Retiring to Portugal: André Detais knows he made the right choice

“I don’t think I’ll be leaving Portugal. I plan to keep living here.”

A lot of immigrants find that retiring to Portugal is a good solution. That is precisely what André Detais decided to do in 2017. He left France and moved to Azeitão, a town in the district of Setúbal, around 40 kilometres from Lisbon.

He admits that moving from your country is a difficult decision, and that it requires an adventurous spirit, but he has no regrets. “Since I moved to Portugal I only returned to France once. I was there for three days and I was already homesick.”

He fell in love with Portuguese food, beaches and sun and he has learned to admire the easy-going Portuguese lifestyle.

The advantages of retiring to Portugal

Why is it that so many foreigners are retiring to Portugal? André says that the tax regime is an advantage. If you move your pension to Portugal you can benefit from the non-habitual resident status, which means you don’t need to pay income tax for 10 years. “This is an incentive to immigrate”, he says.

But there was more to it than just economic advantages. “I’m close to France. It’s a two to two-and-a-half-hour trip”, he says. It’s also safe, and that was an important part of his decision.

Keeping busy in Portugal

How does he spend his free time in Portugal? André Detais says he enjoys sports, going to the beach and to restaurants — which have the added advantage of being open until late — and he regularly meets up with French friends, who have also come to spend their retirement years in Portugal.

Now, he doesn’t seem himself leaving. “My intention is to continue to live here”.

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