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Thread: My Tenerife survival guide for new and wannabe expats

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    Super Tenerifian CIM's Avatar

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    My Tenerife survival guide for new and wannabe expats

    This fantastic post from the original forum as written by Treble99:

    You have to be careful moving here. Take off your rose tinted glasses NOW!!

    Should you make it here, you will have a truly great life, be the envy of nearly all of those in the UK, those who just “wish and dream” but never TRY!

    I have seen so many people come and go. I have known people that have come with large amounts of money from the sale of their UK properties and return to England with nothing. I have seen people come and return because they can’t find work. I have seen people come due to a "firm" job offer only to find the job does not exist. I also know people that are just “surviving” here because they only get work "here and there", "in bits and bats". I have seen people come and go because they fall into, what I call, The Tenerife Trap. By this I mean the cheap beer and the sunshine. They find themselves drinking all day and have the attitude “ill find a job tomorrow”. Sometimes tomorrow never comes.

    However, I also know a lot of people who have made a good life for themselves and their families here.

    My guide to Tenerife survival and building a great new life is this, based on my experiences, cockups and the good decisions I made. I have also drawn experiences from watching others.

    #. Join, use and take advantage of this forum. When I arrived on the Island I didn’t know about the forum, I wish I did. No matter what questions you want to ask, however trivial you may feel they are, then ask them. The forum members will do all they can to answer your questions and give all the help and advice they can.

    #. Enroll at a Spanish class. By speaking the language will open up more opportunities for you.

    #. If you are coming with your partner, you must have a rock solid relationship in order to get through the transitional period of relocating to a new country and the stress the Island can put upon you. I have seen a few couples arrive, and within a few months etc their relationships start to crumble. They say that the most stressful things in life are divorce and moving house. I have never been divorced but have moved house numerous times and believe me, the stress that the Island can put on you is so much greater. If you are coming here because you are having relationship problems in the UK and you feel that the move will bring you closer together, DON’T DO IT. It won’t work.

    #. Be prepared to be homesick. This will only hit you after your “honeymoon” period is over and you face your first problems or frustrations. I have seen so many people who “loose their way” when trying to deal with the way the Island works, getting legal etc. They feel “lost” and “alone”. When this happens, to many, The UK can seem the better place. Work through it, think of what you have here and fight for it!. I question anyone I have spoken to who has said “I have never missed the UK since I have been here”. To be honest, I think that every one, in the first few months at least, does feel a tad homesick. I know I did and consider myself to be a very strong character.

    #. Discipline yourself. Get here and start “doing” straight away. Don’t take a “3 month break” etc. Its to easy for the 3 month break to turn into a 4,5,6 month break. Take a break when you have established yourself here.

    # Don't burn your bridges with the UK. By this I mean, if you own a property in the UK don't at first sell it. Rent it, even if, without the sale, it means you cant buy a property here. The rent will pay your mortgage and should give you a little income on top. Then should you find after however long, that you feel you have made a mistake moving here, or your family cant settle etc, you can always move back without the hassle of having to sell your property here. Even if you sell up in the UK and put the money away until you have made up your mind about living and buying here, you will, I assume, only be bringing the equity your property has made. Lets say, for arguments sake you bring 100k, the equity. Then you find you don't like it here and you move back. Whats 100k going to get you in the UK? You may have a healthy lump sum as a deposit but will you get a mortgage to top it up? You will first have to find jobs and hold them for a few months before, I assume, a mortgage lender will lend especially in the currant economical climate.

    #. However, If you do come here with a large sum of money with which you intend to buy property, then put it away somewhere safe, somewhere you will not pick at it. Rent a property at first to make sure you like the new lifestyle etc. Give yourself plenty of time to decide about buying here.

    #. Get legal as soon as you can. NIE, social etc. This has to be your first priority. You can not legally work without it or get your kids in school etc.

    #. Get medical insurance ASAP. It will take a while to get into the social system and should you need medical attention and you are not covered either privately or by the state, you will find that the hospitals may not treat you.

    #. Only turn to “creditable” people for advice on legal matters etc (NIE social, tax, car ITV’s etc). I used to ask 10 people the same question and get 10 different answers. I have met on the island so many people that are full of crap; claim they know everything but in fact no nothing. I then employed a fiscal to take care of everything. It was such a relief and I knew I was covered properly from every angle.

    #. Be who you are and be proud of what you have got. Don’t bull @@@@ people. Like I said the island is full of them. People will be so much more willing to help you if you are genuine. I am always happy to help genuine folk, haven’t got any time for bull @@@@ers though.

    #. Get out and about as much as you can. Generate contacts, mingle with folk but beware of everyone! Trust no one. There are many people who will be glad to rip you off. I thought I was shrewd and switched on but I got taken for 500 euros off a so called friend within the first 3 months. It took me 3 years to get it back.

    #. Take any work you can at first while you are finding your feet. Don’t cherry pick work as it will pass you by. Once you are earning, then start to look for your dream job. Remember, when you are working you will be building contacts which may come in useful at a later date.

    #. Be prepared to earn a pittance here compared with your UK wages. Employers here pay poor money because, well, they can! and the demand for jobs is so high as many are out of work. Sad I know but its a fact. A recent post on this forum suggests that 1000 to 1250 euros per month is a VERY GOOD Tenerife wage. You will earn approximately 5 euros an hour doing bar work.

    #. Fight fight fight for your desire to live here. If times are hard, if people knock you back, let you down and generally mess on you from a great height, then fight back (not literally). Look in the mirror every morning and say “no one is going to get me down today. I am a fighter and I will survive”. You may find that the island at first, draws resources out of you that you didn’t know you had. One can either lie down give up and die, or fight and survive.

    #. When you have settled and are enjoying “another day in paradise” purchase a nice bottle of Champagne, walk, with your partner etc to the shore one night as the sun sets, crack the bottle open, look across the sea and scream “we've bloody done it”, let your emotions pour out. Then go home and enjoy the rest of your days on this stunning Island and take advantage of what Tenerife can offer that the UK cant.

    The very very best of luck to you.
    Buy or sell your Tenerife Property through Trusted Estate Agents
    Contact us for an informal chat about any aspect of buying or selling in Tenerife

    Las Carabelas, Local 6, Avenida de España, 38660, Torviscas.
    http://TenerifeEstateAgents.net

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    Super Tenerifian sunspot's Avatar

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    Brilliant, first time ive seen this and its spot on................thanks CIM

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    Super Tenerifian CIM's Avatar

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    Not mine though! All credit goes to Treble99 for that post which is as true today as it was way back when he wrote it.
    Well worth a read for anyone contemplating moving over.
    Buy or sell your Tenerife Property through Trusted Estate Agents
    Contact us for an informal chat about any aspect of buying or selling in Tenerife

    Las Carabelas, Local 6, Avenida de España, 38660, Torviscas.
    http://TenerifeEstateAgents.net

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    Helpful hand slodgedad's Avatar

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    As you say, as relevent today as it was when first posted..Made sticky

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    Hi everyone.

    Just read this article and some good information there. I was wondering is there much work in Tenerife at the moment? Myself, wife and kids are thinking of coming over to Tenerife next year to work and live but I am a little unsure giving my permanent employment up in the UK. I understand that without speaking Spanish there are only certain jobs available to me. I am currently learning though and will be enrolling on a course very soon.

    I am also thinking of coming over for a two week break in December to see if I can get any information on schools and accommodation etc.

    Thanks

    Paul

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    UltraMegaSuper Tenerifian Harmonicaman's Avatar

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    Hi Paul, welcome to the forum. There aren't too many online at this time of night but I'm sure tomorrow you'll get a few answers. I only holiday in Tenerife so I can't really advise you.

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    Dont give up your permanent Job

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    Hi Paul,

    Unless you have plenty of money to support you and your family, I really wouldnt give up your permanent job to come over here. Jobs anywhere are hard to come by at the moment, and you would be extremely lucky to fall on a legal job that would pay enough to support a family........but it is an amazing place to live. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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    Super Tenerifian Jackie's Avatar

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    Hi Paul and welcome. Unless you have enough money to bring with you to see you through until you get a half decent job and you also have a plan B in place if Plan A goes wonky and then a plan C if both plan A and B go wonky, then I would stay where you are for now. We took 5 years researching and planning our move to Tenerife and the best solution we came up with was that my husband continues working in the UK in our Electrical Business. Not as much fun for him but at least it affords us to be able to live here with no mortgage and money in the bank every month for the bills and money for us to enjoy this beautiful Island.

    You need to research about the schools and where you want to live etc.and how much everything is going to cost from the school fees if going private and the books which you will have to buy even if you are not going private to paying your rent/mortgage and feeding your family. Work out exactly how much you are going to need each month to live NOT survive and if you can find work here that covers all of that and a bit more then go for it.

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    Mega Elite Tenerifian Suej's Avatar

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    Hi Paul, Keep watching for advice on here it will help you more than you realise! The very best of luck!

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