Like any major move, research is a key to ensuring success. The more you know about Portugal and the differences and similarities between life in Canada, the better prepared you’ll be to make an educated decision on whether to take the big leap across the pond. Here are eight things to consider to help you make your big decision.
Learn the Language
Many people think that if they speak Spanish, they will be able to speak to most people in Portugal, when in fact the national language is Portuguese. If you haven’t mastered the language just yet, don’t worry as roughly a quarter to one third of the Portuguese population also speaks English. Specific tourist-centric areas of the country (Lisbon, Algarve, Porto, Braga, and The Azores) are hubs for expats, so you’ll be able to meet native English speakers if you haven’t quite mastered your Rosetta Stone lessons yet.
You Don’t Need to Give up on Excellent Health Care
Just because you are leaving Canada, doesn’t mean that you will have to pay a mint for your healthcare. The Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS) is the public healthcare system that is accessible for Portuguese citizens. Healthcare comes at no cost for children under 18 and seniors over 65, and is highly subsidized for everyone else. Once you have your Portuguese social security number you will also qualify.
You’ll Still get Winter
Sure, Portugal is sunny more often than Canada, but in terms of winter there is plenty of rain, frost, and sometimes even snow. December and January are the coldest months to endure.
Portugal Wants More Expats
Only roughly five percent of Portugal’s population was born outside of the country and they are looking for people to immigrate to the country to help fuel their depleted work force. This also means plenty of job opportunities!
Retirees can Enjoy Europe’s “Florida”
Canadian snowbirds often spend their winters in Florida or Arizona. Don’t underestimate the appeal of retirement in the Algarve to enjoy warmer weather and beautiful beaches most of the year. As an added incentive, foreign resident retirees can enjoy their pensions tax free for up to a decade.
Home Ownership is a Distinct Possibility
With permanent residency comes many benefits, including home ownership. Added bonus, in 2020 the average price of a house in Portugal was just over 400K.
Don’t Ship Your Car
Unless you can’t live without your specific car, it might be best to skip shipping it and buy a new one instead. Most Canadians moving to Portugal will decide to buy when they arrive since the shipment of a car carries a hefty price tag associated with moving it overseas.
Cost of Living Numbers
Living in a city in Portugal will likely be significantly cheaper than living in a major city in Canada. Expect some significant savings on your cost of living in Portugal. Canada currently ranks 24th in cost of living, while Portugal sits at 35 on this list. Roughly this translates to a 20 percent savings for a family of four. Research expenses before you move and save your pennies for a flight back to Canada for vacations to see family and friends, and enjoy the best of both Canada and the Algarve!
Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert
We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.