The best European country to retire in 2024 is beautiful and has free healthcare | Travel News | Travel

The best European country to retire in 2024 is beautiful and has free healthcare | Travel News | Travel

Contrary to popular assumption, Portugal has emerged as the best country to retire in Europe, and second only to Costa Rica in the world.

According to the 2024 Annual Global Retirement Index published by International Living, Mexico came in third, followed by Panama, and then Spain.

Nearly 800,000 foreigners permanently reside in Portugal today, a number which has doubled over the past decade, and only keeps growing.

Affluent retirees and expats have joined the throng of young professionals, to make a beeline for the sunny Mediterranean nation with its golden beaches and 300-plus days of sunshine.

With them, they bring investments and wealth to the country, in the form of private equity and venture capital funds, or through contribution to a cultural project, which are a necessary requirement to bag the Golden Visa.

These regulated opportunities not only lead to the economic and cultural growth of the region, often creating more jobs in the market, but also elevate social lifestyle through art and diversity.

Steve Philp from Portugal Pathways said: “Many retirees and wealthy expats we have helped, tell us they love the local culture, local produce, wine, the stunning scenery and a thriving investment market, whether that’s through a Golden Visa or through owning property in a market that’s been consistently outperforming most of the other international markets in recent years.”

This significant growth has further been fuelled by route-to-residency schemes for non-EU citizens. With the Golden Visa and the D7 “Retirement Visa’’ at the forefront, the opportunity to secure a Portuguese passport is no longer a distant, overly bureaucratic dream.

Owing to Portugal’s popularity and consequent diversity, English is widely spoken and understood, paving the way for ease of travel and communication.

Anne Brightman, Founder of the Boutique Real Estate Agency said: “Portugal offers so much to affluent families or investors whether that’s through investing in property or through the Golden Visa program, and it comes as no surprise that Portugal continues to lead the way in terms of attracting wealthy retirees and other investors to the country.’’

Portugal has consistently impeccable international rankings, be it the Social Progress Index, Global Peace Index, or its celebrated healthcare system and below average crime rates.

The healthcare system is especially a winning factor for retirees, as all residents of the country have access to free public healthcare, along with the option of going the private route.

The cherry on top is the low cost of living, especially in contrast to other European hotspots. When compared to the UK, it is a staggering 26.5 percent lower than our overall average cost of living.

Of course, one of the biggest factors that govern retirement plans is the location itself, and much has been said about the vibrant country, and rightfully so. From Lisbon to Porto, and Caldas da Rainha to Aveiro, Portugal has on offer bustling cities, quaint mediaeval towns, and a serene countryside.

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Author: Shirley