This was an important subject of debate in the forum last week. The general consensus was that although it is easy to set up a new life in Spain when you are young, free and single, it is an extremely risky proposition if you are married, mortgaged, and have kids.
In fact, if you haven’t got a year’s worth of salary in the bank, and a firm job offer on arrival, the general advice was ‘Don’t risk it!’ And certainly don’t sell your property back home to buy another one here, because if you change your mind later, you’ll never afford to buy a similar house back if you have to return home…
You can follow the full debate in the forum, but be warned, it’s enough to put a family off moving here altogether. Perhaps that’s why I was really interested in a very appropriate comment left here on the blog over the weekend, in answer to a previous question. “How long does it take to get used to living in Spain?”:
I moved to Madrid from the US 3 years ago with my husband and 2 children, one of which was a toddler. I speak fluent spanish, so the language barrier was not a factor. It was a difficult move. The “mañana” way of life, the ridiculous driving standard, the siesta hours, the over-inflated prices, the holier than thou attitude… well you get the picture, it’s very, very hard to get used to.
Once I realized that I was NOT in the US and I accepted that things are “different” it got much, much easier to live here. The amount of time it takes to realize that can vary for each individual. For me it was at about the 2 year point. I am much happier now and when I am happy, my family is happy.
I miss my home, the US, very much. But I’m not going back until it’s time to move back (another 2 years). The way I see it is: “I’m in Europe and I’m going to see this part of the world before I leave.”
So to answer the question…. It is different for everyone, but you have to make a choice. You either accept a different way of life, or you fight it until the end. Good Luck.
So it is possible for families to move here and survive/be happy, but just how common is it? Have you moved your whole family here, or do you know someone else that has? Would you risk it?