Hello to everyone!
My husband and I are going to visit the Algarve region of Portugal next month. We are young (early 50's), very active, retired and will be bringing our 2 dogs. My questions are numerous, but I'll start with just a few now and hopefully, as I continue to read through the forum topics here, I'll discover more answers to my many others.
We are currently living in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. My husband likes to play golf and we both enjoy playing tennis, hiking, biking, and swimming. We thought the Algarve region was a good choice because of the golf and beaches. We've also heard (translated-read) that we could possibly get a home there (in Silves or Lagoas I believe) with some land (for our dogs) and for gardening. And we really want a place with privacy. That is a must. We are very social people and I know we'll enjoy the hospitality of the Portuguese people, and we'll make many new friends, but we like to have our own space and time when we get home. Is that possible in those areas? Are there other areas that we should look at when we arrive? We are looking to spend about $1500-2000 a month (USD). Should we reach out to a realtor (or two!) before our trip to arrange looking at a few places while we're there next month? If so, do you know of any good recommendations? Also, has anyone moved with their dogs from the US? How hard was that?
Our scouting trip (this October) is about a year out from when we'd actually like to relocate. Our thoughts were to come visit, spend our 'vacation' time acting a little like we live there already, and just try to get as much of a 'real' experience as possible. Then sell our house here and start REALLY living there! I'd appreciate any suggestions, comments and of course, answers to these questions that you can provide. Thank you in advance for all of your help with us!!
And I'm so glad I found your forum. Everyone here genuinely seems to want to help others and that's a great feeling when all you've got is a keyboard and a dream! :)
replied on September 10, 2014 with:
Hi, sorry about the email. Try this one firstname.lastname@example.org. When we were in Los Angeles we tried to find Portuguese books, lessons or anything to try to get a jump start on the language but could only find Brazilian Portuguese . Most people told us to be careful because there are lots of differences. I do volunteer work also, at a soup kitchen and attempting to teach English at our local children's home. I would also like to be involved with the animal shelters but without a car this proving a little more difficult. Please keep in touch. Ate logo
Update: I sent this to your email address first and it came back undeliverable so. I'm posting it here. Just wanted you to know!
Thank you so much for your responses so far, and thank you for the clarification on the repositioning cruises. I honestly never knew the cruise ships operated those special one way trips, but after you mentioned it and I looked it up, I found it quite interesting and sensible for them to do that. What a great way to travel, but like you said, for us, it wouldn't work because of our dogs. However, it's always good to learn something new so thank you!
I also agree with your advice for us to begin our paperwork process here, and because I've got the gift of a little time before we actually move, I will do that. I'd like to have as much of that stuff done ahead of time as possible because I feel like we'll have SO many new things to learn and assimilate to once we're living there that our paperwork will not be something I'll want to worry about. I also agree with you that we should rent first. That just seems like the best idea because we are really clueless as to which area will be a good 'fit'. From where I sit here in Georgia, I look at villas and homes everyday in Portugal that look beautiful online and seem perfect for us. Towns, small cities and rural areas that sound great, but could be in the middle of nowhere or near something undesirable. So as excited as we are to get there and find our 'special' little place, I'm aware that we need to be there for awhile and really get a feel for the country, the people, the activities we'd want to get into, etc. I like to volunteer and do so now here at home, so I'd like to find someplace there that I could indulge myself in that regard as well.
So thank you again for your help, advice and kind words. I hope to meet you one day while we're there, and take you up on that glass of wine! :)
By the way, I'm of portuguese descent so this is another reason we're looking to relocate there. My parents were very old school though and didn't teach us kids how to speak the language growing up because they wanted us to 'fit' in in America with no accents, etc. Ugh. So I'm trying to make up for lost time and culture! :)
replied to the thread Clueless
on the Portugal forum on September 10, 2014:
I will be living on $1,500 monthly initially and that will go up a bit when I begin getting Social Security next year. I have focused entirely on Central America up to now. My impressions of European countries were that they were crowded and expensive until I read a couple of articles about the Algarve region. I am a nature lover and would like hiking and photography. I would prefer living near a town or city but not in one. Does this lifestyle seem doable?
replied on September 10, 2014 with:
Well a couple of things to consider: Health insurance and are you living alone? Remember you need to convert your dollars into euros. To my best gueststimate you would have about 1100 to 1150 euros, but remember the euro fluctuates against the dollar. There are places that you can rent that are nice, single or maybe one bedroom for around 300 to 400 euros furnished. Utilities seems to be less here but we have only been here about five months so far. I don't know where you live now so it is more difficult but we have no heat or air conditioning, which we are told is not uncommon. Food is probably somewhat less. Clothes I would say are more expensive here but you can shop at the Chinese stores and find real bargins or go to the charity shops. Remember there are only about 10,000 A Mexicans in the whole country. We found immigration process fairly easy and less expensive than Panama. The cost of living here definitely, for the same quality of things, is definitely cheaper here than Panama. Good luck, just ask lots of questions and do a lot of research. We really like it. If you are on Facebook you will find a lot of Portugal groups. I suggest you join as many as possible and ask questions. Remember there will be many Brits on them so their circumstances are different because of universal health care. We do not have a car to maintain either.
Luxury 2 bed, doubles and en-suited available for winter rental. Reduced rate for suitable couples 1 to 4 persons . Bonus 3rd double bedroom and shower room at basement level for visiting family or friends.
replied to the thread contact person needed
on the Portugal forum:
We need some help. We are moving to Portugal in October and hoping to retire there permanently. The last requirement we need for our visa application is a contact person who is a citizen of Portugal. They must provide us with their name, contact info. and proof of citizenship. It can be a professional relationship, and we are happy to provide more about us to any individual who can help. We arrive on October 6th, so it is urgent! Any suggestions are appreciated.
I really appreciate your response and the link you sent. However, Here is the most recent requirements, from the pt. consulate general in San Francisco, CA. Part 2 specifies the reference requirement. I wish it weren't so, but I'm afraid there's no way around it. How hard would it be to get a type 1 retirement visa after we get into Pt?
CONSULATE GENERAL OF PORTUGAL
S. FRANCISCO - CALIFORNIA
REQUIREMENTS FOR RESIDENCY VISAS TO PORTUGAL
(Sections 1 and 2 for all applicants, subsequent section(s) as pertains to each applicant)
1 VISA REQUIREMENTS
a) One application form per passport holder (block printed or typewritten, please use only forms we supply you).
b) One color passport photo size 2” x 2” facing forward. (Do not staple the photo to the application form).
c) Written declaration of intent and economical status (description of yourself /purpose for staying in Portugal), including address where staying in Portugal, email address if applicable and all contact information.
d) FBI Criminal Background Check – for anyone age 16+). The report must be on tamper proof paper.
e) One photocopy of passport – main information page and any subsequent page with visa stamps.
f) Requerimento - Registo Criminal, a form we provide you must be completed, signed and returned with the above.
g) Submissions by mail – must include notarization of applicants signature. If a minor, include parental consent form.
h) Proof of health/accident insurance is required. Holders of domestic insurance without travel insurance need to provide declaration from the insurer that their coverage is valid in all Schengen states equal to 30,000 Euros.
i) Processing fees of the above items – Residence/Study/ Temporary Long Stay/Work = $30.41.
If visa is approved the following amounts are due in addition to the aforementioned processing costs - Temporary Long Stay $99.15/Residence or Work $118.98/ Study No Additional Charge.
2 REFERENCE IN PORTUGAL, PREFERABLY THOSE WHO WOULD STAND AS GURANTORS
We only need one reference who can be your lawyer, power of attorney, land lord, Dean of Admissions etc. who are Nationals of the European Community or hold Permanent Residence in Portugal. Have them indicate their name, address, phone number, citizenship – Include Copy of National ID or Residence.
Thanks for all you help and advice. We are coming to Portugal in early October, and hope things can be worked out by then. All we need now is the reference, as all our other materials are in hand.
See this table...An 'affidavit' is a very official item and carries full financial responsibility. Per the Embassy, you don't need one...and no one I've worked with has!
replied to the thread Help with research
on the Portugal forum:
I am just beginning my research into possible places to live in Portugal and was hoping someone could make some suggestions for a non-touristy area in the centre of the country. An ex-pat community is not important but basic services are. Just wondering if Coimbra is a good location and quasi economical. I have been living in Mexico for 7 years. Thank you!
I'd suggest that this forum should make your Portugal research easy...as many of us who've done it already, and are now here on the ground, can help you. On Expat Exchange, you'll find articles about health care, visas, costs of living, as well as many tips and answers to questions others have asked before you. If you know what KIND of life you want (city? village? water? mountains), and what's important to you (expat gated community or living among locals? Ease of speaking English? Safety? Costs?) we can help you narrow your research. Also check into blogs such as CHEAP LIVING ABROAD, http://www.cheaplivingabroad.com/expat-stories, whose author Tim is coming out with a book detailing life in many locations (and he's not just about "cheap"); and Julie Dawn Fox's blog where she talks about the various towns and areas of Portugal. Most of us rent, versus buy a home; we have several solid rental firms we can connect you to.
Let us help!
replied most recently with:
I am also just beginning my research on Portugal. We had property in Ecuador a few years back with a plan to retire there. But we just didn't feel like it could be a home to us. We've been to Europe many times and lots of different places and feel comfortable there.
Exploring the possibility of retiring to Portugal hasn't been easy but I'm sure the information is out there and I will find it. I have found a website www.aplaceinthesun.com that has some articles and real estate listings to get an idea of locales and prices. I have no idea of its accuracy but it has been fun looking around the different areas.
Beautiful house available for holidays. Private pool. Close to beaches, Salgados Golf Course, aqua parks, supermarket, bars and restaurants, yet in a quiet residential area.