Do you believe $100k a year is enough to live in Spain? Do I need to pay U.S. taxes and Spain taxes?

Question

Like most of you, I’m in the U.S. and tired of the workaholic poor quality of life I’ve been living for the last 20 years. We earn $150k in the states but basically live paycheck to paycheck. We pay over $30k in taxes, over $36k in medical expenses, and we all wear glasses, need dental work, etc. and I’m just spent. Housing is expensive in Florida (another $36k a year) and it feels like $102k is already gone and that’s before car insurance, car payments, food, etc.
I can earn $100k remotely and I’d like my husband to retire (cook, help with kids, etc.) My question is…do I still have to pay U.S. tax and Spain tax with my income? I’m tired of paying so many damn U.S. taxes. I don’t mind paying Spain tax, especially as healthcare is included. We have struggled with such medical debt living in the U.S. that it has sabatoged our quality of life. I’m done with it.
Do you believe $100k a year is enough to live in Spain? I need a better lifestyle. I’m so tired of being overworked, underpaid, and saddled to making career decisions based on what company will give me the best healthcare. I’m tired of employer based healthcare. You lose your job, you lose everything. This isn’t living.
TLDR:

  1. Do I need to pay U.S. taxes and Spain taxes?
  2. Is $100k yearly enough to live on?

Answers

These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“The most important point here may be lost in all the detail. No one outside of the EU may simply move to Spain and work here, or even live here. Your first step is to go onto the Spanish Consulate page that serves your area-It would be Miami-and read up on the types of visas you would be able to apply for that would allow you to stay here more than 90 days. Working here is tough. I agree that you should investigate the golden visa if u want to work”

“My understanding (and you really should ask a tax professional) is that you don’t pay double tax. After you are a tax resident in Spain (more than six months residency) you pay taxes to Spain first and then receive credit towards US taxes. The treaty is designed to prevent double taxation.”

“You pay Spain first if you are a resident in Spain. The get first crack. Since you pay 45% in taxes in Spain (at the proposed pay rate of OP), you would wind up with probably a complete credit in the US.”

“$100k is plenty, but I think you probably need to take a deep dive in researching Spain to live. First, you would want to come on the golden visa if you want to work, unless you can get your company to sponsor you in Spain. Second, you would be in the 45% tax bracket. Third, you will probably want private schools for your kids. Fourth, health care is cheap, but it’s not included unless you have a spanish employer and even then, not free. You will be required to carry private health insurance, but for us that’s about €200 a month for a family of four (but prescriptions aren’t included – so figure that in if anyone has regular scripts). At least it’s cheaper than what you pay now.
You would get a tax credit in the US. Spain also has a wealth tax you will want to consider. (Madrid and soon Andalucía -2023- don’t)”

“You’ll be paying similar taxes in total across US and Spain, but the cost of living should be much lower in Spain. If you can afford to buy property >€500k then you’ll get the right to work and health care immediately. This is probably the fastest solution for the problem you stated. We purchased a flat and moved to Spain 2 months ago. We’ve had a ton of expenses getting settled but it will calm down. Food feels like half the cost in the US. We use public transportation a lot. We could definitely get away with not having a car. We are on the north coast in Getxo, a suburb of Bilbao.”

“If you want to be able to earn money from your US employer you won’t qualify for a Non Lucrative Visa which is how most retirees come to Spain. If you have 500000 euros you could buy a home here and get the golden visa and then still work for your US company. You will still pay taxes in the US and in Spain- maybe even a little more actually as Spain has higher tax. But the cost of living is definitely cheaper here. Private insurance which covers all medical stuff is 200 a month for a family. Usually no copays or deductibles. You have to be careful with preexisting conditions though as some insurers won’t take you. But everything else is so cheap. I think the super markets here are 50% cheaper. Private schools can run 10k to 15k a year unless you find some Catholic Spanish schools .”

“Yes to both questions, but with the tax treaty between both countries you won’t pay two sets of taxes (but you probably will pay more than in the US). You can make it work here.”