This is an in-depth tutorial that answers the issue, “How to Retire in Valencia in 2024?” It will not address all of your questions, but it will answer many of them.
Valencia, often hailed as the perfect haven for expat retirees, offers an idyllic blend of prime location, a robust economy, and affordable living compared to other European cities. The lenient visa options add to its appeal, enabling foreign residents to savour a quality life at reasonable costs.
The province’s culinary delights and modest property prices further sweeten the deal, prompting many to question why they didn’t retire in Valencia sooner.
With a burgeoning foreign-born population, this guide explores the lifestyle, covering living expenses and showcasing prime retirement cities, alongside insights into immigration programs like the Spain Non-Lucrative Visa and Golden Visa.
Who is eligible to retire in Valencia?
EU nationals can retire in Valencia and Spain hassle-free due to their EU membership. No visa or residence permit is needed for EU citizens to live, work, retire, or study. They only need to register at the Central Register of Foreigners and obtain a Foreigner Identity Number.
Non-EU nationals have two visa options: Long-Stay Visa for periods beyond 90 days (renewable annually) and Residence Visa for stays exceeding one year.
What are the best ways to retire in Valencia?
Choosing the right residence option in Valencia as a non-EU citizen hinges on the duration of stay – temporary or permanent. Most opt for long-term visas, with the Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa and Golden Visa being popular choices, especially among British nationals.
This visa program facilitates a renewable residence permit for non-EU nationals investing a minimum of €500,000 in Spain, either through real estate, bank deposits, or job-creating ventures. Initially valid for two years, it renews every three years, offering benefits like Schengen zone mobility, family inclusion, no minimum stay requirement, and a pathway to Spanish citizenship after a decade of residency.
Qualification involves a 1 million euro capital transfer, a 1 million euro business investment, or a 500,000 euro real estate investment. Taxpayers in Spain enjoy specific deductions, with personal allowances ranging from 5,550 to 8,100 euros based on age. Additional allowances are available for dependent children under 25, ranging from 2,400 to 4,500 euros, with an extra 2,800 for those under three years old.
The Non-Lucrative Visa in Spain is a sought-after opportunity for non-EU nationals desiring retirement in Valencia without work commitments. This visa facilitates an extended stay of up to five years, allowing retirees to relish the Spanish lifestyle. Once the visa has been renewed for 5 years, the holder will obtain permanent residence.
However, applicants must demonstrate financial sufficiency to support themselves during their stay. This amount varies from year to year and is connected to the specific amount prescribed by the Spanish authorities. The measurement is called IPREM, and to obtain a non-lucrative visa, this amount needs to be multiplied by 4 for each month of your stay in Spain.
Families can rejoice as the visa permits a spouse or partner, dependent children up to the age of 18 and up to 23 under specific conditions, and parents to accompany the primary applicant. Applicants must meet specific financial criteria to qualify, proving an absence of intent to work in Spain. They can still have earnings from overseas, but they must be classified as “passive” income.
The application process involves meticulous steps, including accurately completing the national visa form, possessing a valid passport, submitting compliant photos, obtaining a recent medical certificate, securing private Spanish health insurance, providing a current police clearance certificate, and obtaining a unique NIE number from the Spanish consulate.
Financial documentation requires proof of a minimum monthly income of €2,450, with an additional €600 for each dependent. Acceptable evidence includes bank statements, employment letters, investment proof, or other income sources. Dependent applicants must also submit relevant certificates.
Successful renewal and five years of residency pave the way for a permanent residence permit under both the Golden Visa and Non-Lucrative Visa. An additional five years of residency opens the door to Spanish citizenship, subject to meeting standard criteria, including language proficiency and adherence to customs and traditions. The Non-Lucrative Visa, therefore, not only provides a peaceful retirement in Valencia but also a potential pathway to long-term residency and citizenship.
Although it sounds easy, the process to obtain and renew the visas is not straightforward, especially because of a lot of Red Tape in Valencia. It is almost impossible to organise appointments for any submissions, and therefore, it is best to seek the help of a professional local Immigration Lawyer in Valencia if you want to retire to the city or the Province.
We do not recommend using just any Internet lawyer because there is a lot of work to be done, and it is necessary to have local legal help. Please contact us if you need details of a good Immigration Lawyer in Valencia.
The top reasons to retire in Valencia
In your golden years, the allure of leisure time grows, and Valencia emerges as an ideal haven with its deeply ingrained culture of embracing relaxation. The province unfolds a tapestry of festivals and celebrations, including world-known Fallas, Semana Santa, Batalla de Flores, La Tomatina, Tres Reyes, and, offering retirees a unique chance to immerse themselves in Spanish culture while adopting a laid-back lifestyle.
Valencia also proves to be a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, catering to diverse interests with options like hiking, snorkelling, mountain biking. Valencia is also one of the world’s most friendly cities for bicycles. As you transition from the hustle of work to the tranquility of retirement, Valencia provides an idyllic setting where leisure takes precedence.
The healthcare system further enhances the appeal for retirees, offering excellent healthcare universally accessible to all citizens, including foreign residents with permanent residency. Expats from the US will discover that private healthcare insurance is notably more affordable, ensuring a comparable standard of service.
Retiring in Valencia comes with a myriad of advantages. The climate in popular retirement destinations like Costa Blanca boasts a warm and tranquil Mediterranean ambiance, with more sunshine and less average rainfall than many European counterparts. The laid-back lifestyle contributes to the country’s reputation as one of the world’s healthiest.
The rich cultural history, showcased in breathtaking architecture, world-class museums, and a vibrant arts scene, makes it a captivating destination. The renowned gastronomy, featuring iconic dishes like paella and delightful tapas, offers a culinary experience like no other. The low cost of living, especially in certain regions, adds to the allure, making Valencia financially accessible for expat retirees.
Access to high-quality healthcare, stunning natural landscapes, favourable tax rates, and the overall lifestyle make retiring in Valencia an attractive proposition. While Spain may not be the lowest tax country, its favourable financial environment, with an average pension tax rate of 7.7 percent, ensures retirees can remain tax-efficient, creating a well-rounded package for those seeking an enriching and relaxed retirement.
Where can you best retire in Valencia?
Valencia offers diverse retirement options based on personal preferences and financial considerations.
Valencia City strikes a balance between a metropolis and a beach town, featuring numerous amenities like hospitals, universities, and parks. The city maintains an old-world charm with street music and boasts cultural attractions like museums and historic centres.
Alicante, a charming coastal town on the eastern Mediterranean, is ideal for a laid-back retirement. Despite its small size, it offers an international airport, warm weather year-round, and a picturesque old town with cobblestone streets and vibrant markets. The proximity to the beach enhances the quality of life, allowing for leisurely strolls and a bustling social scene.
Javea, beautiful coastal city, a magnet for foreigners, is known for its beautiful beaches, more than often a backdrop for big Hollywood productions. There is a huge expat community living there.
Benidorm, the tallest city in Spain per capita, Benidorm is known not only as a fantastic summer resort but also a place where many important cultural events and festivals take place. It is called Spanish San Remo.
Cullera, beautiful coastal resort with its own castle on the top of the mountain that overlooks the city. World renown as a place from where the Paella originates.
There are many other places in Comunidad Valencia where you can retire in style, just to name some of the most popular amongst the foreign population – Torrevieja, Altea, Calpe, Gandia, Xativa, Denia, Moraira…and the list goes on and on…
What is the cost of retiring in Valencia?
Living in Valencia is a cost-effective choice compared to many European countries. You can maintain a comfortable lifestyle in major cities for 2,000-2,200 Euros per month or 1,700-1,900 outside urban hubs.
Rental prices in Valencia are reasonable, especially when compared to the prices in Madrid and Barcelona. One-bedroom apartments you can rent from 850 euros monthly, while moving away from the city center drops prices to 600 euros. The further you go from Valencia City, the cheaper it becomes.
Property purchases are financially attractive, especially for retirees. Foreigners face no restrictions on buying property in Spain. The real estate market rebounded after the 2008-2009 downturn, drawing retirees. Average house prices range from 2,000-4,000 euros per square meter, being the most expensive in Valencia and some cities on the Costa Blanca and getting more and more affordable further to the north, in the direction of Castellon.
Notably, real estate investments exceeding 500,000 euros can qualify for the Spanish Golden Visa; granting a residence permit and maintaining it can lead to permanent residency after five years. Valencia’s appeal lies in its affordability, diverse property options, and the potential for a fulfilling retirement experience.
Spain’s universal healthcare system is ranked among the world’s best. It is free and accessible to citizens and permanent residents. Spanish hospitals and health centers offer excellent care and services.
Spain offers Convenio Especial, a nationalized medical insurance for temporary residents contributing to the social security system.
Retirees pay €60 if under 65 and €157 if over 65. While Spain provides excellent public healthcare, retirees may opt for private insurance from providers like Allianz Care and Cigna Global, costing €50 to €200 monthly, ensuring prompt treatment and specialized care as they age.
Retiring in Spain FAQs
Can a US citizen retire in Valencia?
Americans can retire in Spain by securing residency through the Spain Golden Visa or Non-Lucrative Visa. The Golden Visa demands a €500,000 investment, while the Non-Lucrative Visa needs a €2,400 monthly income. The numbers of Americans retiring at the moment in Valencia are the fastest growing among any foreign population in the last couple of years.
Can I find a retired expat society in Valencia?
Valencia hosts expat retirees from all over the world, with many from the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, and Australia.
What are some of the drawbacks of retiring to Valencia?
Living in Valencia has its perks, but drawbacks exist based on lifestyle preferences. The siesta culture is embraced by many, yet may pose challenges for those unaccustomed to it or prefer daytime errands. While English is spoken in tourist hubs like Valencia and Alicante, proficiency varies regionally, posing a challenge for those relying solely on English.
Dealing with the bureaucracy might be a challenge for many, business is also hard to start and maintain, but if you are in it for retirement only, you will not face many of these problems.
This article is brought to you by Expat Hub Valencia, a property buying agent in Valencia. Using the Expat Hub’s services, you will be able to successfully navigate Valencia’s complicated property market in no time.