Expats Argue for Why Spain's Still a Safe Bet

Contributed by Jamie Waddell, 28 May, 2014

There's been a host of negative press surrounding the expat experience in Spain recently, articles suggesting that expats are leaving in droves, that Spain is poor, corrupt and if you're planning on moving there…don't. 

Michael Brinksman, editor at expat lifestyle publication WhichOffshore, told us:

"There's a lot of scaremongering in the media currently. "The expat dream is over", Spain's a dead-end and Brits should be looking further east to places like Dubai are common themes.

"Whilst no one can claim that some of the arguments against an expat life in Spain are totally baseless, the media tends to skew towards the more negative aspects of the situation, conveniently forgetting that many of the reasons why Brits flocked to Spain in the first place are still in place"

To try and get a more balanced view of what's really going on in the Iberian Peninsula, we asked a variety of expats the reasons why they're remaining in España.

Marianne Elizabeth, author of East of Malaga blog - Andalucía

"The problem is that so much information like this is being drip-fed to people back home in the UK that little-by-little they are starting to believe it. This could potentially have a drastic result in the long-term recovery of the Spanish housing market if northern European buyers are scared to invest in property here.

"I have been approached through my blog by UK journalists seeking negative views about Spain and they have been disappointed when I have failed to subscribe to their ideas.

"I am financially and location independent yet I chose to move to Spain as it is a wonderfully diverse country with a rich, family culture. I don't regret for one minute that decision to move here, made almost eight years ago. Would I return to live in the UK? Not a chance!"

Victoria Twead, author of Two Old Fools ~ Olé! - Andalucía

"We relocated in 2004 and settled in a tiny mountain village in Andalucía hoping for a peaceful retirement. Of course life never runs smoothly (we ended up owning the most dangerous cockerel in Spain) but each day is a pleasure to wake up to.

"Living in a remote village, we are not surrounded by fellow expats. Personally, our bills are still lower than they would be in the UK and our quality of life is far better. The exchange rate is the factor that affects us the most, but we live a comfortable life.

"Moving to Spain was the best decision we ever made. The lack of stress and wonderful relaxed way of life has given me time to pursue my passion, writing books, and I forged a new career from that. We have no plans to move back to the UK. Why would we? The sun shines here nearly every day, the people are friendly and helpful, the food is wonderful, wine is cheap... Spain is our home now, and we're here to stay."

Josh – English Teacher - Granada

"No list of reasons why I'm staying in Granada would be complete without paying justified homage to the city's unrivalled culinary scene – sorry – free culinary scene. Well, perhaps not everything is free (certainly not in restaurants), but any tapa served in Granada comes gratis with your drink 99% of the time.

"Then there are las señoritas. Let's just say that being king of the intercambios seems to yield various benefits, and I'm not quite ready to give that up either…"

Lisa Sadleir – Owner of Family Life in Spain blog - Andalucia

"I have witnessed a shift in the demographics of people moving to Spain. I now see people who could live anywhere in the world, as they are financially independent or their work is not location dependent, who chose Spain for the quality of life it offers. Like me, these people see the luxury and the value of this great country. A country that offers some of us, many things that money cannot buy.

"Many expats have left Spain, although usually due to ill health, for family reasons or because the cash rich expat work environment along with their expat client base has shrunk or even dried up. Yes, some people are in the unfortunate position that they wish to return to their home country, but are unable to do so until they sell their Spanish home, in a saturated market of property for sale."

"In a nutshell, I don't see Spain as cheap. I don't see Spain as poor. I see Spain as rich, as luxurious, as a land of opportunities … of course I do, otherwise why else would I be living here?  Why would I believe it was the best place for my children to grow up?" 

Tags: Europe | Offshore | retirement | Dubai | Spain | offshore | environment | food |



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