Brexit has thrown a wrench into many British citizens’ plans to retire in a warmer European country like Spain, Portugal, or France. However, for those who are eyeing Portugal as their retirement destination, the good news is that it’s still possible to do so despite Brexit. Portugal is considered one of the easiest European countries to move to, even with the visa requirement for British passport holders.
Before Brexit, Brits could easily move to Portugal and apply for residency without a visa requirement. However, since the UK is no longer an EU member, British citizens now need a visa to move to Portugal. The two main visas that appeal to retirees are the D7 and the Golden Visa.
The D7 visa is designed for those with a passive income such as a pension or rental property income. The minimum required income for this visa is the Portuguese minimum wage, which is less than €1,000 per month, making it an achievable visa for many Brits.
The Golden Visa is another popular option for obtaining residency in Portugal. This visa offers residency in return for investing in the country, and one of the investment options is purchasing a property in Portugal, which many retirees plan to do anyway. This visa also offers more flexibility as it only requires an average of 7 days per year in Portugal compared to other visas that require spending more than 6 months per year in the country.
Alternatively, visitors can come to Portugal for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without needing a residency visa. While this option offers flexibility, many people find that they want to spend longer in Portugal, particularly during winter.
When it comes to taxes, it’s best to speak to an accountant as taxes can vary depending on how much time is spent in Portugal. However, it’s likely that spending most of the year in Portugal will result in being considered a Portuguese tax resident. Portugal has a tax scheme for newcomers called the NHR tax regime, which typically taxes pensions at 10%, and consulting an accountant can help determine if this is the best tax option.
As for healthcare, Portugal has its own national health service called the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), which works similarly to the UK’s National Health Service. However, many expats choose to get private health insurance to avoid long waiting lists in the public system.
When it comes to choosing a retirement destination, the options in Portugal are endless. Some popular choices among British retirees include the Algarve for its warm weather and beautiful beaches, Madeira for its mild weather and walking trails, Cascais for its seaside charm near Lisbon, the Silver Coast for its proximity to the coast and cities like Lisbon and Porto, and Castelo Branco for its affordable property costs.
In summary, while Brexit has made retiring in Portugal a bit more complicated for UK citizens, it’s still possible to do so through various visa options. Consulting with an accountant for tax planning and considering private health insurance can also help ensure a smooth retirement experience in Portugal.