What a marvelous experience. If you are considering Portugal, and particularly the area in or near Lagos, to retire to, I can highly recommend it.
There is no need to be concerned about the language issue. English is spoken freely everywhere due to the area being a long time favorite vacation spot. Learning a few key phrases in Portuguese will go a long way, but most natives speak and understand it well. Plenty of expats to mingle with as well.
The Portuguese people are much friendlier and courteous than other European cultures. I made friends with a Portuguese man and his fiancé on the train to Lagos and they and several other travelers all spoke English and were eager to answer all my questions. While I was in Lagos we met for drinks several times and they offered to find me a good rental for my next visit and provide any services I required if and when I decide to live there permanently.
I found the whole experience met my criteria for a retirement haven better than any other place I tried. I have decided that I will retire there next year before the tourist season starts. All my concerns were addressed. Rental rates, food, hospitality, health care, language barrier, good expat community, attitude of native population and cleanliness of the city were all confirmed and found to meet my needs.
The Algarve is truly an expats dream come true. and being on the European Continent is a big plus.