Retiring in Valencia, Spain: The Ultimate Guide (2024)

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Are you dreaming of a retirement destination that combines a pleasant climate, vibrant culture, and a relaxed lifestyle? If so, retiring in Valencia, Spain should definitely be on your shortlist!

After all, as a resident of this enchanting city myself, I can assure you that it offers all the ingredients for a fulfilling retirement experience – and much more.

In this article, I’ll delve into the reasons why retiring in Valencia is has become such a popular choice among expats. From its stunning Mediterranean beaches and rich historical heritage to its affordable cost of living and excellent healthcare system, you’ll see exactly what this city has to offer.

I’ll also take you through a few things you should consider before making the decision to retire in Valencia, like visas, taxes, pros and cons, and a few more not-so-fun but necessary points.

So, whether you’re seeking a tranquil place to enjoy your golden years or an exciting new chapter in a vibrant and welcoming community, join me as we explore the many delights awaiting retirees in Valencia.

peaceful scene in Turia Gardens for someone retiring in Valencia, Spain

Is Valencia, Spain a good place to retire?

If you’re looking for a great place to retire, Valencia, Spain is an excellent choice. With its Mediterranean climate, affordable cost of living, good public healthcare system and vibrant culture, Valencia offers a lot of benefits for retirees. 

Here are some things to consider when deciding if Valencia is the right place for you:

Cost of Living

Valencia is known for its affordable cost of living, especially compared to other major cities in Spain. Rent is relatively cheap, and you can find apartments in the city center for around 700€ per month. 

The cost of food and dining out is also quite reasonable, with plenty of restaurants and supermarkets to choose from.

Weather

Valencia enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. The city is known for its sunny weather, making it a great place to enjoy outdoor activities year-round. 

The beach is also just a short distance away, so you can enjoy the sea breeze and take a dip in the Mediterranean whenever you like.

Lifestyle

Valencia has a vibrant and active lifestyle, with plenty of cultural attractions, recreational activities, and social events. The city also has a strong expat community, making it easy to meet new people and make friends. 

Culture

Valencia is a city steeped in history and culture, with beautiful architecture, museums, and galleries to explore. The city is known for its unique cuisine, with plenty of restaurants serving up delicious paella and other local dishes. 

The local customs and social network are also worth experiencing, as they offer a glimpse into the rich local culture.

Torres de Serranos a place to visit if you are retiring in Valencia

Healthcare

Valencia has a good healthcare system, with many hospitals and clinics offering high-quality medical services. The city also has a good public transportation system, making it easy to get around and access healthcare facilities.

Public Transportation

Valencia has an efficient public transportation system, with buses and a metro system that covers most of the city. In addition, the airport is easily accessible, making it easy to travel in and out of the city.

Challenges in Retiring in Valencia, Spain

Retiring in Valencia, Spain can be a dream come true for many people. However, there are some challenges that you should be aware of before making the move. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Language Barrier

One of the biggest challenges you might face when retiring in Valencia is the language barrier. While many people in Valencia speak a little bit of English, it’s still important to learn Spanish if you want to fully integrate into the local community. 

You might find it difficult to communicate with locals, especially if you’re dealing with government agencies (which can be frustrating enough given the infamous bureaucracy here) or medical professionals, although many of the latter will generally speak English well enough for you to get by.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Valencia is relatively low compared to other parts of Europe, but it can still be a challenge for retirees on a fixed income. 

Housing costs have been rising in recent years, and you might find it difficult to find affordable housing in popular neighborhoods. Additionally, healthcare costs can be high if you don’t have private health insurance.

popular neighborhood that you can live if you are retiring in Valencia

Cultural Differences

While not at all a negative, it’s always worth noting that different cultures bring some different things to your life – good and bad! Like anywhere, Valencia has a unique culture that might take some getting used to if you’re not familiar with it. 

For example, the Spanish eat lunch and dinner much later than people in other parts of Europe, and many shops and businesses close for a few hours in the afternoon. 

Additionally, the pace of life in Valencia is generally slower than in many other parts of Europe, which can be a challenge if you’re used to a fast-paced lifestyle.

Overall, retiring in Valencia can be a wonderful experience if you’re prepared for the challenges that come with it. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy all that this beautiful city has to offer.

You may also be interested in: Is Valencia, Spain Safe? Get the Truth (From a Local!)

How to Retire in Valencia, Spain

Retiring in Valencia, Spain is a great idea! With its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and rich culture, it’s easy to see why Valencia is a popular destination for retirees. 

Here are some tips to help you retire in Valencia, Spain.

Visa Process

Before you can retire in Valencia, Spain, you’ll need to obtain a visa. The visa process can be complex, so it’s important to do your research and work with a reputable immigration lawyer. 

There are several types of visas available, as I’ll outline below, but it’s always worth asking a professional about this, whether it’s to see any up to date visa requirements or to get their help in having this processed, as it isn’t always easy. 

Finding a Property

One of the first things you’ll need to do when retiring in Valencia, Spain is to find a property. Valencia has a wide range of properties available, from modern apartments to traditional villas. 

You may wish to work with a reputable real estate agent who can help you find the right property for your needs and budget, especially if you’re Spanish skills aren’t up to speed yet. A buyer’s agent can also help you when buying a property in Spain in factoring in additional costs such as taxes, notary fees, and legal fees.

a property in that you can consider if you are retiring in Valencia

Healthcare Services

Valencia has a modern healthcare system with excellent facilities and highly trained medical professionals. As a retiree, you’ll have access to public healthcare services, which are free or low-cost. 

You may also choose to purchase private health insurance, which can provide additional benefits such as shorter wait times and access to specialized treatments.

Taxes

When thinking about retiring in Valencia, Spain, considering your tax situation is crucial. Spain has a progressive tax system, which means that the more you earn, the higher your tax rate. 

I strongly suggest working with a reputable tax advisor who can help you navigate the complex tax system here. It’s absolutely not easy to understand, even if you speak Spanish, and so discussing your situation with an accountant or gestor who has experience in cross-border tax issues is imperative.

One other thing to note is that you should do this before coming here, as there may be certain steps you can take before moving to Valencia to better structure your investments from a tax perspective. It will also help you to be aware from day 1 of any tax concerns, as fines can be steep in Spain for failing to declare something you should have, so it’s best to be financially ready for the system here before your move.

Social Network

Retiring in Valencia, Spain can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Valencia has a vibrant expat community, with many retirees from around the world. 

There are also many social clubs and organizations that you can join, such as hiking clubs, book clubs, and language exchange groups. Joining these groups can help you build a social network and make new friends.

elderly couple doing hiking an activity that you can do if you are retiring in Valencia

Which visa allows non-EU citizens to retire in Valencia?

Retiring in Valencia is a dream come true for many people, and it’s not hard to see why. The city is full of life, culture, and beautiful architecture, making it an ideal destination for retirees. 

However, if you’re a non-EU citizen, you need to get your visa sorted out before you can retire here. In this section, we’ll look at the different visas that allow non-EU citizens to retire in Valencia.

Long-stay visa

The long-stay visa is a type of visa that allows non-EU citizens to stay in Spain for more than 90 days to work, study, retire or otherwise live here. This makes this visa suitable for retirees who want to spend an extended period in Valencia. 

To obtain a long-stay visa, you must apply at the Spanish consulate in your home country. Among other things, you’ll need to provide: 

  • Proof of income or sufficient financial resources
  • Proof of medical insurance valid in Spain for the entire duration of your visa
  • Evidence of the purpose of your stay in Spain
  • A clean criminal record. 

The long-stay visa is indefinite but needs to be renewed each year.

Non-lucrative visa

The non-lucrative visa is designed for non-EU citizens who have the financial means to support themselves in Spain without working. This visa is ideal for retirees who want to spend their retirement years in Valencia and is easily one of the most popular visa choices for those looking into retiring in Valencia. 

To obtain a non-lucrative visa, you must show, among other things: 

  • Proof of sufficient income or available funds, currently equivalent to €2,450 per month plus €600 for each dependent
  • A medical certificate confirming that you don’t have any diseases that may present a public health risk
  • Private health insurance from a provider in Spain
  • Proof that you have not committed in any crimes in the last five years
a woman retiring in Valencia

Spain Golden Visa

The Spain Golden Visa is a type of visa that is available to non-EU citizens who invest in Spanish property. This visa is a good option for retirees who want to buy property in Valencia and spend their retirement years here. 

To obtain a Spain Golden Visa, you must either

  • Invest at least €500,000 in real estate in Spain
  • Transfer at least €1 million in capital to Spain
  • Invest at least €1 million in business development in Spain

Whichever type of visa you’re interested in, it’s critical that you do your research and, ideally, speak with a professional. They’ll be able to help guide you in the right direction including in terms of other relevant information, like tax-related details.

Retiring in Valencia, Spain

If you’re considering retiring to Valencia, Spain, you’re in for a treat. Valencia is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture. 

The Mediterranean climate is perfect for outdoor activities, and the beaches are some of the best in Europe. Here are some things you should know about retiring in Valencia.

Amenities

Valencia has a lot to offer retirees in terms of amenities. The city has a modern transportation system that makes it easy to get around. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops that cater to retirees. 

You can also find many museums and galleries that showcase the city’s history and culture. The City of Arts and Sciences is a must-visit attraction that features a planetarium, an opera house, and an interactive science museum.

The City of Arts and Sciences is a must-visit if you are retiring in Valencia

Transportation

Valencia has a great public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and a metro. The city is also very walkable, so you can easily get around on foot and as the city is so flat with more and more bike lanes each day, it’s also very cycle-friendly.

Renting a car is also an option if you want to explore the surrounding areas.

Food

Valencia is known for its delicious cuisine. The city is famous for its paella, which is a rice dish that is cooked with saffron and a variety of meats and vegetables. 

There are also many seafood restaurants that serve fresh fish and shellfish. The Mercado Central is a great place to buy fresh produce and other ingredients to cook at home.

How to meet other retirees in Valencia

There are many ways to meet other retirees in Valencia. Joining a social club or a language exchange group is a great way to meet new people, but there are also plenty of other expat meet ups that you can find through the MeetUp website or app, as well as Facebook groups targeted at retirees here.

You can also take part in recreational activities such as hiking, cycling, and golfing. In addition, Valencia has a vibrant nightlife scene, so going out to bars and restaurants is also a great way to meet new people.

Retiring in Valencia, Spain is a great choice for those who want to enjoy a high quality of life in a beautiful and vibrant city. With its mild climate, outdoor activities, and delicious cuisine, Valencia has a lot to offer retirees.

a couple playing golf

FAQs

Who can retire in Valencia?

Anyone can theoretically retire in Valencia if, particularly for non-EU/EEA citizens, they meet the visa requirements. The main challenges here will be proving that you have enough income to support yourself without income from employment. EU/EEA citizens can retire in Valencia without additional steps being required.

How does it work with my pension in Valencia?

While it will depend on where you’re coming from, in general, if you’re receiving a state pension from your home country, you may still receive it while living in Valencia. Pensions in Spain are taxed as general income and thus are subject to a progressive rate.

You’ll likely need to contact the relevant authority in your home country to inform them of your move. Similarly, if you have a private pension, you’ll need to contact your provider to find out how to receive your payments while living in Valencia.

I would also suggest speaking with a tax professional to find out the ins and outs of your pension being taxed in Spain.

How much do I need to retire in Valencia, Spain?

The cost of living in Valencia is relatively low compared to other European cities. You can easily live comfortably on a budget of around €1,000 to €1,500 per month, including rent. However, if you want to live a more luxurious lifestyle, you’ll need a higher budget. 

The cost of living will also depend on the area you choose to live in and your lifestyle choices, with those neighborhoods closer to the city center often being more expensive (and which, it should be said, are often more popular for foreigners to move to).

someone planning to retire in Valencia

What are healthcare services like in Valencia?

Spain has a public healthcare system that is available to all residents, including retirees. The quality of healthcare in Valencia is generally good, and the waiting times for non-urgent treatments are usually short. If you prefer to have private healthcare, there are several private hospitals and clinics in Valencia that offer excellent services.

Can a US citizen retire in Spain?

Yes, US citizens can retire in Spain. However, they will need to meet the same requirements as other non-EU/EEA citizens. This includes that they will need to prove that they have enough income to support themselves without income from employment and apply for a retirement residence permit.

Do US retirees pay taxes in Spain?

US retirees who live in Spain will need to pay taxes in both Spain and the US. However, there is a tax treaty between the two countries that helps to avoid double taxation. Consult a tax professional to be fully informed about this.

This includes that it will help you get advice on the fact that many US retirees will need to file a tax return in both countries and may be eligible for certain tax credits and deductions. It’s not always straightforward though so an advisor will be able to break it down for you based on your individual circumstances.

2 Comments

  1. My husband and I retired here 7years ago, sadly he died 4years ago.I love the theatre and concerts,I’ve tried groups but all are couples.I would just like to meet friends with the same interests,instead of always going out on my own.

    1. Hi Shirley, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Have you tried some of the Facebook groups for expats in Valencia? I can really recommend one in particular for meeting new women – the Valencia chapter of Girl Gone International (https://www.facebook.com/groups/GGIValencia). Don’t let the name deter you, there are (lovely!) women of all ages with events regularly scheduled like dinners, craft sessions, trips to nearby towns etc. This includes (and apologies for making an assumption about your age here!) events targeted specifically at those aged 50+. I’d definitely suggest checking it out.

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