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A Salutory Tale

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:34pm
22 replies1076 views12 members subscribed
Robin53

Posts: 11

27 helpful points

Location: Vera

Joined: 30 Aug 2016

I haven’t been on this forum for some time, having stopped using it due to being a bit frustrated by some of the disagreeable comments made by some of the users. Disappointingly, nothing seems to have changed much, although I am a bit more relaxed about it all.

The forum reminds me of an old Australian joke: How do you know when a plane load of Brits has landed at Sydney Airport?

You can still hear the whining after the engines have stopped.

This aside, the reason for my post is more to provide some information relating to my recent experiences which I hope will help others in a similar situation.

I have a place in Palomares which I bought five years ago and over those five years we have enjoyed many happy visits to the area.

When I bought it, it was always my intention of moving to Spain full-time on retirement.

Circumstances meant that I couldn’t move until after Brexit and although I recognised that it would be slightly different, I was content to do what was necessary.

In January, I contacted the Spanish Consulate in Manchester and they provided me with copies of the documents I would need to submit to support my application for a Non-Lucrative Visa.

I started gathering the requested information when I discovered to my horror that I could not actually get private medical insurance suitable for Spain.

Due to a couple of medical issues (type 2 diabetes and having had heart surgery) I was essentially uninsurable.

I did get a couple of quotations of which one was for over £10,000 and still didn’t cover me for my pre-conditions!

There seems to a huge medical insurance industry in Spain living off the requirements for residency and visas.

Another requirement that surprised me was sums involved in the ‘proof of sufficient financial means,’ which by my calculations would come to €32,270 per year.

I have taken that as net, so if you add the potential income tax, it comes to roughly €40,000 gross per year.

That is one hell of an income for a retired person given that the average salary in Spain in 2019 was €27,468.

None of this is the fault of Brexit or the Spanish Government as medical insurance was always a requirement of getting residency, so I would have come across the issue sooner or later.

However, it has left me a wee bit bitter as my retirement plans are now dead in the water.

Incidentally, the 180,000 Spanish nationals currently living in the UK do not have to have medical insurance and get free medical care courtesy of the NHS.

As we are not currently allowed to travel and I am going to have to change the dates on my ferry tickets to sometime in the future (oh, and buy a return), it gives me plenty of time to think of what to do with my Spanish home.

PS. For information – the visa fee is £516.


Matthew

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:45pm

Matthew

Super helpful member

Posts: 1101

1405 helpful points

Location: Mojacar

Joined: 16 May 2018

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:45pm

Hi Robin,

I'm sorry that your intended plan cannot or won't work. Life gives us all a kick in the gonads area from time to time and we are judged on how we handle those kicks. You are in no different a position and all you can do is play the cards with which have been dealt to you. 

As for whinging Poms, don't worry too much about them. Just look after what you can control. What you can't control, let somebody else do that.

I hope you get to fulfil some of your ambition and have nothing but happy days ahead.

PhilBr

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:24am

PhilBr

Helpful member

Posts: 99

70 helpful points

Location: Garrucha

Joined: 29 Dec 2017

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:24am

Robin53 wrote on Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:34pm:

I haven’t been on this forum for some time, having stopped using it due to being a bit frustrated by some of the disagreeable comments made by some of the users. Disappointingly, nothing seems to have changed much, although I am a bit more relaxed about it all.

The forum reminds me of an old Australian joke: How do you know when a plane load of Brits has landed at Sydney Airport?...

...

You can still hear the whining after the engines have stopped.

This aside, the reason for my post is more to provide some information relating to my recent experiences which I hope will help others in a similar situation.

I have a place in Palomares which I bought five years ago and over those five years we have enjoyed many happy visits to the area.

When I bought it, it was always my intention of moving to Spain full-time on retirement.

Circumstances meant that I couldn’t move until after Brexit and although I recognised that it would be slightly different, I was content to do what was necessary.

In January, I contacted the Spanish Consulate in Manchester and they provided me with copies of the documents I would need to submit to support my application for a Non-Lucrative Visa.

I started gathering the requested information when I discovered to my horror that I could not actually get private medical insurance suitable for Spain.

Due to a couple of medical issues (type 2 diabetes and having had heart surgery) I was essentially uninsurable.

I did get a couple of quotations of which one was for over £10,000 and still didn’t cover me for my pre-conditions!

There seems to a huge medical insurance industry in Spain living off the requirements for residency and visas.

Another requirement that surprised me was sums involved in the ‘proof of sufficient financial means,’ which by my calculations would come to €32,270 per year.

I have taken that as net, so if you add the potential income tax, it comes to roughly €40,000 gross per year.

That is one hell of an income for a retired person given that the average salary in Spain in 2019 was €27,468.

None of this is the fault of Brexit or the Spanish Government as medical insurance was always a requirement of getting residency, so I would have come across the issue sooner or later.

However, it has left me a wee bit bitter as my retirement plans are now dead in the water.

Incidentally, the 180,000 Spanish nationals currently living in the UK do not have to have medical insurance and get free medical care courtesy of the NHS.

As we are not currently allowed to travel and I am going to have to change the dates on my ferry tickets to sometime in the future (oh, and buy a return), it gives me plenty of time to think of what to do with my Spanish home.

PS. For information – the visa fee is £516.


Just make sure that you are politically aware enough to vote accordingly in future. A lot of people have had their dreams shattered by unscrupulous politicians. I won’t descend into names and factions but everyone needs to be well informed about who and what they are voting for. It appears to be something that the U.K. doesn’t take particularly seriously I.e. nodding through the correctly coloured rossettes.

Kayh

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:43am

Posts: 44

29 helpful points

Location: Palomares

Joined: 12 Feb 2018

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:43am

Thank you for this information, we are in a similar position as you, I was not absolutely sure I wanted to make the permanent move, but I think the position we are in now has made my mind up.  I keep trying to convince myself it is Spain’s loss not mine, not sure that’s working either lol.  The price of medical insurance does seem overly excessive, and considering Spain has supposedly a cheaper way of life, the finances just do not add up to a fair playing field. Hey ho will just carry on, when we can, having numerous holidays over there. It’s a pity about the 90 day rolling rule, as the winters we are having in GB I would rather spend just the winter months out there. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that when things have settled down they might review the rules again.

Bess

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:53pm

Bess

Helpful member

Posts: 114

69 helpful points

Location: Huércal-Overa

Joined: 18 Mar 2018

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:53pm

Robin53 wrote on Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:34pm:

I haven’t been on this forum for some time, having stopped using it due to being a bit frustrated by some of the disagreeable comments made by some of the users. Disappointingly, nothing seems to have changed much, although I am a bit more relaxed about it all.

The forum reminds me of an old Australian joke: How do you know when a plane load of Brits has landed at Sydney Airport?...

...

You can still hear the whining after the engines have stopped.

This aside, the reason for my post is more to provide some information relating to my recent experiences which I hope will help others in a similar situation.

I have a place in Palomares which I bought five years ago and over those five years we have enjoyed many happy visits to the area.

When I bought it, it was always my intention of moving to Spain full-time on retirement.

Circumstances meant that I couldn’t move until after Brexit and although I recognised that it would be slightly different, I was content to do what was necessary.

In January, I contacted the Spanish Consulate in Manchester and they provided me with copies of the documents I would need to submit to support my application for a Non-Lucrative Visa.

I started gathering the requested information when I discovered to my horror that I could not actually get private medical insurance suitable for Spain.

Due to a couple of medical issues (type 2 diabetes and having had heart surgery) I was essentially uninsurable.

I did get a couple of quotations of which one was for over £10,000 and still didn’t cover me for my pre-conditions!

There seems to a huge medical insurance industry in Spain living off the requirements for residency and visas.

Another requirement that surprised me was sums involved in the ‘proof of sufficient financial means,’ which by my calculations would come to €32,270 per year.

I have taken that as net, so if you add the potential income tax, it comes to roughly €40,000 gross per year.

That is one hell of an income for a retired person given that the average salary in Spain in 2019 was €27,468.

None of this is the fault of Brexit or the Spanish Government as medical insurance was always a requirement of getting residency, so I would have come across the issue sooner or later.

However, it has left me a wee bit bitter as my retirement plans are now dead in the water.

Incidentally, the 180,000 Spanish nationals currently living in the UK do not have to have medical insurance and get free medical care courtesy of the NHS.

As we are not currently allowed to travel and I am going to have to change the dates on my ferry tickets to sometime in the future (oh, and buy a return), it gives me plenty of time to think of what to do with my Spanish home.

PS. For information – the visa fee is £516.


Greece has been reported in the papers as offering specially good conditions to retired British people now, and is nice and warm, friendly people, beautiful countryside and warm sea- though the language is more difficult to pick up?

hartcjhart

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:21pm

hartcjhart

Helpful member

Posts: 524

344 helpful points

Location: Mojacar

Joined: 26 Oct 2017

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:21pm

Bess wrote on Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:53pm:

Greece has been reported in the papers as offering specially good conditions to retired British people now, and is nice and warm, friendly people, beautiful countryside and warm sea- though the language is more difficult to pick up?

yes indeed,I think Portugal is being fairer as well,

I wonder if you get 'residencia' in either of them you are covered for living in Spain

The Gibraltar conundrum will be interesting

psy1967

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:02pm

psy1967

Helpful member

Posts: 150

160 helpful points

Location: Velez-Rubio

Joined: 29 Jun 2016

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:02pm

Robin - I want to try to offer some ideas of how your plans may not be totally dead in the water.  

Health Care

 I have been investigating a little of late, partly as a result of a comment that Dario made elsewhere about residency and medical cover.  Essentially you do need to have private health cover in order to apply for residency if you are below the retirement age.  However:

- once you have been resident for 5 years you are entitled to permanent residency, and with that comes the right to Spanish healthcare.  

- once you reach the retirement age you are entitled to an S1 which means that the UK pays for your access to Spanish healthcare.  If you achieve permanent residency first then you are required to transfer over to S1 once you start to receive your UK pension.

In other words, if you can stomach the cost of private healthcare for a maximum of 5 years (though £10k pa may be stretching it), you can then cancel it after that.  My investigation was prompted by the fact that my private health insurance premium, despite the fact that I am still a distance below retirement age and (touch wood) have made no claims, has risen significantly this year.  It seems I have to accept that it will increase exponentially at 10-15% p.a. with each year I get older.  

- finally, according to the UK government, if you are not a permanent resident (i.e. less than 5 years) and you are not working then you can apply to join the public health insurance scheme. This is called the Convenio Especial. You pay a monthly fee to join the scheme, which gives you access to the Spanish health system.  I do not know the details of this, but there is information on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-in-spain-including-the-balearic-and-canary-islands  My understanding is that this is directed at people for whom existing conditions mean that private health insurance is not otherwise viable, and this could cover you until you achieve permanent residency.  

Money

The monthly income requirement (400% IPREM for one person plus 100% IPREM for every additional person) is clear enough, and is now beyond most people's reach thanks to the wonder of Brexit.  However as I understand it the rules for proving this haven't changed.  Assuming you have savings of some sort, you could arrange to make a monthly payment into your Spanish bank account of a fixed amount on a fixed day of the month with the word "Pension" marked against the payment.  After 3 months (possibly now 6?) get the bank to print out statements, stamp them and off you go with proof.  It would probably be ideal if you were to spend some of this money in Spain rather than just recycling it back to another bank account so that you can pay it to yourself again, but you get the drift.

If that doesn't work for any reason then an alternative would be to make an arrangement with a UK company where you pay them in order for them to make payments to your Spanish bank account for "consultancy".  If you own a company of any size, or know someone who does, then you're set.

My point is, if seeing money going into a bank account is what they want, then there are ways of doing it.  It may also be possible to prove sufficient financial means by way of savings rather than an income.  I have seen this noted in various places as an option, but can't find any evidence to back it up.  If correct then that might be an option for you depending on your circumstances.

Summary

What I am trying to say is that options may exist for you.  It would be worth a conversation with one or other of the agencies who help people apply for residency, such as CAT services, as they may be able to help.

Good luck!  

PhilBr

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:32pm

PhilBr

Helpful member

Posts: 99

70 helpful points

Location: Garrucha

Joined: 29 Dec 2017

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:32pm

psy1967 wrote on Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:02pm:

Robin - I want to try to offer some ideas of how your plans may not be totally dead in the water.  

Health Care

 I have been investigating a little of late, partly as a result of a comment that Dario made elsewhere about residency and medical cover.  Essentially you do need to have private health cover in order to apply for residency if you are below the retirement age.  However:

- once you have been resident for 5 years you are entitled to permanent residency, and with that comes the right to Spanish healthcare.  

- once you reach the retirement age you are entitled to an S1 which means that the UK pays for your access to Spanish healthcare.  If you achieve permanent residency first then you are required to transfer over to S1 once you start to receive your UK pension.

In other words, if you can stomach the cost of private healthcare for a maximum of 5 years (though £10k pa may be stretching it), you can then cancel it after that.  My investigation was prompted by the fact that my private health insurance premium, despite the fact that I am still a distance below retirement age and (touch wood) have made no claims, has risen significantly this year.  It seems I have to accept that it will increase exponentially at 10-15% p.a. with each year I get older.  

- finally, according to the UK government, if you are not a permanent resident (i.e. less than 5 years) and you are not working then you can apply to join the public health insurance scheme. This is called the Convenio Especial. You pay a monthly fee to join the scheme, which gives you access to the Spanish health system.  I do not know the details of this, but there is information on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-in-spain-including-the-balearic-and-canary-islands  My understanding is that this is directed at people for whom existing conditions mean that private health insurance is not otherwise viable, and this could cover you until you achieve permanent residency.  

Money

The monthly income requirement (400% IPREM for one person plus 100% IPREM for every additional person) is clear enough, and is now beyond most people's reach thanks to the wonder of Brexit.  However as I understand it the rules for proving this haven't changed.  Assuming you have savings of some sort, you could arrange to make a monthly payment into your Spanish bank account of a fixed amount on a fixed day of the month with the word "Pension" marked against the payment.  After 3 months (possibly now 6?) get the bank to print out statements, stamp them and off you go with proof.  It would probably be ideal if you were to spend some of this money in Spain rather than just recycling it back to another bank account so that you can pay it to yourself again, but you get the drift.

If that doesn't work for any reason then an alternative would be to make an arrangement with a UK company where you pay them in order for them to make payments to your Spanish bank account for "consultancy".  If you own a company of any size, or know someone who does, then you're set.

My point is, if seeing money going into a bank account is what they want, then there are ways of doing it.  It may also be possible to prove sufficient financial means by way of savings rather than an income.  I have seen this noted in various places as an option, but can't find any evidence to back it up.  If correct then that might be an option for you depending on your circumstances.

Summary

What I am trying to say is that options may exist for you.  It would be worth a conversation with one or other of the agencies who help people apply for residency, such as CAT services, as they may be able to help.

Good luck!  

I think that the S1 option paying for your healthcare in Spain is only valid if you obtained residency before 31 December 2020. Others will know for sure but the Covenio especial may remain an option but you need to be resident for 12 months before you can apply.

psy1967

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:45pm

psy1967

Helpful member

Posts: 150

160 helpful points

Location: Velez-Rubio

Joined: 29 Jun 2016

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:45pm

PhilBr wrote on Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:32pm:

I think that the S1 option paying for your healthcare in Spain is only valid if you obtained residency before 31 December 2020. Others will know for sure but the Covenio especial may remain an option but you need to be resident for 12 months before you can apply.

Good point.  Did you need residencia before the end of 2020 or just have been on the padron for S1 rights to be protected?  Robin may have been on the padron as he has owned his property for 5 years.  

For the Convenio Especial the Gov website suggests you need to have been on the padron for a year, but I can't see anything about needing to have been resident, so he may qualify.  

DarioMartin

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:21pm

DarioMartin

Legendary helpful member

Posts: 2832

3176 helpful points

Location: Vera

Joined: 16 Aug 2017

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:21pm

psy1967 wrote on Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:45pm:

Good point.  Did you need residencia before the end of 2020 or just have been on the padron for S1 rights to be protected?  Robin may have been on the padron as he has owned his property for 5 years.  

For the Convenio Especial the Gov website suggests you need to have been on the padron for a year, but I can't see anything about needing to have been resident, so he may qualify.  ...

...

For the S1 to be protected, you needed to have established legal residency prior to 31/12.  Being on the Padrón is part if it, but you may also need to prove current tenancy agreement or other proof that you are actually living in the country.  The Padrón certificate itself has to be less that three months old.

Convenio Especial you can get after 12 months legal residency here, up to the age of 65 it’s 60€ per month, after that it’s 158€ if I recall correctly.  Pre-existing conditions are covered but I don’t believe prescription fees are.

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