Money in PortugalRetiring in Portugal: How Much Money Do You Need?

Portugal is a popular choice for retirees considering a place to settle. When you consider the cost of retiring in Portugal and the warm weather all year, it’s no wonder that Portugal appears frequently in lists of the best places to retire.

 This guide will outline costs for retiring in Portugal. We’ll walk you through questions expats have about retirement costs in Portugal, like:

  •     How much money do I need to retire in Portugal?
  •     Can I live comfortably as a retiree in Portugal?
  •     What is the cost of living like in the Algarve, Cascais, and other areas?
  •     What are healthcare costs like for retirees?
  •     What is a reasonable budget for a retiree in Portugal?
  •     What are the costs to retire in Portugal versus Spain?

how-much-to-retire-in-portugalHow much do I need to retire in Portugal?

Portugal is generally a cheap place to buy real estate and has low costs of living. This of course varies by region and depends on the type of lifestyle you want to live.

Costs to retire in Portugal can be tricky to estimate because of this, but we will give you an overview of some general costings associated with retiring in Portugal. The first thing you should consider around costing out retiring in Portugal is your lifestyle and activities that you want to do.

Costs of living are an estimated 36 percent lower than the UK and roughly 40 percent lower than the US. The estimates costs of rental properties are 50 percent cheaper than the UK and US, which means it’s a fairly cheap option for retirees from these countries with pensions in their own currencies. This too means you could enjoy a better quality of life with your money going further by retiring in Portugal.

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According to Numbeo, the average rental costs of living in a one-bed apartment in one of the carious city centre’s of Portugal is €615.31. The cost per square meter on average to buy real estate in Portugal is €2676.33. As a retiree, you’ll have to decide what suits you better between buying and renting.

In Portugal, we would always recommend buying property as the prices are reasonable and the value for money is great. Furthermore, if you have a big sum of money to invest in property it can be used to access a Golden Visa opportunity. These opportunities are available to those who invest €500,000 in Portugal, which can be through a property investment.

Also as a retiree, you may want to put your money into an asset through buying rather than renting for the purposes of an investment that will grow and be worth more in the future for children or grandchildren. 

It would be wise to consider the expenses of moving and immigration expenses. Planning and budgeting is key for a smooth relocation process and we recommend costing out the taxes, moving costs and any fees administrative associated with immigration and trusted professionals involved in the process.

As usual, we would always recommend seeking expert help in matters of relocating to Portugal for retirement. Should you choose to seek help we advise working with lawyers, accountants, real estate agents who are trusted and reputable. 

retire-algarve-portugalCost of retiring in the Algarve: How much money will I need?

Retiring in the Algarve is a very popular option for the low costs, and the great weather. It has a beautiful coastline and beaches as well as a thriving expat community.

You can expect most people in the Algarve to speak and understand English due to the high levels of tourism, and most Portuguese here are very tolerant and happy to welcome foreigners and retirees.

The following statistics have been pulled from Numbeo, to outline an average monthly cost of living in the Algarve.

Average costs of living for two people in the Algarve € per month
Rent, apartment (3 bed) in city center 875
Utility bills 79
International private health insurance 200
Transportation (monthly transit pass) 100
Groceries 250
Meal out once a week (for 2, three-course menu, mid-range) 120
Gym membership for 2 83
Internet 27
Miscellaneous 100



With the total of these calculations, on an annual basis, retiring in the Algarve for two people would cost around €20,000 per year.

retire-cascais-portugalCost of retiring in Cascais: How much money will I need?

Retiring in Cascais would come in a little higher than the Algarve, due to its close vicinity to the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon.

Cascais is a pretty little seaside town, 45 minutes by train outside of the bustling Lisbon. The town itself is old and beautiful, with a sandy beach lining it. In summertime the town is covered in Bougainvillea and the town welcomes a number of day trippers from Lisbon. A very suitable place to retire.

Average costs of living for two people in Cascais

€ per month

Rent, apartment (3 bed) in city center 2,062
Utility bills 81
International private health insurance 200
Transportation (monthly pass) 80
Groceries 250
Meal out once a week (for 2, three-course menu, mid-range) 150
Gym membership 94
Internet 27
Miscellaneous 250



In Cascais the cost of living for two people as retirees comes in at around €34,000 per year.

retire-lisbon-portugalCost of retiring in Lisbon: How much money will I need?

Life in Lisbon itself might lend itself to the more active and energetic of retirees. If you’re not ready to give up a busy schedule of city life and exhibitions but would like to be close to nature and the sea, then Lisbon is a great option.

The costs of living in Lisbon are amongst the highest in Portugal, being the capital city. However, these costs are still very reasonable in comparison to other places in the world and might be feasible on a lower budget. 

Average costs of living for two people in Lisbon

€ per month

Rent, apartment (3 bed) in city center 1702
Utility bills 99
International private health insurance 200
Transportation (monthly pass) 80
Groceries 250
Meal out once a week (for 2, three-course menu, mid-range) 150
Gym membership 69
Internet 27
Miscellaneous 250



retire-porto-portugalCost of retiring in Porto: How much money will I need?

Porto is becoming a more popular choice of city to retire in, because of the blend of tranquillity and business in this old fisherman town.

It’s a popular tourist destination to visit and is the second largest city in Portugal. As it’s a little cheaper than Lisbon, it could be a good option for retirement.

Average costs of living for two people in Porto

€ per month

Rent, apartment (3 bed) in city center 1276
Utility bills 102
International private health insurance 200
Transportation (monthly pass) 60
Groceries 250
Meal out once a week (for 2, three-course menu, mid-range) 120
Gym membership 65
Internet 27
Miscellaneous 200



In Porto, the average cost of retiring for two per year comes in at €25,000.

retire-alentejo-portugalCost of retiring in the Alentejo: How much money will I need?

Retiring in Alentejo might be a great option if you’re someone who wants a unique Portuguese experience. The Alentejo region is far less touristy than other parts of Portugal and is more of an agricultural and wine producing region.

You might be missing out on a coastline, unlike the rest of Portugal, but Alentejo offers affordability, privacy, and sweeping landscapes.

Average costs of living for two people in the Alentejo

€ per month

Rent, apartment (3 bed) in city center 713
Utility bills 88
International private health insurance 200
Transportation (monthly pass) 45
Groceries 250
Meal out once a week (for 2, three-course menu, mid-range) 120
Gym membership 70
Internet 27
Miscellaneous 150



 The average cost of retiring in Alentejo is €21,000 for two people per year.      

retire-portugal-or-spainCost of retiring in Portugal versus Spain

On average costings of Portugal versus Spain, Portugal comes out quite a bit cheaper. At an average of €18,500 two people can retire in Portugal, whereas this average is €24,639 per year in Spain. This is based on all the same calculations as is written in the above tables, and on an average of all the cities in Spain and Portugal.

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Spain might be a very close neighbour to Portugal, but the mentality is vastly different. In Portugal, the slowness of life is a real thing and is very much ingrained in the society. Spanish culture fosters a more energetic and passionate attitude to life, work and relationships. We recommend Portugal for retirement over Spain for the costs, and also for the laid-back and peaceful tranquillity in Portuguese culture.

can i retire in portugalFAQ

Is it cheap to retire in Portugal?

It’s much cheaper to retire in Portugal than in many areas of the US or the UK. Of course, this depends on a lot of factors, including your lifestyle, hobbies, and healthcare requirements. But in smaller Portuguese villages, a couple could get by on as little as €1,400 per month.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Portugal?

How much money you need in Portugal depends a lot on where you live. If you’re in a city like Lisbon or Porto, a couple will need at least €2,400 a month to live. This is mostly because of higher rents than in rural areas. Other factors include how often you go out, and what hobbies you enjoy.

What is the best place to retire in Portugal?

The best place to retire in Portugal depends on your interests. If you’re a beach lover, the best spots will probably be in the Algarve. If you like cities, check out Lisbon or Porto. Portugal also has beautiful vineyards, farms, mountains, and quaint villages throughout the country.

Can a US citizen retire in Portugal?

Yes, a US citizen can retire in Portugal. It’s fairly easy to get residency in Portugal. You’ll navigate a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy, of course, and you’ll have to apply for a visa. The visa you apply for will allow you to move to Portugal for the purposes of retirement.

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