Updated: Aug 10, 2022
Pat and I always toyed with the idea of retiring early and traveling. My dad and his sister died young. We also lost several friends before they could enjoy their retirement. We didn't want to look back on our lives and wish we had done more of what we love and less working. Besides our kids are grown and living independent lives, so our 3000 sq. ft. home was too big and too much work to continue to maintain.
We started to research places we could retire where the cost of living was lower so that we could retire sooner rather than waiting until the "normal" retirement age. Portugal seemed to always come up at the top of the list when researching best and economical places to retire. The health insurance was good and reasonable, and it was such a great springboard to easily travel around all of Europe. The more we researched Portugal, the more excited we were to explore this idea further. We decided we needed to visit the country first before making a final decision to move there.
In May 2019, we traveled to Portugal. We spent 10 days touring the Algarve, Lisbon, Cascais and many towns in between. It was a wonderful trip, and we found Portugal to be a beautiful country with warm and welcoming people.
When we returned, we asked ourselves if Portugal was really the place to retire? Our kids and the rest of our extended family and friends are all here in the United States. Yes, they could visit, but realistically how often would we be able to see them? If we wanted to fulfill our dream of early retirement, we needed to make an alternate plan.
Scroll to see photos from our trip to beautiful Portugal.