Spain is one of the countries with the lowest cost of living in Western Europe and, as such, a favourite retirement destination for US retirees. And yes, although almost anywhere in the Iberian country can offer a less expensive lifestyle than in the US, that doesn't mean that Spain doesn't have options for all budgets. Whether it's a villa with sea views or an urban studio, a Michelin-starred restaurant or a $10 menu del día, Spain has an option for every situation.

Below, let's explore three destinations favoured by many of our clients. Each of them ideal for the retirement of a couple over 60 but with very different standards of living.


MARBELLA: luxury for 9.665$ per month (8.239,27 € per month)

Marbella is a town on Málaga's Costa del Sol, a high-end destination for the international jet-set. Football stars, Saudi princes and Russian oligarchs have their playground in Marbella, and the marina is the best definition of the town: luxurious yachts, designer boutiques, chic restaurants and cocktail lounges.

Marbella's climate is ideal thanks to the proximity of the Sierra Blanca, a mountain range that protects the city from the wind and modulates its temperature. But, of course, enjoying all that goodness doesn't come cheap. It takes a rent of around 3650 dollars a month (3.111,57 €) to afford a penthouse with sea views, three bedrooms, five bathrooms, a terrace, a balcony and two parking spaces in a complex with two swimming pools and private gardens.

Also included in our budget of $9665 are utilities - about $210 per month - dining out eight times a month for about $900 and a cleaning service five days a week for $1.200.

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VALENCIA: average standard of living for $3.348 per month (2.854,12 €)

Valencia is an ideal destination for millions of tourists every year. It has it all: mild Mediterranean climate, urban beaches, green spaces, lots of culture, post-modern architecture and a very attractive historic centre. Not only that, but during the Falles (Les Falles), the city throws itself into a huge party, suitable for people of all ages.

In short, for anyone looking for their own private home in Europe, Valencia offers everything you want and more: lifestyle, urban amenities, real estate. All for a ridiculously low price compared to what you would pay in Madrid or Barcelona.

[PHOTO] Valencia is an ideal destination

In Valencia you can choose to skimp more or splurge, but our budget is based on an in-between approach. 851 USD (725.46 €) for the monthly rent of a furnished three-bedroom, two-bathroom flat in the trendy Ruzafa neighbourhood, with balcony, air conditioning and lift. Utilities for about $134 per month. A $75 gym membership and twice-monthly maid service for $61.

And the best part: enjoy good paellas eating out twice a week for $390 a month.

ALICANTE: economic retirement for 2.010 $ per month (1.713,49 €)

Alicante is lively, sunny, cheap; charming yet sophisticated. The Costa Blanca's climate is possibly the best in Europe, with 325 days of sunshine a year and low humidity. The city boasts miles of beaches - eight in all - palm trees, a classical castle and a beautiful tiled promenade by the sea. And in a way, Alicante is Europe's bargain because it offers it all for little money.

That is why, although Alicante's permanent population is 350,000 - including a strong expatriate community - during the summer it swells to one million people.

The one offered here is a basic budget. A rent of 547 dollars (466.31 €) gets you a one-bedroom flat in Alicante, furnished, exterior, with balcony, air conditioning and lift. Also included are utilities for US$97 per month, dining out twice a week for US$156 and a round of golf for US$29.


In short, the best thing Spain offers retirees from all over the world is that, whether they live luxuriously or simply, the country allows them to design a lifestyle to suit their budget. Food, lifestyle, history, architecture, fiesta. And of course, the sun and fun, which are free for all. 

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