Author Topic: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE  (Read 3401 times)

FIREby50

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Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« on: August 22, 2018, 02:31:42 PM »
Hello, fellow Mustachians :)
Planing to move to Spain, after FIRE, and would be great to find some pages what has budgets - and tips and tricks about fugal living in Spain. Thinking about how to choose water company, electricity company, Internet, phone, etc.
Found this page, but would be nice to find some information that is more for us fugal people. :)
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Valencia
The plan is to move to Valencia, the city - great city for biking - weather is good all year round. And the apartments are still possible to get good value.
https://www.idealista.com/en/venta-viviendas/valencia-valencia/?ordenado-por=precio-asc
Thanks :)

frugalcoconut

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 08:18:55 PM »
Not sure if this will help but at least it's something:

https://www.theearthawaits.com

I think it's a great tool for geoarbitrage and getting an idea of what options are out there, how they compare, what to expect, etc.

Hvillian

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2018, 09:07:00 AM »
You can pick through the Spain related posts on this blog.  I think he breaks down the costs of living in Southern Spain, and also a lot of the nuts of bolts of getting setup there.  I can't remember if the author posts on this form, but I am pretty sure I originally found the blog via this forum somewhere.  Good luck.

https://bucking-the-trend.com/category/spain/
https://bucking-the-trend.com/category/personal-finance/
 

cchrissyy

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2018, 10:33:23 AM »
idealista is good!

another MMM poster built the site below for researching cost of living and on the budget tab you can customize  for your level of frugality with good detail.
  https://www.theearthawaits.com/cost-of-living/in/valencia/apartment1bedcitycenter/2/5bd495bb-b235-46e3-ae4e-f6c02e6d8530/

MrSnow

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2019, 07:00:52 AM »
Valencia is a wonderful city, good for you!
We have relocated to Spain and Palma de Mallorca this year for a nice frugal FIRE-based life. Im working on first budget post for our blog within the next weeks. You can find it here: www.palmaonfire.com

mall0c

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2019, 07:34:42 AM »
Watch out for the wealth tax.

FIREby50

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2019, 08:29:29 AM »
I would suppose that a lot of FIRE people would not be affected by the wealth tax in Spain, since we probably do not need to have accumulated that much wealth. It start at 600.000,- Euro. ex property witch can be valued up to 300.000,- (2017 numbers - Valencia) Since this is per person, I would expect that it is the fat FIRE people that has to worry about this. I am more a lean FIRE person - have never had large budgets - not in the numbers mr. Jacob from ERE, but frugal.

https://www.blevinsfranks.com/news/article/tax-landscape-comunidad-valenciana-2017

https://www.expatica.com/es/finance/taxes/tax-system-471614/#spanishwealthtax

Anyone found any pages for tips and tricks for frugal people in Spain?

MrSal

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2019, 10:41:04 AM »
I would suppose that a lot of FIRE people would not be affected by the wealth tax in Spain, since we probably do not need to have accumulated that much wealth. It start at 600.000,- Euro. ex property witch can be valued up to 300.000,- (2017 numbers - Valencia) Since this is per person, I would expect that it is the fat FIRE people that has to worry about this. I am more a lean FIRE person - have never had large budgets - not in the numbers mr. Jacob from ERE, but frugal.

https://www.blevinsfranks.com/news/article/tax-landscape-comunidad-valenciana-2017

https://www.expatica.com/es/finance/taxes/tax-system-471614/#spanishwealthtax

Anyone found any pages for tips and tricks for frugal people in Spain?

I doubt that because there are tax incentives for expatriates so it doesn't make sense to then tax them for "wealth".

Portugal might be a good option for OP too. They offer 10 year tax-free on your income if you settle there. And if you buy property at least 400k they will give you european passport I think (haven't read the latest about it).

Costs I would say are pretty similar between the 2 countries. Rent is cheap for the most part (you can find easily 3 bedroom apartments under $1000 in the city center (Im talking Lisbon in this case, any other cities are cheaper you can definitely even get for 500-600)

Internet(home fiber)+ cable tv + landline +cell phone is about 25-35 dollars/month. Private health insurance is cheap (usually 30-40$ per person alone or about 80-100/month for a family of 2 adults + 2 kids)

Eating out is cheap $10 per person if you go to a "Tasca" or something fancier count on 20-30 person (30 if you get wine). Alcohol is cheap - you can find good wines for as little as $1-$2 per bottle. $10 wines at supermarkets are already starting to be premium. Beer at supermarkets you can buy them for about 10-20 cents a bottle or in a street bar it's usually 1 euro (2 or 3 euros in the upper scale bars)

I think Portugal for an english speaker is better since most population speak it fluently and tv, movies, etc are all in english and not dubbed unlike Spain. Spain has way less proficiency in english than Portugal (most portuguese residents are exposed to english since they are born with TV and movies). The tax exemption is worth looking at.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 10:43:05 AM by MrSal »

MrSnow

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2019, 12:35:56 PM »
I would suppose that a lot of FIRE people would not be affected by the wealth tax in Spain, since we probably do not need to have accumulated that much wealth. It start at 600.000,- Euro. ex property witch can be valued up to 300.000,- (2017 numbers - Valencia) Since this is per person, I would expect that it is the fat FIRE people that has to worry about this. I am more a lean FIRE person - have never had large budgets - not in the numbers mr. Jacob from ERE, but frugal.

https://www.blevinsfranks.com/news/article/tax-landscape-comunidad-valenciana-2017

https://www.expatica.com/es/finance/taxes/tax-system-471614/#spanishwealthtax

Anyone found any pages for tips and tricks for frugal people in Spain?

Were doing the lean FIRE in Spain now and are nowhere near the wealth tax levels. As you said, as a married couple you need to have more than 1,2 million in assets excluding the house. We are managing on about 3000/month for a family of four, and then we live in one of the more expensive places in Spain.

With some planning there is possibilities to use the "Beckham law" as well which nullifies the wealth tax.

Haven't found any good frugality pages but find it quite easy to navigate myself with some help of friends who lived here longer. Please let us know if you find any though. :-)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 12:38:02 PM by MrSnow »

FIREby50

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2019, 01:28:12 PM »
Read you blog, this looks interesting. Looking forward to seeing the updates when you settle in. It is a nice city.

Since you wrote that you will write about budgets, here are some of the sights that I found when researching  what to expect regarding cost of living in Spain. Also good luck regarding the bureaucracy in Spain - in my opinion the individual persons is normally very helpful, they are just trapped by the system. he he.. 

Some cost of living blogs regarding price level in Spain:
https://eastofmalaga.net/cost-of-living/ 
https://nextbiteoflife.com/cost-of-living-in-valencia-spain-2017-edition/  
https://familylifeinspain.com/2017/04/how-to-calculate-the-cost-of-living-in-spain-for-you/ 
https://www.spainforpleasure.com/2014/10/14/the-cost-of-living-in-granada-on-my-budget/ 
https://ourspanishlife.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-live-in-spain/  
https://www.reddit.com/r/EuropeFIRE/comments/9gcc7d/expenses_and_fi_numbers_in_europe/ 
 
utilities in Spain, 
https://www.justlanded.com/english/Spain/Articles/Property/Utilities-in-Spain
https://www.realestateespanol.com/info/utilities-in-spain-electricity-gas-water-costs 
https://www.healthplanspain.com/blog/expat-tips/403-living-in-spain-bombonas-gas-bottles.html  

Some discussion about banking in Spain:
https://jeangalea.com/best-commission-free-banks-spain/ 

If you are going to by a property you probably will need a bank with offices since you will need to make a check to the Notaria when paying for the property - but when you have taken over the property and everything is in order, close the account and use a online bank - much cheaper.  

Sights to compare utilities and insurance providers:
https://todoenergia.es/
https://www.rastreator.com/seguros-de-hogar.aspx  

Phone and Internet providers:
https://comparador.comparaiso.es/tarifa-internet-fijo-movil  

Money saving tips page:
https://moneysaverspain.com

A Spanish web portal for consumer rights and price comparison, some articles are free;  
https://www.ocu.org/ 

Regarding the costs of living, this is of course very individual - but it is possible to do things very frugal.
In a city as Valencia where I plan to be living most of the year - (having bought the apartment, and only using it for vacations for the time being) here are some numbers of costs of just having the apartment before the variable costs like gas, electricity, water etc. 

Apartment in Valencia City (Costs 2019)
Apartment community fees 180
Power (only the fixed costs, before usage) 190
Water / Sewage (only the fixed cost, before usage) 210
Phone/Internet (2 simyo cards) 24
IBI - Tax for the local government 166
Tax for property yearly tax holiday home 87
Security arrangements 100
Insurance and banking fees 165
Total yearly cost in Euros 1122

As a single person, I would say that my power usage is 4 KW pr day (without cooling/heating), water is 3 cubic meters of water a month, and using a 12,5 liter gas bottle will last 2 or 3 months for cooking.

frugal_c

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2019, 04:41:14 PM »
Fireby50, that was an awesome post. Spain is very affordable it would appear. Almost at SE Asia levels. Seems like a good deal: low price, low crime, scenery, politically stable.  Maybe I will spend a winter there when we retire.

What do people do in spain for fun?

FIREby50

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2019, 11:40:26 AM »
Fireby50, that was an awesome post. Spain is very affordable it would appear. Almost at SE Asia levels. Seems like a good deal: low price, low crime, scenery, politically stable.  Maybe I will spend a winter there when we retire.

What do people do in spain for fun?

When you own the apartment, things can be very affordable.

What to do in Spain is as diverse at the cost of living, but one thing is for sure, it is a country that has something for everyone. 

Since I could not find much of this information on this or other blogs for that matter, here are some thoughts regarding the process of buying a property in Spain and information about Valencia.

Since I am frugal by nature, I try to figure out what's going on that is free.

Valencia is a great city to walk and bike, Valencia City won a price for one of the best cities in the world for biking - And for Mustachians that probably is a plus? No need for a car, public transport is good. Valencia is somewhat forgotten by the crowd, so it is not (yet) packed with tourists. The New York Times had a nice article this year about (among others) Valencia.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/12/travel/traveling-europe-summer-crowds.html

Sundays and at various other times most of the museums have free entrance. Since it is a "large city" (population in the city is around 800.000 people - metropolitan area around 2.000.000) there is almost always something going on, and lot of stuff is free.

To figure out what is going on that is free in Spanish cities you should know the language, not many web pages cater to the English speaking person, so use the web browser Crome (so you can use the translation option) Some of the web pages that I use when I am in Valencia is:
https://www.lovevalencia.com/agenda/eventos-gratuitos 
https://www.valenciabonita.es/category/eventos-y-actividades/ 
https://cultural.valencia.es/agenda/ 
https://www.lamarinadevalencia.com/agenda/41/agenda.html 
https://www.visitvalencia.com/ 
http://en.comunitatvalenciana.com/happening-now/calendar 
Other cities and regions have different websites, do some research - a lot is going on.

Spain is very diverse country and the price of housing can be very cheap in the small cities and the countryside, in the larger cities you will have to look long and hard to be able to find something that is priced right for the frugal person.  For most of us the Spanish property market and the realtors would be characterized as the wild west - it is probably not as regulated and streamlined process as you are used to.
I would recommend the following web pages:
www.idealista.es and
www.pisos.com

Books I read before I bought my apartment - that I can recommend. - After reading them you might be more knowledgeable than many of the Realtors that you will encounter (you should probably not trust a blog or a discussion page on the web, when making a decision on how to by property in another country):

How to Buy Spanish Property and Move to Spain ... Safely by Nick Snelling
The Complete Guide to Buying a Property in Spain : 10th Edition, by Antony Foster
Borrow them if possible, or a secondhand bookshop?

Very good books, they have all the information you need to do this yourself - Both books recommend you using a lawyer (most Spanish people does not use one, and if you by in an apartment building in a large city you probably do not neither - but be very careful, (for most people it is probably worth spending money on legal advice so you are sure everything is done properly)
The only thing I can't recollect the books wrote anything about was the Plusvalia tax - this is a tax that the seller has to pay (again, be carefully - it is not illegal to make an agreement that you - the buyer - is responsible to pay this tax, google it)

I would recommend you to visit different places, stay there for period of time - and feel the vibe of the place. Then - when you have figured out where you feel most at home and is right for you make a plan. Rent an airbnb for a month and start looking for a place. Buying  a property in Spain can be very quick if you do not need financing (probably less than a week - but don't count on it) - what takes time is making appointments with the realtors, visiting all the properties that you have found during your research. Also, you will need time and patience to get your NIE number, opening an bank account and getting things in order after the purchase.

I stayed for longer periods in Madrid, Barcelona, Mallaga, Grandada, and Valencia City - before I pulled the trigger and choose what city that fit my criteria. The transaction cost (taxes and fees) both for buying and selling a property is huge - so it is probably safe to say, if you are not sure this is a long term plan - rent first. If money was not an option, I would probably have chosen Barcelona. But both the weather and the prices in Valencia is better. :)

Good luck with the road to financial independence folks - The road is just as important as the end goal :) I am having a blast buying my freedom through a perpetual money making machine, so I can free up more of my time and be able to choose how to use my time.

MrSnow

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2019, 08:30:42 AM »
Read you blog, this looks interesting. Looking forward to seeing the updates when you settle in. It is a nice city.

Since you wrote that you will write about budgets, here are some of the sights that I found when researching  what to expect regarding cost of living in Spain. Also good luck regarding the bureaucracy in Spain - in my opinion the individual persons is normally very helpful, they are just trapped by the system. he he..

Hi @FIREby50, big thanks for all the links and useful information! I've bookmarked this page so i can check the info piece by piece.

Yes, ive been struggling a little with the follow up budget post as there are so many fees spread out over time. Now its been 6 months so i am working on summarising all expenses. It takes time when you have little ones and a lot of fun stuff to do. I guess that is part of doing a half-time early retirement, you can loose interest in all the numbers from the expenses, budgets, stock markets, etc.

I love Valencia as well, especially the dried out Canal where you can walk, bike, run and play sports. Quite rare in Spanish high density areas to have access to something like that!

Regarding bureaucracy - its such a pain! As a Swede you generally want to punch someone the face every time you enter a government agency in Spain. I even wrote some about it here: https://palmaonfire.com/blog/2019/09/adapt-or-perish/ and herehttps://palmaonfire.com/blog/2019/07/the-quest-for-the-holy-nie-part-i/

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Geoarbitrage - Moving to Spain after FIRE
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2019, 06:02:45 PM »
@FIREby50 , you are living my dream! All of this is unbelievably helpful. I loved Valencia and would definitely be happy based there. Barcelona is amazing but so so crowded now. Will be amazing if I can pull it off like you have.