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Spain, thanks to its climate, its coasts and its lifestyle, has become one of the favourite places for foreigners to live a golden retirement.

Enjoying our gastronomy, endless walks during the 300 days a year of sunshine and our pleasant temperatures (especially in the Mediterranean area) are an increasingly present attraction. What more, are calling more and more people to retire to enjoy their hobbies and a relaxed life.

For this reason, Spain has made a series of agreements for retirement with different countries, so that those who have this nationality will be able to opt more easily than other foreigners for a retirement pension in Spain. In the case of the European Union (EU) it is even easier, because contributions in other member states will be taken into account when calculating the amount of the Spanish pension.

Moreover, according to Spanish law, citizens who are legally resident in Spain have the same rights as Spaniards to receive social security benefits and assistance, as well as social services, such as access to health care. Undoubtedly, these conditions are a further incentive that every year attracts more and more people to make the decision to move to Spain once their working life has come to an end.

What requirements are necessary?

There are some requirements and documentation that will be necessary to accredit and have in force, when a citizen decides to take up residence in Spain after retirement:

  • NIE

It is essential to have the Foreigner Identification Number (NIE). As we have told you on previous occasions, the NIE is the tax identification number assigned by the Ministry of the Interior, to any foreign person who owns property or interests in Spain. It is compulsory and permanent, which means that it will not change over the years, even if you sell your current property and buy another one or even if you do not buy anything for many years.

It is necessary for all banking procedures, from opening a bank account to carrying out any kind of transaction.

  • Residence Card

The Residence Card is compulsory if you are resident in Spain for more than 90 days in 180 days period. If you need more information about this, you can click here to find out about the current procedures and requirements.

  • Padrón

The “padrón” is the administrative register (census) where all persons living or residing in a municipality in Spain are registered, proving that this is their place of residence.

According to Spanish law, every person living in Spain is obliged to register in the municipality where he or she resides.


  • Trish Thomas says:

    Under Residence car it states you can find out more by clicking here. I have clicked snd nothing happens

  • Trish Thomas says:

    Under Residence it states you can find out more by clicking here. I have clicked and nothing happens

  • paul andre dudytsch says:

    Hi, thank you, i am thinking of doing this but unsure of money reqd, income and savings ect,ect,

  • Billy says:

    I would like more infomration about the ‘residence card’. The above article has a ‘click here’ option to find out more infomration but it does not work. How does this card operate now after the dreaded ‘brexit’?

  • Hi Dorothy, Good articles: could be useful.
    I have an English registered van that the Spanish will not allow to be metriculated. I will take it back to the UK as soon as travel restrictions are eased. I am determined that it will be by August as the MOT expires. Can I use the Covid Card to this end as I have been told that as I now have residency I can only have the vehicle for 1 month?

  • Stephen John Creed says:

    Thanks for the information, do you have more on UK residents wanting to retire to Spain in the near future