Top 10 Reasons to Retire to the Algarve
Foreign resident retirees can enjoy their pension tax-free for 10 years
You may know the Algarve as a great holiday destination, but Portugal’s southern region is also a great place to retire. Easy to get to and easy to get around, the Algarve offers an excellent quality of life for retirees no matter what the budget. Here are some great reasons why you should think about retiring to the Algarve.
Great Value Real Estate
Real estate in the Algarve is a very valuable commodity, and tends to maintain it's value even in turbulent markets. If you prefer to buy than rent, that is an option too. Local agents, such as Lisa Lokkerbol from LWL Properties in Tavira have reported a surge in interest from those planning their retirement to the Algarve due to the region's charms as well as some great tax breaks and a lower cost of living than many other destinations.
The range of properties available in the Algarve is huge – everything from multi-million modern, luxury villas in resorts such as Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo to handy townhouses or charmingly rustic quintas in need of some love and attention. Do some research about the best places to live, about professional and reliable real estate agents and check out these tips and resources on property in Portugal.
Legislation in Portugal means that resident foreign retirees (with non-habitual resident status) can receive their pension tax free, for 10 years. There is also a cap on income tax for a range of professions for services billed from Portugal. So, your pension will not only go further in Portugal due to lower cost of living, you will have more of it. (Source: Algarve Senior Living).
If you need help or advice on tax matters, All Finance Matters offers a tax consultancy service and they are experts on Portuguese Non Habitual Residency applications. Blevins Franks offers an integrated service of tax planning, estate planning, pensions and investments. You can donwload their free Portugal Tax Guide. Check out our resources on Portugal Tax.
Understanding the system in a new country can sometimes be daunting, so it's good to know that help is at hand. Algarve Assistants can save you money and time by taking care of your bureaucratic, property and tax affairs. In fact, they can assist with everything from rental licences for your property to registration a vehicle in Portugal, tax returns or translation services.
Portugal’s national healthcare system (SNS – Serviço Nacional de Saúde) is based on a universal care system. As with most national health systems, the Portuguese system does have its problems, however it offers residents access to low cost care, both ongoing and in emergency situations and is, at the very least, on par with other European countries. There are also private hospitals and clinics available across the Algarve, such as Orange Medical Centre. Costs can be high but health insurance can help ease the pain.
Algarve Senior Living
Algarve Senior Living offers rental based, independent living communities where retirees can opt to stay for long or short periods, in quality self-catering accommodation. Common in the US and Australia, this rental based model has the obvious advantage of not having to commit to a real estate purchase before being totally sure that retirement in the Algarve is for you. Add in the safety net of onsite support, medical assistance, concierge services, as well as a ready made community of new friends and the Algarve Senior Living villages are a great way to begin your retirement.
Leaving your native land doesn't mean you'll have to go without a regular dose of retail therapy. The Algarve has many excellent shopping malls and complexes. Mar Shopping incorporates an IKEA store and has 85 shops, including the largest Primark in Portugal, 25 restaurants and 8.000 sqm of outside leisure areas. Designer Outlet Algarve will help you keep your wardrobe stocked with discounted luxury fashion and lifestyle brands.
Local markets are wonderful sources of fresh food and produce and a glimpse into local life in your new neighbourhood. Shopping at the local markets helps you enjoy a healthy diet too as you have access to fresh, tasty and seasonal food.
Moving to a new country is always an adventure, moving for retirement even more so. Without the scaffolding of a work place and schedule upon which to build your new life in a new location, how do you find new friends and a place in your new community? The good news is that in the Algarve there is a vibrant expat and local community spirit with plenty of active groups and clubs to suit all tastes. The village of Boliqueime for example, near to the Golden Triangle, not only offers great real estate, it welcomes newcomers with open arms. Joanna from Diamond Properties doesn’t just sell houses in the area – she welcomes people to their new lives in the Algarve with advice and friendship, easing the adjustment to life in the Algarve.
Of course, the decision to retire to the Algarve shouldn’t just be based on sound financial reasons. Fun should count too. If golf is your thing, then time in the Algarve is definitely on the fun list. With over 30 golf courses of exceptional quality to choose from, the biggest problem a golf loving retiree will have in the Algarve is deciding what course to play. Birdwatchers, nature lovers, walkers – all are spoilt for choice with trails and paths to explore in the Algarve countryside. And then there are the beaches……..winter and summer the beaches are superb, perfect for summer fun with visiting family, just right for leisurely strolls on mild winter afternoons.
Quality of life
Portugal is considered one of the safest countries in the world and the Portuguese people are very hospitable and courteous hosts. Tradition and family are important here. So too is good food. The traditional diet of the Algarve with it’s Mediterranean influences is now considered one of the tastiest and most healthy diets around, featuring olive oil, lots of fish, fresh vegetables and fruit. Every day your local market will have a range of fresh produce available that would make any chef eager to hit the kitchen. And nothing beats buying fresh fruit from a roadside seller, the fruit plucked from the trees just that morning…..
There are several low cost airlines as well as national carriers with regular flights to Faro all year round from most major European cities. From further afield, connections are plentiful via the UK or Lisbon. And once in the Algarve, getting around is pretty straightforward, with a good road system serving the main urban centres, and very light traffic on country roads and in rural areas.
And finally, the deal breaker……none of the above would convince many to retire to the Algarve if it rained almost every day. Happily, the weather in the Algarve is fabulous. In this glorious part of the world, the sun shines on over 300 days every year, and the climate is considered to be one of the most stable in the world, with both Mediterranean and Atlantic influences. What that really means is that you can count on more sunshine than rain, that skies are more clear than cloudy and that the weather will not be a limiting factor in your new life in the Algarve.
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