During Our Private Meetings In Medellín Last Weekend…
Lief and I have just concluded a long weekend here in Medellín, Colombia, in the company of our 2018 Private Access Members.
This is the second year we’ve offered this intimate one-on-one consulting membership program, which we kicked off this year with a retreat based at our Medellín apartment.
Convened on our terrace, enjoying the near-perfect Medellín weather and with a view of the beautiful Medellín valley all around, our group spent three days getting to know each other.
Each situation is different…
Some members single, some married… some with children, others with no heirs to worry about… some contemplating a full-time move to a new country, others more focused on maximizing their investment returns by diversifying overseas…
Some just retired (congratulations), others counting down to that big day…
All have worked hard to get where they are today and are keen to make the next stage of their lives as rich and full as possible.
Where do they all want to go?
The usual destinations came up again and again—Colombia, Panama, Belize, Nicaragua, Mexico, Ecuador…
But another country was on everyone’s minds, as well:
Just a few years ago, few would-be expats or retirees overseas would have named Portugal among their top two or three choices. Today Portugal is hot.
And we’re proud to take at least some credit for that.
We began recommending Portugal as a top live and invest overseas option in 2013. Now, five years later, many others are jumping on the bandwagon.
We’re delighted. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving destination.
For too long, Portugal has been Europe’s unsung step-country.
When an American thinks of living, retiring, or even taking a vacation in the Old World, he (or she) thinks first of France, Italy, Ireland… maybe Spain…
But nobody has been giving Portugal even a glance… until now.
After five years of focused on-the-ground effort, we are well connected (and personally invested) in this historic and romantic country with Europe’s best weather and best beaches. And the better we get to know Portugal and the Portuguese, the greater our attachment.
Specifically, here’s why Portugal—especially its southern coastal Algarve region—qualifies as not only a top option for a new life in Europe, but, in fact, one of the world’s best places to spend time today:
1. Great weather. This region enjoys one of the most stable climates in the world and 3,300 hours of sunshine per year, meaning more sunny days than almost anywhere else in Europe. As a result, the Algarve has a longstanding reputation as a top summer destination among European sun-seekers and a top winter retreat for those looking to escape Northern Europe’s coldest months. The Algarve has no bad weather months, but it does have a winter. January and February can be cold enough that you’ll want a coat. The best months can be September and October, when the summer crowds have gone but the weather and sea temperature are still ideal.
2. Safety. Portugal ranks as the 17th safest country in the world. Violent crime is rare, and petty crime is limited to street crime during the busy tourist season. As well, this country has managed to keep itself separate from the immigration crisis that is playing out in other parts of Europe.
3. Good infrastructure. Portugal and the Algarve have enjoyed important infrastructure investments in recent years, specifically to do with the country’s highway network and airports. As a result, this is an easy region to get around and also a great base for exploring all of Europe and North Africa.
4. International-standard health care available for a very low cost. As a result, medical tourism is a growing industry in the region, in particular for cosmetic, hip replacement, and dental specialties.
5. Golf. The region boasts 42 courses in less than 100 miles and is recognized as a top golfing destination in Continental Europe and the world.
6. Great beaches. The Algarve’s 100 miles of Atlantic coastline are punctuated by jagged rock formations, lagoons, and extensive sandy beaches, many awarded coveted Blue Flags from the European Blue Flag Association. The water off these shores is azure, and the cliff-top vistas are spectacular. Most beaches have lifeguards during the summer season. Note that restaurants and snack bars are sometimes open only seasonally.
7. Affordable cost of living. The cost of living in Portugal is among the lowest in Western Europe, on average 30% lower than in any other country of the region. A couple could live here comfortably but modestly on a budget of as little as 1,300 euros per month. With a budget of 2,000 euros per month or more, you could enjoy a fully appointed lifestyle in this heart of the Old World. (More on this, including a detailed budget, tomorrow.)
8. For the reasons described above, English is widely spoken.Living here, you could get by without learning to speak Portuguese… though any effort to learn the local language is a show of respect and appreciated.
9. Healthy living. The Portuguese are the biggest fish eaters per capita in Europe, and fresh fish of great variety is available in the ever-present daily markets. The abundance of sunshine in this part of the world means an abundance of fresh produce, too, also available in the local markets. Meantime, pollution rates are low, and streets, towns, and beaches are kept clean and litter-free.
10. Retirement (and sometimes other) income is not taxed.Recent legislation allows resident foreign retirees to receive pension income in the country tax free. The law also provides for reduced taxation on wages, intellectual property, interest, dividends, and capital gains under certain circumstances.
11. Severely undervalued property market. Real estate in Portugal is among the most affordable in Europe. Further, Portuguese real estate has one of the most favorable price-to-rent ratios (a measure of the profitability of owning a house) and price-to-income ratios (a measure of affordability) in the region. What that means is that housing is cheaper to buy and property investors can make more money from rentals than in many other European countries.