Portugal for retirees: a country where old age is ignored
Portugal has long been one of the corners of Europe that is extremely popular among retirees from countries with cold climates and high prices for goods and services. The authorities of dynamically developing Portugal, which no one calls “the backyard of Europe” anymore, are themselves interested in attracting not only large investors, but also ordinary elderly citizens, although people who have crossed the pension line are not considered “old people” here.
Retirees in Portugal – in paradise for older Europeans
Retirement in Portugal takes place at the age of 66 for both men and women, and there are no plans to raise it, unlike neighboring Spain, where it will soon be equal to 67 years. However, the Portuguese pension is one of the lowest among EU member states, amounting to only 207.01 euros for those who have never worked a day in their life and continue to live without a source of income. It is also assigned upon reaching retirement age for those who have lived in the country legally for more than seven years.
In order to count on a minimum pension of 282.26 euros, you must have at least 15 years of work experience, and those who have worked for over 30 years in total will receive starting from 415.44 per month. At the same time, the average pension fluctuates around 550 euros per month, which, given the low level of cost of the consumer basket and utilities, is a completely acceptable amount in order not to experience deprivation. In addition, if a spouse loses, half of his pension goes to the account of the widow or widower, which, of course, is a good help for a single person. Well, citizens of the most economically developed EU countries with their pensions, which often exceed 1000 euros, feel quite comfortable in Portugal.
Residence permit in Portugal for pensioners with O residente não habitual status
To obtain the status called “O residente nao habitual”, it is enough not to be a tax resident of Portugal for the previous five years, to purchase housing on Portuguese soil, to spend more than 183 days a year here and to submit a corresponding request, which is granted in the vast majority of cases.
After this, the foreigner is exempt from paying taxes both in his home country, where he will spend a smaller part of the time, and in his new place of residence. The duration of stay in this status is 10 years, and after this period the individual pays all taxes along with the native residents of the country, already having a residence permit for pensioners in Portugal. At the same time, during the “decade of tax freedom” nothing prevents a foreigner from renting out housing, working for himself or a third party, although in this case his income will be taxed at a special rate of 20%.
The law allowing foreign pensioner property owners not to pay taxes in Portugal was adopted back in 2009 in order to attract not only large investors, but also ordinary representatives of the “third age” from more developed European countries.
For about five years, it did not attract much attention from potential buyers, but with the onset of the financial and economic crisis and a drop in prices for residential real estate by 25-30% (with the exception of Lisbon, the immediate surroundings and resort areas of the Algarve), interest in this project increased significantly – especially among citizens of Germany, France and Scandinavian countries.
This was also facilitated by the influx of tourists who, having visited the Portuguese capital, realized that life here is not limited to the sun, ocean and golf. According to official data, in 2016, 10,600 applications for a “pension residence permit” were submitted, which is 44% more than the previous year. And if about 90% of the foreigners applying for an investor’s “golden visa” are Chinese citizens, then wealthy Europeans are seeking to obtain a residence permit and then permanent residence in Portugal for retirees.
Portugal as a second home for retirees from Russia
The westernmost country in Europe also looks one of the most attractive for retired Russians, although the process of obtaining a residence permit will take slightly more steps and time than in the case of EU citizens.
At the moment, there are two ways for Russians of retirement age to settle in this country. The first – that is, the investor’s “golden visa” already mentioned above, with all its attractiveness and a lot of opportunities, requires large financial investments, which very few elderly people in Russia have at their disposal.
In this regard, it makes sense to take advantage of a special program, although in this case, in order to obtain a residence permit in Portugal for pensioners from Russia, they will also have to prove their financial solvency, but not to the same extent.
First of all, you should buy real estate in Portugal, the cost of which will be at least not lower than the average for the selected locality or region. A long-term lease agreement for a period of one year or more is also suitable.
In addition, unlike pensioners from EU countries, Russians will have to demonstrate the ability to provide for themselves by having permanent sources of income outside of Portugal. Such sources of income include pensions, rental income, dividends on shares, etc. – the main thing is that all of them are officially confirmed, translated into Portuguese and presented to the consulate.
As for the amount of income, to calculate it, the minimum wage in Portugal is taken (in 2018 it was 580 euros), multiplied by 14 payments, which ultimately amounts to 8120 euros per year. This is enough for one person, while a family of two pensioners needs another 50% of the above amount – that is, the result is 12,180 euros per year or a little more than a thousand per month for two. By the way, for those who decide to settle in Madeira or the Azores, where the minimum wage differs from the mainland, the amount per person will be 7658.4 and 7791 euros, respectively.
Other benefits of living in Portugal for retirees
In addition to a climate to suit every taste, a favorable environmental situation and low prices for basic goods and food, there are many more reasons to decide to move to the other side of Europe, regardless of age.
According to the National Institute of Statistics of Portugal, the average life expectancy in the country as of 2016 reached 81.13 years, which is the third highest in Europe after Spain and Italy.
Of no small importance for pensioners in Portugal is a fairly high level of medical care. Suffice it to say that residents of neighboring Spain sometimes come here for some medicines and vaccines, because there is a shortage of these drugs in their homeland, or the difference in price is worth such a “thrown march” abroad. At the end of 2017, Portugal ranked 31st in the world in terms of the amount of funds allocated to the development of healthcare, and in terms of its level entered the top twenty countries in the world.
Finally, many Russians who have become the happy owners of a residence permit in Portugal for pensioners note the friendly attitude towards themselves on the part of local residents, who, in the overwhelming majority, are calm even towards people from their former African colonies. And although they, as well as visitors from Brazil, make up the majority of immigrants, in almost every district you can meet residents of Russia, Ukraine and Moldova who have moved here for permanent residence, among whom there will certainly be people with common interests.