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UK state pension in Spain

UK state pension in Spain

Old Mar 16th 2024, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by Algorfa1950
Just rang Santander and their agent told me we couldn't keep the current account or indeed any Santander UK account after we move to Spain and would need to open up new Santander accounts with Santander in Spain ! Yet as you have just said and I read just the opposite on one of their websites. I don't know who to believe, if their own agents on the phone don't know and he didn't seem to know much of anything but kept going off to ask someone and it seems that he still has the wrong information.
I also asked about getting 3rd party access to deal with my husband's phone queries with Santander on our joint account as he is very deaf and as I had a problem recently when they wanted him to answer questions on the phone and he couldn't hear them. I was taking the phone and after she asked the question I was repeating the question to him and she said I couldn't verbally prompt him in the background and she could hear me, so I said "so how does he answer a question he can't hear !!!", to which I was told today on the phone with another agent, I can write it down but NOT tell him out loud !!!!! I find it extraordinary. I said what if he was completely deaf and he replied well someone could assist as a 3rd party at the time of the call, when I told him our recent experience, he said some bank agents are more strictly security conscious than others ????? So I am still nowhere on that particular issue other than getting a property Power of Attorney which I don't need as we have a joint account as I say so as long as I am alive I can do the banking for both of us but if I go before him, then our daughter needs to do it and I mentioned this to the Santander agent and he said the same thing applies to her as me ! Makes me wonder if anyone in these banks are giving out ANY genuine advice to customers.
My wife when she sorted out her Santander account went direct to her branch it was there that they sorted it out for her. Problem with closing a Santander UK account and opening a Spanish Santander account is some pensions mat not paying into the Spanish account as not a UK IBAN as I said previously Spanish Santander and UK are in fact separate companies. Wise and others similar are more than just a currency transfer. Issue is though you don't get the government protection on money held with them . That may not be an issue if you use them simply to exchange and transfer money to your Spanish bank account. I have recently opened a Revolout account for doing transfers it gives a very good exchange rate better than I had been getting. Initially I set it up solely for exchange and transfers. However it is more than that and actually provides you with a Spanish bank account that is protected up to the 10000 euros EU limit. The UK side isn't but I find it very useful as transfers as well as good rate take minutes to happen. Once it's in the Spanish side in euros I can simply pay from phone or a card just like any other bank. They also provide you with both a UK and Spanish IBAN . So there are options but worth trying in your local Santander branch to see if they will allow you to simply convert your account to basic which they did for my wife.
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Old Mar 16th 2024, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by bobd22
My wife when she sorted out her Santander account went direct to her branch it was there that they sorted it out for her. Problem with closing a Santander UK account and opening a Spanish Santander account is some pensions mat not paying into the Spanish account as not a UK IBAN as I said previously Spanish Santander and UK are in fact separate companies. Wise and others similar are more than just a currency transfer. Issue is though you don't get the government protection on money held with them . That may not be an issue if you use them simply to exchange and transfer money to your Spanish bank account. I have recently opened a Revolout account for doing transfers it gives a very good exchange rate better than I had been getting. Initially I set it up solely for exchange and transfers. However it is more than that and actually provides you with a Spanish bank account that is protected up to the 10000 euros EU limit. The UK side isn't but I find it very useful as transfers as well as good rate take minutes to happen. Once it's in the Spanish side in euros I can simply pay from phone or a card just like any other bank. They also provide you with both a UK and Spanish IBAN . So there are options but worth trying in your local Santander branch to see if they will allow you to simply convert your account to basic which they did for my wife.
Will do and thanks for all the advice.
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Old Mar 16th 2024, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Can I just say thanks to the people who run this site and all those who contribute their experiences and advice to "newbies" like me ! It is invaluable to have a site like this when navigating the Spanish bureaucracy etc. Great site !!
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Old Mar 16th 2024, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by Algorfa1950
Can I just say thanks to the people who run this site and all those who contribute their experiences and advice to "newbies" like me ! It is invaluable to have a site like this when navigating the Spanish bureaucracy etc. Great site !!
This is a good site for getting advice from people that have dealt with same or similar situation. Good luck with your move to Spain.
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Old Mar 16th 2024, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by bobd22
This is a good site for getting advice from people that have dealt with same or similar situation. Good luck with your move to Spain.
Thanks it is a waiting game at the moment until our Visas arrive ! Can't wait.
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Old Mar 17th 2024, 10:53 am
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Such a change to when I moved to Spain pre Brexit, just bought a house, found a removal firm who picked up our furniture etc, locked UK house up, taxi to hotel for overnight stay, train to airport next day, arrived in Spain, accommodation booked by estate agent, stayed there till delayed arrival of stuff,, extra accommodation paid by removal; firm. Trip to buy white goods etc arranged by agents. No hassles no visas, signed on padron first morning, had made Spanish wills and all formalities done within 5 days, bank accounts had been organised, and opened, by agents pension transfers done even before arrival. Agents even organised hearing tests for me, I knew I needed hearing aids form UK test, but providing them in the UK would have taken a couple of months, and they did tell me They couldn't be taken out of the country!!! Spanish ones took a week, OK I had to pay but still. Landline phone installed, mobile bought, UK TV sorted, ll of this was within a week of arrival most courtesy of Estate agency, efficiency that just wouldn't happen in the UK.
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Old Mar 17th 2024, 11:46 am
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by mikelincs
Such a change to when I moved to Spain pre Brexit, just bought a house, found a removal firm who picked up our furniture etc, locked UK house up, taxi to hotel for overnight stay, train to airport next day, arrived in Spain, accommodation booked by estate agent, stayed there till delayed arrival of stuff,, extra accommodation paid by removal; firm. Trip to buy white goods etc arranged by agents. No hassles no visas, signed on padron first morning, had made Spanish wills and all formalities done within 5 days, bank accounts had been organised, and opened, by agents pension transfers done even before arrival. Agents even organised hearing tests for me, I knew I needed hearing aids form UK test, but providing them in the UK would have taken a couple of months, and they did tell me They couldn't be taken out of the country!!! Spanish ones took a week, OK I had to pay but still. Landline phone installed, mobile bought, UK TV sorted, ll of this was within a week of arrival most courtesy of Estate agency, efficiency that just wouldn't happen in the UK.
What kind of estate agency does all that ?

We have employed a Spanish lawyer but it has cost us £1600 for her to help with all the paperwork and whilst I could have probably done some of it myself, timing is everything with the documents and I am glad we had her to help because we couldn't have done it all alone. Of course that was just for getting the Visas but she has been a good source of info for a few things we have had to sort out on the Spanish side.
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Old Mar 17th 2024, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Estate agents in 2004 when I moved to Spain, they did all that, they even, for a small additional fee, acted as a free taxi service to take us to official places to get us registered, took us round various shops to purchase thins like beds, fridges, etc, We had the use for 1 month, we had a delay in our goods arriving, they rang the removal firms, told them of their, and our, displeasure and organised us another two nights stay in the hotel which they paid for. This was at a time where you could book house hunting tours to Spain, extremely cheap, accommodation included, we didn't do that, went on a self financed trip, called some of them and were taken to visit houses on their books, we actually bought the third house they showed us, but we were in charge, we weren't obliged to take anything. Once we had decided to buy they sorted out lawyers, gestor and we signed a PoA to allow them to open a bank account and get a mortgage sorted. All I had to do was to pay the deposit, done by CC after ringing the bank to tell them what was happening, and transfer the money to the lawyers on the due dates. When we arrived there we had two bank accounts, one for the mortgage and a personal one with debit cards all sored and just had to pick them up. They even picked us up from the airport when we arrived.
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Old Mar 17th 2024, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by mikelincs
Estate agents in 2004 when I moved to Spain, they did all that, they even, for a small additional fee, acted as a free taxi service to take us to official places to get us registered, took us round various shops to purchase thins like beds, fridges, etc, We had the use for 1 month, we had a delay in our goods arriving, they rang the removal firms, told them of their, and our, displeasure and organised us another two nights stay in the hotel which they paid for. This was at a time where you could book house hunting tours to Spain, extremely cheap, accommodation included, we didn't do that, went on a self financed trip, called some of them and were taken to visit houses on their books, we actually bought the third house they showed us, but we were in charge, we weren't obliged to take anything. Once we had decided to buy they sorted out lawyers, gestor and we signed a PoA to allow them to open a bank account and get a mortgage sorted. All I had to do was to pay the deposit, done by CC after ringing the bank to tell them what was happening, and transfer the money to the lawyers on the due dates. When we arrived there we had two bank accounts, one for the mortgage and a personal one with debit cards all sored and just had to pick them up. They even picked us up from the airport when we arrived.
We bought an apartment in Alicante in 2005 from Atlas when they did the escorted tours, picked us up from the airport, paid for inspection flights etc., put us into hotel for 4 days paid for by them, took us to get our NIE's, took us to lawyers, sorted out bank accounts and we even had to pay the last largest instalment of the apartment price in cash to the builder, walking through the streets from the bank with 27,000 euros in our pockets !! Of course all that has been stopped as builders were using black market money to avoid paying taxes. We bought the last apartment they showed us, but we sold it in 2012 for half the price we paid for it when prices started to crash on the Costa Blanca. Now we are looking again in the Costa Del Sol and prices are twice what we paid back then but of course CDS is a much higher price area to buy than Alicante.
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Old Mar 18th 2024, 6:46 am
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by Algorfa1950
We bought an apartment in Alicante in 2005 from Atlas when they did the escorted tours, picked us up from the airport, paid for inspection flights etc., put us into hotel for 4 days paid for by them, took us to get our NIE's, took us to lawyers, sorted out bank accounts and we even had to pay the last largest instalment of the apartment price in cash to the builder, walking through the streets from the bank with 27,000 euros in our pockets !! Of course all that has been stopped as builders were using black market money to avoid paying taxes. We bought the last apartment they showed us, but we sold it in 2012 for half the price we paid for it when prices started to crash on the Costa Blanca. Now we are looking again in the Costa Del Sol and prices are twice what we paid back then but of course CDS is a much higher price area to buy than Alicante.
​​​​​​Many people were stung by the crisis after 2007 and it I always think it is warning about the future. Spain is over supplied with property so financial upsets ( which will come again) always affect the market. Nearly everyone is hit in terms of quiet severe revaluations. The rule is only buy in Spain if you are going to use the place in someway. If you think you can just let it sit and slowly let its value grow as you can in UK you are in for a big surprise. The other rule is don't over reform your place- I know it ups value in UK but in Spain it just amounts to burning money unless it really makes you feel better. I know someone who reformed their flat in my building a few years ago and admittedly it looked lovely and modern but the cost could never be recouped because most people ( Spanish) simply look at the standard value of the flats in the building and will never pay 20.000 more for the same size flat as the rest. That is just how it goes here.
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Old Mar 18th 2024, 7:08 am
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by mikelincs
Such a change to when I moved to Spain pre Brexit, just bought a house, found a removal firm who picked up our furniture etc, locked UK house up, taxi to hotel for overnight stay, train to airport next day, arrived in Spain, accommodation booked by estate agent, stayed there till delayed arrival of stuff,, extra accommodation paid by removal; firm. Trip to buy white goods etc arranged by agents. No hassles no visas, signed on padron first morning, had made Spanish wills and all formalities done within 5 days, bank accounts had been organised, and opened, by agents pension transfers done even before arrival. Agents even organised hearing tests for me, I knew I needed hearing aids form UK test, but providing them in the UK would have taken a couple of months, and they did tell me They couldn't be taken out of the country!!! Spanish ones took a week, OK I had to pay but still. Landline phone installed, mobile bought, UK TV sorted, all of this was within a week of arrival most courtesy of Estate agency, efficiency that just wouldn't happen in the UK.
Did our own removal from France but otherwise not wholly dissimilar to our experience in 2018, a friend who'd moved a couple of years earlier put us onto the estate agent.

Happy days!
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Old Mar 18th 2024, 8:49 am
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by 1sexsmith
​​​​​​Many people were stung by the crisis after 2007 and it I always think it is warning about the future. Spain is over supplied with property so financial upsets ( which will come again) always affect the market. Nearly everyone is hit in terms of quiet severe revaluations. The rule is only buy in Spain if you are going to use the place in someway. If you think you can just let it sit and slowly let its value grow as you can in UK you are in for a big surprise. The other rule is don't over reform your place- I know it ups value in UK but in Spain it just amounts to burning money unless it really makes you feel better. I know someone who reformed their flat in my building a few years ago and admittedly it looked lovely and modern but the cost could never be recouped because most people ( Spanish) simply look at the standard value of the flats in the building and will never pay 20.000 more for the same size flat as the rest. That is just how it goes here.
Yes but no one wants to buy a place that is falling down either. There are houses in my daughter's village that have been empty for 5 or more yrs and they are falling to rack and ruin because no one wants them. As you say if you want somewhere just to holiday then no don't spend loads of money but bargains can be picked up if you want a decent sized place as your permanent home and are prepared to make it into your "forever home". Also people are always willing to pay for refurbished properties if they don't want the work and just want the right sized place in the right condition in the right place. As someone once told me recently, a house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. You can of course "over refurbish" it which means adding extras just for the sake of it and it won't add any value to the property. The estate agent told me here in the UK that if I want to sell my bungalow, don't bother upgrading an already modern kitchen just to give it the latest look because it doesn't add value, but do add d/g windows and central heating, the basics and also things here like landscaping your garden are said to add value to a property as does a refurbished bathroom and kitchen if they are really old and unattractive. I have to say that we have bought 5 houses over the years and we both made our mind up about the property within the first 30 seconds of stepping into a place, we have more or less decided about 80% before we even saw the whole property. You just get a feel for a place.
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Old Mar 19th 2024, 5:52 am
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by Algorfa1950
Yes but no one wants to buy a place that is falling down either. There are houses in my daughter's village that have been empty for 5 or more yrs and they are falling to rack and ruin because no one wants them. As you say if you want somewhere just to holiday then no don't spend loads of money but bargains can be picked up if you want a decent sized place as your permanent home and are prepared to make it into your "forever home". Also people are always willing to pay for refurbished properties if they don't want the work and just want the right sized place in the right condition in the right place. As someone once told me recently, a house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. You can of course "over refurbish" it which means adding extras just for the sake of it and it won't add any value to the property. The estate agent told me here in the UK that if I want to sell my bungalow, don't bother upgrading an already modern kitchen just to give it the latest look because it doesn't add value, but do add d/g windows and central heating, the basics and also things here like landscaping your garden are said to add value to a property as does a refurbished bathroom and kitchen if they are really old and unattractive. I have to say that we have bought 5 houses over the years and we both made our mind up about the property within the first 30 seconds of stepping into a place, we have more or less decided about 80% before we even saw the whole property. You just get a feel for a place.
Refurbishment is fine in UK as people place considerably more value on their homes than in Spain as they offer far better returns in UK. Spain's oversupply especially in the south where 2nd homes are makes them less likely to inflate. The reason you see many unused properties in villages in Spain usually relate to family issues. Properties are often owed by multiple family members and therefore disagreements occur which result in various moneys not being paid. Eventually the places are just left and abandoned. A neighbour in old building hasn't paid her community charge for at least 15 years as her late husband's family in Colombia have made a claim on it and she seems to just ignore everything. The community were discussing it recently as there is nothing they can do- court proceedings would be costly and as the lady clearly has no assets it is pointless. The flat is effectively valueless as it cannot be sold. So that is why you seen so many abandoned places- they are worthless as they can't be sold until owners ( majority)agree.

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Old Mar 19th 2024, 11:11 am
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Default Re: UK state pension in Spain

Originally Posted by 1sexsmith
Refurbishment is fine in UK as people place considerably more value on their homes than in Spain as they offer far better returns in UK. Spain's oversupply especially in the south where 2nd homes are makes them less likely to inflate. The reason you see many unused properties in villages in Spain usually relate to family issues. Properties are often owed by multiple family members and therefore disagreements occur which result in various moneys not being paid. Eventually the places are just left and abandoned. A neighbour in old building hasn't paid her community charge for at least 15 years as her late husband's family in Colombia have made a claim on it and she seems to just ignore everything. The community were discussing it recently as there is nothing they can do- court proceedings would be costly and as the lady clearly has no assets it is pointless. The flat is effectively valueless as it cannot be sold. So that is why you seen so many abandoned places- they are worthless as they can't be sold until owners ( majority)agree.
That's how my daughter found her house in the village she lives. It wasn't on the market but someone who worked for an estate agency (through the agent's own cleaner who lives and cleans in the village) found out that a property owned by the 5 children was empty but they wouldn't put it on the market because of the cost of estate agency fees and solicitor fees, none of which any of them wanted to pay for but obviously it was costing them leaving it empty because they had to pay IBI fees, standing charges on elec. and so on and so the eldest daughter agreed reluctantly to sell it (presumably because her mother was still alive living with her and told her it was the most sensible thing to do), but because they didn't have an estate agent, my daughter managed to get her to knock it down from 100,000 to 80,000 which for a 6 bedroomed, 3 storey property with plenty of outside terraces on each floor was a bargain, it is mostly modern too with a fitted kitchen and modern bathroom downstairs but the upstairs one still needs to be connected with hot water !! All because the family were too mean to pay for an estate agent ! Obviously my daughter's solicitor had 5 children to deal with to get the sale agreement signed but all they wanted was the money so they were happy to do it ! Spanish families love to hold onto property but where is the sense to keep it empty costing you money ? There are quite a few abandoned properties in her village but I think the local Mayor is keen to see them brought back into use which makes sense for the local economy of the village. We are hoping to pick up another bargain when we move over there, hopefully.
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