About retiring on the Costa del Sol

Published on 1 Jul 2017

Are you planning your well-deserved retirement and considering a move to Malaga? Or maybe you are already enjoying your golden years on the beautiful and sunny Costa del Sol? Well, one thing is for sure - you have deserved it like millions of other retirees flocking year after year to Spain, which keeps its very high ranking in each year International Living’s global retirement index. 

Based on 2017 most comprehensive index, Spain with its fantastic climate and beautiful nature, considerably low living costs, rich history and culture and advanced infrastructure, occupies a strong position number seven, scoring strongly across the board and especially in climate, entertainment and amenities, healthcare and retirement infrastructure. Not to mention its relaxed laidback lifestyle …what else could you wish for in your golden years?!

All above coupled with more than 320 days of sunshine each year is what you will find on the Costa del Sol in the Andalusian province of Malaga. Its capital, the vibrant and beautiful city of Malaga, ranks among Spain’s top five retirement cities. Being one of the oldest cities in the world and Spain’s sixth largest city, Malaga offers retirees a range of museums, great shopping opportunities, various cultural events and marvellous climate with hot summers and moderate winters. It also has great transport links to the rest of Spain and Europe allowing you to “explore the world” at your own pace. With Costa del Sol being one of the most popular expat destinations in Spain, many retirees feel very welcome here and integrate fast in local expat communities finding new friends and common language among fellow expats. 

Healthcare is another important factor especially for retirees, and Spain is difficult to beat with its well-developed and widely accessible national health system on one side and a wide range of private insurance offers on the other. With several state and private hospitals and a multitude of private multilingual medical practices Costa del Sol covers well for the medical needs of retired pensioners. 

With all above it comes as no surprise that Spain and especially its Andalusian province of Malaga remains among the top picks for retirement destinations among pensioners all over the world and especially the ones coming from the European Union. 

For EU citizens, there are no restrictions to reside in Spain, however if your plan is to live permanently in Spain or even reside for periods longer than three to six months, you must apply for a residency permit. Having obtained the residency you as a pensioner can also register with the Spanish social security to get access to the national health system, provided of course that you have paid all relevant social security contributions in your home country. Before leaving for Spain please obtain from your home EU country the S1 form – the most essential document to obtain the residency and get access to the national health care.

Please bear in mind that many administrative or paperwork procedures in Spain require time and you will have to allow several weeks or even months before you are fully registered with each authority and have full access to the national healthcare, so better not to delay it too much. Also, you will need to collect the package of required documents and have at least some basic knowledge of Spanish as this is the one and only language spoken in the main administrative offices such as National Police, Town Halls or Social security offices. 

Alternatively, you can let Malaga Expat Consulting look after all your Spanish paperwork matters in Malaga and the Costa del Sol, saving you long waiting times in the admin offices by arranging needed appointments in advance, advising on procedures, helping to prepare the correct documents package and offering the comfort of speaking your language. So, whether you are still in the planning phase or have already moved to the Costa del Sol to spend your best years, get in touch for a no-obligation quote to cover all your Spanish paperwork needs.

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