Portugal is getting some serious love around the world with probably the grandest title of “Europe’s version of California”. I personally would not compare it to that. I can’t avoid the fact that the infrastructure in each respective county are so far from each other.
Portugal doesn’t really have any convenience services. it’s HARD to find reliable cleaners, nannies etc. So trying to buy help to ease the day-to-day family life can be a bit of a challenge. And nothing happens quickly!
Furthermore, you have to remember the language barrier – for you to thrive here you must learn the language.
Salary – can I get a job in Portugal?
The short answer is – absolutely no!
Portugal will require that you speak Portuguese in many jobs – and if you are employed even on NHR you have very high taxes. You can check out our video on this.
In California, you will see the avg. salary be around $62,000 which at the time of this article is more of less the same in euros. In Portugal, the amount is just €22,000. So the salary is just 1/3. (Source for this)
But does this matter when everything is cheaper in Portugal, you may ask?
No doubt, Portugal has been known to be an affordable country. But, especially in the last couple of years, Portugal has exploded in popularity. With Covid 19, we have seen remote work becoming a “thing” and the explosion of the digital nomad concept. Even digital nomad families have taken the journey overseas.
Portugal has struggled to issue visas and literally as the public services do not have the capacity and resources. This process has been the limitation to how many can successfully settle into the country.
This has impacted lots of things e.g house prices are now to the point where you don’t have a chance to buy/rent a property in good areas on local salaries. We now see a workforce in Lisbon that can’t afford to live anywhere near the city. This is for sure adding extra pressure on the limited public transport but also on the roads into the city.
Places like Lisbon are one of the hardest places to find parking and good accommodation for reasonable prices, so it’s not always just about spending more money the availability is also an issue.
So what are our recommendations before arriving?
Get a job that you can travel with – the remote workforce is growing every day, so already before you apply for a visa to get into the country, you should have changed over to remote working, finding a remote job that you enjoy.
This is our recommendation as we have also met people that can’t thrive in remote working. This will of course jeopardise your ability to live in Portugal if you don’t have the stable income that is required.
You should also have a hefty savings account before jumping out as there is a lot of pressure on the country. Sometimes things just turn out to be much more expensive than you have accounted for, so you should be prepared for this.