Are there substantial expat/retiree communities in Brazil? Where?


Looking at relocating from the US for retirement and I find a lot of information on the web about specific locations in some countries (Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador) but very little for others, such as Brazil. I love the country but it's not so popular with US folks as a retirement destination (not as tax or visa friendly, I guess, and crime can be an issue). I have heard of European retirees in the northeast but I never see estimates of numbers.

Wondering what cities in Brazil might might already be attracting substantial numbers of expat retirees, from North America but also Europe? I find in other Latin countries that if a town or city is not attracting a lot of retirees, there's probably a reason why.

Retirees are scattered everywhere. It´s a very big country so take your pick!

I have not seen concentrations of a particular nationality with a significant number
to be reckoned with...


I agree, there is no concentration of retirees that I am aware of. I know a lot of other Expats from many different countries in my city, but I’m the only retiree.

For a retiree I would be aware of the double taxation of your income. There is no agreement between the USA and Brazil. Although you will have the power of the USD, everything is expensive.

If I were you, to avoid the double taxation I would only opt for the tourist visa (180 days).
Live the other 6 mos in a different country, say Argentina.

You can purchase 2 residences if you have the money..


Thanks for these replies. Very helpful. Will check out Argentina. I have been to BA a couple of times and it is of course quite nice.

I am moving to Salvador, Bahia myself next year and have been looking around and despite the advantage of the USD and being a retiree I have found other expats but not many retirees in the city as I visit it more and more. I would definitely look at also keeping your money stateside and being able to get out what you need each month. I still plan on having a second residence back in the States to have a second place to come back to. Look into something to do on the side as well if you are able to fully retire and not worry about anjos that may help with the double taxation or just add a little money to your account.

I did visit the school that my son will attend one Paltamares almost 30 minutes from Barra which is a great place for him to attend because it was founded by Expats for Expats and he’ll stay on the American school system with some of the Brazilian holidays. Look for ways that moving to certain places will give you an advantage that you can capitalize on. Where I’m looking to live everything is within walking distance, they have a great transportation system and riding Uber is extremely cheap and many will even bargain you for being your personal driver even for long distance.

The main thing is making sure that whatever your desires are in wanting to retire overseas find those places that make that happen for you. That’s helped me a lot.



I love the country but it's not so popular with US folks as a retirement destination (not as tax or visa friendly, I guess, and crime can be an issue).

Brazil's retirement visa rules aren't that different from the countries you mention, and while crime here gets a lot of press, as in most places, it tends to be concentrated in places where you're not very likely to go.  In compensation, you run into far less anti-American sentiment here, and you have Brazilian culture, which I've always found much more attractive than any of the Spanish-speaking cultures.
I think the main reason you don't see more US retirees here is that Brazil is so FAR from family and friends.  For most Americans, the trip to Mexico or the Caribbean is a little longer than a trip to one of the coasts; the trip to Brazil is a little shorter than a trip to Europe.  In my experience, except for Manaus, there is no major Brazilian city you can reach the same day you leave home - it's usually the next morning.  Living in Brazil is great, but you really are living ABROAD, no doubt about it!

From what I understand, there are many Brits and Americans who live in Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, and they all express how wonderful it is.  I don't know.  Never been there.


I was there.  Very nice. There's even a nude
beach! Food was good! They even serve "cabrito" ( goat meat) at churrascarias.

But it was REALLY hot and steamy during that
summer week that I stayed.


Of course, Robal, it is the tropic and, the further North you go the closer you are to the Equator.  Humidity is brought in by the sea, and no one should have steel stuff.  Pure aluminum or plastic.  Anything else will be destroyed by rust in no time.
The ocean, I think you will agree, is nice and almost body temperature, right?  At least it is in Recife, but I do not recommend that town to anyone.

Recife is a nice place to visit, I don’t think I would want to live there full time. We just spent the weekend there and also went to Olinda. Now we are in Porto dó Galinhas which is much better. This maybe the best vacation ever!

There are not many Americans when I visit Salvador which is where I am settling there are mostly people from England, Germany and France. But in Salvador there are expats that exist in Barra, Patamares, and Pelourinho and a few others who opened small businesses because they saw that they had something to offer the economy and the people there. On my first visit I met an American who has a record store in Pelourinho. They are there just spread out not really on one concentrated community except for Patamares, about 30 minutes east of Salvador, where there is a community of people who are not all native Brazilian but people who have work opportunities and diplomats and other retirees who moved to Brasil.

I have found that everyone there loves Americans and if you speak Portuguese it is a huge plus if not there are language schools that are there but hard to find a native English speaker who speaks Portuguese.

I just happen to train Capoeira and I know of Brazilians in the US that speak Portuguese and English. I just left Salvador, Bahia being there for Christmas in the summer and it does get really hot but it is nice with the winds coming from the ocean, not much for me though having lived in San Antonio, TX for the last five years.

I definitely recommend trying to connect to someone who loves where you are interested and keeping in contact (WhatsApp) is used a lot. I have found out a lot from talking to people from HelloTalk, an app used as a language exchange from people who speak to others with the language that they want to learn. The most unique part of the app that I have found is that even if you don’t speak the other language there is a qwerty board that floats above the conversation you are having to help translate and speak to the other person. I have gained many contacts throughout Brasil through this app.

I agree with the other posts about crime. Just like the US or anywhere else there is crime and mostly if all you had to go on was the news you’d never go to Brasil. You’d be surprised at how others view our country. Just use the same common cautions you would use anywhere. Don’t draw attention to yourself, don’t get caught hanging around in the dark or loomy places alone, don’t show up all flashy and sporting your least expensive stuff, and don’t look down your nose at them. They are a happy, welcoming, prideful country and the worst is to treat them like they are needy or below you. That makes you the first target. But pay attention to your surroundings. Everywhere doesn’t look like Fast and the Furious 8. There are some places that look like a little metropolitan city but those places do exist and they are not all bad people but here are some. Some places have very tight security and high police presence not always because there are crime areas but because they want people to feel safe.

Start by taking extended trips while on a tourist visa (that’s what I’ve been doing) to get used to the culture and loving there in the communities. It is different but can be very peaceful, serene and simple if you make it.

Sorry I wrote so much. These forums have helped me a lot too so please ask your questions.

The Northeast States are great for lifestyle retirement.  Health Care wise, not a great choice.  Public Health and Facilities on that region are subpar.   

Folks at the Goden Age require a more diligent approach to their own well being, and that includes closeness to quality health care. 

I would consider the states of São Paulo ( Municipalities such as São Caetano, Sorocaba, Campinas, São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Holambra, Taubaté, Santo André ), Santa Catarina and Paraná where Health Care Funding, staffing, quality of delivery are taken more seriously.

Tony Costa

Well Tiny, I agree with all that, except that Sao Caetano or Santo Andre are good places to retire.  Way too industrialized, making it not so healthy.  You would certainly need good health care in those areas.

Using São Caetano as a reference point. 

The "Industrialized" jargon go back to the days these were Mill Towns or Smokestack Cities. No longer the case.  So, yes, you are not living in a paradisiac resort type of town, you are actually living in a dense urban environment. So it might not be for everyone.

The laid back lifestyle of resort destinations do appeal to folks who are considering retirement overseas, but you do not get the whole package. Unless you are living in the deep South, then you can't expect for state of art facilities and diligent professional care.

Meanwhile the base of Health Care Cluster ( Labs, Hositals, Clinics, Compound Pharmacies, Drugstores ) throughout São Paulo grew expoentially over the last 30 years.    It is everywhere, and very visible  in more affluent neighborhoods.  Most of its growth is driven towards private, insurer funded, or pay for services. 

So now, you have referencial and specialized centers throughut the entire state, with emphasis on location within larger metropolitan areas.

São Caetano, stands out because it actually has a Public, not for Profit, Health Care System that actually works.  From what I understand, once you establish a continuous residency of two consecutive years, you can pretty much use the City and Estate Services for free, and bypass the lines. This is a public health care service oriented towards  the Golden Age Group ( 50 plus recipients ).

Also, it is close to São Paulo, and it benefits from being accessible to Sâo Paulo.

Now it needs to stand clear, that there is a disparity in terms of quality and facilities between public and private.   The Former aren't, even in a City as São Caetano, as good as the for Profit Private Facilities.  Nowithstanding the difference, the attention provided by caregivers is , by all accounts, outstanding.

Santo André, for instance, the local public  Community Health Center, has staffers to do in house visits and follow up to the local retirees, granted I've seen it done on more affluent neighborhoods. 

As you have in Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia,  you can actually get a Practicioner full attention through your visits to the doctor.

Now, there is always the case where you might want to be able to connect to a Health Care Provider in the US, Canada, or the UK  given its reputation for quality, level of specialization, or Quality of Delivery for acute Health .  So yes, I would keep paying for that Part B on Medicare as an US Resident.

All what I am saying is that once you reach the retirement age, you become more dependent on being close to quality health care. So resort cities are not such a great ideal, after all.

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