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-   -   My experience living in madrid after 5 years (https://britishexpats.com/forum/spain-75/my-experience-living-madrid-after-5-years-935735/)

WhamBham Nov 16th 2020 1:20 pm

My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
Hi Everyone I want to ask if anyone else is feeling disenchanted with Spain as I am.


To tell you a bit about my story I moved to Spain back in 2014 with a job offer , in the uk I had a fairly good job in IT, a house with a mortgage a Spanish wife and a son and a dog things were good I just didn’t appreciate it.
We moved to Spain mostly because I didn’t like the rain much in the UK, I worked a lot and had little time for family. I felt the wages were low in the uk I was on 22k which seems like a lot but after taxes and mortgage payments left little to save.

and every time we came on holiday I enjoyed myself in Spain and I thought it was cheap to live here.

We sold the house in the uk and with 30k moved to Spain. we moved to Madrid where I had a job in IT on the outskirts of Madrid that took 1.30 hours to get to via public transport , we rented a Franco piso which was supposed to be temporary.
and I still can’t believe how badly and small they were built W/O air Con and central heating in madrid the weather has extremes too hot or too cold. but hey I’m paying 500 euros rent, and apart from the noisy neighbours who play bachata loud o the gitano neighbours its ok.
buying a car was super expensive because unlike the uk the Spanish 2nd market if 30 percent expensive.

And we had to buy a big car now we had 3 kids , in any case after buying furniture "most Spanish rented houses have really outdated furniture" we had little left of the 30k.
we also had the costs involved in paying school fees and uniforms , that we take for granted in the uk, education is Spain is not free .

I spoke Spanish fairly okish understanding simple words. And integrating well with several Spanish friends from work.

within 2 years my marriage broke down, partly because my ex-wife’s family changed .As soon as we moved, they became possessive and suffocating us which led to arguments my ex-wife wanted me to be home and not see any Spanish friends only her family .
my ex-wife was dealing with some past issues with her family also. like a love hate relationship. and me being grumpy because I found Spain to be far expensive than advertised and her family being around 24/7 but not willing to look after our children.

my ex-wife tricked me in to signing a document that gave her custody of our children it was in Spanish I trusted her I could not read it very well.
and soon she made false allegations of violence on 3 occasions "I spent a good few nights in the calabozo" I was found innocent , she did this so I could not get custody according to Spanish law.

I have had 2 lawyers and found out the Spanish justice system to be fair is awful , the feminist movement has removed equal right or innocent until proven guilty. and yet after 2 years I am still not divorced. But she can pick up a phone and get me arrested without any repercussions.

furthermore the hacienda after 3 years doing my renta said I have been filling it in wrong and I have to pay back 5k which has wiped out my savings.
it seems like everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong in my case moving to Spain.


The good news is I speak fluent Spanish now and I am very well integrated in the Spanish culture etc.

I get to see my kids every fortnight but I am not very optimistic I will get shared custody because I don’t trust the Spanish justice system.


I can’t leave and go back to the UK because of my kids,

I have a stable job now that pays above 30k

I am not settled with my new Spanish partner who lives with me in the Franco piso. and we visit her family on a regular basis and she gets on well with the kids.

recently we were planning our future and wanted to buy a house of flat in Madrid, we both don’t like Madrid she is from the north but Madrid is where the jobs are, unlike the uk its Madrid or nothing for jobs. And better if the job is in the city as transport out of the city is awful.


But I found it extremely expensive with all the taxes it’s like an extra 13 percent you need to save and a further 20 percent for a mortgage. for a decent property in Madrid that costs 200k in a good area and I’m not counting the gasto’s de comunidad that could be 120 euros a month on top of the mortgage.


i feel that buying a house in Spain will enslave us to a 30 or 40 year mortgage and we will be saving for 6 years just to get a decent deposit costs that is with both combined salarys .

TBH I feel completely disenchanted with Spain . most of the information online is outdated by many years. I find ahora mas, mercadona , carrefour really expensive.

I miss Christmas in the Uk, spain Its less festive , I miss the german markets in Manchester or the lights on oxford road, the curry mile. The way things just work, the tax system is uncomplicated. Seeing a friendly face in your neighbourhood and having a chat on their doorstep while walking the dog.

less paperwork, the theatres in London , how everything is not a car ride away.



I think spain has some wonderful quality’s the majority of people are friendly and welcoming , the beaches , the weather, you have the mountains in scenery in Galicia o Asturias the beaches in the south and warm waters. But its not an easy life as advertised or not as I found it.
i have a lot of fond memorys of holidays on the beach, asturias, galicia theme parks etc with the kids in spain. but i can also acknowladge they wil lnever expiriance bonfire night or haloween or christmas like the uk or going to blackpool to see the lights in november

We are hoping to save for 5 or 6 years or until the kids grow up and buy a property in the uk for half the price as the Spanish market. if the hacianda or hundred other agencys dont try and fine me.
this is just my personal experiance other people will definatly have had better luck





Moses2013 Nov 16th 2020 2:31 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by WhamBham (Post 12936298)
Hi Everyone I want to ask if anyone else is feeling disenchanted with Spain as I am.


To tell you a bit about my story I moved to Spain back in 2014 with a job offer , in the uk I had a fairly good job in IT, a house with a mortgage a Spanish wife and a son and a dog things were good I just didn’t appreciate it.
We moved to Spain mostly because I didn’t like the rain much in the UK, I worked a lot and had little time for family. I felt the wages were low in the uk I was on 22k which seems like a lot but after taxes and mortgage payments left little to save.

and every time we came on holiday I enjoyed myself in Spain and I thought it was cheap to live here.

We sold the house in the uk and with 30k moved to Spain. we moved to Madrid where I had a job in IT on the outskirts of Madrid that took 1.30 hours to get to via public transport , we rented a Franco piso which was supposed to be temporary.
and I still can’t believe how badly and small they were built W/O air Con and central heating in madrid the weather has extremes too hot or too cold. but hey I’m paying 500 euros rent, and apart from the noisy neighbours who play bachata loud o the gitano neighbours its ok.
buying a car was super expensive because unlike the uk the Spanish 2nd market if 30 percent expensive.

And we had to buy a big car now we had 3 kids , in any case after buying furniture "most Spanish rented houses have really outdated furniture" we had little left of the 30k.
we also had the costs involved in paying school fees and uniforms , that we take for granted in the uk, education is Spain is not free .

I spoke Spanish fairly okish understanding simple words. And integrating well with several Spanish friends from work.

within 2 years my marriage broke down, partly because my ex-wife’s family changed .As soon as we moved, they became possessive and suffocating us which led to arguments my ex-wife wanted me to be home and not see any Spanish friends only her family .
my ex-wife was dealing with some past issues with her family also. like a love hate relationship. and me being grumpy because I found Spain to be far expensive than advertised and her family being around 24/7 but not willing to look after our children.

my ex-wife tricked me in to signing a document that gave her custody of our children it was in Spanish I trusted her I could not read it very well.
and soon she made false allegations of violence on 3 occasions "I spent a good few nights in the calabozo" I was found innocent , she did this so I could not get custody according to Spanish law.

I have had 2 lawyers and found out the Spanish justice system to be fair is awful , the feminist movement has removed equal right or innocent until proven guilty. and yet after 2 years I am still not divorced. But she can pick up a phone and get me arrested without any repercussions.

furthermore the hacienda after 3 years doing my renta said I have been filling it in wrong and I have to pay back 5k which has wiped out my savings.
it seems like everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong in my case moving to Spain.


The good news is I speak fluent Spanish now and I am very well integrated in the Spanish culture etc.

I get to see my kids every fortnight but I am not very optimistic I will get shared custody because I don’t trust the Spanish justice system.


I can’t leave and go back to the UK because of my kids,

I have a stable job now that pays above 30k

I am not settled with my new Spanish partner who lives with me in the Franco piso. and we visit her family on a regular basis and she gets on well with the kids.

recently we were planning our future and wanted to buy a house of flat in Madrid, we both don’t like Madrid she is from the north but Madrid is where the jobs are, unlike the uk its Madrid or nothing for jobs. And better if the job is in the city as transport out of the city is awful.


But I found it extremely expensive with all the taxes it’s like an extra 13 percent you need to save and a further 20 percent for a mortgage. for a decent property in Madrid that costs 200k in a good area and I’m not counting the gasto’s de comunidad that could be 120 euros a month on top of the mortgage.


i feel that buying a house in Spain will enslave us to a 30 or 40 year mortgage and we will be saving for 6 years just to get a decent deposit costs that is with both combined salarys .

TBH I feel completely disenchanted with Spain . most of the information online is outdated by many years. I find ahora mas, mercadona , carrefour really expensive.

I miss Christmas in the Uk, spain Its less festive , I miss the german markets in Manchester or the lights on oxford road, the curry mile. The way things just work, the tax system is uncomplicated. Seeing a friendly face in your neighbourhood and having a chat on their doorstep while walking the dog.

less paperwork, the theatres in London , how everything is not a car ride away.



I think spain has some wonderful quality’s the majority of people are friendly and welcoming , the beaches , the weather, you have the mountains in scenery in Galicia o Asturias the beaches in the south and warm waters. But its not an easy life as advertised or not as I found it.
i have a lot of fond memorys of holidays on the beach, asturias, galicia theme parks etc with the kids in spain. but i can also acknowladge they wil lnever expiriance bonfire night or haloween or christmas like the uk or going to blackpool to see the lights in november

We are hoping to save for 5 or 6 years or until the kids grow up and buy a property in the uk for half the price as the Spanish market. if the hacianda or hundred other agencys dont try and fine me.
this is just my personal experiance other people will definatly have had better luck


Sorry to hear it has been far from perfect but it's also good you can give us a different picture and I agree with many points. We often hear from retired people how cheap everything is but if you have to work and make a living it's a complete different story. This is one of the reasons we are still in Ireland and although I had plenty of job offers in Barcelona, it just wasn't worth it and many of my Spanish friends say similar. We like parts of Spain but I would also not like to live in Madrid and not a fan of Barcelona either. Staying here meant we can afford a small place near the coast in Girona (preferred area) and the cost of two homes is still less than what we would have to pay in Barcelona. I suppose with Covid you might have more opportunities to work from home in the future, so maybe that's something to look at. Of course others will argue that the UK is far from perfect but one should never underestimate the simple things in life, like a conversation, or maybe even tiling the terrace without a licence. Of course weather is always the first thing people complain about but all the other things play a big part too.

spainrico Nov 16th 2020 3:18 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
Well you can't be certain what would have happened had you stayed in the UK - maybe things would have gone worse. There are no guarantees in life.

I have been in Spain 20 years and had issues to deal with some of which have caused me sleepless nights but I have survived and maybe even prospered but doubtless my net worth would be more had I stayed in England. However, I enjoy my lifestyle here and overall have no regrets.

I really don't understand - 'buy a property y in the uk for half the price as the Spanish market' Surely UK prices are far higher and always will be?

You say you have a well paid and stable job that is a huge advantage, so I hope the other things improve for you. Good luck and be positive.

Joppa Nov 16th 2020 3:54 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by spainrico (Post 12936343)
I really don't understand - 'buy a property y in the uk for half the price as the Spanish market' Surely UK prices are far higher and always will be?

OP talks about Christmas market and Curry Mile in Manchester and Blackpool Lights, and in parts of North West, you can buy a family house from £100k (110k€) and a 4-bedroom detached house with garden from £200k (220k€). Compared to properties in good areas of Madrid, that's cheap.

Chipmonk Nov 17th 2020 10:56 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
Many of the posters here are retired and live in areas with high levels of English spoken. If you are working in Spain and live in a predominantly spanish speaking community the experience will be different and no doubt harder. I work in Spain and like the poster have a young family living here. It is not cheap in Spain if you work here. Culturally you need to integrate to survive. You need good Spanish and you have to go through periods where you feel very isolated and depressed because of cultural alienation. It's very hard and not many manage. I think the OP has done very well after 5 years and I am not surprised they feel worn out and a bit frustrated. However as some one has pointed out things might not have been all rosy if they had remained in UK.

Boseley Nov 17th 2020 12:15 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
Th lifestyle and climate you all describe, in Madrid and on the Peninsular, is so different to what we experience, here on the Meridian island of El Hierro, 1946 km south west of Madrid.

I am fortunate that I do not need to seek employment, we own our house, the cost of living is cheaper than he U.K., no heating or air-conditioning needed, we grow a lot of our fruit and veg. Meat and fish, are produced locally
Hardly anyone here uses the English language, in fact there are few English residents on the island, most of our friends and neighbours are Herreños, or Canary Islanders or from South America.

I have enjoyed visiting the Peninsular, Asturias and Galicia are very appealing, but they have winters we don't.

All we are short of here is employment for the young and rain..

Lynn R Nov 17th 2020 12:45 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
I'm sorry that life in Spain has thrown so many challenges in your way and I can quite understand your disenchantment.

In the years I've been contributing to forums, I've lost count of the number of times I and many other members have replied to posts from people saying they are intending to move to Spain (usually with a spouse and children) and either running a business or looking for a job. The vast majority of responses always tell them how difficult it is to find work and make a living here, point out that there aren't things like Child Benefit or tax credits here to help with expenses, nor Housing Benefit, school books are not free, and employment prospects for older children once they leave school are dire. The OPs never like to hear these responses and say we are just being negative.

I bought a house in Spain whilst I was still working, with the intention of moving here full time when we retired, and although I would have liked to make the move permanently years earlier than we did, we knew we needed to wait until we would be able to support ourselves here without the need to find work. Seeing how some families we got to know during those years we were coming backwards and forwards for holidays were struggling and really living hand to mouth just reinforced that decision.

Moses2013 Nov 17th 2020 1:17 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by Chipmonk (Post 12936631)
Many of the posters here are retired and live in areas with high levels of English spoken. If you are working in Spain and live in a predominantly spanish speaking community the experience will be different and no doubt harder. I work in Spain and like the poster have a young family living here. It is not cheap in Spain if you work here. Culturally you need to integrate to survive. You need good Spanish and you have to go through periods where you feel very isolated and depressed because of cultural alienation. It's very hard and not many manage. I think the OP has done very well after 5 years and I am not surprised they feel worn out and a bit frustrated. However as some one has pointed out things might not have been all rosy if they had remained in UK.

I agree and those retired just don't see the challenges younger families have. If you made money elsewhere, have decent savings and no longer need to work the whole of Spain offers opportunities.


When you look at local salaries vs cost of living it's certainly not cheap and even the basics can cost more than parts of Northern Europe (Electricity, groceries and so on). Most of the better paid jobs would be hard to find in our area and along the coast it's often seasonal, so the only real option is Barcelona. Our area would also be a long commute to Barcelona and even the Costa Maresme which would be closer is definitely not cheap when it comes to housing. It's cheaper to buy than rent, however you'd also need the deposit for a mortgage and hard to save when you're faced with high rents. This is also one of the reasons why Spain has such a low birthrate compared to other countries: https://newseu.cgtn.com/news/2020-02...Tlm/index.html

In Spain, this is particularly problematic for another reason - we have a very precarious labor system so it takes a long time to get stability in your job and leave your house. Young people leave really late, after 30-years-old when the average in Europe is almost five years less. So we also have a problem in revenues, in incomes below 30."

Roldan added that the precariousness in Spain's job market makes it very expensive to become a parent, so people have few children. "The gap between the kids [people] have and those they would want to have is widening. So it's not like people don't want to have kids, they cannot because we are not supporting them to have them," he said.

Because couples are having their first child later in life, their chances of having multiple children are reduced. Spain, according to the latest data by Eurostat, has become the European country with the highest proportion of first-time mothers over 40.

bfg69bug Nov 17th 2020 3:44 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
This is very true.

My partner and I are in our late 30´s. We are "miluristas" - meaning our combined income is €2000 a month. We are renting (€500) and run 2 cars (another €500 maybe, taking fuel into account) Its very difficult to save anything more than 100€ or so each month, after bills and food. We have both been in our jobs for 5 years (her) and 10 years (me). We thought about having children, but cant afford to.

She is on ERTE right now, and thats making things more difficult, as we work in the tourism industry at Malaga Airport.

The cost of living in general may be cheaper, but the services cost more (telephone, electricity, gas, firewood etc) when you take it as a percentage of the wages that you earn.

missile Nov 18th 2020 7:20 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
Interesting to hear the other side of "living the dream"

spainrico Nov 18th 2020 7:54 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
My question for the younger posters is do you not think it is exactly the same in the UK? (and probably other locations) I read about the UK gig economy and low paid non perm contract employment, mortgage problems with huge deposits required and rising property purchase prices, higher rental costs (OK maybe falling in London) high costs of poor public transport and high council taxes for limited public services etc.

Plus lower standards of living with drug and gang warfare (people getting knifed every day it seems) poor education standards, insufficient policing, under resourced health system, people living from foodbanks....

I sympathise with your issues but regrettably for your generation they seem to be endemic in these times.

Moses2013 Nov 18th 2020 10:30 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by spainrico (Post 12936962)
My question for the younger posters is do you not think it is exactly the same in the UK? (and probably other locations) I read about the UK gig economy and low paid non perm contract employment, mortgage problems with huge deposits required and rising property purchase prices, higher rental costs (OK maybe falling in London) high costs of poor public transport and high council taxes for limited public services etc.

Plus lower standards of living with drug and gang warfare (people getting knifed every day it seems) poor education standards, insufficient policing, under resourced health system, people living from foodbanks....

I sympathise with your issues but regrettably for your generation they seem to be endemic in these times.

Since I'm in Ireland and no longer UK, I can only say that I do find this part of an article to be true:The gender pay gap has remained stubbornly higher in the UK than the European average; median hourly pay among women is 18.4 per cent lower than for men. And we see a similar racial wage gap between white and black workers.In London, the UK has the richest region in northern Europe, yet the stark fact is that the UK also has six of the 10 poorest regions in northern Europe, making the UK the continent’s most geographically unbalanced economy.

In contrast, the figures from Ireland on every corresponding measure show a much richer and more equal society. Ireland is currently fourth on the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI) ranking, while the UK is at 14th.
Every time I come back from the UK, I really notice how different it is. In the UK there's either posh or rough but nothing in-between.

bfg69bug Nov 18th 2020 10:31 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by missile (Post 12936956)
Interesting to hear the other side of "living the dream"

I´ve always been told, and i totally agree - "spain is a great place to retire to, but a hard place to live if you need to work". This is probably applicable to a good 80% of the people that move to spain, and the people that have grown up here, spanish and foreign alike, the other 20% are multinational company owners without a care in the world or silverspoon - lottery winners - living off daddies money type people


Originally Posted by spainrico (Post 12936962)
My question for the younger posters is do you not think it is exactly the same in the UK? (and probably other locations) I read about the UK gig economy and low paid non perm contract employment, mortgage problems with huge deposits required and rising property purchase prices, higher rental costs (OK maybe falling in London) high costs of poor public transport and high council taxes for limited public services etc.

Plus lower standards of living with drug and gang warfare (people getting knifed every day it seems) poor education standards, insufficient policing, under resourced health system, people living from foodbanks....

I sympathise with your issues but regrettably for your generation they seem to be endemic in these times.

Spainrico - with due respect, do you see anyone in the uk working a 40 hour week (starting at 5am and finishing at 3am, doing 8 hr shifts) for only 750 pounds a month after working there for 10 years? Do you have people working for 40 hours a week on a 10 hour contract in the UK ? I wouldnt of thought so.

Does electric cost 100€ a month, even tho nobody is even in the house for 8 hours a day?

does the internet cost upto 100€ a month for a standard ADSL connection?

Do people have all these issuses with paperwork etc when they are trying to buy a house? The banks in the UK welcome younger / new home owners - you certainly dont need 30-45% of the purchase price as a deposit in the UK. Some of the houses on the market here in spain, you wouldnt even house a pack of wild dogs. For the same price or even less in the UK you get a 3 bedroom terraced house, front and back gardens, maybe a garage and central heating.

There may be more "gang warfare" in the uk, but if you are in the bigger cities here in spain there are areas that even the police wont go into at night. Go to any big town on a weekend and you can see fighting / arguments / gangs against gangs / violence. Drugs are everywhere. Just because its not reported doesnt mean it doesnt happen.

The news here in spain has been all about the rise of people using food banks and church soup kitchens - this week is the big "donate food & money" in the super markets.

I didnt post about life here in spain for sympathy, its to make people see that not everything is rose coloured and sitting on the terrace with a g&t.

I suppose bottom line is that we choose to live here and this is what we have. If we dont like it, we can work towards leaving.

I can totally agree with the OP´s post - the points made are valid and there you go, thats their opinion, but thats the way it is - its put up or shut up. There are alot of things that are better or worse somewhere else, the same can be said for anywhere in the world i imagine ?

Rosemary Nov 18th 2020 11:11 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
Not every Brit who retires to Spain live in "English" areas and do not worship the sun or like alcohol.

Rosemary

Moses2013 Nov 18th 2020 12:24 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
bfg69bug makes some valid points. In relation to my post above, I do feel that it is also a cultural thing. Many dumb lazy people in the UK still have more than a hardworking educated Spanish person, so how do you measure poverty. In Spain you are forced to look after yourself, so even in the poorer parts it doesn't seem as rough because there are educated people living in poverty but they tend to look after things more. All I can say is that we have a home here and in Spain but although the home in Spain is smaller, costs are higher (water, electricity, property tax). I was looking at broadband prices in Spain and again didn't find anything cheaper than here. I've compared jobs for the past few years and the exact same job in Spain often pays 50-60% less. Of course one can argue about services and other things but it's just something I noticed.

spainrico Nov 18th 2020 12:36 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
I live in a Spanish village and it is rare to hear English spoken.

OK bfg69bug I also respect your opinion and views - but a couple of points I pay Movistar 53€ pm for my ADSL contract (going rate with no pensioner allowances) and pay around 50€ a month for electricity (yes Spain has one of the highest unit costs in EU thanks to extortionate IVA rate) but I do also use butano.

Regarding salary rates there will always be a difference in UK/Spain rates due to higher UK cost of living but admit 750€ is not a high salary and I understand work is difficult my lady friend's daughter (Spanish) has a doctorate degree and is currently selling jewellery due to no other opportunities to use her extensive qualifications.

Regarding property Madrid is a popular capital city so of course prices are high and cannot be compared to some UK backwater - this site says average price per M2 is Spain is 4,978€ compared to UK 21,179€ https://www.statista.com/statistics/...8-per-country/
But agree here a high deposit is required - the banks got badly burnt with mortgages in 2008 after over lending to over inflated property valuations.

I may be comfortable now but I also had it tough when I had my first home and remember mortgages rates going up to 15% and doing a lot of overtime to make up my money.

Anyway lets hope the vaccine helps resolve the COVID-19 issue and the economy and standard of living can improve for all on 2021 and beyond.



bfg69bug Nov 19th 2020 11:47 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
I was not intending to start an argument, this is simply a discussion - everyone has different wants and needs, and when we move ourselves and our families to a new country we often expect to have the exact same sort of property and outgoings, but with a better quality of life. Afterall, thats why we do it, no? to improve on something.

Refering to the Op´s post about Madrid - I´ve never been there, but looking at the house prices - its comparable to London in that sense - if you want anything "nice" ie not an apartment in a undesireable barrio. I see he came here in 2014 - to rent a "franco piso" for 500€ in madrid...but then had to travel 1.5 hours each way for work? assuming that in IT its a full working day, 0800-14.00 and 1700-2100 ?? he´d be up at 0600 and getting home at 2230 ?? thats no life at all, for anyone - much less someone that comes to spain thinking their life would get better. He doesnt say what his wage was at the time - but assuming its less that hes on now (30K) I would guess about th same as the UK wage but in euros - 22k. At 1830/month i would of thought that he would be living very well, even if his wife wasnt working.

What went wrong? with that amount of cash each month everything should be peachy.

With regards to the family and the friends and the missus not wanting him to be with his friends, only with her family.. well - thats a personal issue and nothing to do with spain as such, but its unfortunate that it lead to the breakdown of his marrige. If only things could of been talked through etc - unfortunatly alot of spanish girls / women follow their parents beliefs and views, and anyone disagreeing with them becomes "the enemy". It will never end well.

spainrico - living in a spanish village is what my parents apparently came here for .. but they ended up in Alhaurin el Grande - 90% Spanish in 1998, but in 2020 i think its more 40-60. You cant go out / go shopping / go into town / go to a remote resturant without hearing english voices. My dad now only pays €50 for his fibre / telephone, until last year hes been paying €150+ for the last 20 years.

I´ve just had a look on the bairstow eves website and to be fair i was actually shocked at the prices of the houses - they have gone up so much since i last looked - its no wonder that people see the houses in spain and how much cheaper they are.

Rosemary nobody is talking about retirees - we are talking about people moving here to work.



I´d be interested to see the stats on this website, to see the user ages / working status etc of the regular users - I imagine most of "us" are retired? - I´m not, i´m probably one of the younger people here at 39 years old, and i´ve been working in the same company at Malaga Airport for 10 years now.







spainrico Nov 19th 2020 3:15 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
No argument that I am aware of has been started.

Alhaurin el Grande - I have never visited but is famous because of its connection to Gerald Brenan the famous hispanist and writer who is a bit of a hero of mine.

I think the number of Brits living in Spain has peaked and I would assume post Brexit the numbers arriving will reduce - whether that is good or bad is a matter of opinion!

Maybe one moral out of this thread is for people to review their comms/ADSL costs!



WhamBham Nov 19th 2020 6:41 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
Hi so basically out of my wage i pay 600 for the kids maintenance, and 500 on rent i earn 2100 a month after tax after Internet 62 a month, light 80 a month, water 5 a month, car insurance 25 a month, and food 250 a month to feed myself and the kids, desiel etc i have about 400 a month, to buy clothes, or go out be social or try and save. I just received notification that my renta for 2019 was incorrect also so i will be getting a bill for 2500. I was planning to move to a nicer area were the rent is 800 a month but dont think that will materialise. I am originally from Manchester born and bread. To be honest its a struggle everyday i cant save because the spanish tax system is higher than the uk one, i get sleepless nights. Im torn between returning to the uk im 39 at the moment. and try and buy a house and save in the uk, so when the kids grow up they have a home in the uk were tgey are always welcome. Rather than a rented franco piso. And maybe try and get them on summer holidays and Christmas or puentes. Right now the kids are 8 and 5 maybe when they are older and before im 50 And they are able to understand why i want to go back to the uk and that i love them and will always be at the other end of the line, video call, and anytime they want they can come. i can make the journey back to the uk to try and salvage some kind of retirement. Im a bi developer in the uk id be thriving and saving for uni gunds for the kids. in spain im barely surviving. Do you think its selfish to think like this

jonboy Nov 19th 2020 9:55 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
Do you have extra rooms in your piso that you could rent to lodgers?

WhamBham Nov 19th 2020 10:17 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by jonboy (Post 12937561)
Do you have extra rooms in your piso that you could rent to lodgers?

I have 3 bedrooms the 2 boys sleep in one and my daughter sleeps in the other. No spare rooms im afraid. Luckily i get the paga extra so xmas and holidays to the beach are covered.
Like its been said before if your retired spain is the perfect place, but if your working and young even with a degree and speak fluently madrid is expensive. You get taxed on everything changing cars, gestors, tasas for admin work. I personally and know many Spaniards working 40 or 50 hours, last night i was on a confrance call at 11pm at night with spaniards. Now you tell me who said spain has work life balance. I will now finish dinner and go back to finish my projects

scot47 Nov 19th 2020 10:46 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
People go on holiday to Spain and then think about living there. It is not so easy ! thanks for posting this "corrective" for those who dream about "Paradise in The Sun" We used to see them coming to Bulgaria 20 years ago and falling into the same trap !

jonboy Nov 20th 2020 12:16 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by WhamBham (Post 12937568)
I have 3 bedrooms the 2 boys sleep in one and my daughter sleeps in the other. No spare rooms im afraid. Luckily i get the paga extra so xmas and holidays to the beach are covered.
Like its been said before if your retired spain is the perfect place, but if your working and young even with a degree and speak fluently madrid is expensive. You get taxed on everything changing cars, gestors, tasas for admin work. I personally and know many Spaniards working 40 or 50 hours, last night i was on a confrance call at 11pm at night with spaniards. Now you tell me who said spain has work life balance. I will now finish dinner and go back to finish my projects

This appears to be the problem.
You are paying out for your family (3 kids) and working long hours and what is hurting is that your money is less than adequate. Your wife is estranged from you and you are as a result in a thankless position. The added complication is that you are in another country. I sort of suspect not much would be different in the UK other than some items would be more competitively priced. Without access to the kids you would also feel disadvantaged but in a different way.
Relationship breakdowns are so debilitating to both parties. I do not know the answer to that one.

Chipmonk Nov 20th 2020 9:28 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
I sympathise with the original OP. I am sure he is aware of the fact that aspects of his predicament are related to Spain and others are personal. When these problems occur you tend to react against the apparent injustices of life. None of us are above that. I suppose he feels a certain resentment towards his fellow countrymen who lead relatively comfortable lives in Spain and who give the impression that this was achieved by cleverness and foresight whereas it was more likely just favourable circumstances. Of course resentment wont solve the predicament and no doubt probably will make it worse. Better to look at the achievements gained : language, cultural assimilation, bilingual children, life experience. Personally I wouldn't leave Spain when the children live here and probably wouldn't be able to move to UK until 16 at earliest. Saving for homes, education seems admirable but it will all come to zero if you are unable to build strong relationships with them and this really needs to be in person not via skype etc. He has a job he has has the language he has a flat. It is far from perfect but he can survive and sacrifice a bit of himself for the future happiness of his kids

WhamBham Nov 20th 2020 10:30 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
I dont feel any resentment towards my country men, they have chosen a different direction in life that turned out great. I am aware and understand personal factors and factors of spain. I am aware when i was in the uk i was not under such an intense stress i had my family and friends to lean on and help,
Spain wont change, i have tried to change assimilating to the spanish way but that has not helped either. The bond between my kids and me are very strong, even though i only see them 4 times a month. When they turn 14,15,16 that bond wont disappear, the bond has already solidified a teenager who is 16 can then choose to live in the uk with his father or stay with his mother in spain. Spain has one of the lowest job security in the eu, one of the lowest wages in the eu, the highest taxes. I wouldn't want my sons to work in spain after living it. But i would want to provide the means and security to if they needed work and live in the uk. And i think a 16 year old would understand that dont you think. I have sacrificed more than most would spent nights in a jail cell on my kids bday because my ex put in a false accusation, so i could not spend the bday with my kids. My kids saw there father being taken away by the police, yet i stay. And im not the only one thousands of spanish men are in the same situation. Would you want your kids to live in such a country were justice, and imparciality basic human rights are thrown out. I wouldn't

Chipmonk Nov 20th 2020 10:56 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
It seems to me you have made up your mind to return to UK in which case I you probably just want reassurance in your decision. At the end of the day though it is up to you.

Moses2013 Nov 20th 2020 12:18 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by Chipmonk (Post 12937706)
It seems to me you have made up your mind to return to UK in which case I you probably just want reassurance in your decision. At the end of the day though it is up to you.

I suppose it always comes down to your personal situation. In reality over 30K is a pretty good salary for Spain and many IT jobs pay a lot less. Truth is that kids cost money, so the family with 3 kids will always need more money than a couple without kids. These challenges remain in every country, so if it's better in the UK I don't know. Maybe people with kids in the UK have better opportunities to get social housing, other benefits.

WhamBham Nov 20th 2020 12:41 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
In spain kids in primary you have to buy the uniform, the books that change every year and are expensive, you have to pay for school materials like paper and glue, the meals are 80 euros a month for one child. School trips are higher than the uk.
Yes education is not free in spain it should be but there are cost's regardless of your income. Most spanish dont travel outside of Spain because they are taking out 40 year mortgages and cant afford it. I had one spanish friend who moved to London and does not want to return because the wages are too good. I think the problem is unlike the uk were nobs are shared across major citys, london taking a big chunk, spain never tried to diversify itself its madrid or nothing. Or Barcelona but thats another topic

rspltd Nov 24th 2020 6:04 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
I am following this discussion with great interest.One point that has been raised and is often raised in these type of discussions is the benefit of children raised in the foreign country being bilingual being seen as a benefit. I was taught three languages at school and continued with them thereafter and whilst not fluent I am able to converse with most native speakers and make myself understood and yet I can see no tangible benefits in being so. With mobile phones being a constant companion these days and translators being digitised there seems no need to have detailed knowledge of language anymore (other than you own). I watched a very successful negotiation carried out in a Turkish supermarket between the staff and a Japanese lady all carried out by phone.

Chipmonk Nov 24th 2020 6:29 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by rspltd (Post 12939173)
I am following this discussion with great interest.One point that has been raised and is often raised in these type of discussions is the benefit of children raised in the foreign country being bilingual being seen as a benefit. I was taught three languages at school and continued with them thereafter and whilst not fluent I am able to converse with most native speakers and make myself understood and yet I can see no tangible benefits in being so. With mobile phones being a constant companion these days and translators being digitised there seems no need to have detailed knowledge of language anymore (other than you own). I watched a very successful negotiation carried out in a Turkish supermarket between the staff and a Japanese lady all carried out by phone.


It is very true. Nowadays technology is capable of doing so much when it comes to language translations. I know people who go to the doctor etc and just use their phone rather than a translator. Of course it's nice to be bilingual but I dont think it will be such a huge benefit in the future

missile Nov 24th 2020 6:39 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by rspltd (Post 12939173)
... I can see no tangible benefits in being so....

I feel the benefit is more personal. Hard to interact socially using a translation device.
When I worked in Netherlands, I found it useful to understand what others were saying to each other, when they assumed I could not understand their comments.

scot47 Nov 24th 2020 6:49 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
Reading this with interest. I lived and worked in Bulgaria for many years. I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life there. It did not work out that way ! I was well integrated and had no intention of returning to SCO, but I did. "Man proposes and God disposes !"

Moses2013 Nov 24th 2020 7:06 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by rspltd (Post 12939173)
I am following this discussion with great interest.One point that has been raised and is often raised in these type of discussions is the benefit of children raised in the foreign country being bilingual being seen as a benefit. I was taught three languages at school and continued with them thereafter and whilst not fluent I am able to converse with most native speakers and make myself understood and yet I can see no tangible benefits in being so. With mobile phones being a constant companion these days and translators being digitised there seems no need to have detailed knowledge of language anymore (other than you own). I watched a very successful negotiation carried out in a Turkish supermarket between the staff and a Japanese lady all carried out by phone.

When it comes to employment certainly a benefit. I have Spanish friends who can't find jobs in Spain and those who speak French, German can walk into a job in Spain. It depends on market but language is still a huge benefit and most businesses want local language support, otherwise they won't buy the product. I work in Ireland and our department currently has 6 positions available. All 6 positions require another European language.

jonboy Nov 25th 2020 8:31 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by Moses2013 (Post 12939192)
When it comes to employment certainly a benefit. I have Spanish friends who can't find jobs in Spain and those who speak French, German can walk into a job in Spain. It depends on market but language is still a huge benefit and most businesses want local language support, otherwise they won't buy the product. I work in Ireland and our department currently has 6 positions available. All 6 positions require another European language.

So an Irish speaker who could also speak English, would fit the bill I assume?

Moses2013 Nov 25th 2020 8:51 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by jonboy (Post 12939574)
So an Irish speaker who could also speak English, would fit the bill I assume?

Unfortunately that's only in the Public sector;). Italian, Dutch, Spanish or French would fit the bill. Just checked now and German always needed it seems.
https://ie.linkedin.com/jobs/german-speaking-jobs
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/british...49a0a0a6cd.png

steviedeluxe Nov 26th 2020 2:47 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 
One of the many downsides to this Covid situation is it's stopped a lot of people from getting on with their lives.
The OP states he left a job in the UK that only paid 22k, but would it be easy to find one that even paid that on returning? Problem is that recruitment agencies are not always the best at recognising skills that are developed abroad. If he does want to return, try the jobs market first - but needless to say, may have to wait until the pandemic is over.
Another thing that may be worth working out is the pension side. We know Spain (like other European countries) pays a far bigger state pension than the UK. This obviously depends on contributions made, so maybe investigate the situation. Will he be easily able to keep contributions going or transfer to the UK system?

steviedeluxe Nov 26th 2020 2:54 pm

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by Moses2013 (Post 12937726)
I suppose it always comes down to your personal situation. In reality over 30K is a pretty good salary for Spain and many IT jobs pay a lot less. Truth is that kids cost money, so the family with 3 kids will always need more money than a couple without kids. These challenges remain in every country, so if it's better in the UK I don't know. Maybe people with kids in the UK have better opportunities to get social housing, other benefits.

Some very good points. There are many things to consider as regards the childrens' future. For example, if moving back to a British city, can you avoid them getting caught up in the gang violence (or is it a problem in the current Spanish location)? Do you want them to go onto university? If so, the tuition fees will be enormous back in the UK. Otoh if they are top achievers, may be you want them to try for Oxbridge?
Hard to decide on many things without a crystal ball.

bfg69bug Nov 27th 2020 4:38 am

Re: My experience living in madrid after 5 years
 

Originally Posted by scot47 (Post 12939187)
Reading this with interest. I lived and worked in Bulgaria for many years. I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life there. It did not work out that way ! I was well integrated and had no intention of returning to SCO, but I did. "Man proposes and God disposes !"

thats the thing, sometimes.. it just doesnt work.


Originally Posted by Moses2013 (Post 12939579)
Unfortunately that's only in the Public sector;). Italian, Dutch, Spanish or French would fit the bill. Just checked now and German always needed it seems.
https://ie.linkedin.com/jobs/german-speaking-jobs

blimey with those salaries i might have to investigate. My other half speaks 4 languages fluently, and can get by in 3 or 4 more , i speak 2 and can get by in a couple more, yet here we are, working for 1000 a month.


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