JP in Fuerteventura

Retirement in the Sun

Our Retirement in the Sun

My wife, Sue, and I sold up in the UK and moved here to start our retirement in the sun in the north of Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands, in 2013 after she retired. I continued to run my business remotely from here for a couple of years before closing it in early 2015.

Retirement in the sun

I decided to combine some of my hobbies and start a Youtube channel to keep me out of mischief. In these videos, and now this website, I try to show the island, and the way of life here, both good and bad. Also it includes hobbies such as woodworking, dogs, landscape photography, and radio controlled aircraft. Hopefully it shows that anyone can retire to the sun if they want to. It is not a matter of “being lucky” as so many people say to me. If that were the case, then with my luck, I would be living somewhere really awful, such as – well I won’t say.

Why Fuerteventura?

We started coming to Fuerteventura about 18 years ago, largely because I had been once a few years before. We used to come for a week to escape the awful UK winter weather most years, apart from the occasional cruise or week in the Caribbean. The next year we would look at holiday brochures to choose somewhere different to go but usually ended up agreeing to come back here as we knew we would enjoy it.

Fuerteventura 2004

Sue and I in Corralejo in 2004

For a number of years we stayed in various places in Corralejo. In 2007 we had our first holiday in El Cotillo. Then, after living together for 17 years, we got married in 2008 and came to Fuerteventura for three weeks on honeymoon.

We stayed in a lovely apartment in El Cotillo, overlooking the lagoons and the beaches. During that stay, we fell in love with El Cotillo, making many friends that are still friends today.


Two days from the end of our honeymoon we went for a walk and happened to look in an estate agent’s window. That was it, the idea came into our heads that we wanted an apartment there ourselves. By the following day we had chosen one and made all the arrangements to buy it. Well we like to take our time and think things through before we commit ourselves! We now let the apartment out for holiday lets in El Cotillo to provide an income. El Cotillo Fuerteventura is a perfect place to send a holiday.

We began spending more time here. As we both ran our own businesses – Sue was able to not take any training bookings for a couple of months over winter and, as I had staff in my office, and I worked from home most of the time anyway, I was able to work anywhere provided I had my laptop and an internet connection. We therefore started spending from just before Christmas to the end of February in the sun, and even longer some times.

I think at that point we both knew we wanted to retire to Fuerteventura eventually. Sue was actually ready a year or so before me. What finally did it for me was returning to the UK at the end of February 2012. The weather was amazing for February and I actually spent 3 or 4 days in the garden sorting it out. It then rained for over two months and that was it. I said “Let’s sell up and go!” – we were off. It took until the beginning of February 2013 to sell the house but we did it and haven’t looked back. Our retirement in the sun was complete!

Retirement in the sun

Sue on our last full day in the UK, staying in a hotel near Bristol Airport

“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike
wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost
everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read
anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work,
you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life.
Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
– Bill Bryson

If you are thinking of a retirement in the sun please feel free to make any comments or ask for advice.

6 thoughts on “Retirement in the Sun

  1. liz gardner

    sorry not very computer savvy but we spend a lot of time in Fuerturventura and love this place. we also at home in the uk have adopted podencos and have an interest in how there plight is dealt with on the island. additionally one of our main reasons for visiting is my husband loves fishing so we are always looking for more experiences from other people thank you

    1. admin Post author

      Hi Liz, A friend of ours in the UK has recently adopted a Podenco and is doing well in agility with her. I bought fishing gear here three years ago but so far have never used it. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Mark Hoyle

    Hello, we are fairly certain we will be retiring early (mid 50s) to Furtaventura in 2018. We have spent a month at a time there for several years and will be coming for 3 months before we sell up and move. Currently looking at costs. For example purchasing costs involved, tax as residents and selling costs and capital gains cost should we decide to return at some point in our later years. I would be grateful if you could offer any advice on any of the above. Really enjoying your youtube channel. We only found it last week and subscribed (mdad hdad), and look forward to future videos in 2017. Happy New Year to you both.

    Mark and Mary

    1. admin Post author

      Hi Mark and Mary. Happy new year to you too. Sorry for the delay in responding but I have only just noticed your comment. I have had 215 comments so far – 211 have been spam and only 4 real ones. I will try and point you in the right direction regarding property costs in an email if that is ok. John

  3. John Purnell

    Hi JP we are planning to retire in summer 2019 to fuerteventura having looked at your vlogs. We are following you and your videos have helped make up our minds. We are planning a week visit in may this year 2017. We have so many questions and wondered if we could meet up over a coffee somewhere? I know it’s a bit of a bold proposition but we are pretty similar in age and lifestyle terms. Karen has a Facebook page Karen Purnell which you can check out as she is following you. If you could take the time to email us we would really appreciate it or pm her on Facebook. Many thanks and hope we can arrange a get together in May. John Purnell

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