View Full Version : Relocation Moving to Tenerife from the US. What should I consider?

04-02-2014, 16:39
Greetings to all.
Iím a newcomer to this forum; with this being my first post.

Retirement is in the not too distant horizon. In contemplating relocation options, Tenerife has caught my attention as a viable location. While reading here I sense the forum is predominantly comprised of members from Great Britain. Iíve taken note of many sensible and helpful insights and find it to be resourceful forum. However, as one residing in the USA I find some topics are somewhat hard for me to relate to. Thereís more in common with GB and the Canary Islands; such as currency, metric system, and geographic proximity with EU; to mention a few. There might be more / different factors to be taken in to account for North Americans than Europeans when it comes to relocation to Tenerife.
Hereís a snap shot of where we stand:

► 30 year retirement / pension from civil government service
► Bilingual: speak, read and write fluent English & Spanish
► Exposure to previous similar island lifestyle: 20+ years in Puerto Rico (U.S. Commonwealth)
► Potential freelance supplementary income via: computer graphic art & design, caricature artist (Walt Disney World trained cast member), tutoring in Spanish

Iím seeking objective input; some feedback whether pro or con that might aid in making the wisest possible decision for when the time draws near.

Thanks and a great day to all!

04-02-2014, 17:14
Welcome to Forum ! Thereīs plenty of information around that can be found using the search function or asking questions .
Climate wise the Island is very good with Temps in winter rarely below 12C in south of Island and low humidity ,in summer can get as high as 40C with higher humidity in August .
Cost of living depends on your chosen lifestyle IMO as imported "British" goods attracting a premium ,equally property prices and or rentals can vary depending on where you choose . Rentals of apartment can start from around €400 per month.
Unemployment is very high at just under 30% ( 62% for under 25īs ) -speaking Spanish is a plus as wellas having good skills .
There is a strong connection between Canary Islands and Caribbean and South America with immigrants both ways .
You may be able to get info on your ability to stay here from someone like Goldenmaniac on here .


04-02-2014, 18:33
Thnx for the input and the hyperlinks. Climate is among the attention grabbers; gorgeous weather I hear. Puerto Rico climate can get very steamy, humid and muggy. I got sick of it. Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley has all four seasons. We've received over 22" (inches) of snow this Winter season so far; calling for more - really sux. The Summers can really scorch; Fall and Spring to be the most pleasant. The unemployment is too big a concern considering I'd be looking at Tenerife as a retirement option; not to continue working. I don't see myself retiring here in Virginia. We've kept our Orlando, Florida home; renting nicely for the moment. Retiring there is also an option. We'll see how the stars line up. Until then; dreaming is free of charge so . . . dream on I say!

04-02-2014, 18:39
Local Newspapers links -in Spanish



04-02-2014, 18:51
Good resources. I'll comb through these. Sort of brings back memories from the tabloids in Puerto Rico.


04-02-2014, 19:28
We lived in Tenerife for over 2 years but had to come back to look after family member, would go back tomorrow without a second thought. The main thing I would never do is buy a place, although some people I know think we are stupid not to, but as I see it we can rent where we want and if we get fed up move somewhere else without the fuss of selling up, it might be money down the drain as they keep telling us but if you can afford it why not. You can have virtually any life style you like or can afford, if you stay in Los Cris or PDLA then you can have the option of staying below the motorway (bajo) and see the holiday makers all the time or above the motorway (alto) and you will only see them when you venture out to the beach. There are some great apartments and villas available in both areas, we have rented in both places and enjoyed life up the hill but had to buy a car to get about, then we rented a place in the bajo but close to the motorway and that if anything was better, because you didn't have to use the car all the time. If you want a quiter life then you have a pick off endless beautiful villages and with you speaking spanish fitting in with the locals would be no problem. Started off using the british supermarkets but gradually changed to the spanish ones, once we found out that the quality was better and also cheaper. Same applies to the restaurants away from the front promenade and in the villages throughout the island. Only problem we had was the height of the summer when it did get too hot for 4 or 5 hours a day, but being back in the UK now I would trade it for the wet and cold weather we are having. But in the end the choice is yours, if you can afford it have a months holiday where you think you would want to stay, hire a car and explore the island I'm sure you will be able decide after that Good Luck.

04-02-2014, 20:15
Sounds awesome - sound advice. So wish I could retire this very year but for a more decent pension, I'd have to wait about five years. Will surely plan a trip with wife to scope out the place first. It seems like a good fit in so many ways but as always; the financial aspect is always a concern. Thanks loads for the helpful feedback.

- - - - - - - - - - merged double post - - - - - - - - - -

I'm clueless to what cars you drive over there.
Drive on right or left?
What are the popular makes?
Any need for All Wheel Drive or Four Wheel drive?
Mechanics . . . rip-off artists?
Are there Japanese vehicles? Cars here are a MUST. Public transportation is practically non existent until you get further towards Washington D.C. Because of Winter driving conditions here and some elevations; we acquired Subarus / AWD (a Baja and a Forester).

04-02-2014, 20:48

Ive read this with interest.

I have encountered two People probably holding Canadian Passports, and another Member familiar with the Lone Star State.

So You wouldn't be the first to go Over.

There is a strong U'K. presence, but also Spaniards from the Mainland Spain mixed with Native Canarians.

I too have met a few from South America and a sprinkling of Other Nationalities.

As for Lifestyle, I believe Most can find this on the Island, with links to the Other Islands and further afield to Madrid quite easily.

As with the Hawaian Islands there is a choice, so, what have You got to lose.?

Best of Luck....

04-02-2014, 21:01
We drive on the right - have seen dealerships for Peugeot, Citroen, Mercedes, Ford, Renault, Nissan really just about any make you want. New cars are more expensive than mainland Spain, Second hand cars tend to be more expensive as well. Forum members will suggest you use Ashro Autos for repairs etc never seen any complaints, we used our local Canarian guy his charges seemed on par with UK local garages not main dealers. Unless you like driving off road no need for an AWD, when we go back won't buy a car will just use local bus service, if we want to drive around will hire a car for 2/3 days cost about 100 euros all in.

04-02-2014, 21:01
Decent road infrastucture,decent cheap public transport, drive on rhs - all makes of cars European/Japanese/Ford ,mostly "shift" as you call it ie not automatics .Plenty of4WD but not really needed .
Most taxis are Mercedes and drivers are crazy!
You could drive around the periphery of the Island in less than 3 hours .

05-02-2014, 12:13
Hello Garabatos...
As a Canadian and resident in Tenerife for over 30 years I can confirm that there are very few North Americans living here.
My English-speaking friends here are all British or European, speaking English as a second language.
If you are fluent in Spanish then you should fit right in here but there are some differences for those of use who are not members of the European Union:

1. Your driver's licence will not be recognized if you become a resident and you will probably have to do what I finally did when my Canadian licence was not acknowledged here. I went through one of the local driving schools as though I were a beginner, starting with books and classroom lectures, computer and road tests. Actually it was a good experience since I got my Canadian licence when I was 16 years old and there are certainly different rules of the road since then, and it was a good refresher course for me, especially when dealing with some of the little known rules here. I would recommend anyone fluent in Spanish to take a refresher course from a local driving school when reaching a certain age and having had their original licence from another country. It took me three months but I passed both the Spanish written test and the road test with no errors.
The car used for the road test was a Nissan diesel standard shift.

2. You will probably have to take out private health insurance as we North Americans are not part of the European community and don't have an exchangeable government coverage.

3. My Renault Megan car is automatic. Never had a problem with the automatic transmission and it's about 14 years old now. I changed from my standard shift Ford Ghia to automatic when I bought my Renault because I was fed up with changing gears when in a morning traffic line or when climbing up mountainside hills. (There are many steep roads here if you want to go sightseeing off the main track.) I have any major checkups done at the Renault garage and any small things done by a local English mechanic who will come to your house (such as my not using the car for many days and having to call help...please charge my battery!)

4. Can't think of anything else except needing family over there who are willing to mail me things like Montreal Steak Seasoning and Old Bay seasoning. But of course you can always order those things online.

If you think of anything else just ask. Oh and Welcome to the Forum !

Canarybird (Sharon from Vancouver Island, B.C.)

05-02-2014, 15:17
Hi, i lived in Orlando, in the Vineland RD/Hiawassee area for 7 years, welcome to the forum, great advice given to you so far, is the visa situation ok for you?

05-02-2014, 19:32
Why do you call yourselfs garabatos, in english that is a tick that manily live on sheep

05-02-2014, 19:46
Why do you call yourselfs garabatos, in english that is a tick that manily live on sheep

amanda, my (giant) dictionary gives Doodle or Scribble as the first meaning

hacer garabatos .... to doodle, to scribble

EDIT: ... just checked "tick" ...(Zool) garrapata f. :)

05-02-2014, 19:48
...or to swear.

05-02-2014, 20:54
As He said earlier, He is/was connected with Disney, so Doodle fits.......

Doesn't it..........?

05-02-2014, 23:42
My mistake

02-04-2014, 19:30
Psssst, the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, has three other islands, besides the one with the snowy hill. Here where I live, El Hierro, the influence from the United Kingdom is non existent, only four live here, none from the U.S.A. or Canada, English is rarely spoken.

Perhaps you should first consider the other islands in both provinces, before committing. I live over 200 miles away from my initial choice.