Retirement In Southern Spain Versus Algarve, Portugal

“Kathleen, just read the 2014 best places issue. Thought-provoking and detailed, as always.

“I like the feature ‘Why not XX,’ but to me the glaring omission there was ‘Why not southern Spain’ as opposed to the Algarve. One obvious drawback of the Algarve, as you admitted, is that few North Americans speak Portuguese, whereas many of us can at least get by in Spanish.

“So what are the drawbacks of Spain that would outweigh that? Is it too crowded, housing market still a mess, higher crime? Or you just preferred to represent Spain with Barcelona? Would be interested to know the decision makers there.”

–Becky W., United States

Yes, yes, and yes. That is, we’d say the coast of Spain is overcrowded and overdeveloped…and not in a good way. While the Algarve remains undiscovered and more charming. Plus, Portugal now offers new retiree residency and tax programs.

Meantime, Barcelona is one of the world’s greatest cities, lively, funky, fully appointed, and affordable, making it our pick for Spain.

Continue reading: World’s Top Retirement Havens For 2014

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