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  • Writer's pictureSean

The Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal

Portugal offers the dream life for many people, but for others, it’s on the consideration list, and more research is needed. There are certainly a lot of reasons why Portugal is a popular expat destination. Some people move to a warmer country to retire, whereas others take the opportunity to work in a new country. If you’re moving with children and a family, there are more considerations, especially around education.

 

The other thing to remember is that Portugal is a popular tourist destination so during the summer you will be joined by a lot of holidaymakers, making your daily commute and routine harder to achieve, and in the winter, things could go a little bit too quiet, and your favourite coffee shop might close until the season starts again.


So, if you want to consider moving to Portugal, we suggest you have a look at the pros and cons we have put together for you before you make a final decision.

 

 

1. Pro: A Warm Welcome Awaits!


And for once, we’re not talking about the weather. Portugal has a very open and welcoming culture regardless of whether you are visiting on holiday or moving there as an expert. You might find locals who don’t speak much English, but they are still very friendly and will try to help in any way they can. If you are enjoying retirement in Portugal, you will be welcomed with open arms to spend warm afternoons sitting around, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee together.


You will also find large communities of expats that have been able to find each other and are delighted to welcome newcomers. They have lots of tips and tricks about fitting into life in Portugal, and many groups organise social events such as dinners and trips out, so making new friends will be easy.

 

2. Pro: A Very Pleasing Cost of Living


 When you are looking for somewhere to live, the first thing that will probably strike you is that rent prices are considerably lower than you are used to seeing in the UK. You can really have a beautiful accommodation and not have to spend masses of money each month.


Take Lisbon, for example; this is the capital city of Portugal and one of the most densely populated and busy. Even here, you will find that rent prices come in at about one-third of what you would expect to pay in London and, compared to New York City, a quarter of the price.


You will also enjoy the experience of grocery shopping as this too will be cheaper than you are used to. Local farmers' markets are another great way to get more for your money when it comes to food shopping.

 

3. Pro: Purchasing Property is Easy


 Unlike some countries, there aren’t any restrictions or special conditions for non-residents to purchase property. If you pay over €500,000 for your home, you will also potentially qualify for the golden visa. If you come from the UK and are, therefore, a non-EU citizen, this golden Visa gives you access to the residence permit for a period of up to 5 years.


Property prices vary, depending on whether you are looking for a city dwelling or a rural idyl, but there is certainly a good property market in Portugal, so you’ll have plenty of choice. Some people choose to rent for six months to a year to get a feel for the local area and decide whether they want to settle down before they buy a home.

 

4. Pro: Stunning Beaches


If you are planning to retire to Portugal, the seaside holds a great appeal. Portugal has a myriad of gorgeous beaches with some pretty impressive scenery surrounding them. Many have panoramic cliffs, and of course, with a nicer climate, spending time on the beach is very appealing. No more soggy fish and chips while the rain lashes down in Brighton.

 

5. Pro: Local Banking is Simple

While many people keep a UK account running, it does make sense to open a local Portuguese bank account if you’re going to be living there. You can even do this in advance from outside of the country. With technology continuing to advance, it’s also possible in some cases to open your new account online.


Some banks have special accounts for residents, but in a lot of cases, you can just access local banking services. If you do have a non-resident account, you may find that there are some limitations when compared to local customer accounts. That said, nothing major, and you can still enjoy local Portuguese banking.

 

The Cons: Some Downsides for Some People

 

1.  Cons: Language Barriers


If you’re planning to move to another country, it always makes sense to try and learn a little bit of the local language. Portuguese is quite a tricky language to learn, but don’t worry too much because a lot of local people speak English. There are nine years of language tuition in the state school system, and local television programs are often screened in English. Remember, there are also plenty of pack communities with lots of other Brits who have moved to Portugal.

 

2. Cons: Low Rates of Pay


It might go without saying, but if you experience a low cost of living and we’ve already established that Portugal has a particularly low cost. You can also expect lower rates of pay when you work. So, depending on why you are moving to Portugal, money could be tight. It’s often recommended that if you are moving to Portugal and still must work a 9 to 5, you do so as a digital nomad and gain employment in a company outside of Portugal or over the internet.

 

3. Cons: Extremes of Weather

 

We’ve talked about the fact that many people choose to move to Portugal to get to the Sun. However, the weather might be generally better than the UK, but it’s also quite extreme. The heat in the summer can actually be too much for many people if you haven’t been used to it all your life, and winters, although shorter, are just as cold and damp as here in the UK.


The takeaway

 

So that you have it, there is no denying that Portugal is a dream destination for many people. If you are considering moving to Portugal or have your dates booked, why not get in contact with Pinnacle Removals & Storage and see how we can help you move? Our dedicated removals team are highly experienced in international and European removals.

 

 

 

 

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