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Why Marbella is the ideal place to retire

Many people harbour the dream of spending their retirement years in Spain, particularly those hailing from colder and rainier climates. The annual global retirement index by International Living Magazine takes various factors such as accommodation, visas, climate, healthcare and cost of living into account to determine the top retirement destinations worldwide. Unsurprisingly, Spain consistently secures a spot in the Top 10 Best Countries to Retire, thanks to its sunny year-round climate, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, rich history and culture, and, perhaps most importantly, a laid-back lifestyle.

Over several decades, Marbella has emerged as the preferred retirement haven in mainland Spain for both locals and expatriates. The expat community choosing the Costa del Sol as their retirement abode encompasses individuals from Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and other eastern European countries. Notably, there's been a recent uptick in Americans opting for the Costa del Sol as their ideal retirement destination.

Marbella as the ideal location for retirement

The predominant reason people opt to retire in Marbella is unmistakable: an exceptional climate that boasts year-round sunshine. Exposure to such abundant sunlight instantaneously fosters a more positive and, consequently, healthier mindset. The climate also allows individuals to enjoy the outdoors without constraints, enabling them to engage in daily activities such as leisurely walks along the beach or spending entire days reading a book under the sun.

Additionally, the allure of Spanish culture and lifestyle is a significant draw for retirees. The Spanish populace is renowned for its laid-back, stress-free, and friendly demeanour, prioritising a social lifestyle—an aspect distinct from many other European countries. The cherished tradition of the siesta, observed between 14:00-17:00, is particularly favoured by expatriates. Moreover, the widely acclaimed Mediterranean diet and emphasis on fresh produce contribute to exceptional health benefits and a positive state of mind.
Marbella's remarkable diversity and openness to foreigners seeking residency are also interesting factors. Acknowledging its status as a sought-after destination, Marbella and its inhabitants have embraced various languages, cultures and ethnicities that call Marbella home. Many expatriates have established supermarkets, shops and amenities offering products from their homelands, ensuring that individuals moving to Marbella still have a taste of home nearby.

Furthermore, Marbella has developed into a prime location for real estate investment, emerging as a significant factor in retirees choosing this destination. With one of the lowest living costs in Europe and a dynamic real estate market, Marbella presents a plethora of opportunities catering to diverse goals, aspirations and needs. Importantly, the high value of properties contributes to an elevated quality of life for retirees.

Who can retire in Marbella?

Retiring in Spain as a whole is open to everyone, but EU and EEA citizens enjoy visa-free entry. Non-EU citizens need a Retirement Visa, with popular options being the Spain Golden Visa for wealthier individuals and the Non-Lucrative Visa for those financially self-sufficient without working. The latter allows bringing family members.

After five years, one can apply for a Spanish Residency Permit, requiring six months' residence annually. The minimum annual required sum is set at 400% of Spain's Public Income Indicator for Multiple Effects (IPREM), amounting to €28,800 as of 2023. Additionally, for each dependent (spouses, children, or ascending relative), an extra 100% of the IPREM must be included annually, totalling €7,200 per dependent as of 2023.
Visit Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website
Documents for Retirement Visa in Marbella

Documents for Retirement Visa in Marbella

Although we advise you to check with your local consulate for a specific list of requirements, you are asked for: 

  • Valid Passport for over 1 year.  

  • 2 Passport Photos.

  • Proof of Sufficient Funds.

  • Clean Police Records translated into Spanish and with an Apostille stamp for legitimacy. 

  • Medical Insurance valid for at least 1 year.

  • Original Medical Certificate.

  • Recent Tax Return.

Why should you retire in Marbella?

Retiring in Marbella offers a unique blend of luxury, culture and a vibrant lifestyle that makes it a coveted destination for retirees. Nestled on the Costa del Sol in Spain, Marbella boasts an enviable Mediterranean climate with over 300 days of sunshine annually, providing an ideal backdrop for a relaxed retirement. It is renowned for its beaches, upscale amenities and a picturesque old town that exudes charm, creating a perfect setting for retirees seeking a tranquil yet sophisticated environment.w

Marbella's cultural richness is another interesting reason to choose it as a retirement haven. Marbella is a melting pot of diverse influences, reflected in its architecture, art scene and culinary offerings. From historic landmarks to contemporary art galleries, retirees in Marbella can immerse themselves in a vibrant cultural tapestry. Additionally, the renowned Mediterranean diet, with its focus on fresh and wholesome ingredients, contributes to a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle for those choosing Marbella as their retirement destination.
Furthermore, Marbella is home to world-class golf courses, exclusive ports and a plethora of social and recreational activities. Marbella’s cosmopolitan atmosphere, combined with a welcoming local community, makes it an ideal place for retirees to forge new connections and create lasting memories. 

Aside from this, Marbella’s exclusive real estate offering, which stands out for its exclusive and opulent offerings, makes it a prime choice for discerning retirees seeking a luxurious lifestyle. Marbella boasts an array of upscale properties, including beachfront villas, penthouses with panoramic views and estates nestled in prestigious residential areas. 

Marbella's real estate landscape caters to diverse tastes, from contemporary architectural marvels to traditional Spanish homes. With renowned architects and designers leaving their mark, retirees in Marbella can find residences that blend seamlessly with Marbella’s aesthetic allure.

Choose Solvilla to help find your ideal home

Our team of agents is dedicated to providing exceptional support throughout your entire purchase journey. With expertise in over 12 languages, our agents offer unparalleled service and attention to detail, ensuring a smooth and stress-free buying experience. We also have a blog available highlighting our tips for buying a luxury villa in Marbella.