Retiring in Portugal

Hello everyone,

Why did you choose to retire in Portugal? What are the advantages compared with your home country?

What were your main considerations when deciding to move? For example, taxes, ease of transferring your pension, etc..

Are there any specific formalities you had to go through as a retiree moving to Portugal (for example, is there a particular retirement visa)?

What is Portugal's healthcare like? Have you had any good or bad experiences dealing with healthcare professionals?

Do you have any tips for other retirees in Portugal?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


I tried living in Portugal for 12 miserable years. The portuguese don't want foreigners in THEIR country. In addition, the medical is horrible, and the Portuguese are the worst drivers ever and it's easy to become a cripple there as a result. I have 9 screws, a metal heal, a half a metal tibia all in one foot. In addition I had a broken C2 in my neck and four herniated discs. Also, I have cysts where the seat belt rammed me as a truck almost killed me and my husband on a small two lane road in that deplorable country. Oh my first accident there was as a result of a really bad bus driver, and I had to have a dental implant as a result of that accident. I am now retired in Madrid, Spain with my half baked foot. I love Spain!!! What a difference!!! Does that answer your question?

12 miserable years eh? Why didn't you go to wonderful Spain beforehand? Its a shame about your accident but you should try and remember some of the good things about life. You sound so horribly bitter.

Hi there
I moved here 4 months ago after a very hectic lifestyle. Now its very relaxed - this took some getting use to - be patient and dont expect things to operate on the same timeline as where you are from (generally speaking). If you make an appointment with someone, often they will be late - if you arrange "sometime next week" then take that to mean "sometime in the next month" etc.
The people are incredibly nice (with very few exceptions) and its common in the country areas to be told - "oh just pay me later" or people offering to walk or drive you where you need to go. The food is nice, but often doesnt look like what we expect from all the cooking shows these days. Driving is a challenge - the Portuguese drive very fast and often cross the centre line, and tailgate. Be aware and safe yourself and you should be OK. The roads are generally excellent, although there are some quirky things - like a roundabout with a pedestrian crossing on it. Lots to is cheap. Cars and petrol are expensive.
In some areas (like mine) there are LOTS of expats from various countries (mostly Britain) and these people can be a challenge. Mostly older people who do EXACTLY the sort of things that they complain about back home. They never learn the language, the bitch behind each others back - even yelling at each other in the street, the cheat on taxation and car ownership, they expect to be taken as Gods Gift to the universe and they talk absolute crap most of the time. Never believe any advice from a Brit - check it again from a number of sources. Oh, and dont expect (like many expats here) to have the same quality of everything - including work health and safety - thats why its so cheap - because they havent had to spend as much on all the rules and regulations.
Health care is fine - but probably not as good as where you came from - where everyone runs to the doctor for every imagine illness or "I feel a little turn coming on".
Come here and embrace the difference, enjoy the people, the weather etc - but if you dont like it, then look at your epxectations before complaining. If you still dont like it, then go home - dont try and make it into Britain or blame everyone else except yourself.

where did you live in Portugal?

where did you live in Portugal

I live just outside Coimbra in a village called Vila Nova de Poiares

Loved your story Rhys.

Couldn't agree with you more , such lovely people as well .

I am just at the start of my journey , hopefully buying in Portimao area within the next year.Have just come back from a two week holiday , but whilst we were our there , got our fiscal numbers and opened a Portugese bank account with no hassle and dealing with nice people unlike some organisations in the uk we have to put up with .Initially we will be buying a holiday home with a view to retire there in about 8 years time .

All the best to you !


thanks Arryboy
I hope you enjoy your time and find a nice house
all the best

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Sorry for you.The very notion of Chance implies the existence of fatality.
Your bitterness is quite understandable but your views on Portugal and Portuguese is definitely scarcely expressed in Forums

Excellent comment !!!! :)  Could not agree more

Hi,  what issues did you have getting your fiscal number before having a Portuguese address?

thank you.

Hi Fred ,

They were more than helpful .

All sorted for my wife and I in less than an hour .

I had even forgotten my driving licence as ID , but still sorted it out for us .

So as long as you have your passport plus driving licence you will be fine .

Good luck Fred .

Whst a totally brilliant post. Couldnt have put it better. You have made me laugh & brightened a dull, wet , London PM, Thanks!

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