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Good resources for would-be expats? (US citizen in ES or PT)

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Year of past OR future Camino
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. Hoping to go back in 2022.
Does anyone know of high quality books, websites or other resources about moving to or retiring in Spain or Portugal?

Many of the websites I’ve seen seem pretty questionable, at least amateurish if not downright scammy.

So far the books I’ve found aren’t much better. For example, I was just disappointed by this “Move to Portugal” title which, if their marketing is any indication, seems to have been thrown together in a hurry to [redacted by moderator].

So has anyone found a reliable, informative resource?

I’m also thinking of buying an hour of a Spanish or Portuguese immigration attorney’s time, if someone has a referral.

Thanks.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
Good luck with that. Wish I could help, but I haven't had much success with that....

My occasional fantasy? I just do it! Retire, liquidate my assets (such as they are), fly to Barajas, bus to the Camino and then somehow disappear. Become an illegal migrant! ;) ... I used to think that someone dodging the authorities could go a long time on the Camino before being discovered. Not sure about that now....
 
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kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Does anyone know of high quality books, websites or other resources about moving to or retiring in Spain or Portugal?

Many of the websites I’ve seen seem pretty questionable, at least amateurish if not downright scammy.

So far the books I’ve found aren’t much better. For example, I was just disappointed by this “Move to Portugal” title which, if their marketing is any indication, seems to have been thrown together in a hurry to exploit USAmericans fears about the upcoming election.

So has anyone found a reliable, informative resource?

I’m also thinking of buying an hour of a Spanish or Portuguese immigration attorney’s time, if someone has a referral.

Thanks.
I too am researching this possibility by utilizing Spain's Non-Lucrative Visa.
Most of the websites I've found are either blogs (info clouded by the personal experience of the writer..their prerogative of course) or are commercial sites providing basic info designed to make you feel it's an almost impossible path to navigate so you will need their professional services.
So far I haven't tried books as the info can be out of date as soon as they're published.

My plan is to do a 'Reccy Trip'..hopefully next year (depending on you-know-what)...to choose an area (on paper, I know where I'm leaning) & will suss everything out. I will also investigate Relocation Specialists in my chosen locale as an option if it really is as difficult as portrayed.

It is a hugely daunting & challenging prospect, especially as I will be tackling it solo but...what price a dream? As an Aussie without access to other visa types, I'd been searching for more than a decade for somewhere (other than NZ) I could move to for the experience of living overseas. To finally discover Spain is the country which will allow me to live my dream feels serendipitous indeed.
I'd be really interested to hear how you get on..especially as my plans are some years off & yours may be sooner.
Best wishes!
👣 🌏
 
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Forestgirl

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 Frances
2017 Portuguese, Muxia y Fisterra,
Ingles, Primativo
2018 Frances
2019 Norte
Does anyone know of high quality books, websites or other resources about moving to or retiring in Spain or Portugal?

Many of the websites I’ve seen seem pretty questionable, at least amateurish if not downright scammy.

So far the books I’ve found aren’t much better. For example, I was just disappointed by this “Move to Portugal” title which, if their marketing is any indication, seems to have been thrown together in a hurry to exploit USAmericans' fears about the upcoming election.

So has anyone found a reliable, informative resource?

I’m also thinking of buying an hour of a Spanish or Portuguese immigration attorney’s time, if someone has a referral.

Thanks.

I have been trying to move to Spain for the past five years. I've read everything I could read on it. I searched everywhere, the library, online, at the Consulate, at the Civil Guardia, just trying to learn everything I could and praying for loop holes or a path of least resistance. I can honestly say that it's not going to be easy unless you're wealthy. I have heard the saying "Your chances of winning the lottery are better than your chances of obtaining a work visa." and that's pretty much true. After six years and a ton of money, I had the great fortune of securing a work contract and a place to stay during my trip last spring. I won the lottery. I could hardly believe it. All I needed was my health files to enroll in social security in Spain and sell my car. I have already liquidated everything I owned so I wouldn't have much to finalize other than selling my car. I prior to returned to the States which is where I must apply for the work visa. That was February 15, 2020. As we know that was very unfortunate timing, the pandemic gripped the world and my dream turned to dust. However, this isn't about me this is about you. As someone else suggested and I agree, the easiest route to retiring in Spain would be the Golden Visa or the Non-Lucrative visa. These visas still require you filing from the country from which you live and not while physically in Spain or Portugal. I have no experience with lawyers as I have not the funds, but what I can tell you from what I've read, Portugal is an easier country to pursue your dream. I recommend a lawyer just to simplify matters for you, as its not an easy nor fun process. There are many available lawyers on line that describe their services and often offer a free consultation. As with all my major purchases or decisions I look to the reviews by current or former clients. I think this speaks to the integrity of the firm and can illustrate valuable information from others experiences. If you aren't well off financially, like me, be prepared to spend a lot of time learning the system and expect frustration and disappointment. I'm sorry, but it's true. But, I don't believe your endeavor is without hope. If you're willing to do the work and are resilient there's hope for you. I don't know of any great books with current all encompassing information about this process. I did read a few but it was difficult finding current information and what I found wasn't very in depth, but every little Biot of knowledge is power. You'll probably be best served by just reading all that you can from any and every source you can find and eventually you'll get an idea of what to expect, the legal process, determine the type of visa best suited to your situation, and just learning the ropes to the never ending bureaucracy you're about to face. Maybe you know someone who has been through the process successfully. That would be a great fount of informatio. A first hand account of what works and what doesn't and how to go about the process will be incredibly valuable. The Ministry website is useful as well as the and the local Spanish Consulate in your jurisdiction. Every Consulate sets their own rules, but for the most part the requirements are the same. You may want to make an appointment as soon as you're ready to begin the process because it's typical to expect anywhere from six months to a year for appointments as is the case for my consulate in San Francisco. But the San Francisco Consulate office isn't accepting appointments and there are no walk in appointments nor are any available in the Bookit scheduler app. This is due to the health concerns surrounding the pandemic. This is where Consulates vary. The Chicago and Los Angeles Spanish Consulate have outstanding communication on their web sites. I did discover that the San
Francisco Consulate is accepting student visas via the mail which is fantastic. This normally must be presented in person and completed properly by appointment only.
I hope Im not making this more complicated than is necessary. This is just my experience. Other people may have stories that provide an easier transition. I wish that for you, I truly do. I really really want it live in Spain and have had to survive the years of disappointment and rejection. It's a hemorrhage of cash flowing out of my pockets and into thin air. It's an endless list of certified documents, notarized this and that, authentications and apostilled FBI back ground checks and certified translations and all must not be dated older than 90 days at the time of your visa appointment. Its like juggling fragile pieces of your heart. When hope fades and begging won't work, I hope you just hang in there. Maybe one day you'll sit back in your chair firmly planted on the beloved Spanish soil and cry from joy overwhelming joy. Then you'll know it was all worth it. It was truly all worth it. I felt a connection to Spain from day one. I'd never been to Spain yet it felt like I was returning home after being gone such a very long time. I will never surrender my dream. I have no choice. I will never give up and I hope you too will realize your dream. There's nothing better than the feeling of coming home....and Lord I've been gone such a long long time.

Best wishes and good luck.
Jennifer
 
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Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
My husband @jungleboy is Australian, and I am American. We moved to Portugal in 2017, and it was actually much easier than I thought it would be. After researching options in Spain, Italy and other European countries, we determined that Portugal would be the easiest.

We are on entrepreneur visas, so we cannot take jobs as employees in a company, but we can do our own freelance work online and offline. We just have to show that we have enough money in the bank to support ourselves each time we renew our residency permits.

From what I understand, SEF (the Portuguese immigration authority) is severely backlogged due to the pandemic. I've heard the earliest appointment slot available is in 2022.

But a lawyer would be able to tell you more about the current situation. Our immigration lawyer Ana has been very helpful. I would definitely recommend hiring a lawyer, it's been well worth the money. I can send you her contact details if you like.
 

nathanael

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
My husband @jungleboy is Australian, and I am American. We moved to Portugal in 2017, and it was actually much easier than I thought it would be. After researching options in Spain, Italy and other European countries, we determined that Portugal would be the easiest.

We are on entrepreneur visas, so we cannot take jobs as employees in a company, but we can do our own freelance work online and offline. We just have to show that we have enough money in the bank to support ourselves each time we renew our residency permits.

From what I understand, SEF (the Portuguese immigration authority) is severely backlogged due to the pandemic. I've heard the earliest appointment slot available is in 2022.

But a lawyer would be able to tell you more about the current situation. Our immigration lawyer Ana has been very helpful. I would definitely recommend hiring a lawyer, it's been well worth the money. I can send you her contact details if you like.
Blessings on your endeavor
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
As we know that was very unfortunate timing, the pandemic gripped the world and my dream turned to dust.
:(:(:( That must have been heartbreaking, Jennifer.
But at least you can use your experience to help - your post has a lot of information that will potentially be useful for others.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
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TMcA

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
I was told Portugal is welcoming immigrants...what I seem to recall is that they need to come with funds. A sticking point for me would be healthcare - how to manage if I didn't qualify for, say, the Portuguese system.

I do know two American citizens who lived in Spain in homes they purchased and without long-term visas and despite the Schengen 180 day rule. One was "caught" leaving the E.U. from a Swiss airport and warned about overstaying in the future. This was accurate 3 years ago. One of the individuals has since sold her Marbella property and retired to the U.S.

As someone who has lived overseas for 1-2 years in a number of places, I would recommend a trial run in whatever destination you might be considering. That would be 180 days if the full Schengen allowance is used. If you are not fluent in Spanish or Portuguese, your time would be well served to study the language of the country where you wish to emigrate. Imho, a month on the Camino is not going to unfold in the same way as a month spent in Porto or Burgos, the exception being life in an expat community which could be found in Marbella and certainly elsewhere along the southern coasts of Spain and Portugal.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
It must be so difficult coming from the US or Australia. We moved to France nearly 16 years ago from the UK, which was, of course still part of the EU. Because of that we have been gradually making our way, trying to understand all the French bureaucracy, which is confusing even for the French! We now have our residence cards and will be applying for nationality. I hope that you find your dream place, as we did. Good luck.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2018)
Primitivo (2019)
Invierno (2019)
Del Baztan (2020)
Does anyone know of high quality books, websites or other resources about moving to or retiring in Spain or Portugal?

Many of the websites I’ve seen seem pretty questionable, at least amateurish if not downright scammy.

So far the books I’ve found aren’t much better. For example, I was just disappointed by this “Move to Portugal” title which, if their marketing is any indication, seems to have been thrown together in a hurry.

So has anyone found a reliable, informative resource?

I’m also thinking of buying an hour of a Spanish or Portuguese immigration attorney’s time, if someone has a referral.

Thanks.
I am moving to Spain just as soon as they will let me in! This has been about a 2 year process with much in-depth research. The very best information I have found is online and through the Spanish immigration websites or through Embassy websites. You can find “kits” for moving there, and step-by-step instruction through valid websites which offer immigration forms such as disclosures, pet immigration and vaccination records, A list of ports to have your belongings shipped through, etc. I have found a couple of step-by-step guides for obtaining a visa in the cleanest and most expedient way also, but most seem bogus. If you can’t find these yourself, let me know, and I will look up the exact sites for you.

Probably my very best resource has been my lawyer in Oviedo that I have “on retainer.” They specialize in assisting ex-pats in obtaining NIEs and opening bank accounts (trust me, this is not an easy process). They are also standing in as POA for my financial needs until I get there in person, and are handling all the legalities and clearances for my home purchase. You won’t need to mess around with an hourly fee. They charge for a set “task” and the cost is extremely affordable, by US terms. I highly recommend them, if you are interested in moving to Asturias, or just want to obtain your NIE. I will warn you, though, that in order to get it, you will need a bank account established first, so you will most likely want an attorney (abogado) in the province you will be moving to. If Asturias suits you, contact Florian García, International Law, Oviedo.

My very best to you in your search! While this is often a stressful and nerve-wracking adventure for me, I have found wonderful friends and resources along the journey. Some things are remarkably easy, and others much more difficult and time-consuming than you would imagine. Just take it one step at a time, and you will get there too! My heart is singing more joyfully each day that we get closer to a re-opening and the reality of my being in its happy place. Hope this helps!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2018)
Primitivo (2019)
Invierno (2019)
Del Baztan (2020)
Oh, I should also clarify...I will be retiring in Spain, and not seeking employment. Yes, you must show an independent source of financial income to be allowed to live in Spain, as well as health insurance, unless you are applying for a work visa. I understand this is an almost impossible task to complete, but am fortunate in not having to. No, I’m not wealthy...just ready to retire and slow down and live where my heart is happiest. In the northern areas, especially, the jobs are scarce, and they need those to be filled by citizens, naturally. You are allowed to work online though. I plan on volunteering my time in a professional capacity whenever I’m not on Camino. 😁
 
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Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Speaking of health insurance, of interest to US citizens and residents is that Medicare and the Veterans Administration will not pay for health expenses incurred outside the US except for certain conditions. It is best to just say you will not get coverage. If you are getting your coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan (also called Part C or Medicare private health plan) your plan might pay. Each plan is different so shop around.

For those not familiar with Medicare a Medicare Advantage Plan is where you take a health plan approved by Medicare instead of directly from the government. Medicare redirects your monthly contributions to Medicare to your plan. You may have to pay more to the plan depending on the company and health coverage you choose. Most often the monthly payment to Medicare is automatically subtracted from your monthly Social Security benefit.
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Americans residing abroad have incredible tax problems. Not only do you have to pay taxes to your host country but you may have to pay US taxes as well. You may not have to pay much or anything to the US but the paperwork is supposed to be horrid. Your bank in the host country gets involved too and so many will not accept American customers. Some links to give you an introduction to the problem:



 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Americans residing abroad have incredible tax problems. Not only do you have to pay taxes to your host country but you may have to pay US taxes as well. You may not have to pay much or anything to the US but the paperwork is supposed to be horrid. Your bank in the host country gets involved too and so many will not accept American customers. Some links to give you an introduction to the problem:



This is also the case for Australian citizens. I will be taxed by both countries despite the existence of a dual taxation treaty. Under current rates, I'd be taxed 32 cents in every dollar by the Aust Govt & then another approx 35 cents (€0.21 cents) by Spain...leaving a whopping 33 cents from every dollar of income from Aus (under the Non-Lucrative Visa, you are not allowed to earn in any income from Spain..hence the name!). I know you can get a taxation lawyer to help navigate the tax treaty but their fee would have to be weighed against potential tax savings. I haven't looked into the cost & I'm not wealthy either so at this early planning stage, I'll probably just bite the bullet as I'm initially only intending to live in Spain for a few years.
Yep..the whole thing is a bureaucratic nightmare but obviously not impossible because others have gone before us.
I will not be deterred & will look at the entire process as a massive learning curve & part (unfortunately...) of the experience of living overseas.
👣 🌏
 
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Michelle B

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spring 2020
Americans residing abroad have incredible tax problems. Not only do you have to pay taxes to your host country but you may have to pay US taxes as well. You may not have to pay much or anything to the US but the paperwork is supposed to be horrid. Your bank in the host country gets involved too and so many will not accept American customers. Some links to give you an introduction to the problem:



I am an American who is a resident of South Africa and the paperwork is not that daunting. You do need to pay local taxes but you are only taxed in the US over an indexed amount. The tax form for the US is no more cumbersome than the other tax forms. If you are a retiree like I am there is only the cost of filing as I do not have enough income to trigger US tax.
 
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kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Probably my very best resource has been my lawyer in Oviedo that I have “on retainer.” They specialize in assisting ex-pats in obtaining NIEs and opening bank accounts (trust me, this is not an easy process). They are also standing in as POA for my financial needs until I get there in person, and are handling all the legalities and clearances for my home purchase.
If you don't mind sharing @CaminoforLife (or perhaps PM me?), did you do a 'trial run' as a resident in your chosen locality by renting for a period first? Or did you have the certainty to dive straight into purchasing your home? My plan is to rent on arrival & search for a place to buy once actually on the ground.
I for one, would be really interested to know how you tackled this aspect.
Many thanks & best wishes...your new life is so close to fruition! 🤗
👣 🌏
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
This is also the case for Australian citizens.

I am an Australian living overseas and I don’t file or pay tax in Australia as I’m a non-citizen for tax purposes. I guess the difference in your case is that you would still be earning income from Australia?
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
I am an Australian living overseas and I don’t file or pay tax in Australia as I’m a non-citizen for tax purposes. I guess the difference in your case is that you would still be earning income from Australia?
Yes...correct! I'm initially only planning to live in Spain for a few years so am not severing ties with Australia. If I eventually make a permanent move to Spain, then of course I'll structure everything differently.
I now have a crystal-clear understanding of that first box on the ATO tax return that asks 'Are you an Australian resident for taxation purposes?'...a question I'd previously not paid much heed to! 😆
👣 🌏
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Does anyone know of high quality books, websites or other resources about moving to or retiring in Spain or Portugal?

Many of the websites I’ve seen seem pretty questionable, at least amateurish if not downright scammy.

So far the books I’ve found aren’t much better. For example, I was just disappointed by this “Move to Portugal” title which, if their marketing is any indication, seems to have been thrown together in a hurry.

So has anyone found a reliable, informative resource?

I’m also thinking of buying an hour of a Spanish or Portuguese immigration attorney’s time, if someone has a referral.

Thanks.
Look on youtube for 'A Place In The Sun'. It is a british tv show about finding homes in Spain. Prices range from £50,000 to ridiculous. They also have a web page that you can google. I watch and dream on a regular basis. They do Spain, Portugal, France, Crete and Florida. But mostly Spain. If you are looking for somewhere on a camino then not much going. Quite a few around Alicante and there is a camino that starts there but practically nothing on a camino. Sorry I cant give any comment on the legalities of it all. As an Irish citizen, there fore European citizen, freedom of travel makes it so much easier for me so have not delved into that side of it. However, since it does not appeal to my wife, it shall remain a dream lol
 
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lindam

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Does anyone know of high quality books, websites or other resources about moving to or retiring in Spain or Portugal?

Many of the websites I’ve seen seem pretty questionable, at least amateurish if not downright scammy.

So far the books I’ve found aren’t much better. For example, I was just disappointed by this “Move to Portugal” title which, if their marketing is any indication, seems to have been thrown together in a hurry.

So has anyone found a reliable, informative resource?

I’m also thinking of buying an hour of a Spanish or Portuguese immigration attorney’s time, if someone has a referral.

Thanks.
I am a Canadian who retired in Barcelona just over six years ago. Trying to find information about the process and requirements when I was preparing for the move (with my husband) was difficult. At that time I relied heavily on blogs written by non-EU citizens for insights and helpful information as the entry requirements are quite similar for people coming from those countries. Since moving here, I have discovered that there are excellent Face Book groups providing a wealth in information for expats or people preparing to move to Spain or Portugal (as well as to many other countries). If you would like the names of specific Face Book groups that I have joined or would suggest as useful sources of information, feel free to send me a PM. Just as an aside, we are currently contemplating relocating to Portugal.
 

lindam

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Sorry. The best I can do is to direct you to this training film for immigrants.
As an expat living in Barcelona, I can relate to the content of this video. A friend shared it with me before I made the move just over six years ago and I had no idea of how true it was at that time!
 

lindam

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
If you don't mind sharing @CaminoforLife (or perhaps PM me?), did you do a 'trial run' as a resident in your chosen locality by renting for a period first? Or did you have the certainty to dive straight into purchasing your home? My plan is to rent on arrival & search for a place to buy once actually on the ground.
I for one, would be really interested to know how you tackled this aspect.
Many thanks & best wishes...your new life is so close to fruition! 🤗
👣 🌏
If you would like to send me a PM, I would be happy to share with you our experience of renting and purchasing a place to live in Barcelona.
 

CAJohn

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
I am an dual American Irish citizen. I got my Irish passport when I was in my twenties to keep my options open. I do use it in Europe and dońt worry about 180 day Schengen limits. But ultimately, I like where I live here in California. I love to travel and can be happy going to various places without having to live there.

Now, if the whole state eventually burns down, I may have to reassess.....
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Look on youtube for 'A Place In The Sun'. It is a british tv show about finding homes in Spain. Prices range from £50,000 to ridiculous. They also have a web page that you can google. I watch and dream on a regular basis. They do Spain, Portugal, France, Crete and Florida. But mostly Spain. If you are looking for somewhere on a camino then not much going. Quite a few around Alicante and there is a camino that starts there but practically nothing on a camino. Sorry I cant give any comment on the legalities of it all. As an Irish citizen, there fore European citizen, freedom of travel makes it so much easier for me so have not delved into that side of it. However, since it does not appeal to my wife, it shall remain a dream lol
Thanks for the info about 'A Place in the Sun'...I've downloaded their buying guides even though I'm not from the UK.

There is also a US produced TV program called 'House Hunters International'. It's mainly American purchasers & the properties sought cover the globe but they have done a number of episodes in Spain, Portugal & other European countries. It's real estate orientated (buying & renting), no help with logistics, legalities or bureaucracy info but gives a good indication of property types/standards in different price brackets in the prospective's chosen area.
👣 🌏
 
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KayVee

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
My husband and I are currently in Spain on a non-lucrative visa (with American passports). It was a fairly straight-forward process once we spent a bit of time understanding the requirements. Pls PM me if you'd like any detail of our experience.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2019
CF 2020
Does anyone know of high quality books, websites or other resources about moving to or retiring in Spain or Portugal?

Many of the websites I’ve seen seem pretty questionable, at least amateurish if not downright scammy.

So far the books I’ve found aren’t much better. For example, I was just disappointed by this “Move to Portugal” title which, if their marketing is any indication, seems to have been thrown together in a hurry.

So has anyone found a reliable, informative resource?

I’m also thinking of buying an hour of a Spanish or Portuguese immigration attorney’s time, if someone has a referral.

Thanks.
We have similar dreams, especially if the election doesn’t go “our” way. International Living is a nice magazine resource
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

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Is it against the rules to post these resources openly?

Many of us are interested in the same info. It would save many duplicate PMs.
There is an alternative to using PMs if information doesn't really belong in a thread but otherwise is okay to be public (and not prohibited by forum rules); you can post to the OP's profile posts area.
 
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kazrobbo

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Is it against the rules to post these resources openly?

Many of us are interested in the same info. It would save many duplicate PMs.
I agree but I think most of us responding to the thread are aware this is a Camino forum & it's not a Camino-related topic (although the Camino is possibly what has led us to seek these avenues) so we're 'treading lightly'. Also some people feel more comfortable (or for privacy) sharing their experiences on a one-to-one basis than to all & sundry. I hadn't voiced my dream to anyone until this thread but now I have, it feels like a step towards making it a reality. It is clearly a captivating topic (my cogs are whirring... 🤔) so thanks to @Prentiss Riddle for raising it.
👣 🌏
 

Forestgirl

Member
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:(:(:( That must have been heartbreaking, Jennifer.
But at least you can use your experience to help - your post has a lot of information that will potentially be useful for others.

Yes but the days the angst is soon forgotten when I'm reunited with my true country. This separation anxiety subsides and the power of love makes my heart full heart and spirit renewed. I will be Spanish in every sense one day. Just wait and see. I'm a warrior.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Americans residing abroad have incredible tax problems. Not only do you have to pay taxes to your host country but you may have to pay US taxes as well. You may not have to pay much or anything to the US but the paperwork is supposed to be horrid. Your bank in the host country gets involved too and so many will not accept American customers. Some links to give you an introduction to the problem:



If you are intent on spending the rest of your life abroad, there is always the option of filing to renounce your
U.S. citizenship as thousands have done. But it's costly to do so. Then again, costly is relative.
 
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If you're interested in residency in Portugal, the best place to start is a Facebook group called Americans & FriendsPT. It covers every conceivable topic related to moving to Portugal.
 
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Prentiss—with your indulgence, I'll first suggest the obvious, which you have probably already considered, and that is contacting the Spanish Consulate in Houston. I'm surprised there isn't one in Austin, but at least it is in Texas. You will not be the first person to contact them for the most current information on permanent relocation to Spain.

The second thing I will mention is the Shengen 180 day rule, and in this context: I'm fortunate to have traveled to Spain 40 to 50 times for extended periods of time for business and adventure beginning in 1970. What I have discovered is that there are so many places where I could feel comfortable fitting in—Huelva, Carmona, Osuna, Córdoba, Marbella, Gandesa, Madrid, San Sebastián, Burgos—it's a long list. As others in this thread have suggested, take advantage of the 180 day window and explore to discover where you think you would feel most comfortable over the long haul: the "vibe" of the town, big city vs. small, climate, interior vs. coastal, other American expats or none, etc. Spain is wonderful overall, but exploring and renting before making the commitment to purchase might be considered prudent. Afterall, there's a reason why you chose to live in Austin vs. Asotin. . .

So, why am I not already living in, say, Madrid? We love where we live in nature on the Salish Sea on an island northwest of Seattle, and this is where we are settled. We do maintain deep friendships in Spain and are comfortable being in the land of the rabbits months at a time, yet staying under 180 days per year. We hope to return in the fall of 2021 assuming Dr. Fauci has declared there is a safe and effective vaccine (and that we will be allowed in). . .

Buena suerte from a fellow Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada :cool:
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
If you are intent on spending the rest of your life abroad, there is always the option of filing to renounce your
U.S. citizenship as thousands have done. But it's costly to do so. Then again, costly is relative.
I neglected to add the obvious to my post...if you renounce your U.S. citizenship, you do not file U.S. tax returns.
 

Old Bamboo

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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I neglected to add the obvious to my post...if you renounce your U.S. citizenship, you do not file U.S. tax returns.
I read that even if you renounce your US citizenship you're still required to file for 5 years.
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
If you are intent on spending the rest of your life abroad, there is always the option of filing to renounce your
U.S. citizenship as thousands have done. But it's costly to do so. Then again, costly is relative.
Yes, but this only becomes an option once you have obtained citizenship from another country. I doubt anyone would willingly become a stateless person. I left the US in 1999 and have been living abroad ever since, but it was not until I obtained residency in Portugal in 2017 that I finally started down a pathway towards citizenship. I still have two more years to go before I can apply for Portuguese citizenship, and as soon I get that Portuguese passport I will be heading to the US embassy to renounce.
 
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If you're interested in residency in Portugal, the best place to start is a Facebook group called Americans & FriendsPT. It covers every conceivable topic related to moving to Portugal.
I second this recommendation. We're in the process of moving to Portugal (visa appointment is 10/29!) and the information on this website has been invaluable! Not only the posts themselves, but files that cover a wide range of topics, with information updated frequently.
 

Bonita

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September ( 2015)
Yes, but this only becomes an option once you have obtained citizenship from another country. I doubt anyone would willingly become a stateless person. I left the US in 1999 and have been living abroad ever since, but it was not until I obtained residency in Portugal in 2017 that I finally started down a pathway towards citizenship. I still have two more years to go before I can apply for Portuguese citizenship, and as soon I get that Portuguese passport I will be heading to the US embassy to renounce.
When you renounce citizenship, don’t you also forfeit your social security, which is my main means of income.
 

natefaith

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Sorry. The best I can do is to direct you to this training film for immigrants.

This has been one of our favorite videos for years - it is SO true!! :) :) After having gone through mountains of paperwork both to be here and to open up something, it was such a relief to know that the Spanish also get it. :)

The woman in this video is also in a Spanish sitcom called "Alli Abajo" set in Andalucía.
 
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Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
When you renounce citizenship, don’t you also forfeit your social security, which is my main means of income.
I don't believe so, but since I've not paid much into SS in my lifetime, I doubt I'll get anything anyway, so I've never looked into it closely. The Facebook group "Renounce US Citizenship - Why and How" is a good place to find the answers to questions like this.
 
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kazrobbo

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When you renounce citizenship, don’t you also forfeit your social security, which is my main means of income.
For Australians, we must be established residents at the time of applying for eg, the aged pension. Once the pension has been granted, we have to maintain Aussie residency for two years then benefits become 'portable' allowing us to live permanently overseas & still receive the pension. This is the rule I feel may change before I get there (pension age for me is 67 & I'm only mid 50's...I'm unsure of the citizenship side, but I can't imagine surrendering it...that is a huge move indeed). If the portability aspect does alter, then I'll simply go back to the drawing board...again! 😄
Best wishes to all. Good luck in pursuing (& not giving up on) our dreams. 🤗
👣 🌏
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2017
@Wendy Werneth -

I am coat-tailing onto @Rick of Rick and Peg comments....

Actually, you need at least TWO lawyers....

1) The very first one is a TAX lawyer to look at your situation and recommend actions to take a year (or more!) in advance to keep the costs of expatriation as low as possible. Personal situations differ vastly, it may cost you a little or it may cost you a lot. The big variable is US-based assets but there are plenty more variables figuring into the calculation.


2) The next lawyer is the one that makes sure ALL the paperwork is in place to provide a clean transition from one citizenship to another with a suitable overlap within which you are a dual-citizen for a limited time.

The guys and gals who are really good at this type of thing easily garner $300+ USD/hr for the most basic of personal situations.

Personally, I like having two citizenships. It reflects my affection for both my birth country and that of my beloved paternal grandfather. (Personally, don't give a fig about the governments in either though....)

B
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
Good luck with that. Wish I could help, but I haven't had much success with that....

My occasional fantasy? I just do it! Retire, liquidate my assets (such as they are), fly to Barajas, bus to the Camino and then somehow disappear. Become an illegal migrant! ;) ... I used to think that someone dodging the authorities could go a long time on the Camino before being discovered. Not sure about that now....
90 days is the limit. They will be looking for you after that. The exception is a work Visa.
 
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If you don't mind sharing @CaminoforLife (or perhaps PM me?), did you do a 'trial run' as a resident in your chosen locality by renting for a period first? Or did you have the certainty to dive straight into purchasing your home? My plan is to rent on arrival & search for a place to buy once actually on the ground.
I for one, would be really interested to know how you tackled this aspect.
Many thanks & best wishes...your new life is so close to fruition! 🤗
👣 🌏
Sorry for the delay in this response. Busy days... To answer your question, no. I didn’t do a trial run first. I’ve spent a number of vacations and caminos trying to identify the region I’m most suited to. Then I did an entire trip just for house hunting. When I saw my home, I just knew it was where my soul needed to be. There was no question, no worries, etc. it is the home and location of my heart. I think that, for most people, renting first and moving around until you find the perfect fit is prudent. It was really my intent, but was happy to discover that there was no need.
I hope you also find the process fun and fulfilling. Don’t get me wrong. It is a process, and often not fun. But if you can take things one step at a time, and accept that everything takes 5 times longer to happen than you are expecting, you can find balance. It’s so important to not stress over the process. When you find the right home, you will feel it and know it. After that, everything will proceed as it will.
Again, if you are interested in Asturias, I highly recommend my lawyer in Oviedo as a resource. Feel free to PM me with any questions regarding details. My best to you. This is an exciting and daunting endeavor!
Thank you for the positive vibes! Much appreciated!
 

Kippax

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Português Central (Late Jan 2019)
For Australians, we must be established residents at the time of applying for eg, the aged pension. Once the pension has been granted, we have to maintain Aussie residency for two years then benefits become 'portable' allowing us to live permanently overseas & still receive the pension. This is the rule I feel may change before I get there (pension age for me is 67 & I'm only mid 50's...I'm unsure of the citizenship side, but I can't imagine surrendering it...that is a huge move indeed). If the portability aspect does alter, then I'll simply go back to the drawing board...again! 😄
Best wishes to all. Good luck in pursuing (& not giving up on) our dreams. 🤗
👣 🌏
Nice one, thanks for the info re. Age pension. Does maintaining Aussie residence mean staying in Australia or just having a house there ?I’m in the same boat as you, still 15 yrs before any age pension, assuming no changes. I went to Portugal and Spain last year to do a short Camino and have a look. And was planning another visit this year but as we are imprisoned in our own countr, it probably won’t be for at least 12 months. I think a trial run is a must, for at least three months.
 
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kazrobbo

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Nice one, thanks for the info re. Age pension. Does maintaining Aussie residence mean staying in Australia or just having a house there ?I’m in the same boat as you, still 15 yrs before any age pension, assuming no changes. I went to Portugal and Spain last year to do a short Camino and have a look. And was planning another visit this year but as we are imprisoned in our own countr, it probably won’t be for at least 12 months. I think a trial run is a must, for at least three months.
As it currently stands, we must be actually residing in & be verifiably permanent residents of Australia at the time of applying for the AP...ie be able to prove we've been in the country for a period of time prior to applying.

Apart from Dept of Immigration records, tax returns are also used to verify our status; the very 1st question on our tax return is 'Are you an Australian resident for taxation purposes?' The rules (& ramifications) are encyclopedic in volume so thorough research is key.

What I plan to do...& I hope the ATO doesn't read this! 😄... is;
in my late 50's go to Spain for a few years utilizing the Non Lucrative Visa. During that time I will suss everything out & decide if I want to make the move permanently.
Blue pill - itch scratched, return to Aus & continue on my merry way
Red pill - decide Spain is where I want to live, return to Aus in my early 60's, re-establish my permanent residency beyond doubt, apply for the AP at 67, restructure finances/sell up to minimize tax implications, 'serve' my 2 year portability requirement & then...go!
I would not even consider surrendering my Aussie citizenship so the door remains open for later on in life if needed.
The bureaucracy is complicated on both sides but slow & steady should get us over the line...just like walking a Camino. 🤗
👣🌏
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
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KK?
VdlP?
Sorry for the delay in this response. Busy days... To answer your question, no. I didn’t do a trial run first. I’ve spent a number of vacations and caminos trying to identify the region I’m most suited to. Then I did an entire trip just for house hunting. When I saw my home, I just knew it was where my soul needed to be. There was no question, no worries, etc. it is the home and location of my heart. I think that, for most people, renting first and moving around until you find the perfect fit is prudent. It was really my intent, but was happy to discover that there was no need.
I hope you also find the process fun and fulfilling. Don’t get me wrong. It is a process, and often not fun. But if you can take things one step at a time, and accept that everything takes 5 times longer to happen than you are expecting, you can find balance. It’s so important to not stress over the process. When you find the right home, you will feel it and know it. After that, everything will proceed as it will.
Again, if you are interested in Asturias, I highly recommend my lawyer in Oviedo as a resource. Feel free to PM me with any questions regarding details. My best to you. This is an exciting and daunting endeavor!
Thank you for the positive vibes! Much appreciated!
Thanks so much for sharing your experience @CaminoforLife & for the offer of info/advice via PM....I may take you up on that as things come to mind. 🤗
I think it's wonderful you went with your heart...I'd love to do that but my head tends to over-rule!
I'm planning an indepth 'reccy' trip (hopefully 2021... vaccine/situation depending..) to choose the 'where'. If/when I find it, I'm really tempted to purchase that same trip for several reasons; I'm concerned about being priced out over time, it will make the NLV move so much easier & I'll have a base for Schengen length trips in the meantime.

I'm thorough with my research & planning & would seek professional help if it all became too much. With all the horror stories out there, it's so nice to read of your positive approach, experience & ultimate outcome.
Hats off to you!
So...will my head or heart rule? 🤔 🤷‍♀️
Wishing you the very best...you're the embodiment of living the dream.
👣 🌏
 

Kippax

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Português Central (Late Jan 2019)
As it currently stands, we must be actually residing in & be verifiably permanent residents of Australia at the time of applying for the AP...ie be able to prove we've been in the country for a period of time prior to applying.

Apart from Dept of Immigration records, tax returns are also used to verify our status; the very 1st question on our tax return is 'Are you an Australian resident for taxation purposes?' The rules (& ramifications) are encyclopedic in volume so thorough research is key.

What I plan to do...& I hope the ATO doesn't read this! 😄... is;
in my late 50's go to Spain for a few years utilizing the Non Lucrative Visa. During that time I will suss everything out & decide if I want to make the move permanently.
Blue pill - itch scratched, return to Aus & continue on my merry way
Red pill - decide Spain is where I want to live, return to Aus in my early 60's, re-establish my permanent residency beyond doubt, apply for the AP at 67, restructure finances/sell up to minimize tax implications, 'serve' my 2 year portability requirement & then...go!
I would not even consider surrendering my Aussie citizenship so the door remains open for later on in life if needed.
The bureaucracy is complicated on both sides but slow & steady should get us over the line...just like walking a Camino. 🤗
👣🌏
Righto. That’s a massive step. I have only been once last year. Admittedly it was with my son who was poor company but I was quite surprised at how much I craved to speak English after a few weeks. Had it not been for the government response to Covid, I would have visited again this year with my wife and daughter, with a view to soaking up the “vibe” and perhaps heading south of Lisbon where maybe more expats live. Nothing like having a chat face to face to understand other people’s experiences. I did like the countryside around Barrels. It’s just a shame it’s such a long trip otherwise I could afford to buy a (basic) holiday house there ! I do wonder whether family ties are stronger than we think, especially if my kids have children.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Righto. That’s a massive step. I have only been once last year. Admittedly it was with my son who was poor company but I was quite surprised at how much I craved to speak English after a few weeks. Had it not been for the government response to Covid, I would have visited again this year with my wife and daughter, with a view to soaking up the “vibe” and perhaps heading south of Lisbon where maybe more expats live. Nothing like having a chat face to face to understand other people’s experiences. I did like the countryside around Barrels. It’s just a shame it’s such a long trip otherwise I could afford to buy a (basic) holiday house there ! I do wonder whether family ties are stronger than we think, especially if my kids have children.
Of course, that's only natural. I don't have the ties you mention. I'm actually at the other end of the spectrum; the reason I'm waiting is due to having elderly parents.
It's always good to explore & see what else is out there...it doesn't mean you have to do anything about it. For me the call to go & experience a different way of life is strong so...sempre avanti!
👣 🌏
 
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MariaSP

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Inglés (2019)
Does anyone know of high quality books, websites or other resources about moving to or retiring in Spain or Portugal?

Many of the websites I’ve seen seem pretty questionable, at least amateurish if not downright scammy.

So far the books I’ve found aren’t much better. For example, I was just disappointed by this “Move to Portugal” title which, if their marketing is any indication, seems to have been thrown together in a hurry to [redacted by moderator].

So has anyone found a reliable, informative resource?

I’m also thinking of buying an hour of a Spanish or Portuguese immigration attorney’s time, if someone has a referral.

Thanks.

Kelli and her husband Jeff are both American and they moved to Spain a couple of years ago, after her Camino Francés. In her blog https://vivaespanamovingtospain.com she documented the whole process. I think it can be very useful to anyone planning to do the same.
 
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hughb

Member
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Norte June 2013 plus Finisterre
Norrte 2015
Ingles 2016
Portuguese 2018 and 2019
Fatima routes
Does anyone know of high quality books, websites or other resources about moving to or retiring in Spain or Portugal?

Many of the websites I’ve seen seem pretty questionable, at least amateurish if not downright scammy.

So far the books I’ve found aren’t much better. For example, I was just disappointed by this “Move to Portugal” title which, if their marketing is any indication, seems to have been thrown together in a hurry to [redacted by moderator].

So has anyone found a reliable, informative resource?

I’m also thinking of buying an hour of a Spanish or Portuguese immigration attorney’s time, if someone has a referral.

Thanks.
I retired to Portugal 4 years ago. I am English with both American and Canadian family. If I can help just ask. I have never had a single regret for our decision. One of the benefits is I simply jump on a bus or train anytime I want to walk any of the Camino routes. Life in Portugal is amazing.

Let me know what information you need. You are right, especially on Facebook, many of the sights contain a lot of misinformation.
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Wikipedia's article on Spanish nationality law says:

Foreign nationals who acquire Spanish nationality must renounce their previous nationality, unless they are natural-born citizens of an Iberoamerican country, Andorra, the Philippines or Equatorial Guinea.​

Use Wikipedia and the web before speaking to a lawyer, not in leau of speaking to a lawyer.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
Does anyone know of high quality books, websites or other resources about moving to or retiring in Spain or Portugal?

When I first started my (successful) quest to live legally in Europe I started at this website. Here’s their Information on Portugal. It seems like their focus might be a little different, but in the past it was all about how to move abroad legally.


It’s virtually impossible to get a work or residency visa in Europe. It’s harder than in the United States, and we hear about that constantly.

I was able to eventually find out that I was eligible to get a passport from Italy, because of my ancestry. The first thing I would look into is to make sure that no one in your family is eligible for a passport from one of the countries of the European Union. From your picture it looks like you may have a spouse?


Absolutely the best source of information is people who have done it already. When you find a lawyer it needs to be through a referral. I know there are a lot of Facebook groups that focus on these kinds of things.

Different countries have different laws for different situations. I have dual citizenship and was not required to renounce any citizenship.

Good Luck!
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
Americans residing abroad have incredible tax problems. Not only do you have to pay taxes to

I was the resident of the Netherlands for three years, and I didn’t find the tax issues especially problematic. I just had to add a couple extra forms to the taxes that I was used to filing all my life. And I was self-employed, so my taxes were always complicated with the deductions and what not.

At that time if you made under $80,000 a year you didn’t have to pay any taxes to the US. If you made more than that you got a credit for the taxes you paid to your resident country. The bigger problem and pain was filing taxes in the Netherlands, where I didn’t understand the system.

Unless your income is very high, in which case you’re not looking at a camino forum for tax advice anyway, taxes and tax filing are not really an issue.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
....and as soon I get that Portuguese passport I will be heading to the US embassy to renounce.
None of my business, really, but I’m curious. Possibly I’m giving you unwelcome advice, but something compels me too. Apologies for any offense.

Does Portugal or the US require that you renounce? I don’t think so, but maybe you know different? Much better to have both! You might not be interested in having that US passport now, but you never know what another 20 years brings? Things can change a lot. Sometimes unexpectedly.

I’m at dual Italian and US citizen and I really like having that flexibility. You could never easily legally reside in the United States again. Even if you needed to take care of a sick family member, for instance. People have actually asked to marry me because of my two citizenships. (Yes I know that’s illegal). It’s a really valuable thing.

And the hassle of having to file a tax return in the US, when you’re a non-resident, is a pain, but hardly worth giving up that flexibility and possible future advantages. I did it for a few years and while I didn’t like it, I got through it. Probably easier now with software.
 
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SeaHorse

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Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
I'm from EU and also plan to retire to Spain. I haven't checked lately but a while ago if you are Spanish tax resident you have to pay property tax on any property you have anywhere in the whole world. I didn't check it too much as I plan to sell what I have in order to buy my castle in Spain. Still worth checking if you plan to have another home somewhere.
 

kazrobbo

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I'm from EU and also plan to retire to Spain. I haven't checked lately but a while ago if you are Spanish tax resident you have to pay property tax on any property you have anywhere in the whole world. I didn't check it too much as I plan to sell what I have in order to buy my castle in Spain. Still worth checking if you plan to have another home somewhere.
Yes, that is true...but it's not just property you'll be taxed on, it's all assets; everything you own, everywhere. I'm still trying to find out if superannuation (Aussie term for funds contributed towards retirement) is considered an asset for Spanish taxation purposes.
There's an old saying about 'the only two certainties in life'; there's no doubt when moving internationally, one of those certainties (taxes) becomes a double whammy!
Best wishes with your plans @SeaHorse ..I'd be interested to know how/if the process is different for you already being from the EU.
👣 🌏
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
None of my business, really, but I’m curious. Possibly I’m giving you unwelcome advice, but something compels me too. Apologies for any offense.

Does Portugal or the US require that you renounce? I don’t think so, but maybe you know different? Much better to have both! You might not be interested in having that US passport now, but you never know what another 20 years brings? Things can change a lot. Sometimes unexpectedly.

I’m at dual Italian and US citizen and I really like having that flexibility. You could never easily legally reside in the United States again. Even if you needed to take care of a sick family member, for instance. People have actually asked to marry me because of my two citizenships. (Yes I know that’s illegal). It’s a really valuable thing.

And the hassle of having to file a tax return in the US, when you’re a non-resident, is a pain, but hardly worth giving up that flexibility and possible future advantages. I did it for a few years and while I didn’t like it, I got through it. Probably easier now with software.
Nope, neither Portugal nor the US requires me to renounce. I will be doing it of my own free will. US taxes have been more than just a hassle for me. Granted, I'm typing this as I sit on hold (45 minutes and counting) waiting to talk to an IRS representative, which might be clouding my view somewhat. Nevertheless, now that I am self-employed, US taxes have become the single biggest source of stress in my life for the past few years.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
Nope, neither Portugal nor the US requires me to renounce. I will be doing it of my own free will. US taxes have been more than just a hassle for me. Granted, I'm typing this as I sit on hold (45 minutes and counting) waiting to talk to an IRS representative, which might be clouding my view somewhat. Nevertheless, now that I am self-employed, US taxes have become the single biggest source of stress in my life for the past few years.
I’m self-employed as well, and I’ve had issues with the IRS. And I was very angry with them because actually they had just made a mistake. And it took a lot of time, but I got it straightened out and I haven’t had any other issues, hopefully that will be your situation as well.

Edit: This post was edited by a moderator, because I expressed a political opinion. I understand why, and I’ll make sure I don’t do that again. But for my reply to make sense I’m going to add back some of the thoughts without the politics...

In terms of potentially renouncing citizenship, I would just relate the story of my mother, a German national who immigrated to the United States in the 1960s, naturalized, and recently looked into moving back to Germany. There was no way to do this, as she was no longer a German citizen. Especially because she was elderly at this point, they certainly didn’t want someone who may be a drain on their health resources. Just something to think about....

I did recently read that quite a few people are announcing their US citizenship. And apparently mostly due to tax issues. I guess it has become more difficult to deal with this than it was for me 15 years ago when I last lived overseas.


Anyway, I’m not vegan, but I eat a (mostly) plant-based diet, and found your website very informative. You seem like an intelligent person, and I’m sure you’ll make the best decision for yourself. Be well.
 
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Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
Yes, that is true...but it's not just property you'll be taxed on, it's all assets; everything you own, everywhere. I'm still trying to find out if superannuation (Aussie term for funds contributed towards retirement) is considered an asset for Spanish taxation purposes.
There's an old saying about 'the only two certainties in life'; there's no doubt when moving internationally, one of those certainties (taxes) becomes a double whammy!
Best wishes with your plans @SeaHorse ..I'd be interested to know how/if the process is different for you already being from the EU.
👣 🌏
You don’t get tax credits or deductions for taxes you’ve paid elsewhere? For instance if you pay property taxes in Australia or elsewhere in the European Union?
 
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kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
You don’t get tax credits or deductions for taxes you’ve paid elsewhere? For instance if you pay property taxes in Australia or elsewhere in the European Union?
I'm still researching the taxation implications on both the Australian & Spanish side. As I mentioned in an earlier post (reply #18) on this thread, there is a dual taxation treaty between the two nations but navigating it & applying it is quite another matter! If a lawyer was required to untangle it all, that cost would need to factored in against potential tax savings.
I'm gathering from other replies taxation issues can be stressful & quite a headache. As with anything in the hands of bureaucrats, the goal posts keep moving which doesn't help. Although not easy, it must be worth it because people are still opting to live internationally, or like me, planning to despite the hurdles. 😊
👣🌏
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I retired to Portugal 4 years ago. I am English with both American and Canadian family. If I can help just ask. I have never had a single regret for our decision. One of the benefits is I simply jump on a bus or train anytime I want to walk any of the Camino routes. Life in Portugal is amazing.

Let me know what information you need. You are right, especially on Facebook, many of the sights contain a lot of misinformation.

I am looking at retiring to Portugal or Spain in 3 years (half-time in Iberia, half-time at home in Canada). I hold dual citizenship: Canadian and Irish. My new Irish passport arrives in a few days, actually.

Do you know if it is difficult to maintain property in both Canada and in Spain or Portugal? I have a disabled dependent whose housing I will always hold in my name (and in trust after I die), and that property is in Canada. I will have 80% Canadian salary for the first 3 years of my graduated retirement, and after that, a pension -- both from Canada. I will have to pay tax to the Canadian government for those earnings.

I'd go home to Ireland, but real estate there is unachievable, and I am hoping to buy something modest in a not-wildly populated region still near enough to medical care to be able to get it when needed.

What should I be considering that ought to be obvious?
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
Yes, that is true...but it's not just property you'll be taxed on, it's all assets; everything you own, everywhere. I'm still trying to find out if superannuation (Aussie term for funds contributed towards retirement) is considered an asset for Spanish taxation purposes.
There's an old saying about 'the only two certainties in life'; there's no doubt when moving internationally, one of those certainties (taxes) becomes a double whammy!
Best wishes with your plans @SeaHorse ..I'd be interested to know how/if the process is different for you already being from the EU.
👣 🌏
Thanks for the good wishes! For me it's easy. We don't know how it will be for my husband because of Brexit. We'll see. So far we are going to retire, sell our home, but keep a point of reference (i.e. at very least an address for official purposes but possibly also a room) in our kid's place. We don't say hop before we jump and don't immediately switch over to becoming all Spanish. Tax at the beginning will go to the country we already know and that is very good towards us. We buy a RV, drive over to Spain, find the new house, buy it. With RV we can hang on a few months and check different areas in Spain. Looking at the area by Vizcaya bay approximately between Santander and Gijon, or Valencia - Alicante, or Cadiz province. We both have private health insurance that works in all EU (and the rest of the world too but with different conditions). We keep the RV to wander around Europe in summers when it's nice there and return in winter when it's nice in Spain. Meaning we stay in Spain under the time threshold when it would be required to become tax residents there. When we get older and more sedentary we revise the plan. So yes, that's it in short outline.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Thanks for the good wishes! For me it's easy. We don't know how it will be for my husband because of Brexit. We'll see. So far we are going to retire, sell our home, but keep a point of reference (i.e. at very least an address for official purposes but possibly also a room) in our kid's place. We don't say hop before we jump and don't immediately switch over to becoming all Spanish. Tax at the beginning will go to the country we already know and that is very good towards us. We buy a RV, drive over to Spain, find the new house, buy it. With RV we can hang on a few months and check different areas in Spain. Looking at the area by Vizcaya bay approximately between Santander and Gijon, or Valencia - Alicante, or Cadiz province. We both have private health insurance that works in all EU (and the rest of the world too but with different conditions). We keep the RV to wander around Europe in summers when it's nice there and return in winter when it's nice in Spain. Meaning we stay in Spain under the time threshold when it would be required to become tax residents there. When we get older and more sedentary we revise the plan. So yes, that's it in short outline.
Sounds like you have a solid plan in place & are well on your way @SeaHorse.
As always, the concept of driving to another country is amazing to me...it sure would take a mighty set of floaties! 😄
Good luck as you set off towards a new life.
👣 🌏
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
Sounds like you have a solid plan in place & are well on your way @SeaHorse.
As always, the concept of driving to another country is amazing to me...it sure would take a mighty set of floaties! 😄
Good luck as you set off towards a new life.
👣 🌏
When you move over you also will be able to go food shopping to Portugal or France. A day trip or weekend by plane literally anywhere in Europe, most flights are about 2-3 h long. I go food shopping over border regularly and easy can be in 3 countries in 1 day. 4 if specially trying. 5 with some effort but not trying to set any records. Countries are small here. I'm still amazed that my American friend kept his horse 300 km away from home and called it a "commute". 300 km depending on direction can be quite many countries. Spain and France are big, each stretching about 1000 km but once you are over those you can start skipping from one country to next within hours. Although I prefer slow, there's also very much to see, every town and village have some interesting place to visit, be it a church, gothic cathedral, crafts or farm offering tours, geological formations, castles, palaces, gardens, zoos, etc. That's why we want the RV and not travel by plane. There's so much in between point A and B.
 
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kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
When you move over you also will be able to go food shopping to Portugal or France. A day trip or weekend by plane literally anywhere in Europe, most flights are about 2-3 h long. I go food shopping over border regularly and easy can be in 3 countries in 1 day. 4 if specially trying. 5 with some effort but not trying to set any records. Countries are small here. I'm still amazed that my American friend kept his horse 300 km away from home and called it a "commute". 300 km depending on direction can be quite many countries. Spain and France are big, each stretching about 1000 km but once you are over those you can start skipping from one country to next within hours. Although I prefer slow, there's also very much to see, every town and village have some interesting place to visit, be it a church, gothic cathedral, crafts or farm offering tours, geological formations, castles, palaces, gardens, zoos, etc. That's why we want the RV and not travel by plane. There's so much in between point A and B.
I live on an island (Tasmania) off an island (mainland Australia) so being able to straddle an imaginary line & have each foot in a different country, culture, language, etc is always astounding. I absolutely can't wait to experience it all. Living it on a day-to-day basis as a local rather than in 'trip-mode' is hugely appealing...as is accessibility; no expensive, 30 hour long haul flights...bliss! 🤗
Thanks @SeaHorse, for your enthusiasm & for dangling the carrot even more! Maybe I'll move my plans forward 🤔 ... 😄
👣 🌏
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
I live on an island (Tasmania) off an island (mainland Australia) so being able to straddle an imaginary line & have each foot in a different country, culture, language, etc is always astounding. I absolutely can't wait to experience it all. Living it on a day-to-day basis as a local rather than in 'trip-mode' is hugely appealing...as is accessibility; no expensive, 30 hour long haul flights...bliss! 🤗
Thanks @SeaHorse, for your enthusiasm & for dangling the carrot even more! Maybe I'll move my plans forward 🤔 ... 😄
👣 🌏
Oh, Tasmania! That's FAR! Interestingly the only "person" from Tasmania that I know is a dog. A puppy was transported all the way to Europe.
If you want to really enjoy standing each foot in a different country and jumping the border every now and then 100x a day check out Baarle Nassau and Baarle Hertog. The line is very real too. Although culture and language there is not much different between the two.
 

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