11 Feb Relocating to Javea Costa Blanca – Settling In, Making Money and Living the Life!
Why Choose Javea as your relocation destination? Many people relocate to Spain for the climate, but there are many other reasons to move to Javea on the Costa Blanca. This is especially the case if you want Spanish culture, but also the confidence that there are other UK Expats living there that are always willing to help and offer advice to fellow compatriots.
Javea is a complete mix of European and Spanish cultures. If you are looking for an expat community, where you can fit in and feel right at home, Javea can work for you. The Arenal area is where most of the British community frequent. But, if you’re looking for a life of integration with the Spanish community, the old town and the port can offer you this. Or a few miles inland towns and villages such as Benitachell, Jesus Pobre, Teulade, Gata, Pedreguer, can offer the Spanish life with only a short drive to all the comforts of home products.
Javea has many activities, clubs and societies that cater for all tastes. Obviously the summer season has more in the way of outdoor activities. For the sporting type, there is a football team, a rugby team, a netball team and various tennis tournaments. For the water sport lovers you can snorkel, scuba, windsurf, jet-ski or take out a boat for a fishing trip. For the less active there are bridge clubs, computer clubs, sewing and craft clubs and most of the bars have pool and darts teams if you prefer a pint with your chosen sport! In the summer there are volleyball and football tournaments on the beach and a weekly outdoor cinema.
The Arenal beach area, has many bars and restaurants catering for all budgets, a great time to eat is midday, where the majority of restaurants offer a menu of the day, usually this is 3 courses and includes drinks, around 10 euros a head, depending on the restaurant. In a small back street bar you will often find a very cheap menu and usually pretty good quality. It often works out cheaper to eat out than to cook at home, leaving the washing up for someone else.
Your first few months of living in Javea or any other foreign country can be a bit daunting. If you do not speak Spanish then I would recommend that you make some English speaking friends. There are several bars and restaurants that are frequented by the English speaking community. In such places you will always find someone ready to give you advice on how to arrange services and general living requirements that you took for granted in the UK. Although, Spain has all the same services and amenities that you would expect in the UK, sometimes the bureaucracy can be a little challenging.
As well as the help and advice from the English speaking community there are many Gestors/Abogados/Notarias, who act as lawyers, accountants and general advisers, who will help you to apply for paper work such as your national insurance number, car registration and tax, house purchases, income tax and national insurance payments.
If you have children, there are several privately run, English speaking schools that teach the UK curriculum. You will have to pay between 5,000 and 10,000 euros per annum for your child to attend these schools. In comparison to private school fees in the UK this is very cheap. Private schools in Spain offer small class sizes and pass rates are above average. I would recommend a private school for older children, but, if you have young ones, and considering living permanently in Spain, sending them to a Spanish state school will be more beneficial for them as they will be fluent in Spanish in a very short time and integrated in to the Spanish way of life.
Once you have sorted out all your day to day living requirements, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the lifestyle. Probably not, unless you have a very good pension or are extremely wealthy you will have to get a job. The wages in Spain are considerably less than the UK, but the cost of living is much cheaper. There are many positions available and in quite a few cases you do not need to speak Spanish, most English run companies, mainly deal with English clients, thus making Spanish unnecessary. Speaking Spanish of course adds to your CV and will open up the employment market to you.
You may decide that you want to start your own business. I would recommend that you initially work for someone in the industry that you have chosen, just to understand the Spanish systems and obviously if the marketplace is profitable. A lot of businesses open and close after less than year. This is not because of bad economic conditions, it’s because the person starting the business has not done their research and has perhaps not run a business before. Starting a business in any country is difficult and especially when you do not understand the language, accounting and tax systems.
There are many very successful businesses run by expats, but usually the owner has had experience in a similar industry back in the UK or has run a successful business before and is prepared for the long hours. There is no easy money to be had in Spain. If you are prepared to work hard and often for very long hours then you can have a good standard of living, with the extra benefits of weekends on the beach, or doing activities you love in the sun.
So six months down the line you’ve got a job or started a business, made friends and have your favourite hangouts. If you have kids they have settled in school and will probably be speaking better Spanish than you.
What do you do next?
Have a great life, work very hard, play hard and enjoy!