Best places to live: what makes Portugal so special?

Members of InterNations, an international expat community, put Portugal among the top ten places to live by weather. But this country has much more to offer than the sunniest continental european capital.

An image of the city of Lisbon, on a sunny day

Some countries value good weather more than others, but the majority has spoken: Portugal deserves the 10th place on the list, when it comes favourite places to live because of the weather conditions. Over 14 000 people living in 195 countries participated in the survey. Costa Rica, Cyprus and Greece make up the top three on the list.

Besides the weather, 62% of expats who participated in the survey rated their personal safety in Portugal as very good, which is 20 percentage points above the global average. Portugal also ranks third as the “Most Welcoming Countries” and fifth in “Quality of Life” and “Ease of Settling in” indexes.

If those are not enough reasons to start thinking about moving to Portugal, environment lovers will love the next one. Portugal got an hororable 7th place in the Environmental Performance Index. This ranking developed by the Yale University analyses the States’ environmental policies. Did you know that earlier this year, Portugal ran for four straight days on renewable energy coming from wind, solar and hydro-generated electricity?

If we are changing your view about Portugal for the better, you are not alone. International perception of Portugal is up for the third year in a row, according to a report by the consultant “On Strategy”. Economic potential and social context were the fields that registered a greater increase. As Portugal becomes a more and more known touristic destination, the reputation among foreigners tends to increase. Additionally, Portugal remains a stable and safe destination, while other typical destinations are facing some political instability or the threat of terrorism, as we have talked about before.

 

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US News explains why Lisbon is a perfect place for retirement

Affordable and safe, a cosmopolitan city with good weather and nice beaches. As the dollar gets stronger, you should really consider Lisbon as a retirement destination, says US News.

A couple stands while looking at the city of Lisbon

We have mentioned in the past how cool Lisbon is and innumerous reasons to move there. While places like Algarve have already made the headlines as a top destination for retirement abroad, Portugal’s capital should not be forgotten. Here are the top reasons to retire in Lisbon, as US News points out:

Touristic attractions: as one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, this city offers multiple outstanding places to visit, such as Jerónimos Monastery, Tower of Belém and Praça do Comércio.

A charming city: as US News puts it, “Lisbon offers the same Old World cosmopolitan flavor” as other better known European capitals, but with good weather, and pleasant, clean beaches.

Affordability: Lisbon is one of the most affordable capital cities in Western Europe. The quality of life you get compared to the cost of living is unmatchable.

Healthcare: Lisbon ranks high also when it comes to healthcare quality, and counts with some of the best health specialists in Europe. Plus, medical care is considerably more affordable in Lisbon than in the USA. Language is not a barrier: most doctors and medical staff speak English. If you are considering visiting or moving to Portugal and want to better understand how to access healthcare services, we can help.

Safety: Portugal stands as one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world. Even in its capital, crime rate are low.

Language: There is an established English speaking community in Lisbon, and English is the second most spoken language throughout Portugal.

Cultural and recreational activities are also mentioned by US News, and moving to Portugal is now easier thanks to the Non Habitual Regime and Golden Visa status. You can read the full article – that concludes by describing Portugal as a “welcoming haven”.

There are many other unique characteristics that render Lisbon a great choice for foreign retirees. Keep visiting our blog to learn more.

 

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The Washington Post’s financial guide to retire abroad

Following our previous blog post about why Americans should retire to Portugal (click here to read it), we are now sharing an article from The Washington Post with a financial guide to retire abroad.

Plan a retirement abroad requires careful planning and many places can be cheaper than the United States.
The financial guide from The Washington Post includes the following topics that prospect retirees should take into account before making the decision:

  • Easy residency programs for foreigners – In Portugal, the Golden Visa residency program makes it easy for foreigners to buy property and establish residency in the country with tax benefits
  • Cost of living and lifestyle – “(…) in the Algarve region of Portugal, named the most attractive place to retire abroad by Live and Invest Overseas, a retiree could live on $1,410 a month, including $600 for rent.”
  • Healthcare – Medical Port can help you with this. We have special healthcare solutions for foreign residents in Portugal that have health insurance or not. The For Health card is a solution for those foreign citizens who live in Portugal and have healthcare needs that aren’t usually covered on health insurances.
  • Bank accounts – It is advised to keep a bank account in the home country and another in the country where you are retiring.
  • Social security – Portugal is one of the countries where American citizens can move and still receive their social security benefits.
  • Pay taxes – Retirees will still need to pay taxes in the United States.
  • Buy property – While some countries make it hard for foreign citizens to buy property, others – like Portugal – make it easy like any other national citizen would.

Spend the retirement years in a foreign country is an exciting idea for many Americans who look for better weather, affordable cost of living and the opportunity to experience a new culture.

Portugal is becoming increasingly popular as a retirement destination and has received for the past few years the top places on the best retirement abroad rankings (click here to read more about it).

To learn more about Medical Port’s solution for healthcare for foreign citizens in Portugal, the For Health card, click here.

Read the full article on The Washington Post, by clicking here.

 

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Where Americans should retire?

Financial Advisor magazine says Portugal should be the first choice for Americans to retire, outside of the United States.

As life expectancy grows, the number of retirees of wish to spend their retirement abroad rises. For those Americans who dream of retiring abroad, the choice of the ideal place may be difficult to make. Proximity to the home country, cost of living, language, safety and climate are some of the aspects prospect retirees must take into account when choosing their retirement spot abroad.

Financial Advisor magazine says Portugal, specifically the Algarve region should be the top choice for Americans to retire and there are plenty of reasons to support this statement: “Portugal, takes top honors, thanks to its low cost of living, low cost of real estate, great weather, established expat community, new retiree residency program and endless options for how to meaningfully fill the days and evenings.

The magazine article adds another two very important reasons why Americans should chose the Portugal for retirement:

  1. English is widely spoken which makes it possible to live in Portugal and speaking only in English – this may be especially advantageous for older people who don’t want to learn a new language.
  2. Portugal is “one of the safest places on earth right now” to live and also to visit as a tourist.

Portugal has been considered for the past few years as one of the best places to retire abroad and the Algarve region was named twice as the best region to retire in the whole world. Click here to read the latest news about why Portugal is a great place to retire.

For Americans Portugal holds another advantage: it is the closest European country from the United States and daily 6-hour flights can take Americans to Portugal.

Read the entire Financial Advisor article, here.

 

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Portugal in the top 10 best countries to retire abroad

Once again, Portugal is in the news as one of the best places to retire abroad.

During the first days of 2016 were revealed two important rankings regarding the best places to retire abroad: one from Live and Invest Overseas and another from International Living. Both rankings highlight Portugal as great place to retire abroad, as they did for the past few years.

Live and Invest Overseas, considered the Portuguese region of the Algarve as the number one region in the world to retire abroad.

This distinction is awarded to the Algarve for the 3rd year in a row. The Algarve, in the south of Portugal is known for its white sand beaches, low cost of living and large expat English-speaking communities. The Algarve is considered a paradise in Europe where the sun shines all year round with mild temperatures.

International Living put Portugal in the 10th place this year. The country drops one place from last year, but still makes the top 10. Once again categories where Portugal received high scores were Infrastructures, Healthy Lifestyle (this category was added this year), Climate and Cost of Living.

Over the last few years Portugal became a popular destination for foreign retirees. Helped by tax benefits programs – the Non-Habitual Regime for European citizens and the Golden Visa for other nationalities – moving to Portugal was never so attractive to foreign citizens from around the world.

For those considering retiring in Portugal and concerned about their health, Medical Port developed the For Health Card. This card offers discounts in consultations and medical procedures even those that aren’t normally covered by health insurance. For Health cardholders that also have health insurance can benefit from using both when recurring to health services.

 

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The Algarve region, in Portugal, named the best place to retire abroad

For the second year in a row, the Algarve is considered the best place in the world to retire abroad.

Last year, the publication Live and Invest Overseas awarded the Algarve with the first place to retire abroad, and this year the publication decided that the best place to retire continues to be in Portugal. In the Algarve, it is possible to live well with $1, 410 a month.

It’s not the cheapest destination, but it’s the destination that offers a better balance between cost and quality of living.

According to Live and Invest Overseas “This region on the coast of Portugal has held the top spot for two years in a row thanks to its low cost of living, affordable real estate and pleasant weather. The area was highlighted for having mild temperature year-round, with temperatures usually staying below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.”

The author of Live and Invest Overseas, Kathleen Peddicord, recently wrote an article on the Huffington Post on how to retire in Portugal, calling it a “sunny European paradise”. One of the strong points of retiring to the Algarve, according to the author is: “Unlike many sunny paradises, however, the Algarve is not a little island in the middle of no place in the sea. It is attached to the Old Continent and reachable by car from Lisbon and points farther north. You can also fly from the U.S. East Coast in short hops, as few as six hours to Lisbon from Boston, for example, where many flights originate thanks to the Portuguese diaspora. From there, a three-hour drive takes you to the south coast resorts.”

One of the advantages the author points is the quality of healthcare in Portugal: “One more driving advantage for this region is the standard of healthcare on offer, which is both modern and innovative and personalized and humane.”

Here is the list of the 10 best places to retire around the world:

  1. Algarve, Portugal
  2. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  3. Cayo, Belize
  4. Languedoc, France
  5. Abruzzo, Italy
  6. Medellin, Colombia
  7. Hua Hin, Thailand
  8. Chiang Mai, Thailand
  9. Cuenca, Ecuador
  10. El Valle, Panama

Since the raking was published, many journalists around the world have been talking about it and highlighting what Portugal has to offer to retired people.

CBS News, the Huffington Post, Forbes, the Washington Post are some of the newspapers who wrote articles about the Algarve as the best region in the world to retire.

Common reasons to why Portugal is a great place to retire are the cost of living, natural beauty, safety, and mild temperatures all year-round.

Medical Port offers top quality medical solutions for foreigners who retire in Portugal and whish to access medical care. Our solutions include access to consultations, exams and surgeries at internationally certified private healthcare facilities throughout the country with experienced medical staff and top notch technology.

 

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Lisbon is considered Europe’s new culture capital instead of Paris or Berlin

European capitals have always been subject to many cultural manifestations and the inspiration for artists over the centuries. An article on Elevated Today talks about how Lisbon is the next big culture spot in Europe. Instead of going to the old culture hubs like Paris, Berlin or Barcelona the author explains why going to Lisbon might be a better choice.

Here’s what the author says about artists in Lisbon:

“There is a huge influx of art here, and it is growing at an unprecedented rate. Some of the next generation’s greatest artistic minds are meeting and mingling here, sharing inspiration and producing their own great works.”

The fact that Lisbon is still not a very touristic place pleases the author since the city is not overly crowded and much of the Portuguese essence is present in every day life. Tourists can still feel how the Portuguese live:

“Additionally, the city is virtually unknown – it is not overrun with tourists like other European capitals. The heartbeat of the city is still strongly Portuguese, and the cafes and restaurants still thrum with authenticity and the traditional roots of Portugal.”

Through the author’s visit to Lisbon it is possible to see how he enjoyed the fact that the city has wonderful places to visit and it is still a cheap destination when compared to the other more famous capitals in Europe. The cost of living in Portugal is relatively cheaper than other cities and allows for tourists or expats to establish in Lisbon easily.

“It’s also attracting foreigners who can no longer afford Berlin, Barcelona, or Paris. It’s a fact: the city is cheap. Astoundingly cheap. It hasn’t experienced the insane rise in cost of living like its bigger cousins. It is possible to live very well in Lisbon on very little, which is attractive to writers and artists who are living in constrained budgets.”

The author ends the article saying the Ernest Hemingway would certainly write about Lisbon if he was still alive and adds that: “The next great American novel? Well… it just might be written in Portugal.”

Read the full article here.

 

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The Telegraph calls Portugal the “ultimate pension freedom”

Retire abroad is a dream for many people that live in the UK. They seek a place to spend their retirement with year round sunshine, great food and where their money can be saved. The Telegraph explains how to retire in Portugal and reduce tax spending.

The article refers to the Non Habitual Resident regime created in Portugal, which allows retirees from other countries to move to Portugal and pay no taxes for 10 years:

If you move to sunny Portugal for example, it could be possible to take your UK pension and pay absolutely no tax on it for the first 10 years. This applies even if you withdraw large sums, a move which in the UK could attract crippling tax charges, as such withdrawals are treated and taxed as ordinary income.

This regime has allowed many foreigners to take residency in Portugal when they retire. Making Portugal one of the best places to retire.

The articles also adds that:

To benefit from these rules, retired people would have to plan the move carefully and make sure they meet strict residence criteria both in Britain and their new destination country. And advice from a professional who has experience with the taxation laws of the country to which you intend to move is a must.

Fiscal advice is important to make sure to get the full benefits from the Non Habitual Resident regime. Aware of this concern, Medical Port developed the “For Health Card” to help foreigners willing to move to Portugal providing them with fiscal, real estate, health and leisure services. Cardholders benefit from fiscal advice to help them apply for the Non Habitual Resident regime and take full benefit from the tax-exempt. Learn more about the For Health Card here.

Portugal has plenty of expat retirees; the majority of them are originally from the UK, and they live across the country but mainly in the southern region of the Algarve. Though it is a small country, Portugal has a lot to see and to explore has a retiree. Besides mainland, Portugal has two islands in the middle of the Atlantic, Madeira and Azores that are known for their natural beauty and breath taking landscapes. Recently The Telegraph wrote an article featuring Madeira, one of Portugal’s islands in the Atlantic calling it “the most enviable island on Earth”.

Using Medical Port services, foreigners living in Portugal will be able to get the help they need when booking medical appointments or treatments. A customer care agent that coordinates all the booking details and the medical care with the medical provider will assist them personally. To learn more about Medical Port’s services, click here.

 

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