Retiring to Tenerife

If you’re thinking about retiring to live abroad then be sure you are not alone.

Especially at this time of the year when the temperatures are lower and the amount of sunshine available in Britain is at minimum levels it’s very common for the British to start scouring the internet and picking up brochures to look at beautiful holiday destinations as a means of escape.

A recent report showed that of those surveyed 67% were planning on moving abroad at least by the time they retire, and of that 67% a whopping 83% said it was quality of life driving them to consider living abroad because the quality of life achievable in the UK has declined significantly in the past ten years.

This opens up the huge debate that rears its head regularly over here in Tenerife, where it is a common sport to either slag the UK off or stick up ‘at all costs’ – that is not what this is all about today though (we might keep that for a later date!).

Packing up and moving abroadNo, this is about having made the decision to relocate, things like do you sell up in the UK, should you buy straight away (or even at all) in the country you are moving to?  Is it ‘worth’ buying property again at this time of your life or should you just find your ideal spot and rent thereby leaving the property ownership problems to someone else?  How should you (or even can you) plan this life changing move to give you the least hassle?  I am assuming here that you will not need to work and earn a living when you move, if you do then that is a whole different scenario!

Obviously there are no right and wrong answers to many of these typical questions that you will be faced with, you have to consider your own individual and family circumstances carefully … but also remember that things change too!

You have likely visited the place several times on holiday for maybe one or two weeks at a time and you will love the different things that you come into contact with during those stays … but when you are living in that place will they still have the same appeal to you?  Will you get bored with it all indeed will you be able to keep up with it all?

Deciding where to live can be a major factor in how happy you might be and how quickly.  Living in the UK you have probably lived in a house for most of your life, going upstairs to bed on an evening.  In Tenerife however many people live in apartments (what the Brits usually call ‘flats’), in a complex often surrounded by many other people often of different Nationalities.  Will you miss going ‘up to bed’?

Having said that there are of course houses here too – although they can be called Villas or some other Estate Agent phrase to make them sound exotic and as you would expect they come in all different shapes, sizes and locations.

Your Place in the SunYou will need to decide if you think you would like to live in a town centre, within walking distance of everything, or whether perhaps you would prefer a more rural existence, maybe still within easy reach of the ‘atmosphere’ that you enjoyed whilst on vacation.

Remember that you are moving here to enjoy life, but also bear in mind that if the health of you or your partner deteriorates and you are living in a very rural situation then it may make day to day living a little more difficult.  Can you both drive?  Maybe I should ask that again, can you both drive in Tenerife – some people find they don’t want to ‘learn again’ how to drive on the wrong (right) side of the road.

So, will you need transport living here?  The public transport system is pretty efficient here, but there are places not supported yet and of course there is the convenience factor of being able to go where you want when you want!  Do you bring your own car over here; do you buy new or do you pick up a second hand run around to use as and when.  You could even just strike up a relationship with one of the many Car Hire companies to just hire one when you ‘need’ one.  What about a matching pair of push bikes?

What about your health, how do plan to take care of that, you need to investigate what, if anything, will be available to you from the state system and whether you actually need to purchase and maintain private health cover.  There are many options available and it is important that you find the right one for you taking into account any existing health issues that you may have had.  Don’t bury your head in the sand with this it is important that you have peace of mind.

Tenerife Lifeline

There are lots of people and companies here that can genuinely offer you support and advice during the process of moving (buy yourself a copy of Tenerife Lifeline for example) but there are probably more people that tell you they can but could cause you a lot of problems.  Remember how you make decisions in the UK – it should be the same way when you are here too.  Listen to the advice that you will undoubtedly get from the ‘man (or lady) in the bar’ but then check it out with someone who you can be sure really knows about these things.

Well, this was going to be a quick and short item, but I think there is so much more to consider that I will finish this now and call it ‘Part 1 – to be continued’’.

Let me know what challenges you came across when planning your move to sunny Tenerife (or wherever you moved to), or if you haven’t made the move yet, what things are worrying you so far, I am sure we will be able to help and point you in the right direction.

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