If you believe what the tabloids and TV shows say about who is moving to Spain, you are not seeing the real picture!
Twenty years ago, give or take, the majority of foreigners who arrived in Spain, were stereotypical expats. That’s to say they arrived in search of sun, sangria and a job that would allow us to live the dream, and preferably in their native language.
Without over generalising, a high proportion of these expats did not always follow procedures for residing legally in Spain. Specifically in obtaining their residency and paying social security, and income tax. Whether ill-advised or opting for the “head buried in the sand” attitude, these decisions could never have a positive outcome. Moving to Spain was often an excuse to escape, from whatever it was they wished to leave behind.
Then came the “crisis”.
Many foreign businesses who relied on expat income saw their clients returning “home” and their businesses quickly crumbling. Only the strong and sturdy survived.
Jump forward to present-day and the expat landscape has changed dramatically, although if the tabloid press and expat TV shows are to be believed, the profile of a typical expat moving to Spain still falls into two main categories:
- Workers/businesses focused on generating income within the expat community, rather than immersing themselves into the Spanish community.
A few years back a successful British entrepreneur who had lived in Malaga for many years told us,
“I have reached the point where I will no longer work in the local environment. Rates are lower, clients less professional, I have decided I want to enjoy my life here and all of the wonderful qualities southern Spain has to offer, but from now I position my business in other regions; working remotely with clients around the world, earning more and loving my life more.”
Today, this scenario has become a reality for many expats who want to enjoy the wonderful lifestyle of southern Spain, but continue to run their businesses in their native countries, or work with clients around the world. The demographics of people moving to Spain – specifically to Malaga and Costa del Sol have drastically changed and at Move to Malaga, we have seen an exponential rise in location-independent workers.
Every day we speak to relocation and property purchase clients who want to achieve that perfect work-life balance. Business owners and remote workers who no longer need to be tied to an office or specific location; who are attracted by the quality lifestyle, excellent school options and outdoor lifestyle they feel they don’t have back at home.
Malaga is now the third busiest airport in Spain, after Madrid and Barcelona, and offers direct flights to most corners of the world, making remote working an accessible and real option for many. It’s the perfect location for entrepreneurs who need to travel on a regular basis for work, leaving their family in a safe and quality environment.
Think: Less iPad. More active outdoor lifestyle, and your children learning that all-important second language!