Portugal has long been considered a desirable place to retire. Consistent interest in the country as a retirement destination now seems set to increase, with a study naming the country as the best place to retire for 2023.
Portugal beat Mexico and Panama for the top spot, and ranked above Spain, Italy, France and Greece, the other European destinations that made the top ten.
Could you retire to Portugal?
The annual survey was conducted by International Living. It ranked countries on an index that took into account healthcare, governance, property prices, climate, cost of living, housing costs and more. The safety of Portugal was also among the reasons Portugal was named the best place to retire – the country ranks 6th on the Global Peace Index.
Find homes in Portugal via our property portal.
It’s far from the first time that Portugal has ranked highly in similar studies. The same survey saw Portugal come in fourth on the 2022 index, beating all of its European neighbours once again.
Peddicord’s recent Live and Invest Overseas study also saw Portugal rise (almost) to the top. Tavira, in Portugal’s East Algarve, was highlighted as the second-best destination for expat retirees. It outranked everywhere else in Europe and was only beaten to the top spot by Chitré, Panama. Discover Tavira today.
So why is it that Portugal continually features on these lists of the best place to retire? Here we look into some of the key reasons why the country scored so highly – it might be just what those looking to retire to Portugal need to cement their decision.
Read our expert moving to Portugal guide
Cost of Living
Portugal’s cost of living is enviably low overall, but particularly notable for the cost of items that would be considered luxuries in plenty of other countries. World-class coffee and wine can prove laughably cheap, as can meals out and day trips across the country on Portugal’s reliable and ever-growing rail network. Compared to both Northern Europe and the USA, the same budget can buy a retiree a completely different quality of life in Portugal.
For a more in-depth look at how much it actually costs to live in Portugal, browse Your Overseas Home’s annual cost-of-living Index, which compares everyday prices across 7 countries.
Download our free Portugal retirement guide today
Ease of Integration
Portugal is widely recognised as a welcoming and open country. A well-settled community of overseas residents also helps to ease integration, with new arrivals having the choice of established “expat areas” or more “authentic” towns that prove equally welcoming.
English is widely understood and spoken – although efforts to learn Portuguese always pay dividends, and lead to a greater appreciation of the local culture.
With over 300 days of annual sunshine, it’s little wonder that Portugal’s climate is a considerable draw for retirees. But Portugal’s no one-trick-pony when it comes to weather. While the Algarve offers Mediterranean-style sun, sea and sand, and the southern Alentejo offers serious heat, the more northern reaches of the country offer respite for those seeking something a little cooler.
Portugal is a down-to-earth country with refreshingly little focus on materialism and “hustle.” The country is all about outdoor living, leisurely meals, local produce and family values – things that many feel are lacking in the countries they’re departing from. If you retire to Portugal, you’ll enjoy a laidback lifestyle with time to enjoy the things you love.
Portugal’s amenities – from the practical to the indulgent – are often modern and world-class. The country’s focus on tourism means that Portugal is scattered with golf clubs, sports facilities, glitzy shopping malls, and bars and restaurants that range from rustic and traditional to expensive and Michelin-starred. There’s also plenty to do without spending a single Euro-Cent, thanks to Portugal’s natural beauty and well-established network of hiking and cycling routes.
As Abigail Young, Portugal Property Consultant at Your Overseas Home says, “Portugal deserves its run of accolades as a great place to retire. With over 100,000 retirees in the Algarve alone, there’s an established community already enjoying the weather and the facilities, and space for plenty more!”