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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:48 pm
Posts: 4
I am Andrew. I am in my mid fifties and still living my normal life in the UK with my wife Sylvia and my 9 year old daughter. We are now however increasing the momentum towards a new life in Portugal and in introducing ourselves here we are making one of those very first steps in that direction. So I would like to say hi to all the good people here and that I am looking forward to becoming part of your community.

For our own very genuine reasons we are planning what would seem a swift and “caution to the wind” approach to relocating to Portugal. But we like to think that it is really more of an adventure born out of a need to escape the ever enclosing rat race of the UK, and the gift of financial opportunity provided us by the UK property market with our sole property here. This is without question, an opportunity for myself and my wife to take early retirement in a more peaceful place in the world with a preferable climate, and to give our daughter a better “life” than I think the UK has to offer her, so however we engineer it we really believe we will be the richer for it.

As yet we have no direct contacts in Portugal, nor have we visited the country for this purpose to establish area preferences for our new life, as strangely this is not a critical factor to us. “Beggars can’t be choosers” they say, and to some degree this has to be our motto in this situation. We do not have the finances of many retirees so to live a humble but hopefully comfortable life are our prospects (which is no less than we lead in the UK), and this I am sure it will not diminish the appreciation of our version of heaven when I find it.

I am sure there is much for us to learn about this process but I do feel that we have considered so much of the detail already and as much as we can be, we are ready to start the ball rolling. As our property in the UK is the only finance for this adventure we really cannot jump until it is sold, and then it’s going to get hectic!

Central Portugal and the inland Silver Coast region are where we feel we can make the most of our budget and achieve the lifestyle we want. We want to live quite rurally but not remote. We have to consider schooling as one of the more critical criteria in a final settlement place, and we intend to integrate into the culture as fully and quickly as is feasible and to this end we have already started our language learning.
Perhaps to many of you this does sound a little “hap hazard”, and I agree that better financing in the planning stage is preferable and a longer timeline to smooth the wrinkles would make it more comfortable, but that isn’t a reality, or desirable for us if we actually want to make the break before we reach normal retirement age, or before the window for our daughter‘s good integration through schooling is missed.

My feelings for where I am now with my life in the UK are….
My work does not make me happy. The weather is unremarkable and I have too little opportunity to enjoy it when it is good. There is unceasing development all around me and we are becoming increasingly blighted by the volume of cars and traffic congestion that it causes, and by the litter that increasingly surrounds us. I strongly believe that I have lived my life well and been considerate to my community, employers and the environment (long before it became fashionable), and there appears no reward for this commitment in the UK. We think that the time is right for us to do this…….. And I’ve not yet read of anyone who has been lucky enough to have made the move already and regretted it. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope that out there someone will relate to my sentiment. I would love to hear from anyone who feels they can offer a little positive support to us in our endeavour as we are far from blasé about what we plan to do. I am as far out of my comfort zone as I would ever imagine being if the truth were told, but clinging to the belief that “where there’s a will there’s a way”.

Regards to all,
Andy.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:28 pm
Posts: 1173
Location: near Tomar
Hi and welcome to the forum. You will find lots of helpful advice on here and if you have
specific questions, try the search button and if that is no use, just ask on here.
9 years ago we had never even been to Portugal on holiday, but we came here for a month with
the intention of buying a house. We were lucky and found one on the 2nd day and by the end of
the month we had bought it! Other people thought we were mad not to rent and look around the
various areas, but we had already done a lot of research on where we thought we liked the look of and this area did it for us. Everyone will tell you that THEIR area is the best!! It depends what you are looking for.

However, we are both retired and have modest pensions, plus a bit of savings, so we can live comfortably here, especially as our house cost two-thirds of what we got for selling our UK home.
But if you have done your sums and do not expect to earn money here (jobs are rare and the
pay is poor), and don´t "live the high life" your dream IS possible. There are plenty of cheap houses, though Pt. cars are more expensive than the UK.

Your child will pick up the language much quicker than you! That is our only "gripe" of
living here, that with old brains we struggle to learn the language! However, we would not think of returning to the UK - though I have to say, we know several people who have returned, for various reasons - health, missing family etc.
Good luck with your dream and I am sure you will soon have replies from other people.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:11 pm
Posts: 2567
Location: At peace on this Planet but near Gois
Good morning Andy and family

Welcome from me as well.

I had travelled to the area i live many times before i made my move so i was lucky i knew my way round. My son spotted a house in a village i had been through many time and sent a picture to my email. Two days later i was in the village standing in front of what is now my home. There is lots of amazing property and there will be one just for you all you need to do is find it.

When you find your house don't forget to let the Forum know the area you are moving to. Once you have let the Forum know when you ask questions Members in that area may be able to help better than someone the other end of the country.

If it helps today i got an email with my Phone/ Internet bill attached 22.98€ for a month hope that helps in your search for answers to your many question.

Good luck

Peter

_________________
http://petersvaleboahouse.blogspot.com

This Blog is for information only
http://Iberianspices.blogspot.pt


Last edited by PETERFC on Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:00 am
Posts: 142
Welcome from us too. We also bought and quickly, having never previously visited Portugal...these crazy ideas can work out! We’re in Central Portugal, and you will find plenty of property in the range ridiculously cheap to well-priced, and various rural locations within easy reach of towns and cities. If you’re looking for the cheapest end of that scale, you’d be best to visit and ask locally, if you can, or drive around finding something of interest with ‘vende-se’ painted on it. Many local owners of cheap properties won’t put it with an agent or online and that way you could take advantage of locals prices. Good luck and I’m sure this forum will be invaluable; there’s a wealth of knowledge among us and we’re a friendly bunch :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:50 am
Posts: 234
Welcome.

However, whilst it is entirely a matter for you, of course, as to whether you wish to disclose personal circumstances, people will only be able to give relevant advice if they know ( approx ) what amount you have mentally set aside for the house purchase, and what your monthly income will be.

Do you intend, btw, to continue paying into the UK national pension scheme ( if indeed that is possbible from abroad ~I don't know but I wd think it a good idea if it is permitted ).

And has your daughter shown any aptitude and / or desire to learn Portuguese? You can maybe take your time, but for her becoming fluent enough to follow the teacher and communicate with classmates is urgent and crucial.

I would imagine that 9 y/o is at the high end of the age group which can pick up a language just from being surrounded by other children speaking it ~she may need intensive language classes every day for a period, otherwise she risks being miserable in class and friendless at playtime. So researching SCHOOLS within easy commute of intended residence would be essential, I would think.

I know you consider the advice to 'rent ~at least for a couple of months ~before you buy ' to be trite and unnecessary in your case : HOWEVER, it is advice which I myself did NOT follow before falling for a place I thought was perfect but which......... to be honest, I subsequently very much wished I HAD followed :( You would really need a lot of luck to alight upon the perfect place to purchase ~ if money is tight you do not want to risk having to lose a small fortune on transaction charges and taxes with a forced re sale. Believe me....

Boa Sorte.

ps you do not say what the line of work is that you are so dissatisfied with, nor ditto your location. It might be interesting to know, tho' just from curiosity.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:48 pm
Posts: 4
Well, what can I say? Thank you to you all for making us feel so welcome already, and in taking away a little of that uncertainty I was feeling before posting. Your responses have aready given me comfort by hearing your stories and understanding that we are not the first to tread this particular path.
Although my introduction was fairly lengthly for you all to read it was still only an outline of our situation. Too much detail might have seemed inapropriate and even boring for a first post so I wanted to tread carefully.

We do intend this to be a retirement for myself and my wife so we will be living off the proceeds of the sale of our UK home for at least 7 years until some private pension starts rolling in. For this we want to make available a budget of approx 1k Euros per month to live on and a significant sum as a "rainy day fund" for emergencies in case any should arise. This we think will give us a simple but comfortable lifestyle and a budget of around £150k to buy our home. We have spent many hours searching online and think we will have ample choices at this value.
With this being such a big decision for us I am intending to throw mysef into it completely and want to get competent with the language quickly. I will have time on my hands after all, and being the one everyone relies on in the family I feel it a responsibility. We do also recognise the closing window of opportunity for my daughter to settle in schooling so we really are thinking that we need to move this year.

The really scary part for me is the period between sale of our UK home and proper settlement in Portugal. We can't rush in too hap hazzardly so our plan is to rent for 6 months or so around Leiria way which we think is central in our search area. I want to be settled before 6 months really but this is where its all just juggling and reacting to the circumstances as they unfold.

I know we are still very naive so we will be making good use of the search button on the forum as we go but thanks to you all again for your intial support and wishes of "good luck".

Andrew & Family
(Bedfordshire, UK)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:50 am
Posts: 234
So you do intend to rent for a sixmonth in the first instance ~ a good choice I think most will agree.

I suspect that a thousand Euros a month would be pushing it for three to live on in even modest comfort. Electricity is expensive; even firewood is not cheap. You will probably need a car of some sort and unless you are a good mechanic yourself they are not cheap to maintain. [ If you have a good car with a lot of life left in it you might wish to import it under the scheme which exempts you from the (otherwise very hefty ) registration charges - ]

Of course it is a matter for you, but personally I would be more inclined to balance the resources so as to allocate an absolute max of 100,000 for property purchase, putting the 50 grand remainder with the other savings to eke out over the years until the pensions kick in. Somewhere else on this site I saw a regular poster advertising a house in the countryside for 45 grand ( from memory ).

The most crucial aspect of your move, in my view, remains to investigate what school/s are available : are there any other expats who have children in any of the primary schools who can make recommendations ?
You might want to start another post with primary school inquiry in the heading?

Do any of the schools have specific provision for intensive Portuguese classes for incoming children without the language ? Some Câmaras do provide Portuguese classes for adult arrivers, maybe some do for children also ~but which ?

And when you find the best school that would dictate to some extent where you rent........It would have to be an easy journey on foot or school bus or in the car in the morning, no ?

In my mind if you are determined to make this move then logistically it might be wise to plan to travel to Leiria ( and establish a cheap, rental base ) around Easter.......this would mean your daughter losing the summer term at her current school, but you could to some extent compensate with intensive Portuguese classes, perhaps with a schoolteacher willing and capable to teach someone of her age ? It seems to me it must be crucial for the daughter to have at least the basics of the language before she starts her first term in September ?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:55 pm
Posts: 39
Hi and welcome
Another approach to moving here could be a motorhome or caravan---- it would give you accommodation and the means to move around to different areas.
We live in a motorhome at the moment but I think a caravan could be better suited to your situation, when you find a house, it may need work, so you could still live in the caravan---- when you have finished with it there is the chance to sell it here or even keep it for guest accommodation----- this is possible in more rural areas but not strictly leak------- you will get a lot saying you will get into trouble but we know many around central Portugal doing just that and not having problems, be careful keeping you car here on UK plates though, you are legally restricted, so plan on buying a local car or importing yours as soon as practicable. What sort of car do you run now , road tax is higher on newer/ bigger cars, old cars live forever here because of the drier climate and lack of salt on the roads,----- I imagine the do rust living on the coast????? Cars are easier to repair without a heap of electronics!!!!----- don't feel you have to have a modern cape------- this is Portugal!!!a lot of things are different here!!
Nigel & Pamala ----- Central Portugal--------


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:50 am
Posts: 234
This might be a good idea ~ a comfortable caravan might go well on a cheapo house site with extensive garden / olive trees etc. . As you say it could be lived in now ( on a caravan site ) and then transported for use as guest accomm or temp. accomm while working on the said cheapo house....

BUT..........big but.........do you know any such which are an easy walk / bus ride / car commute to a really good local school which has experience teaching incoming expat children with no Portuguese language ?

Surely finding the best possible school has to take priority over everything else ~ if their d. is miserable at school then none of the rest of it is going to work..........

sundowners wrote:
> Hi and welcome
> Another approach to moving here could be a motorhome or caravan---- it
> would give you accommodation and the means to move around to different
> areas.
> We live in a motorhome at the moment but I think a caravan could be better
> suited to your situation, when you find a house, it may need work, so you
> could still live in the caravan---- when you have finished with it there is
> the chance to sell it here or even keep it for guest accommodation-----
> this is possible in more rural areas but not strictly leak------- you will
> get a lot saying you will get into trouble but we know many around central
> Portugal doing just that and not having problems, be careful keeping you
> car here on UK plates though, you are legally restricted, so plan on buying
> a local car or importing yours as soon as practicable. What sort of car do
> you run now , road tax is higher on newer/ bigger cars, old cars live
> forever here because of the drier climate and lack of salt on the
> roads,----- I imagine the do rust living on the coast????? Cars are easier
> to repair without a heap of electronics!!!!----- don't feel you have to
> have a modern cape------- this is Portugal!!!a lot of things are different
> here!!
> Nigel & Pamala ----- Central Portugal--------


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:00 am
Posts: 142
Oh, ok, 150k...I thought we might be looking for 20k, which surprisingly is achievable around that area, even with some land included and being passably habitable to start with. So, I take it you’re maybe wanting ‘pronto a vestir’ but even then, I agree with Rhys that around 100k will serve you very well. Don’t just look at agents on line; check out custojusto.pt and olx.pt, where private sellers may advertise and often bank repossessions. On that last point, we know of an expat couple in that area who bought a repossessed, smashing modern villa on a good plot for 100k. Many on those sites will be more realistically priced, although you will still get the dreamers who you shouldn’t assume are that desperate to sell. Keep those extra funds to tide you over more comfortably until pension day. Unless you fancy going the bargain bucket way, if you’re a bit handy, and leave a good lump in some rental property in UK.

In terms of Leiria, good choice, either to settle or just a base to start from. I think Steve is buying around there, so he may be along with useful advice.


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