7, 2023 at 5:03 PM
I saw the YouTube yesterday! It was awesome 😎! Thank you!
- MemberApril 7, 2023 at 4:57 PM
After traveling the world, we decided on Belgium, Ghent to be exact. It’s a 20 minute train ride west of Brussels. We secured our Belgium citizenship and a property. We’ll be traveling back and forth until the time is right to move.
- OrganizerApril 7, 2023 at 5:04 PM
Then you can say you’ll be a Ghent and a Scholar!😂🤣🤣🤣
- MemberApril 8, 2023 at 10:26 AM
I’m with you, Mark! As I’m now well within the retired age range, I feel the need to move, since I’ve lived here in the Detroit area my entire life. When I look at the map of the US, the only place that draws me even a bit is Ft. Lauderdale, mostly because I have a few friends that live there and that it has a thriving gay community.
On the other hand, I dream of retiring to Spain. I’ve visited a few cites, large and small and each one is just incredible. My dream area is Torremolinos. While I’ve only been once, it really did seem to speak to me. (Sitges is a nice second!). Taking small steps, my next goal is to spend 2-3 months there to see if my modest expectations hold. I love traveling in Europe in general and Spain really seems ideal for me. The gay communities I’ve seen also draw me.
Needless to say, the recent podcast on Malaga was GREAT!
- OrganizerApril 8, 2023 at 12:23 PM
I can’t wait to visit Malaga and Torremolinos in September! We will visit for a month and see for ourselves what it’s like. I am building a little community there.
I’m going to be in Malaga 41 years ago exactly to the day that I survived a horrible plane crash there which killed 54 people. I got 15 people together to celebrate life! Should be awesome!
- MemberApril 10, 2023 at 8:32 AM
I’ve got 8-10 years until I can retire and can’t leave the US soon enough. Somewhere in Europe is my first choice. I speak German and Swedish both at an intermediate/advanced (B2/C1) level. I’m learning French at an intermediate level (B2). I’m going to Montpellier in June and July to continue learning French and see if the south of France would be a place I’d retire.
- OrganizerApril 24, 2023 at 7:44 PM
Let us know how you progress. We are going to Spain in September to check out what it’s like.
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