Frequently Asked Questions about Portugal
Naturally, expats moving to Portugal will have a number of questions regarding all aspects of their relocation. Here is a list of some of the common questions asked by those considering relocating to Portugal.
Do I need to learn Portuguese?
Many retired communities have large populations of English-speakers, and residents can get by without learning the language. Also, in more touristy destinations and resort communities, popular with expats, Portuguese people can speak English.
However, in general, English is limited in more rural communities and business is conducted in Portuguese. To become integrated into the culture, learning the language is important and it also reduces the impact of culture shock on new arrivals. It is considered rude to attempt Spanish as a replacement for Portuguese.
Is Portugal a good place to raise children?
Portugal is a great place to raise children. The education system in Portugal is good, and transfer from EU schools is easy. The communities are safe, and although public medical facilities aren't up to top standards, private healthcare for children is great. The quality of life in Portugal has also made the population some among the healthiest in the world.
What is the weather like?
There are really two climates in Portugal, the southern and warmer Mediterranean area, and the Northern Atlantic climate. Some expats who expect extreme heat will be surprised that it is not as warm as countries farther south near the tropics. Summers usually hover around 85ºF (30ºC), and winters 50ºF (10ºC).
Can I receive my UK pension and benefits in Portugal?
UK retirees residing in Portugal can receive their pension and benefits paid directly into their Portuguese bank account. More information can be found at: Pensions and Overseas Benefits Directorate, Room TC109, Newcastle NE8 1BA, Tel: 0191 218 7777.