The first time I visited Spain was in 1961 on a family holiday and it is fair to say I was only knee high to a grasshopper at the time, but I remember it clearly. My father had recently bought a new Hillman Minx and it took two days to drive down across France to the Costa Brava. Once we got south of Barcelona, the tarmac ran out and the last few miles were on dirt roads!
My father fell in love with Spain that year and said that one day he would like to retire there. It may have taken 38 years but in 1999 he fulfilled his dream and has been happily living in the Valencia region since then.
How many people have had and fulfilled the same dream since 1961 I wonder too many to count for sure!
Living your dream is a great thing to be able to do but, sadly for many, their dream has turned into a nightmare for a variety of reasons. We cannot predict the future and sometimes it is due to reasons outside anyones control that plans have to change. It is when the disaster was avoidable that a real sense of missed opportunity sets in.
All too often, it has been possible to identify poor financial planning or bad financial advice as the culprit. Again, you cannot predict the future and markets do follow downward trends at times, rather more willingly perhaps than they move upwards. I think everyone is aware of the problems resulting from financial markets over the last 3 years, but with the right advice and appropriate planning, you can still navigate your way through even the most difficult times.
For many expats living in Spain, getting the right advice seems to have proved elusive, due partly I am sure, to a lack of regulation as part of the root cause. After 36 years in the financial planning industry in the UK, I have become very aware of the issues that expats have been facing in Spain and have decided that living my dream involves bringing quality financial planning advice to expats here, delivered to the same high regulatory standards as prevail in the UK.
Over the coming months, I will be contributing financial thoughts through the Web Express Guide which I hope you will find both interesting and useful and of course, I would be pleased to hear from you with any questions you may like to raise or topics you would like to see covered.