A ticket to the sunny land
When the Britons come to the idea of moving abroad, Portugal isn’t one of the first countries that pop in their minds. It isn’t surprising to read in official reports that the United States and Australia are the preferred destinations for British expats. The cultural affinity that our ex-colonies have with us and the invaluable link of a shared language makes it much easier for Britons to accommodate in these countries. Other destinations of choice are the close Spain and France.
Portugal isn’t very famous as a destination itself, but in this case we would like to bring it to mind as a quite fitting option for many Britons who are looking for an experience abroad. Be it cultural exchange, a peaceful retirement, studies or work opportunities, Brits may have a very satisfactory experience in Portugal if they give this country a chance.
Portugal is a beautiful seaside country with a long history of naval glory and prosperity. The weather is nice and the landscapes picturesque. The people in Portugal are something to highlight: the Portuguese are kind, merry, very open to expats and extremely nice. They have a kind of latino charm that they share with the Italians and the Spanish. They are big smiles and open arms, and they are willing to share meals and conversations with you. They like the quiet life and trouble little about anything. Maybe you could find this last thing a little annoying if you want problems to be solved quickly and efficiently, but if a happy, relaxed lifestyle is your thing, you will definitely find paradise in Portugal.
What do you need to know if you are planning to move to Portugal?
Moving to a different country involves a lot of prior research, unless you want to find yourself making one bad decision after the other. Laws are different, the Health system is different, property is managed differently. We now give you a very useful link about what you need to know if you move to Portugal. Here are some of the highlights.
The best advice we can give you is: don’t move before visiting. Take your time to travel across Portugal and see some of its places. If you have chosen a property to buy, walk around the area and make sure it’s really as good as it seems. Don’t haste into purchasing, tempted by the extremely low prices of property in Portugal. If the house, villa or flat of your choice isn’t actually what you expected, you will be stuck with a property you will have a hard time selling. Renting before buying is a great measure.
After spending three months in Portugal, you need to get your residence, which expires after five years. Once you get that residence, you can benefit from the public Health system and schools. Also, if you have an UK State Pension, you can collect it in Portugal. Remember that, if you have worked in Portugal, you can also request a Portugal state pension.
You should also consider the possibility of purchasing a Portuguese car, because in this country, as in most countries of the world, people drive on the right lane. Cars made in the United Kingdom make it uncomfortable and dangerous to drive in Portuguese roads.
Shipping your belongings to Portugal
If you have decided to move to Portugal, now you are faced with the need of packing all your belongings – except those of which you are willing to let go -, find a removal company and have them shipped all the way to the continent. This is a great investment of money and effort. Maybe you will feel tempted to literally start your new life from zero, and purchase new furniture and goods in Portugal rather than taking all you own from the United Kingdom.
Unlike what it could seem, this isn’t a good idea. For as much trouble and work as it is, we strongly recommend you to ship rather than buy new furniture in Portugal when you arrive. Consumer goods, including furniture, are 20% to 50% more expensive in Portugal than they are in the United Kingdom, so in the end you will more than likely loose money.
Don’t worry, though. This doesn’t mean that Portugal is an expensive country. Nowadays it’s actually more expensive than it used to be not so long ago, but still many things are quite cheap there. In example, food and beverages are very reasonably priced, and, as we’ve stated above, the price of property is far below the UK average. As minimum wage is also quite low, a good UK pension should be enough to get by in Portugal with no budget constraints.