The experts at InternationalLiving.com has just released its 30th Annual Global Retirement Index for 2021 which isn’t just for retirees: it’s a great resource for anyone who has ever thought of moving to a country where the cost of living is considerably cheap.
In no way is the Global Retirement Index meant to be a scientific output. It’s designed to be a useful tool for people, constructed out of real-world, on-the-ground information interpreted through a lens of well-informed experience and opinion.
In this year’s Global Retirement Index, International Living’s editor scored 25 top destinations across 10 categories, including cost of living, governance, climate, healthcare and more. “All 25 destinations are worth your attention,” says Jennifer Stevens, International Living’s executive editor. “Whether you’re looking for a friendly, good-value city, a tropical beach, a cool, highland retreat, an historic colonial enclave or a quiet lakeside getaway, this Index can help point you to your best options on the planet today.”
Why: “It’s no wonder that Portugal has topped the charts (5th place) for the best places to retire through the years,” says International Living correspondent Terry Coles. “This tiny country in the southwest corner of Europe has something for everyone. Vibrant cities, miles of golden sandy beaches, green rolling hills, some of the best healthcare in the world, low cost of living and safety.”
Where to Move: Looking to live without a car? For a city full of old-world charm, check out Lisbon – best city for Expat – or head north to visit Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto. Alentejo is the largest and most rural region of the country, with fields of wildflowers, historic towns and a sparse population; check out the cities of Beja and Évora. “Life here is slow, winters are cool, and summers are hot and dry,” says Coles. Another great place to consider: the Algarve – rated as cheapest destination in Europe – known for its Atlantic beaches, fishing villages and hot, dry summers. English is widely spoken.
The Cost: Although it depends on many factors, you can live on about one-third less than America. That’s starting at around $2,020 for a single person, while a couple can live comfortably, but not lavishly, starting on $2,500 per month. If you want to live in Lisbon, Porto, Cascais or the Algarve, bump that number up to $3,000.
Options for Moving: To legally reside in a European country long term, you need a foreign residence and/or work permit. The first step is usually applying for a visa from your home country. Once approved, that visa allows you to enter the country you’re moving to with your passport. You can then apply for a residence or work permit. Portugal is expat favorite and offers easy paths to residency. There are a number of long-term visa options for living in Europe: a student visa, work visa, retirement visa, investment visa, business/entrepreneur visa (for small- and medium-sized businesses), self-employment visa, digital nomad visa, spousal/partner visa and citizenship via descent.
To apply, make an appointment at your nearest Portuguese consulate or embassy. If you need assistance you can submit your request here.