Close this search box.

During the recent years 2021, 2o22, and 2023, a high volume of USA citizens are changing their USA residence to Spain, being Costa del Sol one of the most popular destinations to reside.

These are the main reasons:

Lifestyle and Climate: The allure of the Costa del Sol lies in its idyllic Mediterranean climate. With an abundance of sunny days throughout the year, this region offers a stark contrast to some parts of the USA, particularly areas prone to harsh winters or extreme weather. The temperate climate, combined with the picturesque coastline and beautiful beaches, presents an inviting backdrop for those seeking a more relaxed and leisurely lifestyle. The opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities year-round, coupled with the vibrant local culture, holds significant appeal for individuals looking for a different pace of life.

Cost of Living: The cost of living in Spain, including the Costa del Sol, is often perceived as more affordable compared to certain parts of the USA, particularly major metropolitan areas. This affordability extends to various facets of daily life, including housing, transportation, and even dining. Lower property prices, in particular, can attract individuals looking to invest in real estate or secure a more spacious or picturesque home for a comparatively reasonable price.

The cost of living in Malaga, as with any city, can vary depending on various factors like lifestyle, accommodation choices, dining habits, transportation, and entertainment preferences. However, compared to many major cities in the USA, Malaga and the broader Costa del Sol region can offer a relatively more affordable cost of living. Here’s a breakdown of some common expenses:

Housing: Rental prices and property costs in Malaga can be quite diverse. While city center apartments might be pricier, the outskirts or neighboring towns can offer more affordable options. For instance, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center could range from around €600 to €1,000 per month, while outside the city center, it might range from €450 to €800.

Food: Grocery costs are typically reasonable. A weekly grocery bill for a single person might average around €30 to €50, depending on individual preferences and dietary choices. Dining out can range from €10 for a budget meal to €30 or more for a mid-range restaurant.

Transportation: Public transportation is relatively affordable. A monthly pass for public transport costs around €40, while a liter of gasoline averages around €1.40.

Utilities: Basic utilities for an average apartment for two people can add up to approximately €100 to €150 per month, covering electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage.

Entertainment and Leisure: Costs for entertainment, leisure, and cultural activities vary widely. Museums, galleries, and cultural events might range from free to a few euros, while activities like cinema or theater might cost around €6 to €15.

Overall, while Malaga offers a pleasant lifestyle and can be more affordable compared to some major US cities, individual spending habits and choices greatly influence the actual cost of living for each person.


Healthcare System: Spain’s healthcare system is renowned for its quality and accessibility. For many USA citizens, especially retirees or those concerned about healthcare costs, Spain offers a compelling alternative. The comprehensive healthcare system, often considered more affordable and efficient compared to the US system, is a significant motivator for those considering a move to the Costa del Sol.

Some of the advantages of Spain’s healthcare system include:

  • Affordability: Spain’s healthcare system is funded by taxes, which means that residents do not have to pay out-of-pocket costs for most medical services. In contrast, many Americans have high-deductible health insurance plans, which means that they have to pay a significant amount of money out of pocket before their insurance will cover their medical expenses.
  • Accessibility: Spain’s healthcare system is accessible to all residents, regardless of their income or employment status. In contrast, millions of Americans are uninsured or underinsured, which means that they do not have access to affordable healthcare.
  • Quality: Spain’s healthcare system is ranked among the best in the world by the World Health Organization. The country has a high life expectancy and a low infant mortality rate.

Here are some specific examples of how Spain’s healthcare system compares to the US healthcare system:

  • Cost: In 2021, the average American spent $12,530 per year on healthcare. In contrast, the average Spaniard spent €1,215 per year on healthcare.
  • Access: In 2021, 9% of Americans were uninsured. In contrast, less than 1% of Spaniards were uninsured.
  • Quality: In 2021, the United States ranked 37th out of 195 countries in the World Health Organization’s ranking of healthcare systems. Spain ranked 7th.

Overall, Spain’s healthcare system offers a number of advantages over the US healthcare system. It is more affordable, accessible, and of higher quality.

Real Estate Opportunities: The Costa del Sol presents an array of real estate options, from luxurious beachfront villas to more affordable apartments. The diversity in available properties and the potential for a pleasant, scenic living environment are key factors for those considering property investment or a new home in this region.

Cultural Experience and Community: The expatriate community in the Costa del Sol is diverse and welcoming, creating a supportive environment for newcomers. While the allure of experiencing a different culture is enticing, the presence of English-speaking communities and services offers a balance between embracing a new way of life and having a familiar support system. This blend of cultures enables individuals to immerse themselves in a new environment while still feeling connected and understood.

Proximity to the United States

The Malaga Airport offers direct flights to many major cities in the United States. This makes it easy for US citizens to travel back and forth to visit family and friends. It also makes it easy for US citizens to retire in the Costa del Sol and still be able to visit their home country on a regular basis.

Overall, the Costa del Sol is a great place to expatriate for US citizens. It offers a mild climate, a low cost of living, excellent healthcare, a rich culture, a relaxed lifestyle, and a large expat community. It is also easy to travel to and from the United States.

If you are a US citizen considering expatriating to the Costa del Sol, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you will need to obtain a Spanish visa. You can do this by applying at the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country. Second, you will need to open a Spanish bank account and transfer your funds to Spain. Finally, you will need to find a place to live in the Costa del Sol. There are a variety of housing options available, from apartments to villas.

Tax Considerations: While not the sole driving factor, some individuals might be attracted to Spain due to potentially more favorable tax conditions, especially for retirees or those with international income. Spain’s tax policies might offer certain advantages compared to the taxation system in the USA, influencing the decision to relocate.

The decision to expatriate is deeply personal and multifaceted. For many Americans considering a move to the Costa del Sol, the convergence of these factors—favorable climate, cost of living, healthcare, real estate options, community, and potentially beneficial tax conditions—combine to create a compelling case for a life-changing relocation.