According to the 2022 Annual Global Retirement Index from International Living, Portugal once again has been highlighted as a top destination for people from around the world to retire to.

The index takes into account various factors including climate, healthcare, cost of living and governance, with Portugal ranking highly across the board but particularly in housing, benefits, healthcare, climate and fitting in, finishing with a total score of 83.3 out of 100. The only countries to rank higher than Portugal were Panama (86.1), Costa Rica (85.1) and Mexico (83.8).

In the report, Terry Coles writes: “It’s no wonder that Portugal has topped the charts for the best places to retire through the years. This tiny country in the southwest corner of Europe has something for everyone. Vibrant cities full of Old World charm, miles of golden sandy beaches, green, rolling hills, some of the best healthcare in the world, low cost of living, and safety.

“But for me, the best part about living in Portugal is the people. The Portuguese people are warm, friendly, and greet everyone with double-cheeked kisses. On the Silver Coast we rented our first apartment from a sweet, Portuguese woman that spoke no English but always filled our arms with fresh fruits and vegetables from her garden. Despite the language barrier, she became like a sister to us, and we just loved her. At our current rental in the central Algarve, our landlady has shown us around the area, helped us to navigate government offices and even dropped off a gift basket at our door on my birthday. She too is like one of the family, speaks fluent English, and is a person we truly adore.”

The report also highlights the high level of English spoken across the country and the fact that cinemas offer movies in original languages with Portuguese subtitles, while “as a way to encourage foreigners to move to Portugal, the government even offers free Portuguese language classes at schools throughout the country”.

The index takes into account reports from expats living in each country and according to the respondents “a couple can live comfortably, but not lavishly, in Portugal on $2,500 per month. If you want to live in Lisbon, Porto, Cascais or the Algarve, you should bump that number up to $3,000 or more”.


Originally from the UK, Daisy has been living and working in Portugal for more than 20 years. She has worked in PR, marketing and journalism, and has been the editor of The Portugal News since 2019. Jornalista 7920

Daisy Sampson