Guide to retire in Spain

Guide to retire in Spain

2023-11-16 11:20:20

With incomparably amazing weather and cheap living expenses, Spain is an ideal destination for most expats to retire. In this article, we will explain the most important information for you if you want to retire in Spain.


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1. First things first: Visa!

2. Retirement system in Spain

3. Additional things you might consider


The beautiful beach of mallorca


1. First things first: Visa!


If you are EU/EEA nationals, you don’t need a visa to live and retire in Spain. However, if you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you will need to apply for a Spanish investor visa or a Spanish non-lucrative visa. There are a lot of similarities between the requirements of the two visa types, such as private medical insurance (Our expat insurance covers all the Spanish visa and residence permit requirements. Adeslas is the best-rated medical insurance in Spain) and criminal record. The differences between the two visa types are:


  • Capital requirements:
    • Investor visa will require more capital/income (the minimal request is 500,000€ in real estate).
    • While the non-lucrative visa does not require you to invest anything beforehand. The only requirement is to have income that equals 400% of the IPREM for the first applicant. For any additional applicant, you need to have 100% of the IPREM. The income can come from different resources: saving accounts, pensions, investment accounts, and pensions. If you can show an income higher than the level presented above, your application is more likely to be successful.
  • Resolution speed and the years issued:
    • The resolution speed of the investor visa is much quicker than a non-lucrative visa.



2. Retirement system in Spain


If you want to receive pensions from the Spanish government, you need to fulfill age requirements and social security contribution limits:


  • Reach the age of 65 years and 10 months: the retirement age is prolonged to 67 years by 2027
    • Reach 65 years if you have contributed to social security for 37 years: it will be 38.5 years by 2027
    • If you retire at the age of 65 years and 10 months (67 years by 2027), you need to have worked for at least 15 years to receive the minimal Spanish state pension


If you are not eligible for the Spanish pensions,


  • due to low income, you can claim a non-contributory pension if you meet the requirements:
  • because you haven’t worked for enough years in the Spanish territory:
    • If you move from an EU/EAA country or a country that has a pension transfer agreement with Spain, you can still get your pensions paid.
    • Otherwise, you might need to live on your private pensions or personal savings.


3. Additional things you might consider


  • Related tax: If you think about retiring in Spain as an expat, you need to also think about the possible taxes applicable to your case. For example, you might need to pay wealth tax and other types of tax. Make sure they are also included in your budget.
  • Best place to retire: We know that people usually have different preferences. So you can see the best places we recommend for people with different needs.
  • Healthcare: If you are an EU/EAA resident, you will be entitled to Spanish public healthcare. Otherwise, you need to take out Spanish private health insurance. This could be the same one that you used for the visa application. Our visa insurance, also known as expat insurance, meets all the visa requirements and is the best-rated Spanish medical insurance.  
  • Wills and inheritance in Spain: When you move to Spain, you should register a will in Spain. If you fail to do this, your assets will be disposed of according to Spanish law.


Do you qualify for the Golden visa? If this isn´t for you, maybe see if one of these visas better fits your needs:




Seguridad Social: Prestaciones / Pensiones de Trabajadores. (2021). Retrieved 8 November 2021, from 


Our content will be updated according to the most recent legislation. 

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