The best European country for retirement for US citizens


The end of working life and the beginning of the retirement period are important moments in the life of any citizen. There is, of course, the concern to maintain an active role in society, but mainly, the conditions associated with quality of life and the well-deserved rest. Europe seems to have all the conditions to get the most out of the retirement of US citizens.


Retire in Europe

There are about to 50 countries in Europe, however, only a few were considered in the rankings of the best countries for retirement.

According to a study conducted by International Living magazine whose goal was to collect information on the best countries to live in, enjoy retirement, travel and invest, the countries that offer the best conditions for retirement are just five, of which only two belong to Europe. Portugal is one of them; the other one is Malta.

In addition to this study, Portugal also appears in the first places of the studies: Best Healthcare in the World and Best Climate in the World.

What makes a retirement retreat feel like home? The answer seems obvious. The cost of living, the capacity and quality of the health system, the visa requirements, the hospitality of the population of that country, the offer of recreational activities, and also, the consular community. All these factors influence settling in another country. But these are not just the only ones that must be considered. We will go through that up next.

Portugal and Malta are part of the European Union.

The European Union aims to ensure that its citizens can study, live, shop, work or retire in any of its Member States, as well as benefit from products from across Europe. For this to happen, the EuropeanUnion ensures the free movement of goods, services, capital and people in the single European market. By removing technical, legal and bureaucratic obstacles, and by developing measures that benefit citizens in certain situations, the European Union also allows them to develop commercial and business activities freely.


Why Portugal is the best country for retirement?

Portugal is one of the favourite countries to enjoy retirement. The country meets all the conditions for those who want to make the most of the well-deserved years of rest.

The low cost and quality of life, reliable infrastructures, varied climate, great health services and a high degree of security are the main factors that prove to be attracting foreigners to Portugal. In addition to these aspects, the historical cities, the picturesque landscapes, the medieval villages and the beaches dotted with rock formations that decorate the landscape work in favor. With kilometers of coastline, beach lovers can practice surfing, bodyboarding, windsurfing, fishing, swimming and sunbathing. In addition to glorious sunny weather, miles of sparkling beaches, world-class wines, a ward-winning cuisine, colorful culture and friendly people, Portugal has some of the best healthcare in the world.

In addition to this, one of the main advantages we want to highlight is the tax policy and the Non-Habitual Residents’ Tax Regime for US citizens. Foreign retired who move to Portugal are exempt from paying tax on their pensions.

The exemption from taxation of foreign pensions arises from two situations. The first concerns the Double Taxation Agreement signed between Portugal and the United States, by Resolution of the Assembly of the Republic no. 39/95 of 12 October. This convention gives Portugal the right to tax foreign pensions instead of taxing them in the United States. The second is related to the tax regime for Non-Habitual Residents in the IRS. Under this regime, the Portuguese State exempts foreign pensions from taxation. But for this to happen, it is necessary that foreign retirees have the status of Non-Habitual Resident in Portugal and transfer their pensions to the country.This tax benefit, however, has a limited duration: ten years. At the end of this time, the tax collection is progressive.

Real Estate

Real Estate market in USA has become quite expensive in the last years. In Portugal you are acquiring more value for the same money you spend in USA.

Check Real Estate in Portugal


If you are a US citizen and you are considering Portugal to enjoy your retirement, you should seek for some advice from our team to learn more about the benefits you can have and how the whole process goes. Feel free to book an appointment.



DRP is the leading pioneer in Portuguese real estate consultancy and Golden Visa Program. Since 2015 our company has grown and have become a one-stop shop solution for this program offering bespoke services, expert knowledge, and custom-tailored services towards client needs. Our company works directly with you to provide expert advice on the investment and acquisition of property within Portugal – suitable for your investment requirements.

We use our extensive connections within the industry to access suitable investment opportunities ahead of the competition. The Lisbon area property market can be highly competitive, so early access is crucial. We find prime properties that are hand-picked from our leading partners, we offer expert advice on the locations most appropriate for your investment requirements, guiding you on how rental yields and capital values vary from area to area.


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