Hi Lynn R,
I don't think the point of this thread is to actively put off or discourage people to make the move but more to give lots of differing views on the pro's and con's of full time life here . I personally wish you well in your future move and truly and sincerely hope you are very happy.
I also think you are wise to wait until you are financially self sufficient (for want of a better description), Sadly it seems easier for the more dishonest members of society (British not Spanish) to find ways of earning a living than the more honest ones.
Living East of Malaga is probably nicer in terms of being more "real Spain" than the west, in terms of traffic, with the exception of Malaga, which can be a nightmare as is with all Cities.
The roads between Marbella and Estepona are often hellish and equal to anything I had to encounter in the UK.
I live a few miles inland not too far from Mijas and a 30 minute journey to work has regularly taken 1 and ahalf hours , and on numerous occasions taken 3 hours, so no where is perfect.
Anyone who moves here expecting life to be the same as the UK, should seek help as they are obviously not of sound mind. Most people move here in my view because it is NOT like the UK, My own reason to leave the UK, (which I still love by the way) has more to do with seeking a life which is not based on self obsession, greed and free for all petty crime (now much more serious than PETTY, than ever before). Lack of justice, freeloaders on state benefit and political correctness gone mad. A life better described as British values of yesteryear and not a new LITTLE ENGLAND, as has been suggested by those who snipe at anyone who See's Spain in real terms and not those of the Rose Specs variety.
Spain is a fabulous country, with lots to offer, not perfect by any means which is the point of the thread, no where is perfect, England is equally a wonderful country but it's faults are numerous and spiraling out of control, it seems to be in self destruct mode . If only we could turn back the clock 50 years and have a society where people had respect for one another, everyone knew the names of everyone else in the street and where murder was Shocking instead of the norm.
My disappointment with Spain has nothing to do with the weather, the location of my home or the country itself, the biggest turn off for me has been the people, NOT THE SPANISH, but the British, There seems to be too many con men, just waiting to rip off the naive and too many foul mouthed time share people. Then there's the other end of the scale, The elitist's and total snobs who swan around with an arrogance that is amazing to watch. Where are all the in between people, the ones who want a decent quiet life , have no desire to make a fast buck out of others and respect those around them. This is my main disappointment, it may not seem that important an issue to others but for me, I can accept and get on with most of life's differences but peoples behavior is harder to ignore.