The world, as they say, is your oyster as you decide it’s time to up sticks and move to warmer climes and a more chilled lifestyle.
It could be any number of places—France, Spain, Italy, Greece, the Greek Islands, Turkey, Florida.
So, as we say, why Portugal?
Naturally, you would expect us at Chestertons Portugal and O&O Quinta do Lago to recommend this country as your best option. After all, we ARE in the business of selling homes here.
So, rather than listen to the attractions of Portugal from our viewpoint, let us first hand you over to a broad spectrum of opinions, based on hard facts and experienced judgements.
For example, the world’s press states that Portugal is one of the best destinations as shown here:
- Europe’s best country in which to live, and ranked 3rd best in the world.
- Portugal is the “New El Dorado for the European pensioner” (French newspaper Le Monde);
- One of the best options for “an affordable retirement in picturesque Portugal”(American magazine and website International Living);
- Portugal has one of the best health systems in the World (the World Health Organisation and the BBC);
- Portugal is one of the world’s safest countries (U.S. Department of State);
- Portugal is one of the most attractive places in Europe to study abroad (“Topuniversities” of the English Quacquarelli Symonds).
Last year the latest Expat Insider global survey on behalf of InterNations (a community of over 3million expats) saw more than 15,000 people, representing 173 nationalities living in 181 countries or territories take part in the quest to find what is widely seen as the best country to live in.
In categories that included personal happiness, health and well-being, leisure options, safety and security, travel and transportation and—vital in the modern world—digital life, Portugal came 3rd out of 64 countries ranked, rating 1st among European, North American, South American and Australasian countries.
(The two nations topping the survey were 1: Taiwan and 2:Vietnam).
Their summary concluded that people moving to Portugal feel welcomed, safe and secure, and that the quality of medical care is good. More than eight out of 10 expats also emphasised that they also felt very much at home here, which is one of the highest ratings in the world.
Portugal has also become an attractive location for those looking for green and environmentally friendly living.
The majority said they loved living in Portugal so much that they planned to spend the rest of their days here.
People whose descendants have Portuguese roots have begun moving back to reclaim their heritage from Latin American countries, seeking security and tranquillity for themselves and their children.
And, with Brexit having been ratified, there are those English citizens and businesses who want to remain connected to the European Union, so many are now changing residence and even moving headquarters and investments to Portugal, Britain’s oldest ally.
(The proximity to Britain also helps them to stay connected. For example, flight time from Faro to Manchester is under three hours and flights are so cheap that many expats pop back and forth to see family and friends still in the UK, while they, in turn, find it easy to come for holidays).
It may even surprise you to learn that a large number of expats originate from Spain, our neighbours on the Iberian Peninsula, and from France, preferring the lifestyle opportunities Portugal has to offer.
The conclusions from this extensive world-wide survey underline the fact that although Portugal may be a small country (with a land area of 92,212 sqkm, it is only a fraction larger than the size of Ireland, at 88,421 sqkm), it packs so much more to admire within its borders than the laid-back alfresco lifestyle.
The fact that dining outside for lunch or dinner, particularly in the pavement cafés and restaurants, is a cherished tradition of the Portuguese is often cited as part of the country’s enduring appeal.
The amazing coastline, the beaches, the unspoilt scenery, traditions and culture rooted in the centuries, and historical buildings dating back a millennium and more, all add to its appeal.
But the overwhelming sense of the survey was that Portugal, a country that actively encourages foreign investment and property ownership, is not just a holiday hotspot; it really is a place expats can call home.
And on a more practical note, the fact that all this of this comes with a low cost of living (below the European average in terms of daily spending such as food, drink, transport and education) and affordable property prices, certainly presses the claim of Portugal to be the place where people searching for a life and a place in the sun can find their forever home.
There is more on offer than the Algarve beaches. Culturally, Portugal has more than enough to satisfy the most dedicated culture vultures, who will discover just how sophisticated and rich in history is this country , a former colonial and maritime power famed for its medieval explorers who helped to colonise more than 50 countries.
Certainly, for would-be expats looking for an ideal location to move to, Portugal has it all.
Although some come here to work and to give their children a healthier lifestyle, many expats are pensioners, seeking an affordable retirement in a pleasant climate that is not too far from children and grandchildren back home.
Economically, as Le Monde and International Living point out, this country is a pension-friendly place with some significant incentives to move here for anyone changing their tax residence to Portugal.
Obviously, you should check your own personal circumstances with your financial adviser, but it is possible for beneficiaries of pension schemes granted abroad, to enjoy a total income tax (IRS) exemption, for 10 years.
Also, it may be possible for non-resident professions qualified for occupations with high added value, such as engineers, architects, medical professions, teachers, lawyers, managers to pay a reduced rate of 20% IRS for 10 years.
You might expect to pay a premium for living in a country that has so much to offer, but the reverse is true. It’s widely accepted that people move here to make big saving, from the cost of the groceries in your shopping bag, to accommodation whether rented or purchased.
And that is great news for those people on a fixed income and who choose to come and live in one of the best-value locations in Europe.
It would be impossible to list all the reasons why people should choose Portugal when they decide to move abroad to live, work or retire. But, whatever the reason, so many expats find it an attractive proposition.
There is certainly a head-scratching choice of locations within Portugal itself, all of them having their own charm and appeal, from the Oporto region in the north, to Lisbon at the coastal heart of the country, the delightful rural attractions of the Alentejo, and the beaches, beautiful landscapes and maritime delights of the Algarve.
Portugal’s beaches and coasts are regularly voted the most stunning in Europe and many would—and do!—argue that they’re among the most beautiful in the world. The Algarve, Portugal’s famed southern-most region, is particularly popular but the entire country is surrounded by 1,794 kilometres (1,115 miles) of beautiful coastline.
So, with myriad options available, do your research, have a look at the attractions of each region, talk to us about the property we have available for you in each region, and then start packing your bags to enjoy life in the country widely regarded as having the finest climate in Europe.
With so many expats from across the world currently enjoying its charms already, it could soon be time you, too, make that move into your own Portuguese paradise.