Hello-I have been reading this forum for months, this is my first post. My husband and I are retiring to Coimbra from NY at the end of December after spending last April driving around Portugal. I am an American citizen and my husband is an Englishman who has been living in NY for 20 years, so we have an interesting situation. No visa needed, but will buy private health insurance. We have joined AFPOP and I am looking into Medal Insurance policies but not sure what interim insurance we will need. I am looking for a lawyer or some kind of advocate to help us navigate the paperwork. We will be looking for a long term house rental in the Miranda do Corvo/Penela area until we find a renovated property to buy. We will be shipping a "classic" Jeep over but will also need to buy a new more practical car asap after arriving. So basically I am asking any experience regarding shipping from NY, legal help, buying cars, long term rentals and health care in the Coimbra region. Thanks!
What part of new York are you from? If you have kept up with the post you are aware of the extreme cost of importing a vehicle also. The area you have chosen is lovely. We were there in June and enjoyed it too.
I understand your decision to move to Coimbra as I was there last summer and I fell in love with it, I had rented a house in Condeixa and had a wonderful time. Neighbors would offer me fruit and vegetables from their garden on a regular basis and I was so touched with their generosity and kindness that I felt at home so, I am moving there in the next few weeks. The food is delicious and cheaper than in the UK, the people are wonderful and the wine is delicious and cheap as well. I forgot to mention that I was born there but left when I was 15, I had no memory of what it was like to live there and I loved it. Speaking of wine, my father buys from the farmer and he paid €21 for 15 5 liters of wine and it tastes delicious. Used to live in Paris so I am a little snob when it comes to wine and I assure you, that wine is delicious ?? I hope your experience living there is as amazing as my last summer stay and if ever you need help with a translator, I I'll be happy to assist?? Regards Tess
To update this post: My husband and I have been living in Penela, Coimbra, since January. We did not bring the Jeep. We bought a new car big enough for 4 people with baggage that we will keep forever and a used little Smartcar to zip in and out of town with and are very happy with both. We used people both in New York and here in Coimbra to help with the paperwork, even though it was simpler for us because my husband is English so we didn’t need a visa. The Portuguese bureaucracy loves paperwork and you will get a different answer from people in the same office so expect to go several times to get anything done. But it is all so incredibly worth it. The natural beauty, the wine, the food and the incredibly warm and friendly people.
I am packing to move to Coimbra as well, more precisely, to Condeixa. It is all quite exciting but I am also nervous because it will be all new to me. May I ask, how are you finding living in Penela? I am moving from London, it will be quite a change for me as I have always lived in large cities like HK, Madrid, London, Paris. Was it easy for you to adapt to a small town after NY? Tess
To Tess49 on Moving to Coimbra: In the last 2 years, more people than before have chosen Coimbra...excellent train rides to Lisbon, Porto, etc; university pace of life, cultural appeal and beauty. Condeixa is further out but for some reason you must have found it 'right' for you. It is so terribly different from NYC, HK, London, so you'll either enjoy or regret that difference or perhaps balance Condeixa with week-long stays in the larger cities, which to you will still feel like smallish cities. To connect with some great Coimbra-based internationals, join the FB group "Americans & FriendsPT". Members of this group who are based in Coimbra recently held a meet-up there and they are a happy, helpful group.
Thank you for your info on how to connect with other expats there. Yes you are right that it will be quite a change from where you have lived until now however, I have lived such a busy life that I am ready to slow down a little saying that, I will not buy a pair of fluffy slippers and sit by the fire ;o) I will be based in Condeixa or Coimbra (not 100% sure yet) and travel on a regular basis to Lisbon and Porto. I have a very good friend who is thinking of retiring in Portugal and asked me if I would show him around when I am settled. I know that I will not be in one place for long and it is always possible to most be elsewhere if I want as I am very flexible with my schedule since I work from anywhere in the world :o). Thank you again for the fantastic forum and information.