Known since Roman times as “Finis Terrae”, meaning the last part of Europe before the great ocean, Portugal has actually become the land of new beginnings.
Ever since the government introduced the subsidised tax regime for those requesting “habitual resident” status (Nao habitual resident) in 2009, the horizon of European retirees has changed colour: it has again become as blue as the Algarve sky, the azulejos pottery in the alleys of Lisbon or Faro, or like the wetsuits or golf pants worn to rediscover the pleasures of a life without economic worries. All one needs do is spend at least 183 days in Portuguese territory to receive fiscal residence, and that’s all, after which pensions benefit from a total tax exemption for 10 consecutive years.
With one of the lowest costs of living in the European Union and a health system ranked 19th in the World Health Organization, every vice again becomes legitimate: luxurious apartments, delicious outdoor dinners, evenings at fidalgos listening to live music or choosing a bottle of Porto from the best wine shops. A true rebirth, both in location and in the senses, which is made possible by the many agencies specialised in fiscal emigration. Some get back on their motorcycles to explore one of the most fascinating coasts of the continent. The wives enjoy long hours of shopping in the traditional markets. The husbands are suddenly motivated to take a jog on the beach. Even homesickness disappears thanks to the use of smartphones and tablets that shorten distances with Italy, Germany or Great Britain. The new residents still have bonds with their countries of origin mostly for family and little else, because every year more and more move to Portugal from their home countries. Micro-communities grow thanks to meetings and making new friends at a dinner or while reading at a bar.
In 1492 Christopher Columbus left in search of America; in 2018 the New World is nothing more than the end of the Old Continent.