Pros and Cons of Retiring in Portugal

You’re considering retiring in Portugal.

It’s a popular place to retire. But will it work for you?

Lets find out what makes Portugal an appealing place to retire.

We also look at the negatives.

You’ll soon be able to make an informed decision about retiring there!


Pros of Retiring in Portugal

Non-EU citizens can easily achieve permanent residency in Portugal.

While this is a major benefit of retiring in Portugal, there are many other factors to consider.

While foreign retirees love amazing beaches, sunny beaches are just the beginning.

Keep reading to learn why Portugal is one of the most popular countries for retirement.

The Excellent Weather

Portugal has generally warm weather.

However, there is climate diversity throughout the country.

Would you prefer long summers, an arid climate, or a lot of rain? You can find all three options in different parts of Portugal.

The sunny weather lasts for 300 days.

The warm weather even lasts through the winter compared to some colder countries.

Western Europe has great weather and climate for retirees.

You may even notice an impact on your quality of life.


The Safe Environment

Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world.

Portuguese citizens are friendly and welcoming. This is true no matter what country of origin the newcomers have.

This beautiful country also has a low crime rate.

Most foreign residents will feel right at home when they move to Portugal.

They’ll never worry about being on the wrong end of a crime.

The Ease of Travel

Portugal is conveniently located close to many other European destinations not only it is one of the cheapest places to fly into.

This makes it easy to explore other European countries.

Foreign citizens with a residence permit can easily travel to Schengen countries.

They can spend roughly half their days in these countries.

The Schengen countries consist of most of the countries in the European Union. There are 26 of these countries in all.


The Variety of Activities

Portugal has a lot of recreational opportunities to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do.

Maybe you prefer hiking the Serra de Estrela mountains.

Perhaps you’d rather participate in water sports on the sunny beaches.

You’ll never get bored outside.

The larger cities also have a lot to offer people who would rather stay inside.

Portugal is home to many castles and ruins, as well as some islands and golf courses.

You can find many beautiful beaches with amazing views.

Plus, you’ll find so many beautiful vineyards and wineries with stellar wines.

Don’t forget about the 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

There are 19 more awaiting approval!

The city centers also offer a lot of cultural activities.


The Healthcare

Portugal has cheap and reliable public healthcare. They also have private health care options.

The many community health centers offer quality care. Portuguese healthcare is appealing to many people.

Public healthcare is free and anyone can visit public hospitals.

Private health care has many benefits that are well worth the extra money.

American retirees must purchase private health insurance.

Fortunately, private insurance generally costs less than $1,500 a year.

Retirees from non-EU countries can eventually opt out of private health insurance.

The NHR Tax Regime

Portugal has a Non-Habitual Tax Resident regime.

These tax benefits are appealing to many retirees.

The NHR gives tax breaks to foreign residents.

If you have worldwide income from overseas, it will not be taxed for the first ten years of residency.

However, there is a 10% tax rate on any foreign pension income or social security.

Being a tax resident in Portugal has its perks.

The Affordable Cost of Living

Portugal has an affordable cost of living for foreign retirees.

If want to reduce your cost of living, even more, you could try using house sitting site, this allows you to live rent free. That means more money to explore Portugal!

This is especially true when you compare it to other European countries.

Portugal has affordable prices, free medical care, and reasonable tax rates.

They also have double tax treaties, even for those with dual citizenship.

However, the salaries are not great. It may be hard to live here if you still work.

Fortunately, as a retiree, your working days are in the past!

Cons of Retiring in Portugal

Now that we have looked at the reasons to retire in Portugal, let’s consider the disadvantages.

There are many reasons why you might not want to seek permanent residency in Portugal.


The Tourism

Portugal is becoming a popular European destination for tourists.

This makes sense because of the amazing views, beautiful vineyards, and historic cities.

Add in the unusual beaches and affordable cost of travel and who wouldn’t want to visit?

This might be positive for some people. For example, non-EU citizens may be excited to see tourists from non-EU countries.

This contributes to traffic and the cost of living. It can also lead to longer wait times at restaurants or crowded beaches.

Lisbon, the capital city, and Porto are the major cities with high rates of tourism.

This is because they have amazing beaches, cultural activities, and excellent weather.

The Customer Service

Customer service is not offered 24/7 in Portugal.

You will have to wait until business hours to deal with any problems.

Unfortunately, dealing with customer service can be time-consuming.

If you call at 9 on Monday morning, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to do anything fun for the rest of the day.

The Winter Season

Winter can be a very rainy season in Portugal.

You probably won’t see snow, but you will see a lot of gray skies.

Portugal doesn’t have central heating.

This means it can be difficult to stay warm on the coldest nights.

The Smoke

People smoke publicly in Portugal.

It is not uncommon to see and smell cigarette smoke no matter where you go.

Most people don’t notice after a while, but many people can be very sensitive to cigarette smoke.

The Dogs

Dogs have a bit more freedom in Portugal than they do in the United States.

Dogs can poop wherever they want. And their owners don’t always pick them up.

If you live in a more populated neighborhood, you’ll also hear a lot of dogs barking.

Portuguese dogs seem to bark a lot even when their owners are home.

The Bureaucracy

Portugal is infamous for its bureaucracy.

There is so much paperwork and conflicting information.

If you need to deal with the red tape of the government, it might take you a while.

Obviously, this is a problem in most countries.

Most people who have lived in both Portugal and another country agree that it’s worse in Portugal.

Other Factors of Retiring in Portugal


The Language

Portuguese can be a difficult language to learn, especially later in life.

Fortunately, English is widely spoken in Portugal.

Even if you are not fluent in Portuguese, you may be able to get by in this country.

It’s important to speak Portuguese when dealing with government agencies and officials.

The Pace of Life

Portugal has a slow pace of life.

Some people think this is an advantage of living in Portugal. Many others see this as a disadvantage.

Nobody is in a hurry. The major cities aren’t exactly bustling cities.

If this sounds perfect for your retirement, you are considering the right country.

If you don’t want to live at a slow pace, look somewhere else.

The Cuisine

Portugal has an amazing food scene.

With 28 Michelin-star restaurants, you’ll always be able to find something delicious.

Portugal has many family-owned restaurants that make food just like grandma used to.

However, you won’t be able to find a lot of diverse cuisines.

If you want food from another country, you’ll have to search long and hard to find it.

The Driving

Portugal has very good road systems. You will also notice that there isn’t too much traffic.

Most of the good roads are toll roads. This can become expensive.

Fortunately, you can travel for free if you don’t mind steep and winding roads.

However, Portuguese people are known to be aggressive. This causes many accidents.

As long as you are aware of your surroundings and remain calm, you should be able to drive safely.

The Banking

Banking in Portugal is fairly easy. This is especially true if you open an online account.

However, local banks offer more benefits than their online counterparts.

A lot of places don’t accept Mastercard and Visa so you may want to get a bank card from a local bank.

Or keep cash on you at all times.

How to Retire in Portugal

It is quite easy to retire in Portugal. This is why retirement in Portugal has become so popular.

Even non-EU citizens can receive Portuguese citizenship with ease. They also qualify for tax benefits.

Once you get your Portuguese residence permit, you will be ready to go.

Foreign residents will need to supply some documentation.

You’ll need proof of health insurance and income, passport, and criminal background check.

Let’s look at the two most popular visa types.

The Portugal Golden Visa

The easiest way to become a Portuguese resident is with a Portugal Golden Visa.

You can obtain a Portugal Golden Visa by investing in real estate. Fortunately, property prices aren’t too high.

While it is called the Golden Visa, it isn’t just for people in their golden years.

Foreigners must invest at least €250,000. While the exchange rates vary by day, you can expect it to be a bit less than $250,000.

There are eight ways to invest, including making a simple capital transfer of €1.5 million.

They will then gain their residence permit within about six months.

After five years, things can get serious. That’s when they can apply for Portuguese citizenship or permanent residence.

The ease of buying property is great for foreigners who wish to move to Portugal.

The D7 Visa

The cheapest way to become a resident is through the D7 Visa.

You need to prove that you have a passive income of about $8,500 ($12,750 for a couple).

Social security, dividends, and rental income all count as passive income.

This is a straightforward and quick process if you have enough passive income.

Once you provide proof of income, the process will take just a few months.

Like with the Portugal Golden Visa, you can eventually apply for permanent residence. You only have to wait five years.

Now you know everything about retiring in Portugal.

After considering these pros and cons, you’ll be ready to decide on retirement.

You understand the visa types. You know all about the cultural activities and sunny beaches.

If you want excellent weather and amazing views, you will improve your quality of life.

Just join the permanent residents of the foreign retiree community in Portugal.

Start planning your retirement now!

Author: Britt

I am Britt. I have been house-sitting and pet-sitting for the past 7 years. I have cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 80+ houses in 15 countries.

The opportunity to experience different homes, cultures, and communities has been extraordinary.

Through house-sitting platforms like Aussie House Sitters and Trusted House Sitters, I’ve connected with homeowners seeking reliable sitters. This unique way of living has allowed me to save money on accommodation, explore new cultures and meet new people.

Being a member of these platforms has broadened my horizons and opened doors to short- and long-term house-sitting jobs. I’ve found joy in providing excellent pet care and ensuring the home is well-maintained.

I get many questions about how to start as a housesitter, so if you have any questions, please reach out! I want everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!

You can read more about Jay and me here!

Or connect with me on Facebook or in our house-sitting community on Facebook.

House Sitting in Salon-de-Provence
Me (Britt) House Sitting in Salon-de-Provence, France

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *