Retiring to Valencia, Spain


retiring valencia spain
Claire Yenson
Content Specialist
Claire Yenson is a writer with a passion for development and audience engagement. Claire graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she studied marketing and management at… Read more

The city of Valencia, Spain was founded over 2000 years ago, making it one of the oldest cities in modern Europe. Today, it is the third largest city in Spain, with a population of just under 800,000. Known for its rich culture, impressive food scene, and beautiful scenery, Valencia has become second home to many retirees from all around the world.

Valencia's Popularity with Retirees is Growing

Valencia’s popularity with expatriates and retirees has grown significantly in recent years. With its low cost of living, ease of navigation, and gorgeous landscapes, we believe this trend to be no accident. Located on the eastern coast of Spain, Valencia offers all the vibrancy and appeal of a major metropolis, but at a much lower cost than Barcelona or Madrid. Valencians love a good celebration; they are known for raucous festivals that last for days. Arguably the most famous of these is Les Falles, a celebration in mid-March that touts intricate puppets, elaborate traditional dress, and bonfires. Fireworks are released several times a year. Museums are another large draw; Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) is a massive complex with buildings dedicated to earth science, oceanography, performing arts theatres, sporting arenas and gardens. There are plenty of churches, libraries, and gardens dating back hundreds of years to explore, as well. For the gastronome, Valencia is famous the world over for its food. In fact, a common saying around town is “Come for the paella, stay for a thousand other reasons.” Those thousand other reasons include Valencia’s breathtaking coastline - glorious beaches are readily accessible by foot, bicycle, or light rail. Additionally, the Spanish healthcare system is considered one of the best worldwide. Affordable public care is readily available and easy to apply for. Valencia itself boast seven world class hospitals, maintained at top standards.

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Budgeting for Valencia

Daily life in Valencia is relatively affordable compared to the major cities of the United States. If you plan to cook, fresh food is plentiful and inexpensive, with locally grown lettuce costing less than $1 US and a pound of potatoes less than 50 cents. Eating out is also affordable, as many restaurants offer a midday three course meal (including a beverage) for less than $12. A monthly pass for the city’s efficient public transportation system will cost around $50 US. The city is also walkable; many expats report there is no need to own a car in Valencia. The cost of utilities is generally no more than $150 monthly

In terms of accommodation, most Valencians opt for apartments; they are more plentiful and more easily attainable. A one bedroom apartment in City Centre will cost about $500 a month, while one outside the downtown area may run closer to $350. Houses can be found as well, though they are not as common a sight as apartments. To rent a modest house in Valencia will generally cost anywhere from $850-2000 per month. Be warned before attempting to lease an apartment: many landlords in Valencia do not speak English, so it will behoove you to prepare notes or brush up on your Spanish before taking tours.

If you wish to reside in Spain for more than 90 days, you must apply for a residence visa. The Spanish government does not have a separate visa for potential retirees. To qualify, you must present proof of means to support yourself without working. (The minimum income will vary, depending on which part of the country you wish to reside in.) Other requirements include a verification of good conduct from your local police department, a medical report, and, if you are a citizen of a non-European Union nation, proof of healthcare that is valid in Spain.

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Managing Finances in Valencia

At the time of this writing, the exchange rate of Euro to USD is nearly 1:1. (€1=$1.06) If you are considering retiring to Europe, this near-parity makes figuring out your finances very easy! You can simply budget your expenses as you would in the United States.

Are you considering retiring to Spain, or another European country? FXcompared makes this transition easy. We offer comprehensive country guides and a user-friendly conversion tool, so you can figure out which destination makes sense for your unique budget. Engage with one of our currency specialists today and get started on the next exciting chapter of your life!

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