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Old 11-20-2014, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Durham
660 posts, read 762,295 times
Reputation: 515

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I've been thinking about checking a "bucket list" item off by living outside the US (I've traveled extensively but never lived in another country for more than a month) like I have wanted to for a decade now, and I've read some great things about life in Portugal. My income is portable, but limited to about $2500/USD a month right now, though I would have several thousand in savings and actually WANT to live a more simple life.

Any feedback, suggestions or experiences would be appreciated!

I'd also take recommendations for other potential countries/cities/living areas.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-21-2014, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Durham
660 posts, read 762,295 times
Reputation: 515
Wow! Nothing? No input at all?
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong / Vienna
4,557 posts, read 4,815,301 times
Reputation: 3895
So... You'll probably need work and/or a visa and/or a working permit?
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,687 posts, read 34,675,136 times
Reputation: 9219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor46 View Post
Wow! Nothing? No input at all?
I wasn't going to respond either, but since you did do a follow-up, I'll tell you why I initially wasn't going to respond.

1) You've read some 'great' things about Portugal. That implies you've done very little research, you've just casually read a newspaper article here and there. That's how it comes across, based on your word choice, regardless if that is true or not. This equals, you aren't very informed, don't know much, etc. Which is fine, but if you ask very generic questions with very limited knowledge, people can only give generic answers back. Oh, don't know much? It's great, you 'should' experience it, or you should 'read' more about it. WHat more can they really say?

2) You have a bucket list to not live in the States, and Portugal was randomly chosen as it's 'not in the U.S.' This implies it would be a waste of time for someone to 'describe' or 'convince' you on Portugal, as it's pretty much any random place that is not U.S. that you are actually looking at.

Ah, I could go on...but that's probably why you aren't getting much responses. If you could convince a reader that you were actually interested in Portugal in particular, and demonstrate that you've read a few things about Portuguese cities (as opposed to just wanting someone else to 'list' you cities, you might get further as well.

When I read your post, you are basically asking people if its POSSIBLE to live in Portugal and if not, where else? Is that right? Well, it is, of course, POSSIBLE, and it's really up to you where you'd want to live. Ask a million people, and you'll get a million responses. There is no ''best" place to live for all people. But, since you did entertain 'Portugal', and most people consider high population numbers to reflect "best" places to some degree failing any other information to go from that person, than you're probably going to get the top 4-5 cities like Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, etc. recommended, if you were interested in Portugal and cities. So, maybe you can start your research there?

Last edited by Tiger Beer; 11-24-2014 at 09:14 AM..
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:23 AM
 
Location: Northern Ireland
3,402 posts, read 2,440,255 times
Reputation: 521
I can't imagine there being that many. There aren't many Americans in Europe, even in UK they are all concentrated in London.
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:29 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
19,865 posts, read 18,308,470 times
Reputation: 7955
Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor46 View Post
I've been thinking about checking a "bucket list" item off by living outside the US (I've traveled extensively but never lived in another country for more than a month) like I have wanted to for a decade now, and I've read some great things about life in Portugal. My income is portable, but limited to about $2500/USD a month right now, though I would have several thousand in savings and actually WANT to live a more simple life.

Any feedback, suggestions or experiences would be appreciated!

I'd also take recommendations for other potential countries/cities/living areas.

Thanks in advance.
I am a German expat in Portugal, but I guess in that respect we are not that different.

In 2007 there were about 8000 US Americans living in Portugal. Don't know the current numbers.

Judging from your ID I assume you are 68 now and retired? In this case you won't have to deal with by far the biggest drawback of this country, the job market. Your 2.5k income will allow you to have a very comfortable life. If you are not retired, though, I assume you are a freelancer, else you would not be free to choose where to live. Afaik, Americans living abroad have to continue to pay taxes in the US. I don't know if there is a tax deal between the two countries in order to avoid double taxation.

The Portuguese like it complicated and they like technology, so don't come here if you expect to live a more simple life as you put it. Unlike what outsiders seem to think, this country is not backwards, but on the move and changing fast. So don't expect it to be some living museum where things are still like they were in the US 50 years ago.

Don't touch your savings. Your income will allow you to rent a beautiful apartment almost anywhere, except for the best parts of Lisbon maybe.

Except for a few troubled parts of Lisbon, Portugal is a safe and peaceful country. People are tolerant and most speak English, the younger the better. But if you live here permanently, you are expected to learn Portuguese. Without it you will remain an outsider, which is not a nice feeling once the initial excitement about living in a new country subsides and you want to feel like you belong somewhere and be a part of society.

Since the country is safe almost anywhere, it is up to you where you would want to move. The hinterland is more relaxed, and people are not as open to foreigners. But any city of 10k or more souls will do.

You will be missing the blizzards and lake effect snow The climate along the coast (where most people live) is similar to Northern California.
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Old 11-28-2014, 09:53 AM
 
566 posts, read 528,181 times
Reputation: 1037
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Afaik, Americans living abroad have to continue to pay taxes in the US. I don't know if there is a tax deal between the two countries in order to avoid double taxation.
There is.
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Old 11-28-2014, 01:14 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,144 posts, read 12,728,761 times
Reputation: 10973
If you like a temperate climate and enjoy hiking, then you should consider taking a trip to Madeira. For me, it's the best that Portugal has to offer.
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Old 11-28-2014, 02:35 PM
 
11,686 posts, read 13,074,643 times
Reputation: 30973
A Buffalonian, no wonder your thoughts are wandering to elsewhere. I came from WNY, about 40 miles east.

If you are a retiree and not planning on working, acquiring a visa for residency is quite simple. Your $2,500 would be worth 2,100 euros today, minus bank charges for transferring it. Knowing that amount should give you some idea of how you would fare if you check out web sites for rentals, shopping, etc. Begin by checking gasoline prices if you are sure that you would want an auto. Sit down before doing so.

You will need a private insurance policy. The better policies are issued by British companies, or at least that was the case ten years ago. Medicare and U.S. domestic private policies do not cover expatriate Americans. You can buy a policy from an American company that will cover you while a foreign resident, but I found them high priced and stingy on benefits.

Medical care is much less expensive than in the U.S., and on the whole just as good in private hospitals.

The cost of a new automobile is equivalent to the national debt of many small nations, used cars are cheaper, of course, but still no one is giving them away.

The largest cluster of U.S. residents used to be in the Acores, and they were retired Portuguese-Americans. I have heard that there are occasional Americans on exhibit in Cascais, a seaside area north of Lisbon with good rail access to the capital. There are rumoured to be other Americans on the southern, Algarve, coast; however, when challenged no one has ever been able to produce such a beast for me.
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Old 11-28-2014, 02:38 PM
 
11,686 posts, read 13,074,643 times
Reputation: 30973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snort View Post
If you like a temperate climate and enjoy hiking, then you should consider taking a trip to Madeira. For me, it's the best that Portugal has to offer.
I started off in Madeira...a lovely place. Hiking indeed! There are only two directions in Madeira: up and down.
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