Spain has come out as the country with the best weather in Europe according to our 2017 Global Retirement Index. It has proven itself a huge draw for retirees—it’s an especially popular retirement spot for other Europeans thanks to its sunny yet varied climate, which ranges from cool and moist in the north, to hot and dry in the south.
Miles of beaches, the warm climate along its coasts, its low cost of living and real estate, and its relaxed, laidback lifestyle all help to make it a top retirement destination.
Here, you’ll never experience the dreary winters that plague much of the U.S., so you can enjoy the feeling of living in the Old World while not having to worry about raincoats or snow shovels ever again.
Imagine breakfasting outdoors in December. It’s possible in Spain. Mid-December, and midday temperatures in parts of the country hit 68 F to 70 F. Roses are still in bloom; oranges hang from the trees. The temperature falls after sunset, but daytimes are hot enough for wearing shorts, bronzing on the beaches, and even swimming if you’re really brave.
“I adore my home town of Montreal,” says Eric Marsella who came here in 2002, “and I still believe that it’s one of the best places on earth to be…from June to September, before the cold, dark winter months set in. Here, snow is a distant memory. Even in winter we can be outdoors at the beach or in one of the many perfectly-maintained parks without worrying about the cold. The difference that having year-round sun makes to a person’s overall contentment in life cannot be disputed.”
It’s hard to argue with that as you lie on a white-sand beach, sipping a cocktail and admiring seaside architecture that stretches back hundreds of years into Spain’s storied history.
And it’s not just those looking to escape harsh winters that appreciate this Spain’s temperate climate. Sue Ellery came to love the varied weather her new home delivered. “Normal summertime temperatures are in the 80s F. In winter, temperatures can dip into the low 40s F, with some rain but no snow. It’s our kind of weather, after Southern California’s constant heat.”
Spain also offers some of the lowest-cost living in Europe. IL Editor Glynna Prentice says that: “A couple can comfortably get by in smaller cities from as little as $1,900 a month, including rent. Small one- and two-bedroom apartments can be rented from as little as $500 a month, and can be bought from about $70,000.”
“Before I left the United States, I led a stress-filled lifestyle,” says Californian Robbin Riley. “My new life here is simple… and I can afford this fantastic lifestyle on my Social Security. I rent a two-bedroom, fully furnished house for $440 a month. My utilities are $30 to $40 a month for electricity and $10 to $15 for water. I have a pre-paid phone which costs $10 to $20 a month.”
Daily living expenses, especially food, are also low-cost. “I love fruit and vegetables,” Robbin enthuses, “so every Tuesday I go to the open-air farmers’ market in town. Most weeks, I come away with a huge bag of fresh vegetables and fruits, everything that I want and need, for less than $10. The produce may not look as polished and pretty as the produce in the U.S. supermarkets, but the flavor is far superior.”