Portugal top for retirees

By Daisy Sampson, in News · 10-01-2020 01:00:00 · 10 Comments

Portugal has been voted as the best place to retire in 2020 thanks to the low cost of living, climate and healthcare system in the country detailed in the latest report by International Living.

The Annual Global Retirement Index from International Living highlights destinations from around the globe where you can “live a healthier and happier life, spend a lot less money, and get a whole lot more”.

Portugal topped the table for retirees, beating off competition from Panama in second place, Costa Rica in third and Mexico in fourth. Spain was ranked in eighth on the table while France came in ninth position.

A variety of factors were measured for the index including the cost of living, healthcare, climate and ease of obtaining a visa or residence permit. While Portugal faired especially well when it came to healthcare, scoring 98 out of a possible 100, the country did not come out so favourably when it came to visas and residency (75), governance (78) and opportunity (78).

High scores for Portugal in the climate category (88), entertainment (91) and housing (93), helped Portugal obtain a final score of 86, placing it at the top of the table and leading to International Living crowning the country as the best place to retire to in 2020.

Tricia Pimental from International Living said: “It’s hardly surprising that Portugal topped the 2020 Annual Global Retirement Index. From north to south, from the Atlantic west to the Spanish east, this country’s gracious people, bustling capital, brilliant sun, tantalizing beaches, and verdant valleys are more appealing than ever to a growing number of people.

“Steeped in history and culture, it has a pleasant climate year-round in most regions, as well as an extremely affordable cost of living. Whether you are looking for surfing beaches or ancient ruins, fine museums or hiking paths, a place to windsurf or to polish your golf game, you will find it in Portugal.”

The safety of the country is also an important factor in the index and with Portugal rated as the third safest country in the world on the 2019 Global Peace Index, it makes the country not only a beautiful place to live but also a safe one too.

“I have absolutely no regrets about moving here,” said U.S. expat Jacira Paolino to International Living. “I do know it can be scary picking up and moving to another country. I only really had one friend here when I came—someone I’ve only known socially for a few years, but I’ve made new friends and continue to meet new and intriguing people”

She added: “In the U.S., I worked long hours and was usually so tired when I finished, all I wanted was to walk my dogs, eat, and sleep. Here, it is a time-honoured tradition to have a coffee with a friend, or dinner, or listen to music, get a drink, or go dancing. People actually live here, and get together with family and friends. They go to the beach in the summer, to a jazz club, to any of many amazing restaurants.”


Portugal is definitely a country to retire or live. It's a beautiful country with nice people, food, weather. There's no perfect country anywhere in the world!
That guy Sergio, must be a very bitter person or another frustrated with his live. Get a life boy!
If you're not happy in Portugal move to another country!!!

By Carlos from UK on 16-01-2020 12:23

The only guy talking s*** about Portugal is this Sergio , im 100% he is Portuguese , unfortunately the only think bad in Portugal is this mentality of Portuguese people who are never happy and always complaining !

By Joel from Other on 14-01-2020 10:29

I moved here from the US in 2019, we are retirees. I agree with David's comment, while the health care cost is lower, groceries, household items, appliances, electricity, cars, housing is not cheaper. The driving here is an experience that one could not really describe in a sentence. It is challenging! The weather is fantastic and people are extremely friendly and polite. I enjoy going out and spending time with locals. The other plus is that the majority of people speak English. The food in restaurants is amazing and at a slightly lower cost than the US. I would recommend moving to Portugal.

By Sophia Stammann from Lisbon on 13-01-2020 10:17

I’ve been looking at doing business with Portuguese banks. Are there any that will alllow you to open accounts online and apply for loans in the same fashion? Appreciate any info you can share/post!

By Frank Ferreira from USA on 12-01-2020 04:22

This article is VERY deceiving! First, medical care is very hit and miss! You ARE NOT guaranteed medical care or attention unless you have insurance. If you do not, and are able to see a Doctor you had better have a lot of cash! Dentist, too! If you are in Visa, and do not have insurance coverage and you are caught, you will be asked to leave it be deported!

Cost of living is also not cheap if you want to live in a safe area! Rural areas are very drug infested from smuggling from Africa. If you are need of work, wages are very low and a skilled worker will be lucky to make more than 1500€ a month. Professional work (Dr, Atty, Acct, PhD), are extremely limited, and getting licensed is a whole other problem!

The other major problem is the rampant FRAUD in Portugal! Just Google Isabel dos Santos, Nils Peter Sieger, Miguel de Moura, Nikkalas Sandizell, Norbert Binder, Karl Kowtofski, Fernando Cintroes, GenMedCare, Olevra, Arqueonautas Worldwide and all the scammers who have ripped off hundreds of millions from unwitting people! Sieger is also a know sexual predator! Please beware! Stay away and steer clear of Estoril and Cascais!

Lastly, the climate also depends on where you live! In the winter season, it rains usually 4 out of 7 days a week! In the summertime the heat and humidity is brutal for Seniors! If you like it though, the beaches are wonderful, but packed!

As far as infrastructure travel the train service us good. Buses are terrible! Taxis very expensive! If you are flying, the Lisbon airport is horrible! Get there at least 2 hours before your flight!

As far as the culture, food and wine, all are wonderful!

All said though, Portugal is NO place to retire, unless you have a lot of money and are willing to spend it! Just stay away from the above!

By Sergio from Lisbon on 12-01-2020 09:38

David Killen is correct when he mentions auto prices. We have bought and sold several used and one new car during the more than seven years my husband and I have lived here in Portugal. This is something I always address when I speak at International Living conferences in the US.

Having said that, the other costs of living are substantially less than in the US (I can't speak to where David lived in the UK, of course). One must bear in mind that with a population just in excess of 10 million, there is not the same robust spirit of competition that exists in larger venues.

But by checking a site like kuantokusta.pt and shopping through Amazon (Germany, UK, Spain, etc.) you can make shopping cost-effective and stress-free.

By Tricia Pimental from Beiras on 12-01-2020 09:24

I love Portugal ,alges

By Bhavesh Prajapati from Other on 11-01-2020 07:32

Although I agree with some of what the article mentions, I think the prices of some things are expensive. To name just two:
Internet/TV packs are expensive because there is not enough competition.
Electricity is expensive and then 23% tax is charged on top of the bills.

By Lauree from Lisbon on 10-01-2020 03:57

I live in a semi rural house between the towns of Algpz and Silves. My wife and I moved here in September 2018 and we do not regret doing so. We agree with most of what is written in the above article, especially the famtastic climate. However, we have found the cost of somethings very expensive compared to our origins in the UK. Buying a car is particularly expemsive - even second hand - due to the amount of tax added to the price. We have opted to rent instead, and this is much more economical as we can shop around on a monthly basis ; it also takes away all the worries over maintainance. Driving here can also be quite hazardous as we frequently experience people overtaking other vehicles on blind bends and summits. For grocery shopping we have found that going to local stores is a lot cheaper than the larger outlets, Like Continente pr Iñtermarche. We would not totally agree about the cost of living being 'cheap', as buying the likes of furniture, clothes and household appliances is (in our experience at least) quite a bit more ecpensive than in the UK. We have actually found it cheaper to buy goods in the UK and have them delivered here. All in all though we ate very happy here, particularly as regards the friendliness of Portiguese people, the healtjcare system and the wonderful climate. We would not hesiitate in recommending moving to Portugal to anyone thinking of retiring or relocating here. It is a truly wonderful Country to live in.

By David Killen from Algarve on 10-01-2020 12:44

International Living is spot on in their assessment of Portugal as a wonderful place to live!
We moved to Vila Nova de Gaia from the US about a year ago and have never been happier. Health care is far superior to that in the US, as is the quality of life and for about half the cost. We are enjoying life for a change as opposed to working four jobs and barely getting by as we did before.
Moving to Portugal is the best decision we have ever made.

By Lisa Graziano from Porto on 10-01-2020 10:10
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