All non-employed residents must provide proof that they have an adequate income or financial resources to live in Portugal without working.
Pensions and benefits in Portugal are handled by Portuguese Social Security (Segurança Social).
People who have been resident, employed and made pension payments in an EU-member country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland retain entitlement to pension and healthcare rights on moving to Portugal to retire.
Residents of Portugal must make application for the old-age pension in Portugal once the legal retirement age is reached. Where applicable, the Segurança Social forwards the pension application to the European countries where pension rights have been accumulated.
To obtain a pension in Portugal the applicant must be age 65 or older and must have made contributions for 15 years or more. In special situations, where contributions have been made for 30 years or more, the applicant can request the pension after the age of 55. Early pension at age 55 includes a large reduction in benefits.
Requests for pensions may be made at the Central District Offices of Social Security (Centro Distrital de Segurança Social) or online.
All drivers aged 50 and over are obliged to renew their driving licences on a regular basis. Drivers with a standard licence from category A or B must renew it at ages 50, 60, 65, 70 and every two years thereafter. Obligatory renewals start at a younger age for licence holders driving heavy duty or commercial vehicles (categories C, D and E).
The renewal must be made during the six months prior to reaching the new age bracket. Renewals are handled by the IMTT (Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes Terrestres) and the application can be made online or at a Citizen's Shop. Documents required include a medical certificate.
EU nationals benefit from a reciprocal agreement with Portugal which includes them within the Segurança Social (Social Security) for healthcare. A resident can apply for a National Health Service "user card" (cartão de utente) at the local health centre (centro de saúde) producing a passport and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as evidence of nationality.
Any person receiving a state pension from an EU country is entitled to subsidised health treatment in Portugal including free emergency treatment.
A retiree who is not in receipt of a state pension or is a non-EU national, requires private health insurance.
If entitled to social security health benefits in another EU country or in a country with a reciprocal health agreement with Portugal, free or reduced cost medical treatment is available in Portugal.
Non-EU nationals moving to Portugal do not qualify for the Portuguese public health system unless employed and paying for social security through automatic deductions from monthly pay checks. Private health insurance is an option for those who do not qualify.
EU residents visiting Portugal must display the EHIC to benefit from State healthcare.
Private health care is available through various companies within Portugal and also outside the country. These companies provide a range of services for associated fees.
Most retirement homes are operated and run by local parishes of the Catholic Church. There are also IPSS houses (Iniciativas dos Particulares - Equiparação a IPSS - Casas do Povo e Cooperativas de Solidariedade Social). These are homes for retirement age individuals, with rates based on the person's pension.
There are no government run retirement homes or facilities for end of life care. However many retirement homes are subsidised by the government. An example of this would be the Santa Casa da Misericórdias (Saint House of Mercies). One of its target groups includes elderly people at risk of exclusion.
There is a 50 percent discount on train travel for retired people (those over 65 years of age). For retired people under 65 years of age, a request may be made to receive this discount.
PT (Portugal Telecom) offers a discount for those 65 years of age or older, with income less than or equal to the minimum wage.
Discounts are usually available for most entertainment venues although this is not guaranteed. Museums and movie theatres in various locations offer seniors' discounts. Before visiting, consult the venue for their policy.
A Senior Card "Card 65" (Cartão Senior) can be ordered in parish councils, municipal councils and branches of various banks. Once obtained, the card holder receives a user's guide, which contains details of the shops and organisations that give discounts; these can range from 5 percent to 50 percent.
There are numerous social clubs, organisations and groups for a variety of activities and interests throughout the country. Many of these groups and associations have an online presence easily found by searching the Internet. The forums and blogs within these online communities can provide an opportunity to meet with other expatriates.
English-speaking meetings and support groups for AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) following the 12 Steps programme, drugs aid, cancer support meetings, AIDS and more are available.
Looking for an international business opportunity? Why not run an AngloINFO site?
AngloINFO is growing fast and is looking for the right people to take on regional AngloINFO franchises around the world - click here to find out more!
AngloINFO Franchising: Be your own boss - where you want to be!