Forbes picks Spain’s Malaga as a great place to live after 60 (2023)
At different stages of their lives, people often face an array of enticing options, but the task of making the right choice is not always easy. One such challenge, according to Forbes Magazine, could be choosing among great places to live overseas.
Hola! From sunny Benalmadena.
A punchy headline over a recent Forbes Magazine Editors’ Pick article caught my eye. Given its topic — choosing great places to live in different parts of the world — I was understandably curious. Which ones did they pick? Where? For what reason?
Full disclosure: For us at BestSpainLiving.com, one of Forbes’ choices in particular hit the proverbial bull’s-eye and prompted a kind of aha moment. Certainly, we’ll need to post about it for our readers — perhaps doing it as a ‘straight news story,’ to use journalistic parlance? In that case, the lead paragraph may have looked something like this:
“Forbes, the authoritative American business magazine, has picked the “vibrant” city of Malaga on Spain’s Mediterranean coast as the top European destination for people in their 60s seeking comfortable, culturally rich and affordable living outside their home borders. The other great places to live making the magazine’s Top 3 were Bouquet in Panama and Hua Hin in Thailand.”
That would capture the gist, of course, but with Malaga getting so much prominence in the lead, where’s the requisite news story balance, some may ask. Good question.
‘The aha moment‘
The solution? — Let’s put aside the strictures of the “straight news” format and instead opt for a more personal angle and explain in the process why the “aha moment” felt so good. And the reason was that the Forbes article — which ran on September 29 and was written by Cathlene Peddicord, the author with deep knowledge of global locations and expat issues — echoed the thinking that, just a few months earlier, had led to the launch of our website, BestSpainLiving.com.
Having recently moved to the Costa del Sol from an upscale Philadelphia suburb, we found ourselves nodding our heads in agreement with the author’s take on what makes Malaga, and Spain in general, such great places to live.
“Getting around is easy and affordable in this well-connected city,” Peddicord wrote. “There’s a good public transport system in place with around 50 bus lines operating. A one-way trip will cost around $1, or you can buy a monthly pass for around $40… Trains run direct from Malaga Airport to the city center. The journey takes 11 minutes and a one-way ticket costs $2.”
These things never failed to impress us over the past two years, and we thought it was important to highlight the city’s advantages as a vital transportation hub, including excellent rail and bus service, all of which makes it easy and inexpensive to get to, or to move around Malaga. You can find more about this in the segment of BestSpainLiving.com (BSL) titled, “Malaga: A Great City Right Next Door.”
The Forbes author also stressed the importance of culture and entertainment options. “As the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, Malaga celebrates the artist each October with a series of special events,” wrote Peddicord. “The city is also home to the Museo Picasso Málaga, which houses more than 200 of his artworks in a permanent collection. You’ll also find no shortage of festivals, carnivals, exhibitions, historic landmarks, music, dancing, and sporting events in this culture lover’s paradise.”
No argument here. At BSL, we are big fans of the cultural scene in Malaga, which boasts some 30 museums, as well as such hallmarks as Antonio Banderas’ new artistic venture, the Caixabank Soho Theater. Its historical landmarks are also world-famous, from the well-preserved ruins of a Roman theater to the Moorish-era Alcazaba fortress and the Malaga Cathedral, one of the main jewels of the Spanish Renaissance.
Venturing outside home borders
Prefacing the results of her survey, Peddicord offers an insightful reminder about how things have changed in the way people approach their choices of great places to live at different stages of their lives. “Many of us simply grew up where we were planted. Home was where your parents made it, and likely their parents before them,” she wrote. With time, however, beckoned by opportunity-rich destinations, many young people flocked to cities in search of high-paying jobs, new social connections, and exciting entertainment options.
“But over time, priorities naturally shift,” noted the author. “For those a few decades on, no longer tied to a location by work and family obligations, a lot of great options are out there. But where are some of the best places to live when you’re in your 60s?”
By asking that question — and also giving a bold headline for the 60-year-olds — the Forbes Magazine no doubt zeroed in on the subject of keen interest for a large and receptive audience. According to a recent Census, in 2020, the U.S. population age 65 and above reached 55.8 million, or 16.8% of the population of the United States. Many of them, we can surmise, will be very much open to the idea of “a new adventure outside of your home borders,” as Peddicord put it, in a bid to explore new opportunities in their search of great places to live.
And this is where the choice of Malaga is not at all surprising. As the Forbes article pointed out, long-term, furnished rentals are available at affordable prices, and there are also reasonable purchase options for apartments in the areas popular among expats. In another important consideration flagged by Forbes, Spain’s healthcare “is regularly ranked among the best in the world and Malaga is home to both private and public hospitals of an excellent standard.” Again, our own research and experience supports these conclusions (and you can find some additional information about related issues here).
So, to sum it up, we were very happy to see that an influential US publication gave top billing to Malaga. From our experience, it’s a great city to have right next door to our town of Benalmádena, which is part of the Malaga Province, which in turn is synonymous with the famous Costa del Sol.
And from that vantage point, we’ll argue that Benalmádena occupies an ideal location as part of Malaga’s larger metropolitan area. It’s only a 30-minute drive — or a local train ride — from all of Malalga’s wonderful offerings so succinctly captured by the Forbes article. Benalmádena is a picturesque seaside town that offers safe, comfortable and affordable residential living, with a vibrant and active lifestyle.
In other words, it’s a true gem among great places to live, and worth being discovered at any age — be it your 60s, 30s, or whatever.