Living in Spain as a Retiree

Migrating to another country is synonymous with starting a new life from scratch and rethinking new goals. But when it comes to retirement, it is also the search for peace, tranquillity and the best possible quality of life. Among the best destinations to retire, we have Spain, a country that has everything and for everyone. Do you want to know why migrating to this country to retire is your best option?

Why Choose Spain to Retire

Spain was listed as one of the ten best countries to live for a retiree. This has been reported by the Annual Global Retirement Index of International Living magazine. And is not for less. It has endless features that are highly beneficial for retirees.

Although Spain has a varied landscape, its climate and temperatures are quite similar in most of its regions. Also, a calm and carefree lifestyle and a health system highly valued by the World Health Organization, are some of the great features that position it as the best country to retire.

We cannot ignore the best beach destinations in Europe. For some reason, most foreign retirees who choose Spain to live must stay on the Mediterranean coast, especially the British.

Another factor that makes it the most attractive European country for retirees is its low cost of living. Of course, excluding South American and Asian countries, Spain offers a lower cost of living than its European neighbours.

Living in Spain as a Retiree: How Much does it Cost?

While it is true that this country has a relaxed lifestyle, its cost of living is not far behind. For example, on average for a couple, 1600 euros per month are more than enough to live peacefully in a small city. This is easily matched with the average income that retirees in Spain get from their pension (1.300 euros). For both cases, the reality is that the average cost of living is 800 euros per month.

But you have to pay close attention to the chosen city to live as a retiree in this country. In this, many factors come into play such as the cost of rent, basic services, and basic shopping. It is not the same to choose Extremadura or Cáceres than the centre of Madrid or Barcelona. Depending on the choice, living in Spain as a retiree could be more or less expensive.

The 3 Best Cities in Spain to Retire

It is clear that coming from abroad and settling in a new place can be a bit complicated if you don’t have the necessary information. Although we had already mentioned that Spain has a similar great climate throughout its territory, its cities are sufficiently different, especially in rhythm and activity.

As the goal is to find a comfortable and quiet city to retire, today we list the three best cities to live as a retiree.


For some retirees, having a safe, active and friendly city is essential to living their retirement years to the fullest. Malaga meets exactly those three requirements.

Malaga is located in southern Spain and is known as the capital of the Costa del Sol. It is well known for being a city with very active streets and full of people almost at all times. Additionally, its proximity to the Mediterranean coast makes its climatic conditions ideal for enjoying a walk through the city.


Despite being located northwest of the country, far enough from the Mediterranean Sea, Bilbao is a city that hides many wonders.

This has been seen in recent years, where tourists and foreigners have seen in Bilbao one of the best options as a destination in Spain. This is thanks, especially, to the rich and vast culture that the capital of the Basque Country has to offer, as well as its delicious and unique cuisine.

Bilbao is one of the most affordable regions in this country and for retirees, it is an excellent option to experience a different and much quieter lifestyle than it seems.

Costa del Azahar

The 120 kilometers of the Mediterranean coast that bathe this city of the Province of Castellón, make Costa del Azahar one of the favourite places for foreign retirees to migrate to Spain.

Warm beaches are the main attraction of the Costa de Azahar for those looking to spend the best of their golden age. And not for nothing, more than 4,000 foreign retirees living in Castellón prefer to live on the coast.

How Difficult is it to Migrate to Spain to Retire?

Whenever moving to another country, there is an essential step you will always need to go through: getting a valid residency card.

In that sense, EU citizens have it a bit easier than non-EU; as they just need to register in the country and start enjoying everything it has to offer. In some cases, they even have agreements with their home country in which they can get their pension from the Spanish government.

Nevertheless, there are many non-European Union citizens who also want to settle in Spain and enjoy their life as retired individuals there. What do they need to do in regards to paperwork?

The Spanish immigration law offers a great option for that: the non-lucrative visa. We are talking about a residence permit designed for those who do not want to conduct any kind of economic activity (perfectly fitting the plans of any retiree).

Nevertheless, even though that visa is the perfect fit, the application process may be a bit tedious and even arduous, especially depending on the country of origin of the applicant. Each consulate or embassy has its own requirements, so the general rule never applies here. That is why asking for local help is always the best solution.

So, stop wasting your time and take the plunge. Spain awaits you!

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