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From Alligators to Olive Groves: Why Retiring to Portugal Is an Alluring Alternative to Florida.

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

It couldn't be further apart in lifestyle, costs of living, safety, climate, traffic, and overall lifestyle experience.

All photographs on this blog were taken in Cascais in February 2023. Courtesy of

On Quora, people who have lived or currently live in Florida shared their dislikes about the state, including stifling, sultry humidity in the summer, frequent thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, hail, hurricanes, swamps everywhere filled with alligators and mosquitoes, and heavy traffic. The whole of Portugal is about 1.5 times smaller than Florida and offers stunningly different regional experiences. The coastal cities of Lisbon, Cascais, and Porto are perfect examples and are close to each other. Lisbon and Porto are about 3 hours apart by train, and Lisbon to Cascais is only an hour. Buses and trains are safe, silent, and comfortable, making them a great alternative to cars for those who wish to leave their cars behind.

The climate in Portugal is similar to that of most Mediterranean countries, with hot summers and temperate winters, which makes it popular with tourists looking for some winter sunshine. Portugal and, in particular, life in Lisbon or Porto, don't require a car at all. Mini markets are peppered around each neighborhood, and there's no need for a car or parking tickets, nor hours spent in overly stimulating spaces under artificial lights. Portugal produces the freshest vegetables, fruits, fish, wine, and more. The quality of its food is exquisite, simple, healthy, and with a traceable supply chain. Numerous independent producers offer their products freshly collected with extremely decent prices and a personalized service in squares and covered markets such as Mercado da Ribeiro, the authentic farmer and fish market near the touristic TimeOut in Lisbon. Vineyards are planted in sand to shale and exposed to different microclimates, resulting in an insatiable exploration of tastes within low prices.

Portugal is a hymn to simplicity. Less greed means more security, and anyone is safe everywhere. Public commuting is pleasure. Eating at terraces is pleasure. Walking late at night in the charming streets of Lisbon along the Tagus is pleasure. And if ostentatious wealth with great inequality preserves Portugal, there will be no need to fence housing or live in gated resorts. Crime rates in Portugal are generally low, and most crimes are non-violent. Portugal's security and peace indicators compare favorably to those of other countries. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace's 2022 Global Peace Index report, Portugal ranks as the 6th most peaceful country in the world.

Here, everyone shares cities, benches, beaches, the untouched countryside, and the best ocean views with everyone else and with gentle welcome. And how many capital cities can pride themselves on a sandy beach of 26 km stunning coastline like the Costa da Caparica in Almada? Finally, if diversity is your thing, Florida might sound like a monoculture. Given its position as one of the retirement capitals of the United States, it is one of the oldest U.S. states when it comes to life expectancy, median age, and other demographic factors. In fact, the 8.6 million Florida residents 50 and older is the second-largest such population, behind only California in sheer numbers. That means that Florida has about as many seniors as there are people of any age living in countries like Switzerland, Israel, or Paraguay. In Portugal, the National Health Service (SNS) ensures healthcare for all its beneficiaries, while outside of the public health system, there exists a diverse network of private healthcare and clinics. With a pleasant climate, high quality of life featuring ample opportunities for outdoor activities, delicious cuisine and wine, and charming historic cities and towns, Portugal is simply incomparable to any state in the US or Northern Europe.

Once more it is safe to say that the only element we must keep in mind, is that many people are now scouting, moving and investing in Portugal. If you wish to invest, reach out to us with your questions. We hand-pick properties that are the best investment for you. And as a reference, check out our current properties for sale.

Read also: Why Americans are moving to Portugal

In Portugal: Live better. Live longer!

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