Portugal is the ultimate retirement hotspot in Europe. It’s the place where every hard-working Brit goes to retire, to escape the high taxes in the UK, and the harsh weather. A number of French, Spanish, Dutch, German, and Irish retirees have also moved to Portugal because of the low taxes here.
Portugal gets sunshine all through the year. It has lovely beaches, a vast coastline, great food, quality healthcare, and a perfectly relaxed lifestyle. Yes, you don’t need to worry about the safety aspect of moving to Portugal, as it has the lowest crime rate in Europe.
It’s as perfect as it gets. Portugal is already well known in the British ex-pat community as the top retirement destination in Europe.
What about the cost of living in Portugal?
Portugal is not as cheap as it was 10 years ago, the cost of living in the country has really picked up in recent years. The cost of food, alcohol and dining out have really risen here. But certainly, the cost of living is much lower than what it is in the UK.
Portugal was hit by harsh austerity measures in the aftermath of the economic recession of 2009, which reduced the National Health Service coverage substantially. But there is no question that the health care facilities here are positively world-class, certainly comparable to the NHS in the UK.
Where to stay in Portugal? Which is the best place to retire to for a comfortable retirement?
Well, every area of Portugal offers something unique. The Algarve is the most beautiful region in Portugal, and is similar in many ways to Costa del Sol in Spain, except that it’s a lot cheaper, less crowded and does not suffer from the same overdevelopment as Costa del Sol does.
Algarve is sunnier and warmer than the other regions here, and it has the advantage of being close to the sea. So there are plenty of beaches here. There is a large British ex-pat community at the Algarve as well, so you will never feel alone here. You will find yourself making lots of like-minded new friends real soon.
If you have school-going children, you will be pleased to know that Portugal has some of the best international schools in Europe, where English is the principal language of instruction.
What about Brexit? How has that affected life in Portugal?
Not by much, really. Most of the British ex-pats in Portugal voted against Brexit, but now that it has happened, life goes on just as usual. There have been no major changes in their condition, except that the retirees that depend on a British pension find themselves having a slightly lower buying power because of the fall in the value of the pound.
So what sort of property should you buy in Portugal?
The last thing you want is to buy your dream home and a few years later want to sell it off because it becomes too big and too expensive to manage. A number of elderly British expats have sought to sell property in Portugal and downgraded to smaller accommodations for this reason. Never has there been a better time to buy or sell your property in Portugal.