Americans Retire in Spain: 5 Best Places to Retire

Americans are retiring in droves to sunny Spain. According to a report from The Telegraph, the number of Americans living in Spain has more than doubled in the past five years and experts say this trend is only going to continue. So what’s driving these retirees to the Mediterranean country? For one, the cost of living is relatively low compared to other Western countries. Additionally, Spain’s social safety net and healthcare system are both top-notch, making it an appealing destination for retirees. But whether you’re already living in Spain or just thinking about making the move, read on for tips on navigating this foreign culture and finding the right retirement community for you.

Why chose  Spain?

According to the World Health Organization, Spain has one of the lowest rates of death from heart disease in Europe. In addition, life expectancy is about 83 years for men and 89 years for women. These factors make Spain an attractive retirement destination for American retirees.

Spain also offers a relaxed lifestyle. The country is known for its beautiful coastal towns and stunning mountain ranges. Spanish culture is full of art, food, wine, and Flamenco dancing. There are plenty of activities to keep retirees busy, including golfing, hiking, biking, and fishing.

Another reason to retire in Spain is the cost of living. Expenses can be low if retirees live modestly. Food and transportation are both relatively affordable in this country, making it easy to enjoy the local attractions without breaking the bank.

All these factors make the country an excellent choice for retirees looking for a comfortable lifestyle with plenty of amenities and activities to keep them entertained.

What are the requirements for a Spain Retirement Visas?

To qualify for a retirement visa in Spain, you must be over 60 years old and have retired from a full-time job or self-employment. You do not need to be wealthy or have any special qualifications. The government only requires that you are able to live independently and without support.

If you already live in Spain, you can apply for a retirement visa online. You must provide your passport photo, a copy of your identification card, and proof of your income (if you are earning money). There is no application fee.

The process of obtaining a retirement visa in Spain can take up to six months. If you are applying from outside of Spain, the application process can take up to two years. More on how to obtain a visa can be found at

The Spain Golden Visa

The golden visa for non-EU citizens is a residency by-investment program that offers permits for wealthy individuals who make significant investments in Spain. If you’re interested in this option, you must have invested in the country for 10 years and spent at least 183 days per year in the previous 10 years. This is one of the options available to non-EU citizens who wish to become Spanish citizens by investment.

The best places to retire in Spain

The country has a long history and is rich in culture. Plus, there are plenty of things to do when you retire in Spain, from exploring the historical sites to enjoying the natural beauty of the country. Here are five of the best places to retire in Spain:

1. Barcelona

Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. But it’s also a great place to retire. The city has a vibrant arts scene and plenty of cultural attractions, including world-renowned museums and galleries. And there are plenty of activities available for retirees, from golfing at some of the country’s top courses to swimming in some of Barcelona’s many thermal lakes.

2. Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol is one of Spain’s most beautiful and popular tourist destinations. It’s also a great place to retire if you want a quiet life with plenty of sun and relaxation opportunities. There are many golf courses, spas, and other leisure options available here – perfect for those who like to stay active during their retirement years.

3. Granada

Granada is famous for its stunning architecture and stunning art collections, both dating back centuries ago. It’s also a great place to retire if you want easy access to lots of attractions and activities – many are located just minutes away by car or bus. And there are plenty of affordable housing options available in the city, making it an affordable option for retirees.

4. Cádiz

Cádiz is a charming coastal city that’s renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. It’s also a great place to retire if you want to enjoy easy access to lots of entertainment and cultural attractions – both local and international. There are plenty of golf courses and other leisure options available in the city, as well as several top-rated hospitals and medical facilities.

5. Valencia

Valencia is one of Spain’s most prosperous cities and has a long history dating back to the Roman Empire. It’s also a great place to retire if you want easy access to a wide range of activities and attractions – many are located just minutes away by car or bus. There are many top-rated hospitals and medical facilities in Valencia, as well as several world-renowned universities.

Where do most American ex-pats live in Spain?

Most Americans who retire to Spain live in larger cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia. These are also the most cost-effective cities for living given that they have a high population of young professionals and a moderate cost of living.

Smaller towns and villages can be excellent spots to retire if you enjoy rural life and are looking for reduced expenses. Additionally, many Spanish villages have thriving arts scenes that offer interesting cultural experiences not found in larger cities.

Planning your retirement

If you’re thinking about retiring to Spain, there are a few things you should do before making any decisions. First, figure out how much money you need to live on each year. This will help you develop a budget and figure out what expenses are necessary for a comfortable retirement. Make sure your retirement savings are adequately protected. Many Americans mistakenly believe their 401k or IRA account will protect them in case of an emergency, but this isn’t always the case. Be aware of Spanish social security laws and how they may affect your retirement income. For example, some Spaniards don’t qualify for Social Security benefits because their income is too high. Finally, be sure to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney if you have any questions about your retirement plan or finances in Spain.


Americans are retiring in droves to Spain. According to a study by the Inter-American Development Bank, Spaniards are the second most likely people in the world to retire abroad. The top retirement destinations for Americans are France, Italy, and Brazil. These countries offer a high quality of life with excellent healthcare systems, safe streets and public transportation, and easy access to cultural attractions.