Retirement In Portugal

Retirement in Portugal

Is your dream retirement in Portugal? In this report, we’ll look at three of the main consideration you need to make as part of your planning process.

There was recently a very interesting programme on TV about a couple who were retiring abroad to Portugal – the programme was actually focused on them downsizing and selling off their personal effects and the money they could raise through so doing.

The most interesting, however, was the fact that the couple made the decision to retire abroad to avoid getting bored.

They made the plan ten years prior to retirement to give themselves time to find land, build a property, plan and save. By the time the programme was made about them, they had achieved their dream. 

Well, if your dream is one day enjoying your retirement in Portugal, it’s clearly never too soon to start planning.

What to consider when planning to retire to Portugal


Brexit have already impacted Britain’s relationships with the EU. The existing rules and regulations for Britons retiring to Portugal will be changing depending on the outcome of the negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

For now, the UK government advises you to register as a resident, register for healthcare and exchange your UK driving licence. For full details, please refer to our Living in Europe after Brexit article, which will be kept updated with country-by-country information including Portugal as well as EU-wide news.


Portugal is a nation that covers over 91,000 square kilometres and traverses many different geographic regions. 

You can enjoy one of the most temperate and gorgeous climates in the Algarve region in the south of the nation, whereas the further north you go, so the worse the weather can become in the winter months for example.

Other ways in which you need to consider whereabouts in Portugal you would like to retire include examining what your budget will afford you and where, and where you are more likely to meet like-minded people.

With a location in mind, it’s time to spend time living in Portugal before you actually commit either to a home purchase or full-on relocation overseas. 

You should consider taking a long vacation in Portugal and even renting a property in Portugal for at least a few months before you make your final commitment.


When you relocate overseas you leave behind familiarity. 

This relates to the familiarity of family and friends as much as it does to the familiarity of handling the day to day intricacies and elements of life – from knowing where the best greengrocer is to have the phone number of a good doctor to hand. 

When you move abroad to somewhere like Portugal you have to work hard to replace all this familiarity.

You have to make sure you live somewhere that is accessible so that you can return home for visits and so that family and friends can come and visit you. 

You have to ensure you have accessibility to a town or city where you are more likely to find everything you need for day-to-day living, from a supermarket to expat networks for example.

You might think living in rural Portugal in retirement sounds like bliss – but when the reality of having to travel distances to have any social contact whatsoever bites, you may suddenly feel lonely and isolated.


The number one reason why expatriates of any age fail to make a go of their new life abroad is a financial one. 

You should not underestimate how much it is going to cost you to start a new life in retirement overseas.  You will have to find accommodation, transport, you will have to ship furniture and personal effects, you will have substantial initial outlay when you retire abroad. 

Factor this in, factor in money for travel back home to visit friends and relatives, factor in money for healthcare and also, when you spend time in Portugal before you move out there to live, try and get a realistic idea of what it will cost you to live day to day in Portugal.

Yes, the cost of living is lower than in the UK. However, don’t forget all the initial outlay you will have and be careful of your money so that you can make it last and work for you.

If your dream is retirement in Portugal then there is nothing to stop you making a go of it – just ensure you put plenty of planning in place prior to the relocation and all should go smoothly.

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Retirement in Portugal
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