Retiring to Spain in 2024 with the retirement visa

lucia lagunas reyes - Our Retiring to Spain in 2024 with the retirement visa lawyer expert

Retiring in Spain: How to do it right in 2024

Increasingly, British/US expatriates are considering retiring to Spain and obtaining a retirement visa in Spain. To date, more than one million of them have moved to collect their pensions in other countries, especially Spain.

Now that the United Kingdom has separated itself from the EU, visa requirements have changed and become more cumbersome. Regardless, many Britons continue to find themselves destined to spend their golden years in Europe.

There’s no specific retirement visa; The Golden Visa and the Non-Lucrative Visa are the preferred options chosen by retirees. We assist you throughout the process, as we are a law firm specialized in immigration, helping with applying for a visa, obtaining temporary residency, and also addressing any needs for family members for the visas.

Our law firm is in charge of advising the retiree to choose the best area in Spain to live according to his needs, we also guide him if he wants to buy a house and to obtain a Spanish visa. You can contact us without obligation and in less than 24 hours you will receive an answer from our lawyers for obtaining the Spanish visa for retiring.

Spanish retirement visa requirements

The main requirements for obtaining a retiree visa in Spain are as follows:

  • Have a minimum savings of €28,800 or a combination of savings plus pension to reach this amount.
  • Declare that you are not working for any company and that you are retired.
  • Have private insurance paid for one year or if you are a British pensioner you can get your S1.
  • The rest of the forms to be filled in will be taken care of by our team of lawyers.

We help you to obtain the retiring in Spain

Our lawyers are specialized in offering all the facilities for retirees to come to Spain to enjoy its good weather and great food. Do you want to obtain the Spanish retiree visa? Contact us and we will help you in the visa process.

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Spanish retirement visa requirements

From now on, Brits must go through the same process as any non-citizen of the European Union. It’s permitted to remain in-country without a visa for 90 days within a 180-day period. To extend your stay, you’ll need to obtain a visa related to the conditions under which you’ve entered the country. So a Briton planning to retire as an expat in Spain, for example, must apply for and receive a residence visa.

These new applications draw more attention to the state of an applicant’s finances. In particular, an applicant for a Non-lucrative visa will need to prove sufficient financial resources, often demonstrated through bank statements, with a minimum recurring income of €28.800 (€36.000 for a couple). Those seeking a Golden visa need to prove less income, but must demonstrate half a million euros of capital for property.

The non-lucrative visa enables non-EU citizens to retire as pensioners in Spain, but there is a catch. Such a person is not allowed to work or receive any income outside of retirement funds, investments, or the like. This visa requires a passport which is valid for a year, as well as a medical recommendation declaring the applicant not contagious and disease-free.

In case you don’t plan on actually becoming a resident, a Schengen visa becomes useful. This visa gives you the ability to regularly visit Spain, although the same rule about 90 days every 180 days applies. British citizens can bypass this visa but must comply with the same rules. Upon entry to and exit from the country, the passport will be stamped.

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Remember that as a British citizen you can register s1 for free healthcare in Spain.


The question of renting or buying for retiring in Spain is an important one and a complicated one. On one hand, rental agreements are more flexible. There will be situations in which someone is forced to return to their home country unexpectedly. Typical legitimate excuses include health and/or family issues.

Even if you are planning on being a homeowner eventually, renting in the beginning might be sensible. Doing so gives the renter time to figure out the state of the local property market. Equipped with such knowledge, it becomes more clear whether the current location is the right one.

On the other hand, buying your property outright entails more security and freedom to do what you wish with your living space. There’s also increased risk. If the market craters, you may not be able to sell off your home to your satisfaction. It’s up to you to decide how important it is to have a place to return to in Spain.

Financing your retiring in Spain

While planning out the retirement of your dreams, you’ll need a solid understanding of your finances. In particular, you’ll want to focus on pensions (personal and state) and and benefits.

For UK Pensions, a claim form should be sent to you four months before you reach the age for the state pension. If it ends up being three months before that time and the form still hasn’t been sent, you should reach out to the International Pension Centre. Those that have worked in the UK and abroad have to send an international claim form to this organization. They can be contacted by phone or mail. You’ll require the account number for any international bank accounts, as well as the bank ID codes.

As of April 2021, the Basic State Pension is listed as £179.58 per single person after at least 30 year’s worth of National Insurance contributions. A claim for this pension plan can be filed no matter where the state pensioner lives after they’ve qualified. The payout can be issued to a UK bank or to a foreign account in the correct currency, although bank fees and transfer charges may apply. Options are available for payment every four weeks or every 13 weeks. Despite that, if the State Pension comes out to less than £5 per week, the payment will occur once yearly in December. Workers who have work history beyond the UK may be eligible for a state pension from more than one country.

Early retirees, and anyone who has yet to begin drawing a pension may be entitled to shift their pension pot to another country. To make this happen, you can transfer the funds to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). This scheme can base itself in the country where the pensioner ends up living, or it can function in an offshore capacity.

QROPS provides more flexibility. After a UK citizen spends five years as a resident elsewhere, they are considered outside of the UK’s tax jurisdiction. QROPS income can potentially enjoy favorable tax obligations depending on the new country. It’s suggested that professional consultation is sought prior to making a final decision.

In Spain, lump sums taken out of a pension are regarded as taxable income. That means that it might be beneficial to let the money remain in an investment portfolio. You could also take the lump sum and achieve tax resident status in Spain before actually leaving the UK. Retiring in Spain is best accomplished by the proper management of resources.

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If you’re an American considering retired abroad, you should check to see if you’re entitled to Social Security or different federal benefits after you leave the country. Places to help get answers on the matter include the Social Security Administration’s Office of International Operations and the consular offices at the closest American embassy.


It’s a good idea to have some understanding of how you intend to spend your days in Spain before you’ve retired. It won’t be the same as going on a long holiday. Even if you’ve already evaluated the area in person, it’s not the same as spending all of your time there. You might not have experienced the in-season life in the location you’ve settled on. Do you already know how the weather will impact your life?

The climate depending on the area is much better than in other countries as the climate is Mediterranean and is much better for life. You can check the temperatures in Spain, here.

Retiring in Spain is common for expats, who can be found throughout the country. They’re in clubs throughout the nation: cricket clubs, men’s and women’s clubs, etc. Getting involved in clubs is an excellent method of meeting like-minded people, although there are always bars, eateries, and gyms, for example. Long-term residents abound at all these locations.

Many retirees decide to obtain a Spain retirement visa to retire in Malaga or retire in Barcelona.

What healthcare options are available to retirees in Spain?

Retirees in Spain have several healthcare options to consider. Private healthcare plans offer comprehensive coverage and typically range from $50 to $300 per month.

After establishing residency in Spain for at least one year, retirees can apply for the country’s public health insurance scheme, the Convenio Especial. If this option isn’t accessible or if you’re in the initial stages of residency, having a private insurance plan is crucial to cover any medical expenses.

Once you’ve lived in Spain for five years and become a permanent resident, you’ll have access to the same public healthcare services as Spanish citizens. This ensures comprehensive coverage and peace of mind regarding your medical needs throughout your retirement in Spain.


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Sufficient healthcare is a necessity. This is increasingly true for most retirement-age people. In Spain, the state’s health institute decrees that all people, no matter their nationality, have the right to healthcare. The National Health Service (NHS) services Spanish nationals, particularly those working in Spain and contributing to Spain’s social health program. Foreigns who retired from this system, or from another compatible one within the EU, are also covered.

Oftentimes, there’s an ambulatorio – a health centre – found in every neighbourhood, featuring a GP and a paediatrician. In order to see the doctor, an appointment is required. In cases that call for a specialist, you’ll need a referral from the general practitioner. Moving to Spain can be a godsend for anyone who’s struggled to maintain eligibility for health programs.


If you intend to live as a permanent resident in Spain, and if you won’t be traveling for over three months at a time, it might behoove you to participate in private healthcare. There are local health insurance policies that are often considered favorable as opposed to an international policy. If need be, a separate travel policy can be adapted to foreign travel.

Local health policies usually cover hospital care, consulting fees, and possibly emergency dental care and treatment for cancer. Additional options might be available, such as physiotherapy, psychiatric care, more comprehensive dental care, and pharmaceuticals, to name a few. A good local plan can cover you for three months.

As your age increases, policies generally increase in price – especially over the age of 60. A health insurance broker would be equipped to help select the choice that works the best for your situation.

Assuming you have no real reason to remain in the United States, there’s nothing wrong with entertaining the notion of retiring abroad. If you’ve ever dreamed of living in a new environment, now’s your chance. The country of Spain boasts a great climate and wonderfully diverse geography. Retiring in Spain can result in a novel and truly enjoyable experience.

If that strikes your fancy, you should educate yourself more about what’s needed to retire in Spain. A financial advisor could help figure out costs and residency mandates.


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spanish retirement visa

Current estimates suggest that a comfortable retirement costs an average of $25,000 a year. That comes down to just over two grand a month. For thriftier spenders, $20,000 a year is also doable. Living farther away from city centers and living as a minimalist always helps cut down on costs. One aspect of Spanish society retirees will enjoy is the low property tax rate. Property in Spain is valued and perceived differently than in other countries.

In some cases, it’s required to fill out a Spanish income tax return if you want to live in Spain. More often than not, it’s only called for if you’ve been residing in Spain for over six months with an income or at least $24,000, or if you receive rental income above $1,100 or income from savings or capital income in excess of $1,700. Even if most of this income originates from the US, the income tax still comes into play.

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It should be known that Spain’s sales tax can get pretty high. The Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido (IVA) is the Spanish equivalent to the Value Added Tax (VAT). You’ll most likely see this tax added into the prices on tags. In addition to all this, US citizens will need to file a US tax return. Luckily, the US and Spain participate in a treaty that prevents double taxation. This agreement makes retiring in Spain more possible for many.

The cost of housing revolves around the location of the real estate in particular. A one-bedroom is a sizable city such as Madrid will run you an average of $900 a month. If you travel far enough outside of the city, however, that price can shrink down to $450. A considerable number of retiree expats find themselves settling down in cities like Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, and Barcelona. That means that they’re subjecting themselves to higher costs of living. Others reside in less expensive regions like the Spanish-controlled Canary Islands, where the cost of living is more reasonable.

What are the pitfalls of retiring to Spain?

The main stumbling block to coming to Spain if you are not an EU citizen is obtaining a visa, but our team of lawyers can help you through the whole process of retiring in Spain. Then it could be the language but if you live in a big city most locals speak Spanish or there are large expat communities in Spain.

is retiring to Spain a good idea?

Retiring in Spain is highly advantageous as it enables you to save money, thanks to the lower expenses compared to other countries. Additionally, the favorable climate contributes positively to your health and well-being.

Can a US citizen retire to Spain?

Yes, any citizen can retire in Spain, whether American or of any other nationality, if they meet the requirements for a Spanish visa.

Can a UK citizen retire to Spain?

Yes, any citizen, including British nationals, can retire in Spain if they meet the requirements for a Spanish visa. British citizens particularly love the Costa del Sol for its stunning coastline and sunny weather

27 thoughts on “Retiring to Spain in 2024 with the retirement visa

  1. Paul Mackle |

    I retire at 55 with a good pension after a 30 year teaching career. I see that you “must declare you are not working for a company or are retired”. I was hoping to work part time or teach English in Spain. Are there any ways around this rule?

    1. My Spain Visa |

      You have to present the P45 if you are British and prove that you are not going to work. There are other types of visas if you want to continue working, we can help you, you can contact us using the contact form.

  2. Charles E Gemmell |

    I am a 73 year old retired engineer living in Florida. I would like to stay with my partner ( an EU citizen) in Malaga area six months per year. The NL visa seems to be the only choice. I read to renew in one year I must file tax in Spain.
    My income is $30,000 per year. 30% of $30,000 is $9,000. That makes this a deal breaker.
    Can you help?

    1. My Spain Visa |

      We have answered the email you sent us, we can help you through the whole process.

  3. Cynthia Pettway Anavitarte |

    Me gustaria tener in informacion que necesita para mudarme a Valencia, espana y no a MALAGA ESPANA SOLAMENTE NUESTRO INCOME LOS $30000 al ano

    1. Anna - Lawyer of My Spain Visa |


      Uno de nuestros abogados se pondrá en contacto con usted para jubilarse en España.

  4. Tamara Kiss |

    I am looking at retiring in Valencia in a few years and my husband and I are born in Canada and have live in Canada and are both Canadian citizens. We have never been to spain but it seems to be calling me. We would be looking for a 2 bedroom 2 bath small is ok we don’t need much. Not sure where yo start.

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about retirement visa in Spain.


  5. Ernest Glover |

    I would like to retire in Spain can
    You help

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about the retirement visa in Spain


  6. Gillian |

    I would like to retire in Spain, can you help me?

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about the retiring in Spain.


  7. Julie Lynch |

    I’m a uk citizen that wants to move to Tenerife to be with my partner who is a resident there. Would do I need to do?

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about retirement in Spain.


  8. Lyn Donaldson |

    We have been living in canada since 1980 from uk I don’t know of any old age pension that would amount to what is required yearly to retire in spain so how are so many doing it?

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about the retirement visa in Spain.


  9. Mr Keith Nineham |

    Hi I’m a male 70 year old, uk resident,I have a state pension £8,000 per annum,and a private pension pot of £270,000 cash in bank of £400,000, could I move to Spain to retire? Kind regards Keith Nineham

    1. Anna |

      Mr Keith,

      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about retirement in Spain.


  10. Randy Wendolek |

    We are US citizens and plan to move to Spain for 3 years in 2025. We will be 57 at the time. Looking to be on a retirement visa as we will not plan on working and plan on renting property in the Malaga area. Our intention is to travel all over Europe 1 week per month during that time. Can you help outline the piece we will need in place to make this happen?

  11. Mrs Amanda cade |

    Hi . My husband is 71 I’m 56 we would love to go to Spain for 1 yr + what the best way of doing this

    1. Anna |

      Mrs Amanda,

      One of our lawyers will contact you to explain all the process for obtain the retirement visa in Spain.


  12. jila |

    I want to get retierment visa. I meet the financial, and health insurence requierment.I need a lawyer to help mewith the process.

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to explain all the process for obtain the retirement visa in Spain.


  13. Denis saywood |

    I have a pension of about 1300euros is there anyway I can still move to Spain I yused live in Spain for about 10years.before I have to come back to the uk about 4 years ago.I have a green paper.thanks Denis

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to explain all the process for obtain the retirement visa in Spain.


  14. William Monaghan |

    We own a property in the Murcia region we are non residents but would like to spend more than the 90 days without becoming Spanish residents is this possible on a low pension income less than €27000 a year

    1. Anna |

      Hi William,

      One of our lawyers will contact you to explain all the process for retirement visa in Spain.


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