I love living in Spain, not least because it’s given me a whole new career. I got so fed up with getting conflicting information from so called ‘experts’ who turned out to be well versed in finding which bars had happy hours running, but not much else. So I started researching stuff for myself and writing about it. I particularly like to refute sweeping generalisations such as ‘It’s cheaper to live in England, America, etc,’ and when I do, I back it up with facts and figures, and the posts are always well received. However, in the interests of balance, I should point out that not everything is better in Spain. Here are some of the things that are not so good about life on the Iberian peninsula.
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Autumn in Spain is a great time of year. The nights may be getting shorter, but the days are still warm, even though it may be a little too cold to swim in the outdoor pool. Still, the summer crowds have gone, along with the sweltering heat of July and August. Of course, the departing crowds means less people to patronise the numerous bars and restaurants, so the owners have to come up with something to bring the crowds in, and one thing that is popular at this time of year is a tapas trail.
The latest news from the World Health Organisation suggests that processed meats are right up there with cigarettes and asbestos as known carcinogens. In other words, those great staples of the Spanish diet – jamon and chorizo – are potential killers. Just 50 grams of jamon a day significantly increases the risk of some forms of cancer, apparently.
22 November 2015 sees the 40th anniversary of the death of Francisco Franco, Spain’s Great Dictator. And of course, the usual rash of articles are appearing, with facts about Franco, and the assertions that Spain has not escaped his influence, even 40 years on from his death.
Dave Bull is no ordinary expat. The former pie salesman from Brighton owns CBFM Radio, and his breakfast show is enjoyed all over the world by people who share and appreciate his quirky humour and great choice of music. He also owns, edits and contributes to All Abroad Magazine, a free monthly publication for expats on the Costa Blanca. On top of that, he’s patron of the Samaritans in Spain and works hard to raise awareness of their work, as well as much needed funds.
Quite a few people are leaving Spain and returning to the UK. It’s not as many as the British media would have you believe, but it’s a significant number nonetheless. And the reason most people cite for leaving Spain is that they can’t afford to live here any more. Cue gasps of disbelief from my corner of Spain. Seriously – these people cannot be serious!
If you are a US citizen or green card holder, you are obliged to file a return to the IRS each year, wherever you live.
If you are a resident in Spain, meaning you spend more than 183 days a year there (according to the Spanish rules), you have to register and pay taxes in Spain, too.
The good news is that if you are resident and paying taxes in Spain, thanks to a double taxation agreement between Spain and the US, and various exemptions available to Americans living abroad, you are unlikely to have to pay tax to the IRS too. Nonetheless, you still have to file.
For those of you in search of greener grass, the transition overseas can at times prove testing. With this in mind, planning ahead is vital to ensure that your time spent abroad will be fun, rewarding and healthy! PSS International Removals are here to help with some top tips to abide by.
Now September is here, the mosquitoes are around again. Nothing is more irritating and unsightly than a weeping mosquito bite, and if you should have an allergic reaction, it can be very painful and distressing. Prevention is better than cure, so here are some tips to avoid mosquito bites this autumn.
Until 2008, I’d never driven outside the UK, but when we moved to Spain, I had to bite the bullet and learn to drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. I dreaded it at first, but now I prefer driving in Europe in general, and Spain in particular, to driving in the UK. The roads are better, and once you’re away from the cities and resorts, there’s much less traffic to worry about. Traffic rules and signs are basically the same all over Europe, but there are a few things you need to be aware of to ensure you drive safely in Spain.