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Hank and Konni from California reporting in

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(@hank_2021)
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Hi guys,

Just wanted to say hi!  The wife and I have finished up our first week of our month-long Portugal scouting trip and are having a wonderful time.

We landed in Lisbon and spent 4 days there and we're finishing up 4 days in Tavira.  We're heading up to Leira tomorrow to meet up with Doc Thompson and introduce ourselves in person.

We didn't rent a car and we've been doing "ordinary people" things.  Taking public transit everywhere....train, metro, bus, trolley, walking.  It's been super easy to get around, barely an inconvenience.

You read about how nice the Portuguese people are, and it's no lie.  Everyone has been so nice and I'm not just talking about the people waiting on us.  We have spent time in grocery stores, visiting malls, and just trying to do every day people stuff and the people we've bumped into have just been so nice and courteous. 

It's amazing, really.  The best word I've found so far to describe is that the people are just damned civilized.  Just really...civilized.  The atmosphere is so relaxed and people are just so...I don't know, content?  Easy going?  Mature?

It's sooooooooooooooo different than in America.  It's amazing, totally opposite.

We met a shop keeper who was third generation owner of his shop where we bought somethings from.  We couldn't speak Portuguese, he could spoke a smidgen of English.  It.  Just.  Didn't.  Matter. 

We found a way to communicate and it was such a joyful, enriching experience.

It's amazing how peaceful Tavira is.  It's amazing how peaceful Lisbon was.  I think I could count on one hand the number of times I heard an ambulance and/or car horn. 

Just an amazing experience so far.

One of the main missions we had coming on this scouting trip was to find some reason, some event that screamed at us that we were crazy to be considering a move to Portugal. 

We simply can't find one.  Yes, it's only been a week, but there's nothing here saying we're nuts to come here.  Maybe that'll change, but I doubt it.

Everything we need is here, the public transportation is easy to use, cheap, and extensive.

Tons of people speak English and they really appreciate when we try to speak some form of broken Portuguese with them.  They laughed, we laughed.  We were laughing together.  It's just a joy.

I've been working remotely using the internet here, and ZERO problems. 

Prices are what I expected, EXCEPT for the electronics.  Research told me everything is sooo expensive here.  Honestly, I'm not seeing it.  Barely at all.  Maybe _slightly_ more on some things, but TVs, appliances, even the cell phones are pretty close.

I mean, there are a few things that are, but there's a lot of things that are a lot cheaper, and we were buying stuff in the super markets and malls.  I understand it's cheaper in the community markets.

Honestly, I'm trying to find a reason not to come, and we can't find one.  So far, the country is living up to the hype and all the years of research I've done.

We're going to be meeting up with some expat comrades on Wednesday and can't wait to meet in person.

The wife agrees there haven't been zero show-stoppers so far.

If I get time, I'll post follow-ups in this thread.  So if anyone is curious, here are our experiences so far!

Boa noite!

 

 

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(@livinginusa)
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@hank_2021 Thanks so much for the update.  Glad to hear you're having a great time.  I look forward to your future posts as my Wife and I will be visiting Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto in late September.

Enjoy and Safe Travels!

Eric J

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(@hank_2021)
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@livinginusa Lisbon was amazing.  Porto has been jaw-dropping beautiful.  When we got off the train in Porto, I was speechless, and seriously in awe.  Pictures on the internet do not do Porto justice in the slightest.  The bridges over the Douro River are stunning and the main square in front of city hall...I've never seen anything like it.  Not to mention the train station.  Damn beautiful.  All of it.

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 Bert
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(@bert)
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SHHHH. Don't tell everyone. They will all come, ha ha. 😊 

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(@jgibson)
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My wife and I have only been home a week (mid west USA) and are dying to get back to Portugal. We are making plans for a return trip ASAP! This time with our Kids 14-23

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(@hank_2021)
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@jgibson Hi, John!  I got your previous message and I'm not ignoring you!  I'm trying to catch up on everything and will get back to you ASAP to compare notes.  I'd love to hear more about your trip!

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(@jgibson)
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@hank_2021 no worries I’m just excited to hear how things are going enjoyed your post I’m amazed you’re getting around without a vehicle I guess I didn’t have the nerve I rented a car lol

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(@hank_2021)
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@jgibson Totally understandable!  We came with the idea of we were going to try to get around like "ordinary people" as much as possible, because if we end up moving here we don't want to have a car.  So far, so good.  Next we need to try urban buses and Uber!

Really easy!

It helped that we gave ourselves a month here and we decided we weren't going to rush anything and we gave ourselves permission to make mistakes.  If we got on the wrong metro, so what?  We'll get on the next one back.  Wrong train and we end up somewhere wrong?  We'll get a room and go back the next day.

We wanted to see if we could really do just the ordinary, day-to-day living things.

So far:  👍 👍 👍 👍 

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(@jeanne)
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@hank_2021 Would love to hear Mrs Hank's impressions as well.  Will you be making a guest appearance on GMP?

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(@hank_2021)
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Hi @jeanne, below you can read about Mrs. Hank's impressions.  Btw, Mrs. Hank's name is Konni!

If we can set something up with @CarlM would be happy to join GMP.

Ok, so here are her thoughts:

 

"The cities we've been to are beautiful with lots of history.  The people have been nice, especially with Hank's attempts at Portuguese.  I haven't attempted too much, but I get thumbs up or kudos when I do attempt.  The shopkeepers and/or wait staff appreciate the attempt. 

Public transit has been easy to figure out using online and our phones or attempts to communicate with station agents.  I have not missed having a car. 

We met a waiter in Aveiro who took time to make us a map to find restaurants and stores in Porto.  He went above and beyond and it made our night.

We had a vintage trolley breakdown in Porto.  We opted to  stay on until maintenance came to fix.  We met another gal who opted to stay, turns out was another American.  We had a lovely chat about Portugal, Porto, and moving to Europe.

The wait was longer than we thought, so Hank ran to the ice cream shop and bought ice cream for those left on the trolley.    He's a thoughtful guy.

We had a very nice time meeting Doc Thompson and his family and their friend who was in town.  They were so nice and had good insight on moving to Portugal.  I was encouraged by their advice and experiences and appreciated their real-world frankness on moving, as well.

Hank and Andy are two peas in a pod, but thankfully, politics talking didn't take over the entire night, lol.

The advice and knowledge Hank has learned on GMP has been invaluable!  Thank you!"

Back to me (Hank) now:

It's hilarious because we've met a lot of people that Konni has spoken with and she's asked them if they would ever have considered moving to or back to America and every single person is like, oh hell no!  Don't want to raise kids in America.  Don't want to go back.  America is in a bad place.  Etc.

It's like Carl says, every place you visit makes you want to stay at that place.  I feel like you could throw a dart at a map of Portugal and move there and be happy. 

Not sure which place is winning right now, but it will be Konni's final say. 

We're in Porto now and we are heading up to Braga tomorrow.  Then onto Coimbra, Tomar, Caiscais, Sintra, and Lisbon.  We're hoping to squeeze another stop in to Leiria to have drinks with the Doc again.  (Btw, if anyone else would like to meet up, just let us know, we would love to meet all of you.)

Until next time....

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(@jeanne)
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@hank_2021   Have any of the Americans you spoke to (who say they are not planning to return to the US) been in PT long enough to 'outlive' their NHR status?  I'm curious how many expats/immigrants leave once they become subject to normal PT income taxation.

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(@hank_2021)
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@jeanne No, most of the Americans we have spoken to are actually residents of the EU and not Portugal itself.  My understanding is that American expats in Portugal are pretty rare.  I've spoken with a few Portuguese people and they say they don't get many Americans in their towns.

My understanding with NHR is that it's not too big a deal, potentially, because of the double-taxation treaty between PT and the US.  I am weak in that area and still need to do some further research on it though.

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(@jeanne)
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@hank_2021   Thanks.  The USA/PT double taxation treaty will enable you to avoid paying tax twice on the same income, but once the 10 year NHR benefit lapses, you end up basically paying full PT income tax rates,  which are considerably higher than US rates.  You just pay part to the US and part to PT, due to the treaty. And unless one moves back to the US, the accrued tax credits will never get used up - as the PT  rates are higher than the US rates, you are always accruing more than you can apply.(That's my understanding - happy to be corrected. )

Interesting that you say that you've run into mostly EU expats - they get a much better 'bang' out of the NHR because (unlike USA citizens) they generally do not have to continue to pay tax to their home country once they've changed tax domicile to PT. So for them, the large benefit of 10 years NHR will better balance out against paying full PT tax post -NHR. And PT tax rates are in the same ballpark as the rates in other EU countries.  

I am not complaining about paying tax in a country I'd be living in, mind you, it's just that I had not planned my retirement taking into account paying up to 48% income tax, so am trying to recalculate what it would mean.

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(@hank_2021)
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Hi, @jeanne .

Thanks tons for the info!  We keep asking about what are we missing?  What are we overlooking?  This is the area that has me concerned, but it is 10 years away, so there's that.

I agree with you about not minding to pay the taxes.  I'd rather pay taxes to the Portuguese government than the American government...for reasons.

Still, this is definitely something we need to look more deeply into.  Thank you!

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 Zoom
(@zoom)
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@hank_2021 There are some mitigating factors - 1. its progressive/graduated scale, so you you won't be paying 48% of the entire amount (if you exceed 80000/yr) 2. There are some exemptions for capital gains on real estate and those paid out by European companies. 

But yes, in general it's easier to pay taxes when you know they're going to improve the lives of everyone, and not being evaded by the top 1% paying 3-4%!

There are calculators you can try out -

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(@carlm)
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(-:

May I read from the Captain's log tomorrow morning? Call in maybe?!

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10 Replies
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(@hank_2021)
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@carlm Hi Carl!

Sorry I haven't had time to check in over the past week.  Feel free to share anything we post here.  Would love to call in at some point.  We will be here for another couple weeks.  Let me know what day works and I'll try to confirm with our schedule, if you're still interested. 

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(@carlm)
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@hank_2021 Weds or Thursday are ideal! 913 590 303

 

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(@hank_2021)
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Hi, @carlm!

We're traveling up to Braga Wednesday, so how about Thursday?  Any particular time?  Should we do WhatsApp?

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(@carlm)
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@hank_2021 Thursday live on the show as our guests of honour would be great. At least via WhatsApp at best over camera too 😀

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(@carlm)
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@hank_2021 please connect on WhatsApp, I have a link for you. My number is 913 590 303 😀

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(@carlm)
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(@hank_2021)
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@carlm Hahaha.  Love it.  Looking forward to it.  We're all set up and ready to go on the laptop.  See you in the morning!

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(@hank_2021)
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@carlm Thanks for having us on the show Carl and it was a pleasure chatting with you before and after the show.  There's never enough time.  I have soo many follow up questions for you, but for now, I'll bug you in a future YouTube chat.  We need to know the stories about the van and the speaking to the classrooms!

 

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(@carlm)
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@hank_2021 great to talk with you both, Boa Viagem! How's Braga?

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(@carlm)
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PS keep the questions coming!

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