According to US Social Security statistics, there are some 12,000 Americans receiving their benefits in Spain. Probably not all of them retired as such, but we can assume that a good percentage actually are. Along with them, thousands of Britons and Northern Europeans decide each year to head South to spend their retirement years.
The reasons for this attraction are well known: benign climate, immense variety in culture, history and landscapes, welcoming population and outstanding quality of life sustained by low living costs, especially when compared with its European neighbors.
The recent financial crisis has put Spain into direct competition with other countries traditionally considered more affordable, especially in Latin America. The crash of the real estate bubble has produced an inventory of thousands of properties at prices half their 2008 value
The economic downturn –which by many accounts has already seen its worst times– has not impacted the quality of life for the visitors nor the attitude of Spaniards towards them. The record numbers of international tourists in 2015 and 2016 talks about a country that preserves its appeal and contagious zest for life.
Despite all the difficulties, an American can still walk in any Spanish town and be safer than in the safest US city, as crime has kept its traditionally low rates. Likewise, you can access one of the top health systems in the world at a fraction the cost in the States. Add to this first class transportation through networks of modern airports, railways and highways and easy access to any major European airport in two-hour flights.
Spicy it up with healthy Mediterranean diet, tapas and wine and you will understand why people in Spain enjoy longer, better lives.