US citizens retiring in Portugal

Portugal retirement

Portugal is considered an excellent place for US citizens to live, especially for retirees. Here are some key reasons why Portugal is a popular choice:

1. Quality of Life

  • Safety: Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world.
  • Healthcare: Portugal offers high-quality healthcare, both public and private, at much lower costs than in the US. Expats can access the public healthcare system and also choose from a variety of private healthcare options.
  • Climate: The country boasts a mild Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine, particularly in the Algarve region and along the coast.

2. Cost of Living

  • Affordability: The cost of living in Portugal is lower than in many parts of the US. Housing, food, and utilities are generally more affordable, especially outside major cities like Lisbon and Porto.
  • Property: Real estate is relatively affordable, with a range of options from city apartments to rural homes.

3. Residency and Visa Programs

  • D7 Visa: Portugal offers the D7 Visa, also known as the Retirement Visa, which is designed for non-EU citizens who wish to live in Portugal and have a regular passive income (such as pensions, savings, or investments).
  • Golden Visa: Another option is the Golden Visa, which requires a qualifying investment, such as purchasing real estate, and provides a path to residency and eventual citizenship.

4. Culture and Lifestyle

  • Culture: Portugal has a rich cultural heritage, with historic cities, vibrant festivals, and a robust culinary scene. The Portuguese are known for being friendly and welcoming.
  • Language: While Portuguese is the official language, English is widely spoken in larger cities and among the younger population, making it easier for US expats to adapt.

5. Community

  • Expat Community: There is a growing community of expats, including many from the US, which can provide a support network and make the transition smoother.
  • Activities: Portugal offers a variety of recreational activities, from golfing and surfing to hiking and wine tasting.

6. Travel and Connectivity

  • Location: Portugal’s location in Europe makes it easy to travel to other European countries. The country is well-connected with good transportation infrastructure, including international airports, modern highways, and efficient public transportation.

Challenges to Consider:

  • Bureaucracy: Dealing with bureaucratic processes can be challenging and time-consuming.
  • Language Barrier: While many people speak English, learning some Portuguese can be beneficial for daily interactions and integration.


Portugal offers a high quality of life, affordable living costs, excellent healthcare, and a welcoming environment, making it an attractive destination for US citizens looking to relocate. Whether you are looking to retire or simply seeking a change of scenery, Portugal provides a blend of modern amenities and cultural richness that appeals to many expats.