Moving to Spain: FAQ’s
Spain is one place that definitely offers an al fresco lifestyle you won’t find anywhere else. Want to soak in the sun and lay on the beach on a weekday? You got it. Want to sit outdoors and enjoy a meal? You got that too. However if you are planning to move there, you’ll need answers to a whole bunch of serious questions. I have put together a list of frequently asked questions that should help you.
Get the kids on board first
The first question that came to my mind was ‘what will the kids think?’. Every parent will want to know how to best position this news to posit the best outcome for their kids once you tell them your plans of moving.
As a family, we had been discussing this for approximately a year now. We’d been collecting info on Spain, the culture, the city, researched the House Hunters International, and even searched about ‘futbol’ for our little football fanatic Max.
Surprisingly, the kids took it so well. They were excited about it which has been a big booster for us as well. During a conversation of their own, we overheard our son Max tell Sam ‘what you’re looking for isn’t even here, but you won’t need it in Spain,’ ‘Oh yeah!’So they seem to be preparing too, which is motivation for us to start planning intensively as well, and also to come up with solutions to all kinds of possible questions about our future lifestyle in Spain.
So here we are. If you too are thinking of moving to Spain, we shall be thy guides!
Our Family’s Opinion
I had been putting this off till we were 100% sure about our decision, but once we told our family about us moving to Spain, their initial reaction was - what about the kids? Aren’t they gonna miss their family here? Well, I had to sit down with them and explain that we are serious about this, and that this is going to be a great opportunity for us, and in no time they were onboard. To be honest, telling the rest of our family has been both the easy and the hardest part of this decision.
Can you afford it though?
Once everyone is onboard with the plan, you can start planning the expenses. I can give you some general information here that should help you understand the diameter of the expenses you will incur. We are currently living in Nashville, and our living expenses here are cheaper than it would be in Spain. Yes, surprising, but true.
Here’s some of the financial benefits we will receive from our transition that we plan to use on traveling/other life expenses.
We won’t have a car or car insurance-+$800 a month.
An apartment (furnished) in Spain is less than our current mortgage by a difference of - +$600 a month.
Without any ample space for good storage and clothes, we will save an extra - +$150 a month
Cheaper health insurance in Spain- +$150 a month.
This ‘excess’ will be spent on not just travel and public transport but storage, and business treasury ($50 a month). What’s the most expensive part you ask? It’s the Visa and the tickets that can cost up to $1,000. Add on the travel agent and the realtor fee, and we’re up to $5,000. Yes, moving to a whole other country doesn’t come cheap.
Once this is sorted, we can return to living life at a level that is similar in expenses to Nashville. And, I just found a fun fact about Spain - Eating out is cheaper than cooking (Plus- you don’t have to tip)! Woohoo!
A word of advice here - if you really wish to move somewhere and you think you can’t because of the money - Do some thorough research, find alternatives, manage expenses and don’t let that be a barrier.
What made you choose Spain?
As I mentioned; the Al Fresco life. It’s warm. It’s Europe - we’ll get to see a million places like Paris, Croatia, Vienna and more that have been on our bucket list. Apart from this, the language, the culture, the people and yes, the fact that we can afford it. Also, how can I not mention - the beach life. All of these factors sound pretty appealing to me and my family.
What about work / business?
We look forward to spending our energy wisely whilst continuing with our digital marketing and web development business. We worked hard for this important change, and though we won’t be able to make appearances in meetings any more, we can definitely schedule calls. So commuting to meetings won’t be a problem anymore. Yay! Fortunately, our hard work has helped us garner a strong client relationship based on our quality and cost effective products. And hey, we’ll adjust to the call hours, it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s manageable. We’ll figure it out as we go.As far as our blog is concerned, we’ll continue updating the blog with our latest developments. So stay tuned.
What about the place you stay in currently? And are you coming back?
We have decided to sell our house. Don’t be surprised if we don’t come back to this subdivision. We’ve already kinda ‘Bid Adieu’ to it. For me, home is where my three people are, my family. About the stuff inside the house, we’ll probably be selling 70% of these items. We’re storing some family antiques and some special pieces made by my brothers in storage. Yes, we did think about renting it out, but dealing with it while we are away will be more anxiety than we believe it’s worth, and we don’t want that. If you think this would work for you, then rent it out and enjoy the proceeds.
Lastly, we are not sure how long we might end up staying in Spain. We do have a lot of family here in Nashville, but we have planned to remain in Spain for one year minimum.. This should help make it worth all the effort and money we are investing in this. For now this is the plan.
Would it be easy for kids to adjust in new schools? Have you found any?
Compared to the US, Spain has a different school system with three types - the private schools, the state schools and the concertados or charter schools that cost a hefty fee to attend and are affiliated with a church. I plan to cover this subject in a separate blog altogether, but for now I’d like to tell you that private schools are hard to get into. I’m telling you this from my experience of trying at four different schools in Valencia where my application was rejected. The struggle was REAL.
For now, we have decided to put the kids in the state school. With schools being on our priority list as numero uno, (already getting a hang of the language) we want the kids to get the best exposure to the language and culture in general. Another fun fact: Spanish siesta is real and taken seriously. So with the kids getting to come home for a few hours in the noon, we’ll make sure the house is in the same neighborhood as the school. Having done a plethora of research on the same, I would love to share all this knowledge that I have garnered on schooling in Spain in another blog as mentioned above, so stay tuned.
More details on the Visa
We are about to get our Visas any day now.. Let me tell you that it was no piece of cake. The process was so exhaustingly extensive that I am planning to do a full-blown blog post on the same - with all the dirty details. The visa we applied for was a ‘non-lucrative’ visa, valid for 1 year.
You can re-apply for the same after 12 months; though you should know, this type of visa is not for everyone. Do your research on which type of visa will suit your visit to Spain. We did ours, and luckily this suits us.
If your moving is sponsored by a company, or another organization, most of your visa application work is handled by them. Lucky you! But hey, even if you are planning to take this decision independently, feel free to reach out to me and I shall try my best to cheer your spirits with my story on how we decided to move to Spain.
This blog post is part of a blog collaboration between The Spanish Group and Kate Hickey of the travel blog 'Hickeys Everywhere.' Thanks for reading