Expat Retiree Profile: Living in Portugal as an American

If you’ve ever dreamed of moving abroad after retirement, Veronica Ondrejech has advice for you: do it now, and don’t wait for the perfect moment.

Veronica moved to Vila Real de Santo Antonio, one of the smaller towns in the Algarve region. In this personal interview, read what she has to say about retiring in Portugal.

I’m trying, but it is a difficult language. It’s super easy to get around, as 90% of the population here in the Algarve speaks English.

Do you speak Portuguese? If not, is it difficult to navigate daily life?

The average salary for locals is about 800-1000 Euros per month (minimum wage in Portugal is about 700 Euros). You can live comfortably on 3K Euros per month.

How does the cost of living in Portugal compare to the U.S.?

Where do you get your health care? Do you have a local insurance plan?

I’ve learned how low-cost private health insurance is in Portugal, and I decided to purchase a plan with Allianz insurance through my local expat organization.

In short, I pay income taxes on my American earnings in America and my Portuguese earnings in Portugal. American living in Portugal must file tax returns in both countries.

What income tax do you pay as an American expat in Portugal?

Is there anything you wish you had known or done differently prior to moving to Portugal from the U.S.?

I wish I would have known NOT to bring my car and to have sold it in the States and then purchased one here.

I’m walking distance to the city center of VRSA. My town is full of great shops, and many Spanish travel here for the wonderful linens, pottery, boutique clothing shops, and cork products.

Tell us about life in Vila Real de Santo Antonio!

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