The Complete Guide to Retiring in Portugal

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Table of Contents

Retiring in Portugal 

An incredible coastline,
Endless sunshine,
Excellent seafood,
Charming architecture,
A variety of cultures,
All at a very affordable cost. 

These are some of the reasons why Portugal ranks as one of the best places to retire abroad.  Forbes and CNN both published articles in 2020, indicating the Algarve region to be the ideal location for retirement.  The changes made in the retirement tax laws of Portugal made it yet more attractive for foreigners to relocate to Portugal for retirement.

It would be a fair estimate to say between 1,500-2,000 USD a month will provide you with a comfortable life in smaller towns of Portugal.  The monthly expenditure will climb to 2.000-2.200 USD for larger cities like Porto or Lisbon.

In this guide, we will give you a comprehensive picture of all the aspects you would need to consider before deciding to retire in Portugal.  

Who can retire in Portugal: Visas and Residence Permits

It is relatively easy to retire in Portugal.  The Algarve region in the south of the country is especially popular with retirees. At least 100,000 retirees are estimated to be living in that region alone. A significant number of them are British retirees.

EU Citizens

It is rather straightforward for European Union (EU) citizens to retire in Portugal.  They can apply for residency in Portugal and enjoy most of the benefits a local resident has.  In order to obtain their residency in Portugal, EU citizens can apply to SEF (Servico de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras), the official immigration service office of the Portuguese government.  SEF has a number of offices throughout the country; you may easily find them listed on the SEF website.

Non-EU Citizens

Non-EU citizens have to apply for a residence permit in order to retire in Portugal, according to the retirement residency law.  This can be done at a Portuguese consular office.  They generally ask for:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Criminal record  

The temporary residence permit is typically valid for five years, after which the resident needs to apply for a permanent residence.

It is very popular for Non-EU residents to obtain residency in Portugal through the Golden Visa scheme.  It was introduced in 2012, in order to attract global investors to the country.  In order to pursue the Golden Visa residence card, an applicant needs to fulfill one of the below requirements:

  • Purchase real estate with a minimum value of 500,000 Euro or above,
    • The minimum investment amount drops to 400,000 Euro if the property is in a low-density area,
  • Purchase real estate with a minimum value of 350,000 Euro or above, provided that the property is at least 30 years old and it will be renovated in compliance with the city hall,
    • The minimum investment amount drops to 280,000 Euro if the property is in a low-density area,
  • Make a capital transfer of 1,000,000 Euro or above,
  • Create a minimum of 10 full time jobs to Portuguese citizens,
  • Make a capital investment of 350,000 Euro or more towards a qualifying research and development activity in Portugal,
  • Donate a capital investment of 250,000 Euro to arts, culture, or national heritage in Portugal,
  • Invest a minimum of 350,000 Euro in a qualifying investment fund in Portugal.

The Golden Visa grants the below rights to the investor, provided that the card holder on average spends a minimum of seven days per year physically in Portugal:

  • Live and work in Portugal,
  • Travel within the Schengen Area without the need for a visa,
  • Add spouse, dependant children, and dependant parents to the program,
  • Apply for Portuguese citizenship at the end of five years of complying with the necessary requirements.

More information on how to apply for Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme is available on this page.  You can also fill out a form and experts from our Portuguese office can get in touch with you to answer any and all questions you may have.

US Citizens

The Portuguese government allows U.S. citizens to easily establish residency.  The most common way is the 120-day stay visa.  This visa requires the applicant to provide a proof of income, showing at least 1,070 USD per month available throughout the stay.  If you like what you see and you would like to extend the stay, then the Portugal government allows you to apply for a one-year residence permit.  It can then be renewed for two-year permits successively.  Once you spend five years of temporary residence, you can then apply for a permanent residency status.

Sephardic Jews

If you have Jewish descendants and you can prove your Sephardic ancestry, then Portugal grants you citizenship, provided that you submit the necessary documentation.  Portugal allows for dual citizenship, so as long as your original country of citizenship also allows for it as well, you can keep both citizenships.

Retirement Laws and Retirement Tax in Portugal

In 2009, Portugal’s retirement laws went through a significant change, in order to make the country more appealing for foreigners.  The non-habitual tax resident regime (NHR) allows residents to benefit from a discounted flat income tax rate, instead of the regular rates that climb up to 48%.  

The NHR status is available to anyone who was not a tax resident in Portugal in the last five years.  The NHR applicants need to meet certain criteria, in order to qualify.

An NHR resident has any international income; including salary, business earnings, investment yields, rental income, capital gains, and pensions, exempt from taxation in Portugal for a period of ten years.  Additionally, they are also exempt from tax on their wealth during this period.  Any income generated in Portugal will be taxed at a flat rate of 20% instead of the bracketed income tax rates that climb as high as 48%.  

All tax residents in Portugal are required to pay taxes on their worldwide income. You are treated as a tax resident in Portugal if you reside in the country more than 183 days in a tax year.  Accordingly, all residents need to fill out an annual tax return, declaring their income.  We will refer to the tax implications of retirees in Portugal later on in the article.

Portugal has double tax treaties with all EU countries and most non-EU countries, preventing double taxation.

You can find detailed information on the NHR program here.

Moving Retirement Funds, Pensions, and Social Security Contributions to Portugal 

As of 2020, the retirement age in Portugal is 66 years and 5 months both for men and women. If the residents had at least 15 years of social security contributions while under Portuguese employment, they can claim contribution-based state pension during retirement.  Additionally, private company pensions are also common.

It is straightforward for EU citizens to transfer their contributions from any country in the EU that they worked in. The transferred contributions count towards their state pension in Portugal.

As for non-EU citizens, it is best to check with the state pension service in their country of employment to see if it can be transferred to Portugal.  Several non-EU countries have such mutual tax and social security arrangements in place with Portugal.  

As stated earlier, all residents in Portugal are taxed on their worldwide income.  Accordingly, your pensions paid from international countries could be liable for taxation in Portugal. This taxation can be completely or significantly avoided through the use of the non-habitual residency (NHR) status or an offshore pension scheme.  

Healthcare for Retirees in Portugal 

Portugal National Health Service, referred to as Servico Nacional de Saude (SNS), provides healthcare to all Portuguese citizens and residents residing in Portugal.  Although this service is generally free, in certain cases some fees may be applied.  SNS serves through local health units, community health centers, and hospitals.

There is a high healthcare standard in Portugal. The public hospitals are modern and well-equipped.  Many doctors in both private and public institutions speak English. The national healthcare system covers basic health needs, accidents and illnesses.  On the other hand, facilities may be limited to small health centers in rural and suburban areas.

Roger B. of the Wall Street Journal defines the private healthcare coverage in Portugal as it gives; “The ability to make an appointment, wait less than half an hour for a consultation, see a specialist if I wish and, if necessary, get some important part of me repaired quickly. All health and dental care services and drugs are far less expensive here than in the U.S.”

As for Portuguese pharmacies, they are able to dispense drugs directly, with a few exceptions. It is common for many generic drugs to cost 10% to 25% of what they would cost in the U.S.

EU Citizens

EU-citizen retirees in Portugal can access free healthcare through the SNS.  They need to use an S1 form –previously referred to as E121 form. This form is issued by the pension center in the retiree’s country of origin.  

The healthcare provided by SNS is considered to be completely satisfactory in Portugal.  Regardless, there are EU-citizen retirees, who choose to also opt for additional private health insurance, just in case.

Non-EU Citizens / US Citizens

Non-EU citizen retirees in Portugal, such as American retirees, will only be entitled to free healthcare once they become permanent residents.  Accordingly, they get private health insurance and paid medical services during the first five years of their residence.

As noted, it is mandatory to provide documentation of health insurance before applying for residence as a retiree in Portugal.  Once you move to the country, you can switch it from an international plan to a private Portuguese health insurance plan.  It is generally cheaper than its US counterpart.

Private Insurance Cost & Requirements

The cost of the private insurance will depend on your age.  For those younger than 55, it may cost as little as 4 Euros per month.  On the higher end of the spectrum, the price may climb up to a couple of hundred Euros monthly.  Most insurers will not offer services to people over that age.  Those who do include Tranquilidade, Millennium Bank’s Medis, and Fidelidade/Multicare.  Medis will offer insurance policies to people up to age 75.  Furthermore, they will not cancel policies if you already have one.

Inheritance Implications for Retirees in Portugal 

The good news is, Portugal has no inheritance tax on real estate property.

There is however a stamp duty at a flat rate of 10%.  Unless specified otherwise, spouses, descendants, and ascendants are exempt from this payment.  Additionally there are some minor administrative fees regarding the inheritance process.

According to the Portuguese Civic Code, any inheritance process shall be governed by the laws of the home country of the deceased person.  Assuming you retire to Portugal from the US, the US inheritance laws will apply.  In case the two spouses are from different countries however, Portuguese law may apply if the remaining spouse has Portuguese permanent residence.  This can be avoided by specifying it in the will.

Quick tip: Make sure you put a detailed and legally reviewed will in place.  For British, Canadian, Australian, and American retirees in Portugal, it may be even better to have separate wills both in Portugal and the country of origin.  Get a trustworthy professional to help you with this.

Cost of Living and Housing 

Portugal is famous for its affordability in general.  The cost of living in Portugal is 30% less than that of the US according to Numbeo. Despite the fact that it has been rising for the last five years, it is still a bargain compared to the rest of Western European countries.

A couple can live very comfortably for 2,000 Euros (roughly 2,250 USD) a month.  Roughly half of this budget would go towards accommodation costs.

Let’s dig a little deeper;

The monthly rent for an unfurnished, mediocre, one bedroom apartment
+
Basic groceries for a couple

Water & Electricity & Gas (heating and cooking, not for car)
+
Internet & Phone Line & Cable TV Bundle

Basic Leisure (such as eating out once or twice a week and going to the movies) 
Equals approximately 1,750 Euros (1,900 USD) for a couple.

Boost the lifestyle with the convenience of a car and you will spend just shy of 2,000 Euros a month as a couple.

If you’re retiring with a non-Euro based pension or income like US Dollars or British Pounds, you should set aside a minimum of three months of living expenses as a safety net.  This will save you from a sudden change in the Euro exchange rate against your currency.

We will dig deeper into the cost of property in Portugal in the next chapter.

Retirement Property: Details and Cost of Real Estate in Portugal

As in any market, the cost of your home depends on its location, type, and size.  Whether you rent or buy a place, a home in Lisbon will certainly cost more than a home in a suburban or rural area.  

On the bright side, property prices in Portugal are lower than the European average.  That’s why, contrary to the general preference of expats to rent a place, many opt out to buy a property in Portugal.  

Renting a Property in Algarve or Lisbon

The average property rents in Algarve and in Lisbon would be along the lines of;

  • Rental single family unit in Algarve: 550 Euro to 1,000 Euro per month,
  • Rental apartment in Lisbon: 800 Euro to 2,000 Euro per month,

The lower end being a comfortable place, the higher end being a luxury unit in a nice neighborhood.

Buying a Property in Algarve or Lisbon

Over the last five years, property prices rose in many parts of the country.  Nevertheless, it is still affordable compared to the rest of Europe.  

In a country like Portugal, it is a smart strategy to invest in a property of your own.  This way you remove the housing costs from your monthly retirement budget, eliminating any currency exchange risks in the long term.

In central Lisbon, the square meter prices range between 3,000 Euro to 10,000 Euro; this means the square foot prices range around 300 Euro to 1,000 Euro.  Quite a range for such a small city.  It basically depends on the age, size, location, type, and amenities of the property.

Once you go outside of Lisbon to the suburban areas, the above range practically drops by half.

As for Algarve, the square meter prices range between 1,000 Euro to 5,000 Euro; this means the square foot prices range between 100 Euro to 500 Euro.  Again, depending on how fancy you want your home to be.

For more information on available property options, send us an email or give us a call.

Issues to Look Out For

Finding a properly equipped apartment by American standards can be daunting at times.  Many Portuguese apartments do not have an air conditioning unit or a central heating.  If you are not into these anyway, finding a property will be a breeze.

Typical Portuguese kitchen is rather minimal; a small refrigerator and a two-burner stove would be what you pretty much get.  Also in the older apartments, kitchens tend to be at the very back of the apartment.  Quite unusual to those who are used to open kitchens right next to dining or living rooms.

Parking is a serious issue if you are a Lisboner with a car.  Make sure you choose a unit with parking in order to save time and avoid some serious stress.

Banking in Portugal

Portugal has a modern banking system with over 150 banks in the country.  The majority of banks in Portugal belong to the Portuguese Banking Association.  Some banks are public, while others are private. 

You should open a bank account in Portugal if you are living in the country. Your Portuguese bank account will come in hand while paying local bills and expenses. Trying to manage your everyday banking from your bank account back in your country of origin will both be inconvenient and quite pricey due to the currency exchange rates and the international transfer fees.

Opening a Bank Account in Portugal

Most of the time, you need to open your account in person at a local branch of a bank in Portugal.  Two exceptions exist: (1) if you are opening a non-resident account from overseas, (2) if it is a digital bank, in which case the account may be opened online.

Opening a bank account is quite straightforward in Portugal, as long as you get together the required documents.  Most of the times these documents will include:

  • Passport or Government-Issued Identification
  • Proof of Address (i.e.:utility bill)
  • Portuguese NIF Number (tax identification number)

Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF) Number

The NIF number can be attained quite quickly.  It will come in handy opening a bank account, getting a phone number, buying a property, well, pretty much doing anything official in the country.  How do you get it?  Follow these steps:

  • Locate the nearest Finanças office,
  • Provide them with:

Passport or valid identification

Proof of Address

  • Get your NIF and step away, you’re done.

Banks in Portugal

Some of the popular private banks in Portugal include:

  • Novobanco
  • Millennium BCP
  • BancoBIC
  • Santander Totta
  • Banco Best
  • Banco BPI

A popular public bank in Portugal:

  • Caixa Geral de Depositos

Food in Portugal

The Mediterranean diet is regarded as one of the healthiest diets in the world.  The Portuguese cuisine is known for its fresh seafood.  Most restaurants will have plenty of dishes surrounding shrimps, tuna, and cod.

The produce is most often fresh and organic in Portugal.  Fast food is not very common.  Expect to get relaxed, and sometimes slow table service.

Apart from the seafood, the Portuguese gastronomy is also rich in desserts.  Pastéis de Nata, also known as Portuguese custard tarts consist of rich egg custard sheltered in crisp pastry.  They taste like home, wherever you are from.

Lunch & Dinner Costs

Dinner for two would cost anywhere between 20 Euro to 40 Euro, depending on how fancy the restaurant is.  Lunch is often less expensive.  It is cost-effective for a retired couple to eat out for lunch and then warm up the leftovers for dinner.  The Portuguese portions are typically generous.

As we mentioned above, the Portuguese refrigerators are typically small.  The reason is, the Portuguese prefer to shop regularly for fresh food, instead of storing food for long.  

Wine & Beer

Portugal is a paradise for the wine lovers. The country is home to thousands of high quality wine labels.  The locally produced wine is not taxed in Portugal, so a decent bottle can cost as little as 3 Euro, a good one would be closer to 10 Euro.  As for beer, the local brewers are excellent and half a pint at a local bar will cost around a little more than 1 Euro.

Coffee

Coffee is an integral part of the Portuguese life. But, do not expect to grab it and go.  It is best to sit down and enjoy each sip, but even if you can’t, they would be happy to serve you an espresso at the bar.  It typically costs between a Euro or two.

For those of you Starbucks addicts, you will only find a handful in this country.  

Internet Access

High-speed internet connection and 4G is available almost all throughout Portugal. Nevertheless, it is worth researching the different service providers in the region you will be moving to.  Although great internet service is available in general, remote locations may be exceptions.

Also, almost all restaurants, cafes, and hotels have public wifi for a share in Portugal.  It is fair to say the host country for the Web Summit is quite appropriately connected.

Entertainment

Most movies and TV shows are broadcasted in their original language, with subtitles in Portuguese.  So, you will be up to date with what your friends and family are binge watching back home.  Going to the movies typically costs between 5 Euro to 10 Euro a ticket.  

Netflix is also streaming in Portugal, so you can choose from a great selection on demand.  Its plans range between 7.99 Euro to 13.99 Euro per month.

If you are into clubbing, expect to pay a 20 Euro cover charge and anywhere between 5 to 10 Euro per cocktail.

If you are the athletic type, monthly cost for gym membership is generally around 40 Euro.  You can also find a lot of golf courses, tennis courts, basketball courts, and soccer fields to play in throughout the country. Oh, let’s also pay our respect to the great nature the country provides if you just want to do yoga or meditate among the greens.

Transportation

Public transportation in Lisbon is very convenient and cheap.  Unless you want to get out of the city often, you have great access between the metro stations and the bus stops.

A metro ticket costs 1,50 Euro in Lisbon, while a bus ticket is also under 2 Euro.  You can buy a monthly pass for around 40 Euro.

A typical taxi ride in Lisbon almost always is under 10 Euro.  Uber is also widely accessible and along the same lines of a taxi ride in terms of cost.

If you want to get out of the city, the train lines are convenient.  The train from Lisbon to Porto takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes and it costs around 30 Euro.  For a bus ride, it would be a little longer at 20 Euro.  The train ride is certainly worth the difference in price.

Owning and Driving a Car in Portugal

If you are living in central Lisbon, Cascais, or Porto, you can easily get by without having a car.  As a matter of fact, it will be difficult to find parking in Lisbon, in case you do have a car.  Public transportation is very well connected in Porto and Lisbon.  Between the metro stops and the bus lines, you hardly have any part of the city out of reach.

If you are living outside of these large cities, you will need a car. In Portugal, all drivers are required to carry with them:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicle inspection certificate
  • Reflective jacket (for the driver and each passenger)
  • Headlight Converters
  • Spare set of glasses or contact lenses if the driver has a prescription
  • Spare bulbs
  • First aid kit

The police may ask to see any of these and in case any of the items is missing, you are subject to pay a fine.

Gas costs around 1,5 Euro per liter, so around 5,5 Euro per gallon.  It is slightly lower if Diesel and even lower if LPG.

Monthly parking price ranges between 50 Euro to 120 Euro depending on the location.

You can typically rent a car for under 30 Euro per day, though most major highways have toll roads that are not cheap. Driving between Porto and Lisbon costs about 30 Euro in tolls.

Lifestyle

Portugal has a rather slow pace of life.  A day starts late and ends early.  There’s plenty of national and religious holidays, in which work is off.  Bureaucracy and administrative lags are common. Don’t fight the pace, prepare yourself, and embrace a slower lifestyle.

Similar to the Mediterranean people, Portuguese people like to enjoy life, rather than to rush it.  This reflects in their cities, where most people are outgoing, talkative, and hospitable.

The crime rate in Portugal is very low and it is one of the safest countries to live in.

Fitting in and Making Friends in Portugal

If we need to generalize the Portuguese people, they are kind, helpful, hospitable, compassionate, and typically obedient to rules.  You don’t need to be skeptical if a stranger in the street drops everything to help you with a problem you have.  It’s in their nature.

Most people speak English.  So it is not essential to learn the Portuguese language.  However, it will certainly increase your convenience and help you understand the culture and the country in more depth to do so.

Best Places to Retire in Portugal

Portugal is full of different regions and cities and each has its own charm.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular retirement regions in Portugal.

Retire in Algarve

Forbes magazine recently rated Algarve as one of the best places to retire in Europe.  Appropriately, there is a great number of English-speaking retirees in the region.

The Algarve region lays in the south of Portugal and it consists of more than a dozen towns.  Some of the more popular coastal ones include Faro, Lagoa, Albufeira, and Tavira.  As for the inland destinations, Alvor and Silves are preferred among retirees.

The region is affordable, it has fantastic beaches, a crystal clear, sunny weather, and an abundance of golf courses.  What’s not to like?

You’ll easily get by with just English in the region.  Lots of expats means lots of English-speaking people in the Algarve.

Retire in Cascais or Estoril

Cascais and Estoril are both charming towns, half an hour ride away from Lisbon.  They are located by the ocean.  While very close to the conveniences of the city life and particularly the Lisbon airport, they are just far enough to make you forget the chaos and engage with the excellent scenery and the beautiful beaches.

The two towns are well equipped with the necessary public services.  The property prices have been climbing steadily for the last five years, though less so than Lisbon.

Retire in Lisbon

The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, is the epicenter of the country. It welcomes visitors and expats from all around the world, whether it is just for tourism, to study, to work, or to retire.  It is a delightful city with many lively neighborhoods, as well as many quaint residential neighborhoods, spread around the city.

Populated with half a million inhabitants in the city centre, Lisbon has a taste for everyone.  Popular neighborhoods include Chiado, Baixa, Principe Real, Bairro Alto, Belem, and Campo do Ourique.

Retire in Porto

The second-largest city of Portugal, Porto is situated up in the north.  It is a lovely city with all activities a city may offer.  Many find it to be more authentically Portuguese than Lisbon is; it is very traditional.

Like every rose, Porto has its thorn and it is the weather. It is known to have a gloomy and cloudy sky with very wet winters. 

Tips to Help You Afford Retirement in Portugal

  • If you have the means to move abroad, it may be a good idea to work with an advisor that can help you fine tune the details of relocating.  The advisor would also help you on financial planning and tax implications.
  • You can comfortably retire in Portugal with an income between 1,500 – 2,000 USD per month.  For some, the Social Security benefit alone is enough to cover the costs of living.  

Bottom Line / Conclusion

  • Portugal offers an ideal setup to retire abroad; 
  • it’s a delightful, European destination,
  • it’s affordable,
  • Your savings, social security, or pension will go a long way when retiring in Portugal,
  • You will have a low cost of living and be able to rent or buy a desirable home for relatively cheap,
  • A retired couple could live comfortably in Portugal for between 1,500-2,000 USD per month,
  • Recent changes made in the tax law make it attractive for foreigners to settle in the country and save on taxes for 10 years,
  • You need to apply for residency; there are different methods available depending where you are from,
  • Make sure to save for start-up costs; rent deposits, moving charges, legal fees, furniture for your new place, phone, internet, and cable connections, etc. 
  • Also make sure to leave a cushion as an emergency fund; you never know when you may need to move back or deal with an unexpected event,
  • The tap water is drinkable,
  • Food and wine are good and cheap,
  • Owning a car may not be very practical, but taxis and Ubers are plentiful,
  • The infrastructure, public transportation, and healthcare is very good,
  • Crime is low,
  • Beautiful sunny weather almost all throughout the year,
  • High number of English-speaking people,

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I Retire In Portugal With $200,000 of Savings?

Yes, a retired couple could live a comfortable life in Portugal for 1,500 USD to 2,000 USD a month.

How can I retire to Portugal from the USA?

You need to apply for residency in order to retire in Portugal as an American.  The process is straightforward, but it may take a while.  You need to provide (1) your passport, (2) proof of income, (3) proof of health insurance, (4) criminal background check, in order to apply.

Portugal is listed among the best places to retire outside of the US.

What are the Pros and Cons of retiring in Portugal?

Pros:

  • Portuguese people are hospitable and welcoming
  • Great, sunny weather
  • Easy and straightforward retirement process
  • Fantastic shorelines
  • Large English-speaking community
  • Tax Breaks for expats with the NHR program
  • Low Cost of Living
  • One of the Safest countries in the world 
  • Free Public Healthcare

Cons:

  • Bureaucracy
  • Native language is Portuguese, not English

How much do I need to retire in Portugal?

How much you need o retire in Portugal really depends on where you choose to get located in the country.  While in Lisbon the range you will need to live a comfortable lifestyle is between 1,750 Euro to 2,000 Euro per month, in Algarve you may expect to live on 1,100 to 1,500 a month.  Roughly half of the monthly budget would be spent on accommodation. 

Can a Foreigner Buy a House in Portugal?

A foreigner can buy a property in Portugal, by all means.  There are no restrictions.  The real estate sector in Portugal is quite developed.  There are many foreigners who have invested in homes in Portugal and settled in the country. 

Do Expats Pay Taxes in Portugal?

If you spend 183 days or more in Portugal in a given year, you are classified as a tax resident in the country.  Any tax resident in Portugal is subject to income tax on his or her worldwide income.  This income includes salary, dividends, rental income, and capital gains.  If you are not a tax resident but reside in Portugal, only your income earned in Portugal is subject to tax, and that is usually around 20%.  In order to make use of advantageous tax benefits, Portugal offers to expats, check ou the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) program. You can find more information in the ‘Retirement Laws and Retirement Tax in Portugal’ above.

Is healthcare free in Portugal?

Portugal offers national healthcare to all its residents through Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS).  It is completely free for children under the age of 18 and seniors above the age of 65.  It is mostly free for the residents in the rest of the age groups as well, subsidizing costs for many healthcare services.  You can find more information in the ‘Healthcare for Retirees in Portugal’ above.

Is Portugal a third world country?

According to World Population Review, Portugal is a first world country.  The definition of a first world country is a stable economy and a high standard of living, along with several other factors.

What is the easiest way to retire in Portugal?

The easiest way to retire in Portugal is to apply for a residence status in the country.  Depending on your nationality, there are different methods to acquire residency.  It is easiest if you are already an EU citizen.  It is fairly straightforward to get an appropriate visa to live in Portugal if you are an American citizen.  If you are a non-EU and non-US citizen, you may consider the Golden Visa scheme offered by Portugal.

Which visa do I need to retire in Portugal?

The visa you need to retire in Portugal differs depending on your country of citizenship. Most applicants can get a Type 1 Resident Visa in order to locate in Portugal. Type 1 Resident Visa can be obtained from Portuguese consulates abroad. You are required to obtain the visa within three months of locating to the country. Once in Portugal, applicants generally have six months to apply for a Resident Permit.

Question: retire in Portugal vs retire in Spain?

The major difference between retiring in Portugal and in Spain is the cost of living.  Portugal offers a lower cost of living than Spain does.  The NHR program in Portugal allows for expats to make use of a favorable tax environment.  The climate is also more pleasing in Portugal all throughout the year.  Spain on the other hand, is slightly more accessible in terms of the number of flights and destinations. It is stunningly beautiful and full of culture.  It certainly has more lively and vibrant cities than Portugal on average.

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