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Friday, January 27, 2023

Portugal, the “California of Europe”, lures US expatriates

“Lisbon ticks all the boxes,” says Nathan Hadlock, an American from San Francisco who has settled in Portugal, the “California of Europe”, where there is also sun and sea, but the pace is slower and the standard of living is cheaper.

“With my partner, we wanted to slow down the pace of our lives and make the most of it. We made a list of the 10 best places in the world and, according to our criteria, Lisbon quickly found itself in first place ” The 40-year-old entrepreneur told AFP…

In addition to what he enjoyed in California, Portugal also allowed him to leave a country “in tension” due to political divisions.

“If we add free medical care, less violence and a lower cost of living, the decision becomes easier,” says this father of a family who arrived in Portugal in March 2020.

The 7,000 American citizens living in Portugal are far fewer than English or French expatriates, but their number is set to double between 2018 and 2021, according to official figures.

And this year, Americans are neck-and-neck with Chinese in the top ranks of foreign investors attracted by Portuguese “golden visas,” those residence permits granted in exchange for a real estate purchase or capital transfer.

– ‘different mindset’ –

Joanna Mendonca, an attorney in the advisory office of Overseas Candidates Global Citizen Solutions, speaks with clients in the United States “almost every day” and thinks this market will “continue to grow.”

“There are people who become digital nomads and want to work at home by the sea here. There are entire families who already dream of seeing their children attend European universities. There are also retirees who have made their living in the United Kingdom. Everything has been sold.” State to enjoy his retirement in Portugal”, he specified.

These Americans have a “different mindset” from other foreign investors who are only interested in residence permits or tax benefits.

“They really want to move here and change their lifestyle,” says the lawyer.

The “Golden Visa” program created in 2012 has been criticized for contributing to rising prices in the real estate sector.

After spending his first six months in Portugal working remotely, Nathan Hadlock, now working at an investment fund focused on sustainable agriculture, buys land in the Alentejo region (south), an area that brings him closer to California’s Napa Valley Reminds me of.

– “Surf and good wine” –

In Lisbon, Hadlock, along with other entrepreneurs, organizes meetings to strengthen ties between California and Portugal. The group’s name, “Red Bridge”, refers to two bridges that span San Francisco Bay and the mouth of the Tagus.

Among these entrepreneurs is Jonathan Littman, who still lives in California but already speaks Portuguese.

“Now Portugal is seen as the California of Europe,” he says, listing some points in common: “surfing, beaches, good wine, an interest in seafood, and healthy food.”

To escape political and racial tensions in the United States, Jane Wittman moved with her family in March 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone is so happy to be here, we feel safe,” says this 47-year-old woman, an entrepreneur in digital marketing who has created a Facebook account with more than 3,000 followers to help her compatriots. Group created.

TSC/LF/ES/MAB

AFP

Conocé Trust Project
World Nation News Desk
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