Portugal is the No.1 Retirement Destination in 2020—Internationalliving.com

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According to International Living’s just-released Global Retirement Index, Portugal is the world’s #1 retirement destination for 2020. This extensive annual index ranks and rates the world’s top 24 retirement locales across 10 categories, including cost of living, retiree benefits, climate, healthcare, and more.

Beach Cascais Portugal

Beach Cascais Portugal

"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."

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

Editor's Note: Members of the media have permission to republish the article linked above once credit is given to Internationalliving.com
Further information, as well as interviews with expert authors for radio, TV or print, is available on request. Photos are also available.

For information about InternationalLiving.com content republishing, source material or to book an interview with one of our experts, contact PR Managing Editor, Marita Kelly, +001 667 312 3532, mkelly@internationalliving.com

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About International Living

Since 1979, InternationalLiving.com has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, InternationalLiving.com provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. InternationalLiving.com has contributors traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

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