Planning for old age in Spain

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Paula
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Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Paula » Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:44 pm

All these various topics have got me wondering about how people do plan for old age and the possibility of ill health etc etc in Spain. I have quite a lot of involvement with a group of older people late 70's to mid 90's!! There are a few now having health problems, mobility problems etc. One is in early stages of Alzheimers. None have family in Spain, some don't even have immediate family in the UK. None have homes in the UK, and all own homes in Spain. Obviously as everyone else they are suffering from the change in exchange rate. There really isn't much available help in Spain for older people, particularly if they require care. Most of them feel that if they lost a spouse that there is a possibility that they would no longer want to live in Spain, but I fear that they may not have much choice on that one now! The UK for all it's faults does provide more care for the elderly, not always the best I know, but there are care homes, there are visiting district nurses, meals on wheels, daily home care etc etc Yes I know that again it can be unfairly worked out if you have savings and a home, but it is available.
Do any of you here worry about this? I've never considered it because we would never sell our UK home, but I know that many of you really have "moved" to Spain. I really am getting quite concerned about some of these elderly people that I am involved with as I think they may be trapped to a degree, and I wonder what will happen.

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby katy » Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:31 pm

Good points Paula. I too have noticed that there does seem to be some very elderly around who seem to be finding things difficult. One neighbour nearby has recently returned, OH died, she didn't drive (she is 83), not enough income to pay the bills and couldn't sell the house. I see another couple, really old Mercedes which they probably bought new when they came out, I know they have had to get rid of their Gardener and they have a really large garden. They are really doddery and he doesn't even seem on this planet.

Some who previously had active lives and are now finding themselves isolated and have no-one to turn to for advice....food for thought, at one time you could do 10 year cash flows on investments now it's difficult to predict the next quarter!

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby BENIDORM » Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:50 pm

Paula,
I doubt that many of the very elderly people resident in Spain ever thought that there would be any problem with being given assistance in their old age, and in all fairness, who could have predicted the problems that abound today.
As far as the situation now, I know many have tried to make provision for any problems arising from age related problems, but for many it is a real struggle just surviving on a day to day basis, so I doubt if they have any real survival plans in place.I know numerous people who own their own homes and receive a very basic pension, and that's it, certainly not got anything left for a 'rainy day'
Although you can read many peoples problems on forums, I doubt that many of the real hardship stories are really known about. I have a friend who works with an ex-service organisation, and he recently told me that they are inundated with requests for help with repatriation to the UK, by elderly people in Spain. I have been involved with this work and I can say that I know of numerous people who have had a lot of help and are now being cared for in the UK, and most of the agencies approached have helped without too much problem.
It is very difficult for a frail elderly person to try to arrange repatriation, and they are so grateful and relieved when they get this help, and I would add that all of the people concerned that I have met are far from being classed as 'spongers'.
What also concerns me now is the plight of younger families, who really need to return to the UK, and again the ones that I have met are certainly not spongers, they are victims of circumstance.

Regards,
Gordon

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Paula » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:42 pm

BENIDORM wrote:Paula,
As far as the situation now, I know many have tried to make provision for any problems arising from age related problems, but for many it is a real struggle just surviving on a day to day basis, so I doubt if they have any real survival plans in place.I know numerous people who own their own homes and receive a very basic pension, and that's it, certainly not got anything left for a 'rainy day'

Regards,
Gordon


I guess you don't think too much about these things when you are younger and fit. I have a friend in the UK whose mother had a bad stroke earlier in the year. Once she was discharged from hospital social services arranged day care at home for her. They also reformed her bathroom etc to allow for her disability. A lady that I shop for here had nothing like that after a stroke. She was discharged from CDS hospital into the hands of her less than capable 81 yr old husband. They have had to pay to have disability aids installed in the house, and are paying for private home visits from a carer, which they really can't afford, and will not be able to continue indefinitely.
Its one thing the loss of income meaning that a few monthly restaurant meals have to be rubbed off the list, but quite a worry when there is no money for necessary care etc and nowhere to turn for help.

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Jool » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:51 pm

I would happily "adopt" an elderly person out here and help them out where I could etc, including making sure they are not alone at festival times.....but how do we find out where they are - are there organisations with this info accessible to all in Andalucia and not just the well provided for (in terms of organisations) CDS?

The obvious problem is attracting undesirables, purse robbers etc......hence the need for an organisation in between but it IS sad and upsetting and I dont have family over here so would be glad o´f some pseudo family and hope it would be reciprocated.....it would be particularly helpful for these older folk if the helpers spoke spanish of course......

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby scampicat » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:05 pm

I for one (and my husband for two) do not intend to be old and frail in Spain.

If and when that happens to us (and I hope it never does) I want to be amongst people who share my language and culture, I think it would be just far too much stress otherwise.

Most Spaniards have extended families to look after them, this is not the case for expats and TBH I find it quite difficult to believe that people have retired here without considering this aspect (although a friend of mine just waves her arms and says 'oh well we'll think about that when the time comes' - sorry but it's too late then).

We still have our house in the UK, which like a previous poster says will never be sold and in fact intend to live in it for months at a time in the near future. We have kept numerous other links with the UK too as we always intended to return at some point.

For those who don't intend to return, maybe some Insurance Policy would help them to manage to pay for things when they are old, or if they own their house, to do equity release.

Or maybe some other younger expats can open a Nursing Home?

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby murbisa » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:14 am

Scampicat - I agree with you. Fine over here while we are healthy but I too worry about old age (I am 66). We sold our cottage in the UK and bought a flat in town and spent the other half of the money on the villa here. We spend quite a bit of time over here but still return to the UK regularly and are still under a doctor there. I have always said if my health deteriorates I would go back permanently. I feel too insecure over here, although we both love the lifestyle and would love to live here permanently.
Also the thought of not being able to sell the villa worries me so we have stopped doing any more major improvements to it. lets hope things improve in the future.

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby scampicat » Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:44 pm

We personally would not even bother too much if we couldn't sell the house here (it is paid for and so is the one in the UK) - although obviously we would prefer to do so if we can. But if not, we can lock it up and leave it, it will sell eventually and if we can get something for it rather than nothing it that will be fine.

I appreciate everyone isn't in our position, but to be fair to ourselves it isn't all down to good luck, it is also due to planning.

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Paula » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:11 pm

I think you have both done it right, certainly for your own peace of mind. I feel exactly the same as you. Though I appreciate that some people can't do it that way.
I would rather have a one bed flat in UK and one bed flat abroad than burn my bridges altogether.
What a scaredy cat :oops:

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scampicat
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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby scampicat » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:41 pm

Paula - agree absolutely. We would never have sold up completely in the UK. We were fortunate in not having to sell our home to come here, however, even if we'd have had to, we'd have bought something else in the UK, if only a studio flat. If we could not have have a place in each country we would not have come here full-time.

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Mariposa » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:12 pm

There is definitely a need to set up organisations in different communities here in Spain to support each other as we get older. However we are entitled to ask for help from Spanish social services under the Ley de dependencia- if there is an adult with health problems or disabilities in the household. This has only been set up for a year or so and there are huge waiting lists so not an instant solution, but more carers are being trained. In the meantime it would be a great idea if younger expats were to set up care homes, home care services etc, go on training courses here -I´m afraid it is just about the only expanding market these days!
We could only afford one modest cortijo here and on balance think the lifestyle changes will lead to longer years of reasonable health. If life really became impossible Eg if we couldn´t manage the slope up to the house, or were not in a financial position to employ someone to help,the only option would be to apply for social housing here or in the uk and start again..

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby scampicat » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:48 pm

Our house in Spain is a terraced village house and cost 55,000 euros, so ours is modest too; and our house in the UK is a mid-terrace on the outskirts of a city. So we don't have a property empire!

We paid for the Spanish house and it's renovation costing 8k euros with a combination of savings, money we'd made on EBay by selling everything we could lay our hands on, the lump sum from my husband's Teachers' pension, and the proceeds from the sale of a flat we'd bought on a mortgage as an investment while we were both working. We knew we would not have enough income to service a mortgage so had to pay cash.

In the year between us deciding to come here and actually buying the house, the area in general and this village in particular had been on 'A Place in the Sun' and all the prices shot up and we thought we'd been priced out. This house was right at the top of our budget and had we have not found anything suitable within our budget, we'd not have bought anything. Selling our UK house to finance it was never an option.

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Retro P » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:51 am

The future cost of living (anywhere basically) is not an issue for us, Our individual pensions (when we get them) are substantial, we have a decent property portfolio plus substantial savings, what worries me about Spain is the the third world mentality of petty beauracracy and corruption, as long as Spain is allowed by the EU to continue with it's current political and social policies things won't change here.
I'm very glad that I don't live here full time ( we did consider it several years ago but decided against it )
For those of you who may be considering a move (without strong family ties or restrictions) you might consider Thailand,as my Thai mate is fond of saying " it's cheaper than shoplifting".

Seriously though I am considering selling everything and leaving here, just because of the government!!
Ah! the full english!!

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Lavanda » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:18 am

What you write is interesting, Retro P. If the Socialists are voted into power in the UK again (and weirder things have happened) they will start to look for what and who they can tax further to pay for some of the borrowing, huge civil service pensions commitment, more public spending, etc. etc. You may be a prime target. Land, property, savings, these are all tempting to the Socialists. Land tax has been talked about before but that might be a nice earner without upsetting the traditional Socialist voters. Imagine paying an extra tax every year on land you own, including the land on which your property sits. As the Chinese say to enemies, "May you live in interesting times." We certainly do.

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby katy » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:56 am

Lavanda wrote:What you write is interesting, Retro P. If the Socialists are voted into power in the UK again (and weirder things have happened) they will start to look for what and who they can tax further to pay for some of the borrowing, huge civil service pensions commitment, more public spending, etc. etc. You may be a prime target. Land, property, savings, these are all tempting to the Socialists. Land tax has been talked about before but that might be a nice earner without upsetting the traditional Socialist voters. Imagine paying an extra tax every year on land you own, including the land on which your property sits. As the Chinese say to enemies, "May you live in interesting times." We certainly do.


Lavanda, we have been doing this for years in Spain, it's called "Wealth tax"

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Lavanda » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:09 pm

Exactly! But it would be a new and additional expense on the cost of living in the U.K.

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Jool » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:35 pm

I agree with Retro P - Spain needs to get its act together and perhaps a few years of really struggling will force their hand...........its no wonder the spanish shrug so much and smile wryly at the latest foul up....they are used to it but its no good for a secure future.

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Bongtrees » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:52 pm

Jool wrote:Spain needs to get its act together and perhaps a few years of really struggling will force their hand........... the spanish shrug so much and smile wryly at the latest foul up....they are used to it but its no good for a secure future.



Why should Spain buck the trend.

as in if UK is going down the tube why should Spain improve?
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Jool » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:12 pm

the third world mentality of petty beauracracy and corruption, as long as Spain is allowed by the EU to continue with it's current political and social policies things won't change here.
is the subject of the posts, do keep up. I don´t think it is like this in the UK although with the thought police and rubbish police maybe its worse in being too organised and intrusive........

Spain has to improve its legal infra-structure and the way its perceived internationally........or it will never fully recover, the internet has put paid to covering things up.

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Re: Planning for old age in Spain

Postby Bongtrees » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:40 pm

Jool wrote:
the third world mentality of petty beauracracy and corruption, as long as Spain is allowed by the EU to continue with it's current political and social policies things won't change here.
is the subject of the posts, do keep up. I don´t think it is like this in the UK although with the thought police and rubbish police maybe its worse in being too organised and intrusive........

Spain has to improve its legal infra-structure and the way its perceived internationally........or it will never fully recover, the internet has put paid to covering things up.



Oh dear silly me and there was I thinking that this thread was about planning for old age in Spain :roll:
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell


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