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An Expat Talks about Retiring in Cascais, Portugal

Jul 04, 2018


Cascais, Portugal

Here is a wonderful, detailed report about what it's like to retire in Portugal. Written by a woman with dual US/Dutch citizenship, she has left no stone unturned!

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Cascais

Why did you choose to retire abroad?

We moved to Cascais to escape the rat race in the U.S.

Are you retired abroad all year or part of the year?

Retired for about 70%

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

The Portugal Climate, friendly people, good food, good wine, ease of travel within Europe

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

I have lived in Belgium for 5 years in the late 70's early 80's. Grew up in the Netherlands, but have been a dual citizen with US for many years now.

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

We are recent arrivals here. Spent 3 weeks here last year in April, then 2 months during the winter and now have settled in a rental in Cascais while we look for permanent housing.

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How many countries (other than your home country) have you lived in as a retiree?

Zero

What have been the most challenging aspects of being retired abroad?

Certainly the bureaucracy in Portugal is daunting, although we have found most people very helpful - Having learned some Portuguese has come in very handy - People are very appreciative to hear you try to speak and understand.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of being retired abroad?

Complete relaxation - no rush. And being away from the current state of affairs.

What would you do differently if you were just starting the retire abroad process?

Probably I would go for temporary stays in several other places just to check them out. But we have done this move quite diligently, did our homework, made good decisions, and are happy for the moment to be here.

What is life like for a retiree in your city and its surroundings? (Is there an active expat community? Cultural Attractions? Recreation? Nightlife?)

Cascais is a very vibrant city. There are many things going on all the time, and there is a lively expat community in Cascais. There are international people from all over the world, and there are many networking opportunities. There is music, sports, you name it. Lisbon is just a 30 minute train ride away and the list of things to there is endless and enticing.

What residency documents or visas did you need to obtain to retire in your host country? How difficult was this process? (Please describe)

We entered on my European passport and have not encountered any snags so far. The process for getting the NIF (tax number) was long and drawn out but once it was our turn, we went through everything quite easily.

Did you buy a home or apartment, or rent one? Is this a difficult process? (Please describe)

We are renting a lovely house in a Portuguese residential community. Very peaceful and quiet. Lovely neighbors. Just a 15 minute walk to the ocean - Good transportation. Many people speak English or French. We have all kinds of nice little restaurants in this neighborhood all within walking distance and we will probably look to purchase near here.

Financially, has living abroad in your host country met your expectations? Exceeded them?

Everything is quite a bit cheaper here. Supplemental health insurance for example, via the local bank, is just 48 Euros per month! at age 70. Dentistry is much much cheaper and the care is superb. Medications cost a fraction of what they cost in the States. Food is cheaper, eating out is much cheaper - A good bottle of wine costs about $5. Publis transportation is very cheap for the over 65 crowd. We're pleased.

What are the most important financial considerations for retiring to your host country?

Considerations were not so much financial for us, although this is a very nice PLUS factor!

How much can a retiree live on comfortably in your host country?

I think one could live quite well, everything included, for around $3000 per month, and if one were to budget a bit, probably even less than that.

Do you have access to quality medical care? (Please describe - is it close? Expensive?)

Yes, we have access to Portuguese National Health which is quite good depending on where you go. And we have a supplemental at 48 Euros per month which gives us choices and pays out quite a lot of the out of pocket expense. If we see doctors and dentists and opthalmologists who belong to our plan, costs and copays are controlled and quite low. The care has been excellent.

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Is there a lot of crime where you live? (Please describe)

Really no crime to speak of in this area. There are some reports of pickpocketing in the downtown, touristy areas, but very few. Lisbos also has some pickpocketing and other tourist crimes, but it's rare to hear of more serious crimes being committed.

Describe available transportation where you live. Do you need a car? Is there access to safe public transportation?

We have local buses and a separate bus which makes circles throughout the town. Also local trains go everywhere and from Lisbon you can travel everywhere in the country on cheap trains and buses.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

Yes, excellent, and fairly priced.

Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share about retiring abroad?

Have an adventure while you still can. Experience a different pace of life. See some new sights. Live to the fullest while you still can - It's a big old wonderful world!

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