As removals companies have countdown diaries to help you remember all those important elements needed before the "Big Day". I felt it would be useful, for those seeking to relocate to or acquire a holiday home in Spain, to have a "Check List" featuring those items that required specific attention and which could be ticked off as they were completed.
According to a recent report prepared by Accountants PKF, more than 74% of Britons want to retire abroad. So if you are part of that majority who's interested in moving to Spain you'll need to consider using The Rights Group's Check List to aid your smooth relocation.
Please "cut out and keep".
a. Decide which possessions can go to Spain and which can be left or sold back home.
b. Obtain estimates and information from removals companies.
c. List what will be stored and clearly label it - some people even take photographs of the contents and stick them to the outside of the box! Please remember that batteries in kids toys, portable radios etc. do tend to corrode and leak if left too long in over heated boxes.
d. Obtain boxes, bubble wrap and masking tape for packaging - you always need more than you think.
e. Check you have nothing at the shoe repairers, dry cleaners or Blockbusters.
f. Check moving dates.
g. Finalise your Spanish purchase. Check that the necessary mortgage funds are released and make a transfer to your Spanish bank account - see below.
If you are moving lock stock and barrel, you may have the cash already to hand for your Spanish home. However, if you intend to keep your UK property, you will need a loan to purchase in Spain.
Many UK lenders, including some of the biggest names lend on Spanish properties. You can, as long as you have enough equity in the property, top up your UK arrangements by way of a re-mortgage.
A Spanish mortgage - from a local Spanish lender - is often a cheaper alternative but you will be servicing the mortgage in Euros.
We recommend you to open a Spanish Bank account. In order to transfer money into your new Spanish bank account you can either ask your existing UK bankers to handle the transfer or you can go to one of a number of foreign exchange dealers operating in this market. These companies are often cheaper as they usually charge no transfer fee and their rates are almost always better than the big banks.
h. Redirect mail in the UK through the Post Office.
i. Notify your UK bank, insurance, life assurance, health care provider and other financial institutions of your move and provide new contact details.
j. Take final readings for your existing gas, electricity and water accounts. Unless your property is to be retained or rented, arrange for the disconnection of services include phones and broadband. If you are renting advise your local council tax department.
k. Make final arrangements for your children's schooling or college places.
l. Make arrangements for your pets to be moved to Spain - please see further below.
m. Notify your Doctor of your move and ensure that you make a record of any long term medication you require - please see further below
n. Check that all passports and driving licenses are valid.
You'll need to consider your pensions, tax, life assurance, investments and healthcare arrangements in your new home.
Please note that, for example, a UK national, a Dane, a Swede or Norwegian has the right to live in Spain by virtue of their countries' membership of the European Economic Area.
If you are retiring abroad, you can continue to receive your UK State pension. If you are moving permanently to Spain, you should get yearly increases in your pension.
a. Before you leave the UK calculate your retirement income by obtaining and completing a form BR19 from the Retirement Pension Forecasting and Advice Unit (RPFA) on 0044(0) 191 218 7585 for a state pension forecast. This is obtainable up to four months before you reach the UK pension age. The forecast you receive - subject to your general entitlement - will tell you what your pension is at the date received and whether or not you will get more by the time you reach UK pension age. Please note if you have already moved, and are paying local Spanish social security payments, that this forecast will not include your local contributions.
b. You should write to The UK Pensions Service informing them that you are moving to Spain and give them your ne