Over 200,000 expats had to return from Spain last year. Do you have to join them?
So what happens if you live in Spain?
There are various scenarios. Here are the most common which impact your lifestyle in Spain and why you might have to return to the UK:
Please note that this article is not written expressing any political views about “remain” or “leave” in regards to Brexit. Neither is it about investments, property purchases, pension advice and other. Purely facts and ideas on how to stay in Spain.
The Pound to Euro exchange rate is the biggest common denominator. Here is an overview and basic check:
- Pound based income in general
Not many Expats are lucky enough to own their property in Spain. Many Expats have decided to rent out their property in the UK and use the income to pay for the rent, utility bills, etc from this income. Whilst entirely logical, it only works when the sums work out. a. The exchange rate problem appears immediately. b. Cost in the UK for renting out have gone up (landlord insurance for example). c. Any income schemes will be be affected by the exchange rate. Very few have investments in Dollars or Euros.
- Age and Health
A large number of Expats are in Spain because of health grounds. The warm weather is good for all sorts of medical problems, the winter months are relatively mild. Medical and general health services are as good as in the UK, if not better. Unfortunately, quite a large number of Expats cannot take up work, a second job or start a new business due to their health condition. Of course, a large number of Expats are not able to work or top up their finances due to age.
- Pound to Euro Exchange Rate
Undoubtedly the biggest factor. Every Expat living is affected. In the last 3 years the buying power has almost halved.
- UK Pension
Pensioners: Expats in general receive a Pound linked pension. The same as the above applies, whilst some argue that the buying power in the UK is now bigger than in Spain.
- Folding business in the UK
Unfortunately, many businesses in the UK are closing down, this meaning if your income was depending on a business which no longer exists, you face additional problems. Whilst living in Spain you cannot apply for help or certain government related support from the UK.
- Rising living cost in Spain
Just like anywhere else, general living costs have gone up. Petrol, food, beverages by an average of 20% over the last 24 months. Whilst by far not as much as in the UK, it is another demoralising factor adding to the financials on a daily basis. Those points above can also have an impact on stress levels and your health.