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.

Tourists from the United States are traveling to Portugal as never before

Portugal has seen a great increase in American tourists in 2015 and the numbers continue to rise in 2016.

Travel Pulse magazine highlights that Americans are among the top nationalities that most recently visited the country. That is why the Portuguese Tourism board set the promotion of Portugal in the United States as a priority. The Portuguese Tourism Board believes that the satisfaction that American visitors get from visiting Portugal is the greatest drive of new tourists, since those who enjoyed their time will tell family and friends to plan a trip too. Also the value for money and the proximity to North America are likely to drive the interest of tourists.

Portugal’s capital Lisbon, offers world-class luxury hotels at affordable prices when compared to other European capitals and flights from New York City to Lisbon take around 7 hours or less. Travel Pulse adds:

One sign of the country’s soaring popularity is the fact that it’s nearly impossible to narrow down five must-see locales within this small country. The Azores are a must, Porto can’t be missed as the birthplace of port wine, the Algarve is mesmerizing and Lisbon is the country’s cultural hub – but there’s so much more.

The increase in American tourists in Portugal can also be explained by an increase in overall tourism in the country. In 2015 a record number of foreign tourists stayed in Portuguese hotel, more than 10 million visitors came to the country, according to Portuguese National Statistics Institute. The fact that Portugal is a safe destination right now is also making the number of tourists to rise and 2016 is already expected to break new records.

Read the full Travel Pulse article here.

Esquire magazine names Lisbon one of the coolest cities in Europe

A recent article on Esquire magazine states “Why Lisbon is one of the coolest cities in Europe” to visit right now and why it shouldn’t be underestimated.

The article recommends places to visit and things to do that aren’t likely to be in other city guides.

According to the magazine: “Lisbon does distinct districts beautifully, with the formality of the central Praça do Comércio (created after the earthquake of 1755) flanked by the winding lanes of the Alfama, the city’s centre under the Arabic occupation of Iberia, and the once-seedy and now achingly cool dockyard area of Cais do Sodré.”

The best places to stay are Bairro Alto and to eat there is the renewed Mercado da Ribeira for a relaxed lunch, and Belcanto the two Michelin star restaurant owned by the Portuguese chef José Avillez to learn how the former colonies influenced the Portuguese cuisine and provide a unique dining experience.

The magazine advises visitants to appreciate the street art all over the city, highlight the works of Portuguese street artist Vihls. For those who want to explore further, they can from Lisbon go surfing in Cascais (about half an hour) or to hang out on the beach in Comporta (about an hour south of Lisbon).

Lisbon city guide by Esquire Magazine
Lisbon city guide by Esquire Magazine

Readers are advised to visit Lisbon because “There might not be a cooler city in Europe at this precise moment (…).”

Click here to read the full article on Esquire Magazine.

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.

Portugal’s residence program for foreigners is the best in the world

According to a report from Henley & Partners, the global leaders in residence and citizenship planning, Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program is the world’s best residence-by-investment program in 2015.

This program allows foreign citizens to invest in Portugal and obtain a residence visa.

Among the 19 residency programs for foreigners analyzed by Henley & Partners, the Portuguese one is the one that offers more advantages to foreign investors. Portugal is followed by Austria (2nd place) and Belgium (3rd place).

The programs were ranked according to 10 indicators: Reputation, Quality of Life, Tax, Visa Free Access, Processing Time and Quality of Processing, Compliance, Investment Requirements, Total Costs, Time to Citizenship and Citizenship Requirements. Portugal ranked highest on “Total Cost” meaning the initial investment required is lower when compared to other programs. Portugal shared the top spot with other countries in the following indicators: “Tax”, “Visa Free Access”, and “Processing Time and Quality of Processing”. Meaning that foreigner investors have light tax burdens and the processing procedures are quick and efficient.

Some of the reasons to move to Portugal, according to Living in Portugal:

  1. Great climate with an average of 3300 hours of sunshine per year, one of the highest rates in Europe
  2. The satisfaction of 80% of the tourists who visit the country and want to come back
  3. The average housing prices in Portugal are very competitive compared to the main European cities
  4. Taxation is light on foreigner investors as Henley & Partners already highlighted in the report
  5. Portugal is ranked as the 17th safest country in the world among a list of 153 countries

Medical Port serves foreign residents’ healthcare needs through the For Health Card, a card that gives access to the top private healthcare providers in Portugal with discounts and specialized services. To learn more about the For Health Card please visit our website.

Portugal in the top 5 countries with best quality of life

Portugal is ranked as the 5th country in the world with the best quality of life.

Internationally recognized expat website, Internations recently announced the 2015 quality of life index ranking.

The Index includes 64 countries, ranked according to different factors such as leisure, personal happiness, travel and transport, as well as health, safety, and well-being. This year, “affordable healthcare”, “quality of environment” was added as new questions and “political stability” and “peacefulness” was considered individually to reflect new thoughts and feelings.

Portugal jumped 8 places from last year’s ranking where got the 13th place. In 2015, Portugal is the 5th country with the best quality of life index leaving behind countries like Spain, Japan, Germany and many other European countries.

Besides the overall rank, there are four sub-categories, which are leisure options, personal happiness, travel & transport, and health, safety & well-being. Portugal ranked number 3 in the health, safety & well-being subcategory and number 7 in personal happiness.

The first 5 countries are:

  1. Singapore
  2. Ecuador
  3. Austria
  4. Switzerland
  5. Portugal

Below is the full list of the 64 countries analyzed:

 

Quality of Life Index 2015

The 2015 Quality of Life Index confirms that Portugal is one of the best options for expats to live, whether to work or to retire. The country enjoys mild temperatures all year-round, above the average and affordable healthcare and it is an overall safe country to live in and to travel to.

Best places to retire in Europe for Americans

American news website U.S. News listed the 15 best places for Americans who dream to retire in Europe and how affordable it is to fulfill the dream.

Ordered by the average cost of houses per square meter, from the cheapest to the most expensive in Europe, Portugal ranks number 4. Meaning Portugal is one of the best places for Americans to retire.

The article refers many advantages to why Portugal is a great place to retire:

“This Old World region has been attracting foreign retirees for decades and is home to more than 100,000 resident expat retirees. Thanks to its 3,300 hours of sunshine per year, more sunny days than almost anywhere else in Europe, the Algarve has a longstanding reputation as a top summer destination among European sun-seekers and a top winter retreat for those looking to escape Northern Europe’s coldest months.”

The average cost per square meter in the southern region of Algarve, Portugal is $1,345. Much cheaper than France ($14,724) or Spain ($5,213) and those who chose the Algarve aren’t likely to be disappointed:

“The Algarve’s 100 miles of Atlantic coastline are punctuated by jagged rock formations, lagoons and extensive sandy beaches, many awarded coveted blue flags from the European Blue Flag Association. The water off these shores is azure, and the cliff-top vistas are spectacular. In other words, you could fill your days here at the beach swimming, sunning and boating. In addition, the region boasts 42 golf courses in less than 100 miles and is generally recognized as a top golfing destination in continental Europe.”

Retire in Portugal is a great option for those who enjoy the sun, the sand and golf. Mild temperatures all year round, especially in the Algarve area make it possible to enjoy outdoor activities even during winter months.

Read the full article here.

31 reasons why everyone should move to Lisbon

The Global Post in a recent article emphasizes what the city has to offer to those who not only visit the city, but also to those who decide to move here.

From the 31 reasons and their explanations described in the article these are the 10 best reasons to move to Lisbon, in our opinion:

#1. It basks in Europe’s greatest climate

More sunshine than Madrid, Rome or Athens — yet while they all sweat through the Mediterranean summer, there’s usually a breeze blowing off the Atlantic to give Lisbon natural air-conditioning.

#3. The beach is 20 minutes from downtown

“The soft sandy beaches of Oeiras and Cascais are a short hop along a coast-hugging suburban rail line.”

#5. It’s got a river that feels like the sea

“The Tagus at its widest is over 10 miles across, forming western Europe’s largest estuary. It’s a haven for wildlife — including pink flamingos that flock to the far bank.”

#7. Rome can’t match the views from Lisbon’s seven hills

“Like the Italian capital, Lisbon is supposed to have been built on seven hills. Almost every one offers a fabulous view, from across the rooftops of the old city to the shimmering waters of the Tagus beyond.”

#12. There’s loads of culture

“You can overdose on the arts — from the gilded interior of the Sao Carlos opera house, to the fabulous art in the Gulbenkian Museum and Berardo Collection.”

#16. You can eat really, really well for practically nothing

“Food is taken very seriously here and even fancy restaurants are much cheaper than in most European capitals.”

#18. It has what might be the greatest aquarium in the world

“The Oceanario is Lisbon’s biggest attraction. An aquarium like no other, its 180,000 cubic feet main tank holds more than 100 species of big fish, including tuna, rays and sharks.”

#21. Johnny Depp speaks English here

“Unlike in most European countries, Portuguese theaters play movies in their original language, with subtitles.”

#27. There’s a fairy-tale fortress up in the hills

In less than 40 minutes by train, you can visit the village of Sintra, filled with castles and romantic places. Palacio da Pena is the most astonishing one, is a UNESCO heritage site.

#29. It’s full of leafy havens

“Lisbon is full of green getaways” like the 2500 acre Monsanto park or the Principe real garden, “a verdant oasis surrounded by chic shops and bars”

Read the full article here.

For all these reasons and many more, Lisbon is a great option for those considering retirement abroad. Moving to Portugal is now easier thanks to the Non Habitual Regime and Golden Visa status.

Read more about retirement in Portugal here.

Why many foreigners decide to retire in Portugal

Retiring abroad is becoming a growing trend among many Europeans. With the increased mobility between European Union countries, many pensioners decided to spend long periods abroad looking for a better way to spend their retirement days.

Foreign retirees living in Portugal come mostly from France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland Poland and Brazil.

It is estimated that more than 177 thousand French citizens are living their retirement in Portugal. Being the 3rd abroad destination choice for French people. Their main motivations are the lower cost of living, the weather and the fiscal advantages.

According to an article in the French newspaper, Capital, for many years the preferred destination for French retirees was Morocco, but in the last few years Portugal has increased as is becoming the new retirement Eldorado. And the choice is quite simple because Portugal has advantages like the political stability, security, fiscal advantages, lower cost of living, good climate and easy living and is relatively close to France.

Since the introduction of the Non Habitual Resident regime that allows European citizens to benefit from tax reductions in Portugal for 10 years – the reason why The Telegraph recently called Portugal a retirement heaven – many have chosen to apply for the regime and rent or buy a property in Portugal.

Two of the main advantages of retiring in Portugal are the climate and the proximity to other European countries. Lisbon is 2 hours away by plane from both Paris and London. To better serve expats living in Portugal, Medical Port developed the For Health Card, a card that provides a privileged access to health, fiscal, real estate and leisure services. Click here to read more about the For Health Card.

Medical Port launches a new card to serve the needs of foreigners in Portugal

The For Health card is designed for foreigners living or considering moving to Portugal, looking forward to address some major concerns of who lives abroad for long periods of time.

The card provides access to health, real estate, fiscal, and leisure services to foreign residents in Portugal. And results from a partnership between Medical Port, Lusíadas Saúde and Consultan.

According to Belén de Vicente, Medical Port CEO, the goal is “to ensure who moves to Portugal has an efficient and personalized answer to the main concerns and needs in the areas of health care, real state, fiscal and leisure services to assure a comfortable life in Portugal”. The card offers a complete and integrated solution to the various needs of foreigners with the Golden Visa or Non Habitual Resident regime in Portugal.

When buying different services in Portugal, the Foreigners’ Health card gives each cardholder special benefits and discounts.

The fiscal consultancy services include support to arrival, registration and report formalities in the fiscal area. Health services give access to consultations, diagnosis exams, and surgical and non-surgical treatments, from the most diverse medical specialities. Real estate services include support and counselling when searching for a property in the entire country. There are also available customer support and leisure services, such as, concierge, interpreter, Portuguese classes, nutritionist sessions, or wellness programs.

Cardholders can get a 10% discount rate in fiscal services, 15% discount rate in healthcare services and 10% discount rate in customer care and leisure services.

The Foreigners’ Health card offers the access to a set of services and can be purchased by any foreign resident in Portugal or willing to move soon (with the Golden Visa or Non-Habitual Resident status).

To learn more about the For Health card, please go to www.medicalport.org/forhealthdownload the brochure, or contact us directly.