When elderly mobility is linked to life course: the European retired moving to Spain

Vicente Rodriguez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Being mobile at older ages is a process in which previous mobile experiences, family arrangements, consolidated behaviours, individual expectations, etc., linked to the life-course, are playing all an essential role for the decision-making process. It is not a matter of economic reasoning only. Other situations such as the transnational mobility of the retired when living abroad or moving back home when they become older, frail or dependant could be ruled by similar conditions. The main objective of this paper is to depict the scenarios and conditions European retired people declare when asked about the mobile life since they thought to move to retire in Spain to think about return their home back. Primary data from the MIRES project survey in 2010 are deployed for this analysis. A representative survey about those European retired over 50 living at least 3 months a year in the main destination areas in Spain was carried out by a self-administered questionnaire (in English, German and French) to get 720 valid documents. A set of in-depth interviews are also analysed to ground the reasons given. The main topics were decision-making process, everyday life in Spain, travel patterns, social networks, social and political participation and identity and belonging issues. Initial analysis confirms that the decision to move at old ages is a selective process in which demographic features, previous mobile behaviours, retaining housing at origin, developing a quasi-tourism way of life, or building (transnational) networks are, among others, playing an outstanding role in the retired daily life. Last but not least, national backgrounds could also condition the way the European retired in Spain live as foreign citizens as many indicators demonstrate when the consequences of their presence in municipal settings are studied.

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Presented in Session 61: Immigration and ageing