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7 Reasons to consider retiring to Portugal

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7 Reasons to consider retiring to Portugal
From low cost of living and a friendly visa regime to stunning beaches, weather and golf courses, here are some reasons to consider retiring to Portugal
International Living’s 2024 Annual Global Retirement Index placed Portugal second only to Costa Rica in terms of the best places in the world to live during your golden years.
Easily accessible from the UK and home to vibrant cities, stunning beaches, world-class golf resorts and much more. Portugal has long been a popular destination for British holidaymakers and second home buyers. Add to that a medical infrastructure ranked as the 19th best in the world by Numbeo’s 2024 Health Care Index, and those approaching retirement have plenty of reasons to consider a new life in Portugal.
"Portugal has long been popular for British holidaymakers and second home buyers"
Christina Hippisley, General Manager of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK, comments:
“Retiring to Portugal provides a wide range of benefits for those who take the plunge. We see plenty of demand from UK retirees seeking a better quality of life, a more active lifestyle in the sunshine and the fun of starting a new chapter in their lives. Retiring to Portugal can be a sound financial choice, too. Those who move to Portugal for their retirement tend to be thinking with their heads as well as their hearts.”
Ready for a new adventure as you break free from working life? Here are seven reasons to consider retiring to Portugal.

1. Low cost of living

For most of us, retirement means watching the pennies and economising. That’s much easier to do in Portugal than in the UK.
According to Numbeo’s February 2024 figures, the cost of living in Portugal is 26.9 per cent lower, on average, than it is in the UK. From everyday essentials to eating out, life in Portugal means retirees can make their pensions stretch further and enjoy a superior quality of life.

2. Huge property selection

Portuguese retirment homes
Whether your dream retirement property is a cosy cosmopolitan apartment or a spacious villa with a private pool and life-affirming sea views, you can find what you’re looking for in Portugal—and at a far lower cost than a comparable property in the UK.
This is ably demonstrated by the Vale do Lobo resort in Portugal’s southern Algarve region. The 450-hectare resort is home to around 1,500 homes, including apartments, duplexes, linked villas, detached villas and more. Buyers currently seeking their dream retirement property can choose from a wide range of stylishly refurbished Golf Residences or opt to buy a land plot on which they can build their own unique property.

3. Community connections

The strong community and social connections that come with owning a resort property are another part of Portugal’s charm. The country is home to more than 780,000 foreign residents, with sizeable expat communities not just in the Algarve but in cities such as Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra.
For retirees (as for expats of all ages), being able to connect with people in the local area who have gone through the process of settling in another country can be beneficial in both social and practical terms.

4. English proficiency

Education First’s English Proficiency Index ranks Portugal eighth in world, classing it as “very high proficiency”—the highest level that the index has, and one that only 12 countries have achieved.
"Portugal's very high English proficiency makes it easy to settle in "
For those considering retiring to Portugal from overseas, this is certainly reassuring, making it much easier to settle in while you’re still getting to grips with the language.

5. Sunshine and nature

Portugal’s sunny climate is ideal for healthy ageing, presenting plentiful opportunities for spending time in the great outdoors. An active lifestyle surrounded by nature is a cornerstone of the offering at Life Plan Resorts, 30 minutes outside of Lisbon. Focused on healthy activity, brain vitality and fun, the resort sits within the rich greenery of a cork tree forest by the placid waters of the Vale do Cobrão dam in the Tagus Estuary Nature Reserve.
In addition to its rolling farmland and deeply forested plains, Portugal is home to everything from beaches to mountains, meaning retirees can drink their fill of the natural world.

6. World-class golf courses

Portuguese golf course
Better Health advises that golfers walk between five and seven kilometres during a full round of 18 holes. Those who play regularly can reap rewards for both their physical and mental wellbeing.
Portugal is home to more than 75 golf courses, with 31 of them clustered in the Algarve. At Vale do Lobo, for example, there are two championship 18-hole golf courses with challenging, undulating fairways and spectacular ocean views.
Golf courses are also dotted in stunning locations around the rest of Portugal. Retirees wanting to stay fit and active can hit the fairways almost year-round, particularly in the sun-kissed south of the country.

7. A friendly visa regime

The icing on the cake for retirees in Portugal is the country’s welcoming visa regime. Any non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen with pension income (or other passive income, such as from real estate or financial investments) of €8,460 per year is eligible for Portugal’s D7 visa. Introduced by the Portuguese government back in 2007, the visa provides an easy route to legal residence in Portugal, covering retirees, their spouses and any dependent children.
"The D7 visa provides an easy route to legal residence in Portugal for retirees"
In addition to providing residency rights in Portugal, the D7 visa also grants applicants the right to visa-free travel throughout the Schengen Area—something that is particularly relevant to Britons post-Brexit.
Visas were certainly top of mind for attendees at the Moving to Portugal Show held in October 2023. 54.5 per cent of delegates cited advice on residency and visas as their top reason for attending, compared to 46.6% who were focused on taxation, 42.2 per cent who were seeking information on house prices and 37.8 per cent who were interested in investment opportunities.
For retirees currently considering Portugal, the next information-packed, free-to-attend Moving to Portugal Show will take place in London on March 14, 2024.
Banner photo: Beach in Portugal (Vale do Lobo)

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