"Safety, quality affordable healthcare, a relaxing lifestyle, a rich history and culture, savory cuisine, geographic diversity—you’ll discover all these elements in Portugal—on about a third of your current budget."
BALTIMORE, Md. (PRWEB) January 07, 2020
Portugal takes the top spot in InternationalLiving.com’s 2020 Annual Global Retirement Index. It topped the categories of Healthcare, Climate, and Housing while scoring well in the Fitting In/Entertainment and Development categories.
“Safety, quality affordable healthcare, a relaxing lifestyle, a rich history and culture, savory cuisine, geographic diversity—you’ll discover all these elements in Portugal—on about a third of your current budget,” says Tricia Pimental, International Living Portugal Correspondent. “I know. It’s where I’ve spent the past seven years and I love it..
“Portugal offers so much to retirees. Expats typically find their expenses in Portugal run about one-third of what they were in the States. Even with a fluctuating exchange rate, we still live a comfortable, although not extravagant, lifestyle for about $2,500 a month,” Tricia says. “If you choose to live in Porto in the north, Lisbon, or in the expat havens of Cascais or the Algarve, you probably want to bump that up to $3,000.
"Rental and housing markets offer fairly diverse options. Naturally it is more expensive in prime areas like Lisbon and its environs and in the southern region of the Algarve. But by simply searching within 20 minutes of a specific town, you can find a gem that fits your budget,” says Tricia. “If you're looking for land and a 'get away from it all' lifestyle, there are plenty of opportunities to invest and enjoy the breathtaking countryside Portugal is famous for."
When it comes to the Healthcare, Portugal has some of the finest doctors and medical training available anywhere. Teaching facilities include the School of Health Services at the University of Minho in the north, the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Coimbra in the center—renowned for its expansive research fields and Ph.D. programs—and the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the New University of Lisbon in the south. Many, if not most, doctors who graduate from these fine universities do studies and residencies in the U.K. and other European countries. Additionally, many of their upper-level courses use English-language texts and are taught in English. This results in most medical professionals having some level of fluency in the lingua franca of the 21st century.
“Professional healthcare, both public and private, is available in clinics and hospitals throughout Portugal,” says Tricia. “Private insurance averages $46 per person monthly. We pay $40 a year per person for insurance entitling us to half-price doctor visits, and either use public healthcare (a privilege of residency), or pay discounted prices in the private system. Cost per person for catastrophic insurance is $90 per month.”
As compact as Portugal is, about 349 miles north to south and only 135 miles east to west, there are distinct differences when it comes to climate within its borders. The country can be divided into five climatic areas—meaning in Portugal it’s easy for retirees to find a place with the climate to suit their tastes.
Portugal enjoys a warm temperate climate with cool wet winters and warm dry summers. The highest temperatures in the most desirable zones rarely surpass 90 F.
As a retirement destination, Portugal is simply fantastic—but it is also a top destination for digital nomads.
"Since the late 2000's, Portugal has been implementing a plan to develop a preeminent, state-of-the-art infrastructure,” says Tricia. “That's evidenced by one of the highest per capita fiber optic networks in Europe, and also what is arguably the most modern highway system, per mile driven, in all of Europe. The speed of this development has attracted international high-tech firms, even luring the Web Summit a few years ago from its home in Ireland to a ten-year contract in Lisbon."
Rated the third-safest country in the world in the 2019 Global Peace Index, Portugal is not only secure, but beautiful. “I have absolutely no regrets about moving here,” says U.S. expat Jacira Paolino. “I do know it can be scary picking up and moving to another country. I only really had one friend here when I came—someone I’ve only known socially for a few years, but I’ve made new friends and continue to meet new and intriguing people.
“In the U.S., I worked long hours and was usually so tired when I finished, all I wanted was to walk my dogs, eat, and sleep. Here, it is a time-honored tradition to have a coffee with a friend, or dinner, or listen to music, get a drink, or go dancing. People actually live here, and get together with family and friends. They go to the beach in the summer, to a jazz club, to any of many amazing restaurants.”
Others tend to agree. “Perhaps the nicest thing about Portugal is the friendly people, who go out of their way to make you feel welcome,” says IL contributor Kevin Casey.
While Portugal wins the top spot in this year’s annual Global Retirement Index, it’s just one of 24 countries examined in 10 categories, including: Housing, Benefits and Discounts, Visas and Residence, Cost of Living, Fitting In/Entertainment, Healthcare, Development, Climate, Opportunity, and Governance.
Since 1979, InternationalLiving.com has used a widespread network of editors, correspondents, contributors, and contacts based around the world to accumulate the information, data, and insights used to prepare this Annual Global Retirement Index.
The main role of the Index is to help retirees find locations where their dollar goes further—
where they can get the best value for money in terms of cost of living, housing, and overall quality of life.
A comprehensive account of how Portugal soared to claim the top spot of the 2020 Global Retirement Index, along with links to the complete International Living 2020 Global Retirement Index can be found at: Portugal: The World’s Best Retirement Haven 2020
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