Retirement dreams?


No, our best shot at a European passport was for C, via her South African origin, but her father closed that door for her a long time ago.


The south of Spain is probably also more used to dealing with foreigners, on account of all the British retirees living there, and my anecdotal experiences trying to be understood in Seville / Cádiz vs Madrid. Depending on how Brexit goes, property prices might even go down…


The Basque Country in particular is much more cosmopolitan than the south, due to historic industrial ties to England and Northern Europe (and geographical proximity to France). In the south contact with English is mostly via tourism or retiree communities, which brings its own problems if you actually want to integrate (although if you want an expat community, it’s certainly the place to go).

The center is more problematic and in general more close minded. Although I can’t imagine somebody having a hard time being understood in English while in Madrid. 10 years ago maybe, but really not anymore. But people in the boomer generation and slightly lower (say, in their late 40s and 50s) will not know English in general, no matter where you go.


I visited Madrid and Barcelona last year, and I had no problems being understood with very little Spanish, and my smartphone to assist. Most people understood some English. We weren’t having deep philosophical discussions, but ordering in a restaurant, taking a train, basic stuff, no sweat. Remember English is the lingua franca of the internet.


This was more than 10 years go, so, checks out… :D


It really doesn’t take much. I was in Argentina last year. My Spanish exists, but is rudimentary. (I can pick up about a third of spoken Spanish, which is enough to get the gist of a surprising number of conversations, and I can generally get my point across when I speak, but I probably sound like a moron.) I got around fine, even in little towns where I found no English speakers.


That’s 60 days a year so that’s not undoable, but it is restrictive. I guess they want to keep your spending in Spain, primarily.

So you’d come back to the US at 65?


I see a lot of those where the people say they have started an online business and it really makes me wonder if they know what they are doing?

Of course a lot of those International House Hunter shows are people with huge budgets, say $400,000 if they are buying or $5000 per month for renting.


I think we would try to stay there. But if we couldn’t, the US would at least be an option.


I don’t believe Medicare works outside the U.S. You’ll still need to be on a Spanish plan.


Yes, unless we can keep citizenship on the table.



This is my experience with HGTV.


The only way to consistently make money in an “online business” is to take off your clothes. I expect most of those people got a settlement when they purposefully threw themselves in front of a Mercedes or something.


You can pour your heart and soul into a youtube channel, get 20K regular viewers, and enjoy trying to live on $600 a month.


Well, an extra $600 per month isn’t bad for an ex-pat that’s getting social security and has some savings. That can pay for an apartment or most of an apartment in a lot of overseas places. Or in the US.

I bet it’s hard to get 20k Youtube viewers if you’re a retiree, though. Super-hard, probably.


Yeah, I meant how hard it is even for the ‘wildly successful’ ones that make it that far, which is a tiny minority. Those that are willing to and putting in 16 hours a day and shameless self-promoting responding to comments etc.

In retirement I think it’s important to do something that gets you up early and out of the house. A youtube channel could be it, but it may be discouraging if you put up 70 videos and have 11 subscribers. A part-time job could be fine if it’s spending money and something you enjoy - e.g. selling laptops at Best Buy might be ok for 10 hours a week and spending money. I’m not sure what I’ll do.


I see retirement approaching and while I see the value in having a job or some kind of situation to keep you active and engaged, a lot of what I’m looking forward to is being able to just do whatever the hell I want - including nothing - at least for a short while. Or just to have the ability to noodle around on a project of my choosing.

It may get boring - but I’m willing to risk it!


I agree with this, and it is one of several reasons that we decided to move overseas. Life in Phoenix as a retiree was pretty damned boring. Now we spend about 8-10 hrs a week either in Spanish class or doing homework. I’m writing a book (nearly done with the ‘final’ draft), and because we live without a car most of our chores and entertainment involve walking to and from places.


Yeah a few months of quiet sounds amazing. /Sighs (I have two small kids and this morning was a tornado).

I think for me personally, as I’m only semi-motivated, I need something to get me out of the house otherwise I could easily spend days on end in front of the TV or computer and regret it. Cycling is a big one for me.

Even having a dog, needing to get your buddy out of the house to take a leak, that can be a huge mental support to get you going.

My father took a part-time job driving rental cars around (re-positioning). After tax it was hardly worth it but it was a group of retirees that basically BS’d the afternoons away. He did it for 9 years and recently stopped.