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- Emigrate as a pensioner
Portugal is a very popular destination for people who want to spend their retirement abroad. Although the country is small, it offers a variety of attractions for every taste. The lively cities of Lisbon and Porto are known for their nightlife, cultural and historical attractions, and culinary delights. On the Atlantic coast there are picturesque coastal resorts with beautiful sandy beaches, turquoise waters and impressive rock formations. Inland, there are medieval villages with stone houses and castle ruins, surrounded by green hills and farmland, which provide a breathtaking backdrop.
The Portuguese are known for their friendliness and hospitality and welcome foreigners with open arms. Many locals speak English, which makes integration easier. Portugal is also one of the safest countries in the world, which is an important factor for retirees who are concerned about their safety.
Portugal is a country with a rich and fascinating culture, characterized by a variety of traditions, festivals, cuisine and art. If you want to emigrate to Portugal as a pensioner, you will quickly come into contact with this cultural diversity and enjoy life.
One of Portugal’s best-known cultural traditions is fado, a melancholy musical form often accompanied by song that expresses the feeling of “saudade,” a deep longing. Especially in the cities of Lisbon and Coimbra, you can experience this form of music first hand, in traditional fado houses or in the streets and squares.
Another important element of Portuguese culture are the numerous festivals that take place throughout the year. From religious celebrations such as Easter and Christmas to regional festivals such as the São João Festival in Porto or the Pombal Festival in Lisbon, they provide an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the country’s traditions and customs.
Portugal is also known for its excellent cuisine, ranging from fresh seafood and fish dishes to hearty meat dishes and delicious desserts. Whether dining in a restaurant or shopping for fresh ingredients at a local market, Portuguese cuisine is an experience for the senses.
The Portuguese art and architecture are also remarkable. From the ancient ruins in Évora to the more recent works of contemporary artist Joana Vasconcelos, there is much to discover. In Lisbon, art lovers can visit the Chiado Museum or take a walk through the historic Alfama district, where there are many small art galleries.
For retirees who wish to live in Portugal, there are many opportunities to learn about and enjoy the country’s culture. From language classes and cooking classes to guided tours of museums and historic sites, there are a variety of activities available.
In addition, many Portuguese towns and villages are known for their friendly and welcoming atmosphere, making it easy to socialize and become part of the community. Retirees can also take advantage of the many benefits Portugal offers to foreign retirees, such as tax breaks and access to a quality healthcare system.
The Portuguese health care system is generally good and provides solid care even for retirees. The public health system is operated by the National Health Service (Serviço Nacional de Saúde, SNS) and is accessible to all citizens, including pensioners, free of charge or at low cost. There are also a number of private health care providers in the country that can offer higher quality and shorter wait times, but at a higher cost.
Pensioners living in Portugal are usually entitled to the same health benefits as Portuguese citizens. This includes basic medical care, emergency care, hospital care, prescription drugs and some specialized services. There is also a state-funded health insurance for pensioners who have paid a certain amount of taxes in Portugal and whose income is below a certain threshold.
However, it is important to note that wait times for some specialized services in the public health system can be long, and it can sometimes be difficult to find an English-speaking doctor. As a result, some retirees choose to use private health care services to receive faster and more convenient care.
Portugal, the most southwestern country in Europe, delights visitors with its breathtaking coastal scenery, historic cities and rich culture. The country is known for its mild and pleasant climate, which is characterized by both maritime and Mediterranean influences. In this article we will take a closer look at the climate in Portugal and explore the different regions of the country.
The coastal regions of Portugal, especially in the north and west, are influenced by a maritime climate. This means that summers are mild and winters are humid. Temperatures are moderate, with summer highs usually between 25°C and 30°C, and winter highs rarely falling below 10°C. Rainfall is fairly even throughout the year, with the winter months being somewhat rainier.
In the south of Portugal, especially in the Algarve region, a Mediterranean climate prevails. Here, summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild and humid. Summer temperatures can often exceed 30°C, and even in winter temperatures usually remain mild with averages between 15°C and 18°C. The Algarve region is known for its sunny and warm climate and attracts many visitors.
Azores and Madeira:
The autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira, located in the Atlantic Ocean, have a temperate oceanic climate. Here, temperatures are mild and balanced year-round, with winters being slightly cooler and wetter. Summers are pleasantly warm, but not excessively hot. The islands are characterized by lush vegetation and rich biodiversity, offering visitors a unique natural beauty.
Portugal has a number of microclimates due to its geographical diversity. Due to the different topographies, altitudes and geographical conditions, climatic conditions can vary greatly in different parts of the country. For example, the inland mountainous regions, such as the Serra da Estrela, are cooler with cold winters and even snowfall.
Overall, Portugal’s climate offers a wide range of opportunities for outdoor activities and enjoying the country’s natural beauty. The coastal areas are ideal for water sports such as surfing and sailing, while the mild Mediterranean climate in the south is ideal for sunbathing and relaxing. The green landscapes of the north invite you to hike and explore, while the Azores and Madeira, with their lush nature and mild temperatures, are a true paradise for nature lovers.
Portugal has a large immigrant community, with over 500,000 foreigners from around the world living here. It’s easy to make friends, especially in popular expatriate havens like Porto, the Silver Coast, Lisbon and the Algarve. Thus, as a retiree, you have the opportunity to meet with other retirees, just like at home. This certainly provides plenty to talk about among themselves.
Porto, in northern Portugal, is known for the production of port wine and the terraced vineyards along the Douro River. The city has an international airport and is very popular with tourists. Winters in the north are rainy and cold, but snow usually falls only in the mountains.
The coastal region around the Silver Coast holds numerous opportunities for expatriate living, from charming coastal villages to mid-sized towns like Caldas da Rainha. Fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry and fish, as well as freshly baked bread can be bought at the daily markets in the historic city center and in the surrounding area. A weekly flea market also offers a wide selection of goods. In the outskirts of the city, lush farmland spreads out, with sheep grazing and farmers on their tractors. Winters on the Silver Coast can be cold and wet, while summers bring spring-like temperatures and air conditioning is often unnecessary.
For all those who prefer life in a big city and want to do without a car, Lisbon is an excellent choice. The city is full of museums, concerts, restaurants, shopping, cobbled streets and historical elegance. Due to the high number of immigrants and tourists, there is also a large supply of English speakers. Since Lisbon is built on seven hills, it is recommended to hop on one of the yellow streetcars or other public transportation to get around. Portugal’s main international airport is located here, providing easy access to the rest of Europe as well as other places around the world.
Retirees looking for a place to relax are often drawn to the nearby seaside town of Cascais, where they can drink coffee in sidewalk cafes, meet friends for wine tastings, yoga or walks on the beach.
The Alentejo region, located south of Lisbon and including the cities of Beja and Évora, is the largest and most rural region of the country. In spring, fragrant wildflowers bloom here around stately cork oaks and church bells ring in historic villages. Little English is spoken outside of Évora, so retirees looking to settle here should have a working knowledge of Portuguese.
The Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal with over 300 days of sunshine a year and the best weather, is home to traditional towns like Lagos and Tavira. These offer cobblestone town centers, a thriving café culture, and a large immigrant community. Albufeira, on the other hand, offers water parks, a busy street with tourist stores, restaurants and pubs, as well as beautiful beaches and a lasting vacation feeling. If you are a retiree looking not so much for peace and quiet but for a more varied and also noisier life, you will find it in the Algarve. Due to the strong summer tourism, English is often sufficient as a language here.
It is absolutely necessary, if you want to emigrate as a pensioner, to inform yourself about the costs. Regardless of the country, a lot has changed in terms of costs since 2022. The Ukraine war has taken its influence in terms of real estate (supply – demand). Electricity costs and supply chains also make each country disproportionately expensive. We can all only weigh things up and make our decisions accordingly.
Real estate prices: Portugal, like other countries, lacks affordable housing. The taz has written a good article that describes this problem. However, we will make every effort to work with agents who also have affordable rental properties on offer for our real estate listings in Portugal.
Electricity Prices: Current electricity prices (as of 5/23) in Portugal are 27 cents/kWH, and 19 cents/kWH for business use. Thus, Portugal is certainly not the cheapest in Europe, but of course still much cheaper than in Germany.
Food: In Portugal it is also important to pay attention to offers. Local supermarkets like e.g. Continente, Pingo Doce, Auchan, Lidl, Mini Price and Mercadona offer discount cards. There you can save even more on top of the special offers. But the food, see cost of living, is definitely cheaper than in Germany.
Gasoline prices: As of 5/23, the price of Super gasoline here is 1.66 / liter. Diesel is 1.45 / liter
Health insurance: In Portugal, health insurances are particularly interesting due to their rates. These are adapted to the standard of living in the country and are therefore usually cheaper than comparable insurance policies in other countries. One way to keep monthly costs down is to have health insurance where reimbursements (except for dental and optical services) are less than 80 euros per month. However, in this case, you will need to fill out a form to determine your general health. However, if you opt for such insurance, you will benefit from comparatively low medical costs of €12 to €15 per visit.