Skip to comments.Hello From Spain
Posted on 04/17/2017 7:12:37 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
Because my wife wanted to be closer to her Grandchildren who live in England and we were looking to retire I decided to leave America and move to Spain in March 2016. Since I didn't know how busy it was going to be I left FR also but now that we are settled in I can afford to spend a bit more time on the site and share my impressions of the country. Spain has a lot of things conservatives would actually appreciate and I wish America would follow their lead.
The most admired thing there is no entitlement mentality here because there are no entitlements. If you work and are a citizen you get health care and a pension when you retire but if you don't work or get laid off you get a limited amount of unemployment then nothing. Immigrants get nothing unless they pay for it. Couple that with a high unemployment rate and the limited number of migrants who sneak in here from Africa keep right on going into France. If you don't speak Spanish or Catalan that's your problem. Because there are a lot of English speaking people here and they want them to understand the traffic laws they do have an English study manual for a driver's license (which you have to pay for) and the written exam is given in English but anything else you either have to know the language or pay for an interpreter. All government documents are in Spanish (or Catalan if you live around Barcelona). Of course you can find stores and services that operate in multiple languages but that is driven by Capitalism, not government.
It is fairly easy to emigrate to Spain if you either have a skill they need or the money to support yourself. People applying for a working visa must have a promise of employment in hand. Folks like myself and my wife must prove they have the funds to be self-sufficient and pay for a year's worth of health insurance in advance to be considered for residency. Deadbeats need not apply. There are some expats who bum their way around the country entertaining on the streets or begging in front of stores but the competition is fierce and it doesn't take long for them to figure out it isn't going to work. There are no jobs Spaniards won't do. Many of them work punishing hours at low wages. 15 hour days 6 days per week is not uncommon and they show pride in having any job at all.
Once you get past those hurdles you have a host of choices on where and how you want to live. They have everything from mountainous regions to the spectacular coastline to Europe's only desert, recognizable to any fan of Spaghetti westerns. We chose an area called the Costa Tropical because it is the only part of Spain where the mountains come right down to the sea. The mountains form a microclimate that keeps the area about 10 degrees cooler than inland in summer and 10 degrees warmer in winter. It averages 320 days of sunshine per year and never gets down to freezing. As an example of how much sun we get the area we moved from, Atlanta, gets 211 days of sunshine per year. For you gardeners it is similar to zones 9-10. The other big advantage is that because it is so hilly it is easy to find a place to live that has a fabulous view. From our terrace we can see the Mediterranean, the Sierra Nevada mountains and the whitewashed town. We even have a castle to look at. With all of that we are 600 meters from the beach but on a quiet street with no traffic. You've heard the expression "million dollar view?" Well you can get that view here for a fraction of the price. If you forsake the view and want to rent a decent 2 bedroom flat can be had for 300 Euros per month, even less if you move inland a few kilometers. The cost of living is low enough that you can easily afford to live well on nothing more than a Social Security check.
With all of those nice features, you still live in a Socialist country. The most obvious sign of that is gas stations. Where we moved from in Georgia there were half a dozen gas stations within a mile in any direction while here we have 2 stations for a town of 27000 people. Gas prices are set twice a day and it's scary expensive. The big workaround for that, ourselves included, is the motor scooter. We have 2 cars but they sit idle while our scooter is the workhorse. It costs 5 euros to fill the tank and we fill it once a week. There is no 2nd Amendment right to own a gun. Shotguns are fairly easy to come by but pistols are strictly regulated. They actually used to have a thriving gun manufacturing industry here but it died years ago, a victim not of regulations but a bad economy. There are still a small number of manufacturers but it is mostly custom shotguns. I had to sell my guns before I left the USA. The main weapon of self defense is pepper spray, which is legal. Tasers and stun guns are illegal. For me it took about an hour, a hacksaw, can of spray paint, a rubber tip and a handle from a broken umbrella to fashion a walking stick made from a piece of half-inch steel pipe I got out of a trash can. It's legal anywhere in the world and can break bones without scratching the paint. Not the best but better than nothing.
I did get to vote in the Presidential election. Registering was easy and I was told that even though I don't live in Georgia anymore if I (nod, wink) intend to come back some day I was also eligible to vote in local elections. Since I did register as a Republican I still have to be alive to vote. Nobody here talks about American politics. It's either local or Brits talking about Brexit. I prefer to stay out of it because it's disheartening to hear so many people willing to sell out their sovereignty in order to keep getting "free stuff."
My main source of news is Fox News, which is shown on our local cable channel. Because of the 6 hour time difference I watch reruns of Tucker Carlson, Hannity and Bret Bair while at noon Fox and Friends comes on live. Other than that I have BBC News and RT. Most days it's hard to tell which channel is more anti-American.
Anyway, now that we're settled in I'll have more time to pay attention. Even though I'm in another country I still want what's best for America.
Well, I’ve never been to Spain.
But I kinda like the music.....................
Great account. Thanks for posting. Can you post photos of the view from your terrace ?
There are a lot of places in the world that offer good living that are inexpensive by American standards.
I strongly considered Panama.
How many muslims in Spain currently? What are their breeding rates relative to native Spaniards?
I would guess you’ll be coming back sooner than you realized.
We have our own ‘Spain’ here. Hopefully the wall will come up soon and hold back the invading ‘Spaniards’.
I’m tempted. Walked the Camino de Santiago in 2015 right after retiring and was impressed with Spain and the Spanish people. The only complaint about life I heard was the Morrocan who plastic wrapped my luggage at Madrid airport. He griped about the low level of benefits given to immigrants.
Give a hint as to towns/cities near you?
Thanks for the report from the ground. I’m surprised to hear that in a socialist country that slackers and unemployed don’t get more benefits, also that refugees and illegals aren’t given everything on a silver platter as they are here. Enjoy the great weather and gorgeous views.
thanks for the information on your new life, and hope you will be happy with retirement and living in Spain.
As you have seen, there are some differences between Spain and America. We could learn a thing or two from what they are doing in some areas.
Mexicans are nothing like Spaniards. Many Mexicans I’ve known have a special contempt for Spaniards, and I’ve never met a single Spaniard who didn’t despise Mexicans.
A tropical paradise.
(Yes, there are monsoons, but there are MORE good days than bad, choose the island you want wisely ... monsoons don't happen everywhere.)
No Sec. 8 style housing? No Soc. Sec. disability? No food stamps? I've never been to Spain, but I know other EU countries have these things.
Also, how is security? Are you seeing Arab and African migrants everywhere?
That was very informative. I’m glad you are comfortable and happy, and I hope you enjoy it for many years.
Your posting leaves some things unclear (perhaps deliberately so).
Are you (and your wife), in fact, already retired, or are you still working? In that context: How do you pay for your healthcare?
[...] we are 600 meters from the beach [...]
A real beach... with sand? Is it really possible to enter the water, swim out a little way, come back, and then sunbath on the delicious sand for a few hours - maybe while enjoying an ice cream purchased from the nearby kiosk? Or are you referring to what is more properly described as a rocky cliff or a tiny patch of land covered in jagged stone, inaccessible without trespassing and/or macheteing your way through brush, leading to jellyfish-infested waters?
[...] you still live in a Socialist country. The most obvious sign of that is gas stations. Where we moved from in Georgia there were half a dozen gas stations within a mile in any direction while here we have 2 stations for a town of 27000 people.
Are you saying that, with only two stations serving 27,000 people, the gas lines are reminiscent of those in the U.S. during the 1973 oil crisis?
[...] Nobody here talks about American politics.
Are you fluent in Spanish? Because everyone here where I live in splendid self-imposed exile (heh-heh!), I am regularly buttonholed by passing acquaintances demanding that I hold forth on the most-recent political events.
Very well written and informative. You should submit it as an article to a conservative magazine or newspaper.
Of course you leave out the FReeper reference;)LOL!
Yeah, living in New Mexico is a real eye-opener for these things. There is a great degree of separation within the state itself. Northern New Mexicans who have descended from the Spanish settlers don't much care for the southern New Mexicans who were mostly Mexican mestizo or native.
Goes pretty much for any Latino towards Mexico.. They all pretty much hate them all.
Thanks for the great post!
I love Spain! It has always seemed to me many countries in one (which may be its undoing ;-))
I imagine it is quite inexpensive to fly up to Englad to see the grandkids. I also imagine they love to come down to see you for holiday. Southern Spain is like England’s Florida!
Stay away from Manila >.<
I was being sarcastic :) , but I didn’t know of the mutual animosity between some of their people. I would love to visit Italy and Spain some day.
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