Updated: Dec 18, 2019
If you are Australian, you might have noticed the ever-increasing costs of living in Australia. You may have wondered about your retirement options. Many Australians think of Bali, Malaysia and Indonesia when they want to stretch their finances further. However, if you are looking for a sweeter life in Europe, you cannot ignore Portugal as an ideal country. Like Australia, Portugal has great weather and breathtaking landscapes, all of which are tempting foreigners to invest in real estate there. This fairly small, beautiful country on Europe’s western edge is defined by the Atlantic Ocean, which again appeals to Australians who are also beach lovers.
One of the biggest disparities is in the cost of living. Every consumer prices are 33% lower in Portugal while housing per square metre is 42% cheaper in the city centres and even more outside the cities. The differences in utilities are also remarkable. Internet, water and electricity average out to be 28% less expensive in Portugal. If you enjoy a good cappuccino, expect to pay half for your average coffee. These are all great incentives for Australian retirees who want to enjoy their retirement in a sunny country.
Lisbon is the city of choice for many relocating, but traditional locations such as the Algarve and the Silver Coast, north of Lisbon, are also popular locations. Lisbon’s main airport is located only fifteen minutes from the city centre. It is ranked Europe’s safest capital – with low homicide rates and low criminal activity. The city centre of Lisbon is undergoing an extensive regeneration, giving life to areas, which became redundant as people and business left after the recession. It is now returning to its original beauty. To conclude, Portugal is a great place with a wonderful climate that has a lot going for it for Australians.
GOLDEN VISA SCHEME PORTUGAL
All well and good, I hear you say. But how can I get a visa to live there? Well, the good news is that you can obtain a Golden Visa when you buy a house in Portugal.
The visa programme was launched in 2012 and has been promoted by the Portuguese government as an investment in real estate.The visa allows you and your dependent family (Children & Parents) to gain a residency permit in Portugal for 12 months, which is then renewed every two years. To qualify for renewal, you simply have to spend a minimum of 7 days in Portugal per year. This visa will allow you to travel freely across Europe within the Schengen Zone.
The most attractive part of the visa is that after 5 years of title you can then apply for permanent residency within Portugal and after 6 years you can apply for citizenship. The basic requirement to qualify is the initial investment, a clean criminal record and the ability to spend a minimum of 7 days in Portugal each year. Without the need to reside in Portugal this visa has become the most attractive and popular option across Europe.
Once citizenship has been granted you will become a European citizen and will have the same rights of anyone in Portugal.As of this date, it is possible to apply for this visa through one of the following investment options:
· Capital transfer in the amount equal to or greater than 1.000.000 Euros.
· Create, at least, 10 new jobs.
· Property acquisition in the amount equal to or greater than 500.000 Euros.
· Acquisition of property over 30 years old or property located in urban renewal areas with rehabilitation works totalling the amount equal to or greater than 350.000 Euros.
· Capital transfer in the amount equal to or exceeding 350.000 Euros to public or private national institutions for scientific research.
· Capital transfer in the amount equal to or exceeding 250.000 Euros for investment or support for artistic production, recuperation or maintenance of national cultural heritage.
· Capital transfer in the amount equal to or exceeding 500.000 Euros for the purchase of shares in mutual in investment funds for investment in small and medium enterprises.
If you are Australian and would like to get a foothold in Europe via Portugal, this would be one of the fastest and easiest ways to open up the whole of Europe to you. Which leads me to the next convincing argument for Portugal as a country of choice. Most European schools and universities charge no or very low fees for all the courses on offer. If you have children who want to study, why not save on incredibly expensive study fees in Australia? Most first year courses at Australian universities cost between 20.000 and 40.000 AUD. Imagine saving all that money and sparing your children the burden of study fee debts that many young people end up with if they want to better their chances.
If saving costs is not that important a criteria, well, how about having the freedom to live, work, and travel in all European countries once you have your golden visa? For most Australians this would forever remain an unobtainable dream. Rich cultural experiences are yours if you make the move from our lucky, yet isolated country to ancient and alive Europe where, within a couple of hours, you can listen to another language, eat local food and admire historical buildings.
Speaking of food, you will appreciate the fresh food cooked simply here: grilled fish (with the head, bones, and skin); spicy chicken piri piri, roasted to perfection on a rotisserie; steak with a wobbly egg on top, surrounded by a mound of fries and rice. Like Australia, it’s not surprising that seafood is at the centre of Portuguese cuisine. We suggest dining in local restaurants to experience true Portuguese cuisine. Portions are generally huge but many restaurants offer half portions.
Australians are known for their easy-going, “she’ll be right” attitude to life. But, most of us living in big cities would agree that life has become fast-paced and we are not as relaxed anymore as we used to be. When you move to Portugal, you will find a laid-back lifestyle that reminds you of the olden days. Time is more flexible here and lunches take longer. Plus, the Portuguese are really warm, friendly and helpful!
As we know from Australia, blue skies and walks along the beach help to make life much more pleasant Depending on the region and time of year, Portugal enjoys plenty of sunshine, making it an ideal destination for those who love sun and light.The capital city enjoys 3023 hours out of a potential total of 4383 hours of sunlight per year. This makes each day on average sunny for 8.16 hours.