In retrospect, would you move again to Brazil?

Hi all,

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Brazil, would you heartily say "let’s do it again"?

From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Brazil so far?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience. We look forward to hearing from you!


Yes, I would retire to Brasil again.

*Preparation was key to my sentiment. Learning through personal experience via vacations provided me with a solid foundation.

I studied the language at home on my computer and practiced while visiting.

I suggest studying the history of any country you may be interested in. This is a good way to understand the people.

*To thine own self be true

Many times I have been told to change my way of doing things-of conducting business-expecting to get my monies worth and social behavior.

I did not take this advice. Instead I insisted on quality work up front, being on time, ready to do a good days work, provide their own transportation and tools and respectful conduct.

It surprised everyone that this worked and I complied a list of true artisans who wanted to work for me.

I grew up with a belief that respect is given till it is unearned and if earned it must be given. I am not open to disrespect of myself or my family and friends.

Brasilians are VERY casual and some may take advantage of your good manners in ways you may find offensive.

This attitude was at first deemed haughty but, now my family and friends bask in the glow of the respect others pay them in extension.

My point is you do not have to forget who you are to live here.

*No one plans to fail, They just fail to plan.

I live this saying. In my case it means having sources of stable income outside Brasil, learning all I can about the people, making contacts I could trust before I moved and of course learning Portuguese.

My quality of life in retirement is good here. Travel to other countries in South America is wonderful. There are a lot of good diversions and interesting places to see.

Nothings perfect of course but, yes, I would do it all again.

Yes, I would definitely move here to Brasil.   There are pluses and minuses.  The pluses far out weigh the minuses.  Of course, if I could go back, I would eliminate all of minuses and then it would be perfect.  However, that is not life.  Part of life is facing challenges and making the correct choices to deal with the potential issues/problems.  As said by Exnyer, "Preparation was key to my sentiment".

I would like to ask my friend James Woodward to respond ASAP!!!   I do so dearly miss your comments!!!!

Have a great day.

Dear Macae, James Woodward was killed 2 weeks ago, no details as of yet.Others may have more information.

I looked for info on James Woodward on the net and found only an article from family in Hamilton saying they were looking for him. This is a guy who is/was always helpful on these forums. Let's hope rumours of his demise are just that.

I have looked and researched and cannot find anything about James Woodward's death other than this one blurb by Metroland.  I does show his photo and When I attempt to open the article it tells me that my country has been blocked!  I am using a paid VPN and have changed country locations from Brazil to the USA to London to Canada and it still shows blocked.

By metroland -- 2016.04.25. 01:34 in category World (Number of votes: 0) [Vote!]
Hamilton family looking for answers in Brazilian murder

After a family member’s life is taken away, most families are looking for a chance to pay their respects and have some questions answered. ...
Published By: metroland - Today
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Related news from Hamilton family looking for answers in Brazilian murder

Here is the link for those interested: … an-murder/

OsageArcher...........Thank you for finding this article and posting it so that I could read and have a....little better understanding as to what happened.

Is it possible for you to paste the article here? I don't have the setup you do so I am blocked.

I moved here because I fell in love with someone who lives here, so yes, I would move here again if everything else were to remain the same. However, in general, I don't think Brazil is a great place to live because it's expensive, dangerous, and the government and culture are too corrupt. For example, if one wants a good education for his or her child, he or she better be prepared to shell out $$$$ for a good private school because the public school system here is notoriously bad. Want to drive a nice car? Be prepared to fork over 2-3x what residents of much wealthier countries pay for the same exact car. Depending on the source, Brazil is currently #1 or #2 in the world in overall murders. Having to constantly look over one's shoulder takes a toll on even the most optimistic person. Enough said. Corruption? While there are certainly more corrupt governments in the world, Brazilian politicians just might take the cake when it comes to stealing or misusing people's tax dollars. And unfortunately, in my opinion, this "I don't give a f*ck about my country; as long as I'm doing well, it's all good," attitude trickles down from the upper classes to the lower classes, so unless this attitude changes (unlikely), Brazil has no hope. Just ask the millions of Brazilians who have left or are wanting to flee this country...they know that Brazil is hopeless.  :(

I'm sorry if this sounds all Pollyanna Victoria but, "Home is where the heart is"

Brasil was not even on my list of retirement destinations. then I met my future wife. BTW I knew I was going to marry her the moment I saw her (no really).

I see all the same faults here and they piss me off too, but my wife is happy to be with family and friends after 14 years away and if she is happy........

I am defending nothing and I am not diminishing your feelings, just hoping to emphasize.

Well said!

A happy wife is a happy life!

I see the same things and have just lowered my expectations for most things.

Love it here and wouldn't change a thing...well maybe one thing. Teach Brazilian's how to make a correct pizza.


If you are ever in Goiania let me take you to Hawaiian Pizza. The owner actually lived in New York City where he learned how to do pizza right!

Aloha Pizza? The international group went there last Saturday night. A bunch of them know the guy too. Tonight we are all getting together to celebrate Cinco de Maio. You should come out and join us!

Sorry, a friend of mine is off to France so we are having a farewell party for him.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!!!!!

In retrospect I don't think I would ....main reason been that it's just too expensive and the salaries are too low .
It's a difficult place to do fun stuff as it cost a fortune just to go away for the weekend so even though there is beautiful nature and islands I don't get to experience it anywhere near as much as I would  like.

It has been good learning the culture and the language but honestly if you looking for the dream tropical beachy lifestyle experience there are better places...
Main reason why I came here is that my wife is from here , I thought Brazil was interesting and it was easy because I could get permanent residency etc
I'm from South Africa which is just as bad as Brazil with the poverty and crime , actually I find the crime worse there , but it's much cheaper and easier to go to beautiful places and do cool stuff.

It's been a difficult experience , mainly financialy but difficult experiences are what make you grow as a person so that's good and I think Brazil has definatley changed me , but I think spending a year travelling South East asia would have been a better investment considering the costs involved in moving here and having to survive with no income while finding work etc

This is a humorous article on moving. Enjoy if you have time and can identify. I'm still moving.

Brazil's favourite pastime: complex and inquisitive form filling | World news | The Guardian … respondent
I can only hope and pray the process will be easier. Am I up for the challenge?????.

Thank God this was written in a humorous fashion.

At the end of the day you will either pull out your hair in frustration or start laughing like the Joker after witnessing a train wreak.


On one hand it's totally true , this bureaucracy is crippling the economy ...

But on the other hand , well I guess I had it easy , but I never had to much problem in Brazil
I have a CIE , Workbook , Brazilian drivers License and two Bank accounts with a credit card here
in Brazil after 10 months and I never had too much trouble  with any of I guess it all depends on your circumstances and how organized you are.
If definately is much easier here if you are Married to a Brazilian , Speak Portuguese and live in an organized city .

The Business regulations here are ridiculous though

Personally i love Brazil - coming from a cold nordic country i love both the climate and the warmth of the people living here. Where i grew up we kind of go into hibernation socially for 8 months a year because it is impossible to stay outside except for work. (Obviouly) we still have some parties but indoors - it is just different when you can stay outside in your shorts at midnight.

But my biggest regret is buying a house instead of renting an apartment - it is just endless headache of incompetent plumbers,electricians & maids. A happy life in Brazil is a question of making it as simple as possible - try to live like the locals and just ignore the problems. Just try to focus on having your personal space, ie bedroom, bathroom and kitchen as clean as possible and enjoy the rest of it. Most of us are probably to worried about it anyway - including myself but then again we are all hostages of our upbringing.

Crime is a major problem and it is getting worse -i have lived here for 13 years now and have never had any problems but most of my expat friends have been robbed either at home or on the street and i do not behave differently so so far i have just been lucky - how do you feel safe at home if some thugs have broken in before - difficult.

Interesting, Cabo Frio. I think one of the few pluses about living in Brazil was being able to buy an amazing apartment for 1/3 (or 1/4 depending on the exchange rate) of the price that I would have had to pay for a similar apartment in a city like LA, San Francisco, or NYC. We moved in December and nearly 6 months later, we are almost done renovating and furnishing our place though it will always be a work in progress. I love coming home to my apartment every day after a long day of work. I love curling up with my laptop or a good book and a cup of coffee and staring out at my rooftop deck and garden. :top: My husband and I took a lot of care in creating our little safe haven in a secure building in a lovely little neighborhood with restaurants, shops, bars, and cafes just steps from our building. Of course, our neighborhood isn't 100% safe, but I feel "relatively" safe walking around during daylight hours and even in the evening up until about 9:00 PM. I'd be a fool if I didn't look over my shoulder wherever I went, but that said, it's nice to be able to stroll out of my apartment on a Sunday morning and have my pick between three delicious bakeries and a Starbucks within a stone's throw.

Guys it's really all about where you live in Brazil , Cities like Campinas and some of the other smaller cities around São Paulo are super european and modern , where I live I don't even worry about crime and enjoy an almost European lifestyle in a modern apartment with high speed internet and a perfect neighbourhood with white picket fences and Swiss style houses at a super affordable price .
If I look off my balcony I see rolling green hills and sheep farms , and this is a city of 500 000!
However I personally find it a bit dull , Ironically  Cabo Frio was actually my dream destination to live in Brazil --- However the Brazilian coastline tends to have a kind of slum by the sea vibe to it's beach towns and it gets worse the futher North you go , it's the one really disalussioning part of the Brazilian dream for me at least two hours from the Sea and the fact that many coastal towns are not really all that nice , unlike South Africa which is full of gorgeous neat clean little coastal towns.

But I would move to either Angra dos reais , Cabo frio or maybe Sao sebastiao if I could

But it's all relative , you really can find any kind of Lifestyle in Brazil , I personally would like to move to the coast in Rio state , but my main concern is making money there and my second is the rising crime in those areas

Ha I've been going  to Brazil for 15 years off and  on We are moving for good next year  I have taking lessons how to make pizza that's my solution cause I really love my  Pizza !!

Bleslie54 :

Ha I've been going  to Brazil for 15 years off and  on We are moving for good next year  I have taking lessons how to make pizza that's my solution cause I really love my  Pizza !!

I see that you're in New York. Could you bring some New York pizza to my city? Lol! Brazilian pizza isn't bad, but it's nowhere near as delicious as NY pizza! What I wouldn't give for a slice of pepperoni pizza from any NY pizza joint or for Roberta's wood-fired margherita pizza in Brooklyn! :sosad:

LOL, you are being humble about the's terrible here. I smoother it with arugula to drown out the taste. 😂

Hi, CraigF! Actually, I was being sincere: I like Brazilian pizza!  ;) We've got a couple good pizza joints in my neighborhood that I could confidently recommend to anyone. Again, the pizza here doesn't come close to NY pizza, but it's surely better than Pizza Hut and Little Caesar's. Bad pizza can be found in any city in the world, and the same goes for good pizza. lol

I like Pizza Hut! Yeah there is bad pizza all over the world. I haven't been to the one pizza place here in Goiania that everyone says is close to tasting like American. Mostly I think it's the availability of the similar ingredients we use in the states. Was in NYC a few months ago and definitely enjoy a huge slice!

Brazilians prefer a fat/thick doughy pizza base and pretty boring toppings in my opinion ...mostly just onion , olives and various ham/salami with catapiry cheese too....
Also a large pizza here can cost you as much as a small car in other countries :P
I personally like a good thin and crispy avocado feta cheese and bacon pizza , maybe some pineapple too'll never find that in Brazil.

I love pizza, yet when I was up in the Northeast in Belem the pizza was a nightmare, yet when in Brazil do as the Brazilians it's food!/lol
I had never seen pizza with corn and peas, the pizza is culture shock at least for me, not talking bad just enjoying different culture. There was a Domino's in case I got desperate.When I return I will try to make my own, sauce,cheese,sausage,peppers and olives no pits and will eat it by hand no fork or knife or plate!/kkkk.
I know someone will understand. This is not a rant!/lol

I understand! Don't forget eggs...strange! 😂

I like the eggs ....Acually that "Português" peas corn and Boiled egg topping is the one topping here I actually like ....

Brazilians think Avocado on a pizza is just ridiculous,the majority just cannot fathom it , but actually it's the best in my opinion ....what do you guys think?
It's super popular in South Africa

Maybe we should all contribute our recipe to what would make a Gr8 pizza for I see we all have a ideal pizza in our minds, Steve I'll see your avacado and raise you a anchovy, I'll also add some ham and raise you a Hawaiian, might as well add some hamburger with 4 cheeses and call it a day!/ lol, just having fun with the toppings oh I meant the topic. Enjoy thought we could use a laugh for all the hoopla in country these days.

Hi everybody,

Maybe you should open a new thread about pizza or the gastronomy.  :huh:

Can we please go back to the initial subject of this topic please?

Thank you,

Priscilla  :cheers:

One last thing please.


Interesting how many people on this thread say that Brazil is so expensive.  I'm an (admittedly lazy) freelance writer and last year I made approximately $12k US. I've got a quite nice one bedroom place, about 10 minutes from the beach and I pay less for it than I would just renting a room back in California or Arizona. And my landlord pays for water and electricity.

In talking with my parents and friends still in the US, I've discovered that just about everything I buy costs just about the same as what they're paying, except cigarettes. I can buy 2-4 packs of cigarettes here for what I paid for my last pack in the US.

I think one of the problems many people commenting here have in regards to "It's so expensive here"  is that they're forgetting the exchange rate. Americans for example. If they're buying a car here that would cost $15K in the US and paying R$48K, they're forgetting that the exchange rate right now is R$3,17 per USD, meaning they're paying the same equivalent.

Pizzaaaaaaa!!!!  "Pizza Americano" With tuna? Please. Don't make me sick. Corn and peas and boiled eggs on pizza? Just thinking about it turns my stomach. And where the hell are my pepperonia dn black olives dammit?!?!?!?  I mentioned a "Hawaiian Pizza" to people here and they looked at me like I was crazy-ham and pineapple on pizza?  No way!  After trying it-why didn't we think of this???

Then I made MY pizza dough for them and they, to a person told me "Open a pizzaria! You'll get rich!" I think most pizza crust that I've had here tastes like cardboard. The secret of the crust is a 4:1 ratio of regular flour to semolina and real active yeast, plus proofing the yeast for 15 minutes and allowing the dough to rise for an hour.  My pizza crust is loved from here in São Paulo (state) to Recife.

VictoriaChandler :

Hi, CraigF! Actually, I was being sincere: I like Brazilian pizza!  ;) We've got a couple good pizza joints in my neighborhood that I could confidently recommend to anyone. Again, the pizza here doesn't come close to NY pizza, but it's surely better than Pizza Hut and Little Caesar's. Bad pizza can be found in any city in the world, and the same goes for good pizza. lol

I prefer Little Caesar's and Pizza Hut over the pizzas I've bought here. At least there I can get pepperoni and black olives.

Mike.........I got what your saying and in some cases that what you are saying is true.  But things, many, are more expensive and let's not forget the lack of quality in a lot of things they do sell.  Some things that we buy in the states and then can buy here in Brazil may cost the same or a little less, but they are smaller and inferior in Brazil.  Cars............Bought my Honda Fit in Natal for $67k and at the time that with the exchange rate made that $19,000.00 USD.  We looked at a Honda fit a month before we moved here and bought the car.  I could get a Honda Fit for $19,500 USD and it was pretty loaded with extras.  My Honda Fit in Brazil came with cruise control, AM/FM/CD........that's it, nothing else.  No push button start, no satellite, no gages, no electric seats, etc, etc.  Now In the USA I got a fully credit car that met all USA safety standards.  Here in Brazil I have a car made with 1/2 the number of welds and doesn't meet USA or the EU's safety standards.  In fact, most cars made in Brazil do not and are of an extreme safety concern during a crash.  This is one of the reasons why Brazil's highway traffic deaths are so high.

I didn't know that about the cars. I have yet to even come close to considering buying a car here. I might when I get back from my (hopeful) trip to visit my parents in July and can renew my California license instead of jumping through the hoops to get my CNH from scratch.

My wife's family lives near Belo Horizonte. We go there from Chicago about every two or three years. I recall back in 2010 when we visited, one of my wife's nephews was all exited about taking us to the new Walmart that had recently opened.

Sure enough, it is a Walmart, the carbon copy of what you would find in the U.S. - same merchandise.

But the prices weren't quite the same.

Case in point - We had bought a table fan at a Walmart in Chicago for my wife's desk at work.

Saw the same damn fan at the Walmart near Belo Horizonte (same manufacturer, made in China, etc.) We had paid $39 for the fan in the U.S.  The fan in Brazil was listed at 150 reals at a time when the exchange rate was about 1.6 reals to the dollar. That translated to about US $90.

ndfansince53 :

ly opened.

Sure enough, it is a Walmart, the carbon copy of what you would find in the U.S. - same merchandise.

But the prices weren't quite the same.

Case in point - We had bought a table fan at a Walmart in Chicago for my wife's desk at work.

Saw the same damn fan at the Walmart near Belo Horizonte (same manufacturer, made in China, etc.) We had paid $39 for the fan in the U.S.  The fan in Brazil was listed at 150 reals at a time when the exchange rate was about 1.6 reals to the dollar. That translated to about US $90.

I've never seen a Walmart in the US with two stories of merchandise. There are a few things that are more expensive here than back in the US. My Coke Zero, for instance. When it goes on sale at Albertson's, Safeway, or Von's (or the like) I can get it for 99 cents for a 2 liter. When it goes on sale here, I can get it for about R$6, or just about double. However, their R$1,99 stores sell for less than our 99 Cent Stores. I've also seen clothing stores here that sell stuff (new) for R$10, or about $3.30US. I can't think of anywhere in the US that I can buy a t-shirt or a dress for that price.

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