My husband and I are sure we have found the best place in Europe to retire to – the Costa Blanca in Spain. This area is the healthiest place in the world, according to the World Health Organisation. The area abounds in salt lakes, producing a year-round, dry heat which is very beneficial to asthmatics and those with chest or breathing problems.
Tony and I both suffer from arthritis and we find the damp British winters increasingly uncomfortable. The Costa Blanca takes care of that, too. After only three days in the area, we were feeling more comfortable and moving more freely than we had in years. One lady we met who had lived there for five years told us she was able to come off all her medication within three months of moving to the area. As someone who needs to pop a dozen pills a day just to keep mobile, I’m really looking forward to that one!
Some newly retired people find that they miss the camaraderie of the work environment and can feel somewhat isolated. On the urbanisation to which we are moving, there is a thriving residents group with a vibrant social programme. And, according to the Costa Blanca News, there are clubs and courses for everything from bridge to belly dancing! There’s a swimming pool near our apartment, so it should be easy to get plenty of exercise. I love to swim, but on a cold, damp English afternoon, it takes a lot of motivation to get out and exercise. I’d rather put another log on the fire!
Another thing that is becoming more and more worrying for retirees is the cost of living. On the Costa Blanca, everything is much cheaper, so your pensions and investments will stretch further. In England,fuel is around the £1 a litre mark. In Spain, it’s 80 cents a litre – a saving of about 20%.
Water charges in England, particularly in the South West where we live, are hitting the stratosphere. It can cost between £400 and £850 a year for water and sewage. The Costa Blanca has only about 20 days of rain a year, and most of the water used has to be desalinated, so you’d expect to pay more, right? Wrong! Our water in Spain will cost us less than £20 a month.
Then there’s the feel good factor. When the sun’s shining, you smile more, eat less, swim more and lose weight. So your old age could be healthier than your working life. Be careful, though, of the cheap alcohol. That healthy bronze glow on your skin should come from the sun, not from liver failure!
All things said, for us, the Costa Blanca is the ideal European retirement place. Viva Espana!