Best country to live in retirement according to international statistics

In 2022, Portugal became the best European country to live in retirement. And according to the Global Retirement Index, the state took fourth place. Most of all, retirees are attracted by excellent quality healthcare, a high level of safety, affordable prices, and many options for their leisure activities.

Portugal and medicine

Portugal spends 9.1% of its GDP on healthcare that makes the country the twelfth in the EU. The Euro Health Index ranked Portugal’s medical care as13th — the state is higher than Spain, Italy, and Britain.

Free medical care is guaranteed for Portuguese citizens. Medical insurance in Portugal is also available for retirees that is rare these days. Three major Portuguese companies are ready to take out insurance for older people — Fidelidade/Multicare, Tranquilidade, and Millennium Bank/Médis.

Portuguese security and corruption

In the Global Peace Index-2020, Portugal has long been in the top three. According to the UN statistics, in 2018, only 81 murders were committed in Portugal. Compare with the Russian Federation, where over 20,000 people were killed in 2018.

Let’s not forget about corruption. For example, in 2016, only 2% of Portuguese citizens were forced to pay bribes in the leading state institutions — the police and medical clinics. Few countries can impress with such excellent results.

Finances and taxes in Portugal

As in any European country, all income, including pensions in Portugal, are taxed. But if for five years a person has not been a Portuguese tax resident, so after moving, he/she will receive a guaranteed tax vacation for ten years and will not pay any taxes, including on pensions or earned income.

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At the same time, the average cost of living in Portugal is very reasonable. For example, $2,000 will be enough for a family to live a month, and annual expenses may be approximately $30,000.

How to move to Portugal

The easiest and most reliable way to retire in this country is the Portuguese Golden Visa by investment. This program offers to obtain a residence permit in Portugal in exchange for one of the types of capital contributions:

  • Real estate: considering that you need to live somewhere after moving to Portugal, this option is the most popular. Choosing this variant, you should buy a new residence or commercial property for €500,000, or the object to be renovated for €350,000.
  • Investment in the economy: it must be admitted that €1,000,000 (the minimum investment) makes this option not very popular.
  • New job opportunities: you need to invest at least €350,000 and create ten employment opportunities.
  • Portuguese funds: you must purchase €350,000 in Portuguese funds.
  • Scientific activities: the minimum investment sum, in this case, is the same — from €350,000.

Choosing a suitable investment option, you can try to arrange everything yourself. But it is much easier, safer, and more reliable to use the help of a licensed migration agent, such as the international company Global Citi-Zen, whose experts will deal with almost all issues and questions. In this case, a residence permit can be obtained in just six steps. For example, in the case of investment in real estate, the receiving of residence permit process looks like:

  1. Contract. At this step, the Global Citizen experts will conduct a free preliminary check for the applicant.
  2. Selecting an object for purchase. You will have to choose only from highly liquid objects at an accurate market value. No artificial high prices.
  3. Registration of buy and sale. The Global Citizen specialists will organize the registration of a tax number in Portugal, opening an account, and insurance at a local bank.
  4. Application to the Migration Service. When the documents have been collected, translated, and apostilled by the Global Citizen professionals, the completed application will be sent to the Portuguese SEF.
  5. Consideration of the application. Checking a case with the Migration Service usually takes 4-7 months.
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Obtaining a residence permit. Visit Portugal, submit biometrics, pay all fees, and you will get a Golden Visa.

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