The Triumphal Arch..? or The Old World charm of Lisbon?

My Heart’s In France, But My Mind’s On Portugal

What More Could An Expat Ask For?

What a week to be in Portugal! Especially for me… when my own nation, France—the host for the 2016 UEFA European Championships—winds up against the Portuguese team in the final showdown.

It doesn’t matter whether you follow the game or not. When football fever hits Europe, the excitement is contagious.

Because of my travel schedule, I’ve had to write this issue a few days ahead of publication… and before the big final. By the time you read this, the winner will have been decided.

Right now, my money’s on La France.

But, however things go for the Portuguese on the pitch, Portugal still claims an important accolade this year—one that’s far more relevant to you, dear reader, than all this football glory…

As you may have read, Portugal’s Algarve came out tops last week—and for the third year running—in our Live and Invest Overseas Retire Overseas Index.

If you were in the room with us this past week at the Carvoeiro Beach Resort for our Live and Invest in Portugal Conference, this should come as no surprise.
Simply put, the Algarve has everything the would-be expat could want. The advantages, as laid out by our experts on the ground last week, include:

  • Great weather and lots of sunshine year-round…
  • An established and welcoming expat community…
  • Top-notch medical facilities and health care…
  • An affordable cost of living, especially when you consider the quality of life on offer…
  • Undervalued and bargain-priced property buys, including right on the ocean…
  • Endless opportunities for fun and adventure and enjoying rich, full, varied days out-of-doors…
  • A great deal of English spoken thanks to the long-standing British presence…
  • First World infrastructure…
  • A new retiree residency program that rolls out the welcome mat for foreign pensioners…
  • And easy access both from the United States and to and from all Europe.

Another thing that stood out from the stories our expats shared last week is how their lifestyle has—without any concerted effort—become much healthier since moving to this neck of the European woods.

British expat Alyson Sheldrake, who, along with her husband, moved to the small town of Ferragudo five years ago, says:

“We shop at the market each day for fresh produce and seafood and then prepare meals each evening together. We take long walks on the cliffs and along the beaches. We’re outside all the time, enjoying the sunshine. We didn’t make this move with the specific idea that we wanted to live healthier, but that has been one of the biggest benefits of our new lifestyle here in the Algarve. It’s hard not to eat healthy or to get exercise naturally each day. It’s just how you live.”

And Californian expat Stephanie Calcott, who moved here with her husband and son, appreciates the slower pace and a return to a more traditional way of life:

“In California we were always in a hurry, always rushing. We never seemed to have time to just enjoy life and each other. We now spend our mornings exploring the town or having a meia de leite (espresso with milk) on the beach. We take Portuguese lessons twice a week. We have family dinner every night, which we never had time for at home.

“For anyone looking for a more laid-back lifestyle, and especially for families with kids, I would highly recommend taking a look at Portugal as an option. The back-to-basics lifestyle has given us exactly what we wanted… time together as a family!”

Stephanie and Alyson are just two of the expats who shared their stories and insights about life in the Algarve with attendees last week. Over the three days of our Portugal event, we also heard from our experts on everything you need to think about to live and invest in this largely undervalued corner of the Old World: from renting and buying property to currency matters… health care options to learning the local language… investment opportunities to top visa and residency options… and lots more.

Valentine Fouché
Editor, Live and Invest Overseas Confidential

Posted in Live And Invest Overseas Confidential.