Living La Vida Lagos: How Much Does It REALLY Cost To Live In Lagos, Portugal?

Unless you’re reading our blog for the very first time, you’ll know that we’re delighted with our adopted country of Portugal and especially, the Algarve Region where we’ve been for the last two years, busily putting down some shallow roots. For us, it’s turned out to be an excellent place to live and we love exploring the area as well as playing impromptu tour guides, sharing favorite places with friends passing through. And maybe that’s why it really bothered us when we read an article about the cost of living in the Algarve that specifically mentioned outrageously low prices in Lagos (hamburgers costing €3) and promised that a couple could live on a budget of €1300 a month, more (that would be us) or even less.

But let’s back up a moment to confess that just a few short years ago, back in 2011 and right at the beginning of the germ of an idea that would lead to where we’re living now, I loved to check out the online stories about expats living out their retirement dreams in exotic locations overseas. We’d pass by the pics of palm trees and charming colonial cities and zero right in on our big question: What would it cost to live there? What would paying a rent of $700, $800 or even $1000 per month get us and what could we expect our groceries to cost each month? What was the price of a typical restaurant meal? A taxi? And, could we afford to pay the monthly air conditioning bill?

 

 

This is where traveling slow and living like locals as we made our way around and through several countries came in useful. From the beginning of our travels, we’ve kept detailed expense records of our daily costs and could tell you in a few minutes what we spent in each country. Having an idea what a realistic cost of living would be for us as well as what we could and couldn’t live without was extremely useful so that we could make some well-informed decisions based upon our practical knowledge. We visited many places where expats had written glowingly of their experiences and found, kind of like the nursery tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, that many places were too hot or too humid, some of the ‘springtime temps’ were too cold, some too rural and yes, some too expensive. Many places had little to offer in the way of things to do, some were too grimy, downright ugly or the air was polluted with diesel fumes, burning garbage and dust. In some places we had to be especially vigilant about protecting our possessions (we learned our lesson the hard way when a computer and camera were stolen in Ecuador) and there were places we didn’t feel safe. Lastly, some lacked medical services that we want in place as we age. Perhaps one of our most unanticipated lessons that we learned, on a memorable month-long visit to Big Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua, was that our vision of paradise on a tropical island fell far short of the nirvana we’d imagined.

While we know that cost of living is an important consideration when you’re thinking of moving overseas, there are a lot of other things to think through, too. We’re mindful of our spending but bare bones living isn’t how we want to live. We want to download the new best seller onto our Kindles, watch Netflix, buy a pair of shoes or something for our apartment and go out to eat with friends without counting the pennies. And, contrary to what an online article we read said, €1300 ($1530 USD) a month probably won’t be enough to live in most places in the Algarve. (But, for those on a budget, don’t let us discourage you because there are some great places to check out north of us and along the Silver Coast which are less expensive.)

We compiled our expenses from July through November this year and then averaged our monthly costs to give you a better idea of what we spend each month living in Lagos.

 

 

RENT – €800/$939 USD

Rentals are difficult to find in Lagos so we were beyond happy when we found a fully furnished, modern, two-bedroom, two-bath apartment on the outskirts of Lagos. The apartment is a 5-minute walk to the beach and a 30-minute walk to the heart of historic Lagos. It has a large kitchen with granite countertops, a dishwasher and washing machine, a balcony with a sea view and access to a rooftop terrace. There’s a communal pool, a storage room and an underground parking space as well as plenty of secure parking behind a gate. (Note: Our lease ends in April and we’re hoping to find a house somewhere near Lagos so this figure will probably change.)

 

 

GROCERIES – €365/$430

We both like to cook and we eat the majority of our meals at home. We buy very little processed or ready-to-heat foods and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken and lean hamburger. We usually slow cook pork and beef cuts as we’ve found them to be tough.

HOUSEHOLD – €160/$189

This includes all the miscellaneous non-grocery items that usually get lumped in with the grocery bill like cleaning products and laundry soap, toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste), paper towels and toilet paper. It also covers household items such as a printer stand, pens and pencils, garbage bags, plastic storage bins and kitchen towels.

UTILITIES –  €215/$253

We’ve lumped in three separate costs under utilities. Our PHONE/CABLE TELEVISION/INTERNET is bundled at €60/$69 for a landline, one mobile phone and basic cable. Our WATER bill recently increased and runs about €25/$29 and our ANNUAL ELECTRICITY averages out to €130/$153 per month. We changed our average cost from monthly to annual for our electricity bill to give you a better idea of what we’re paying for an average. From December through March, we heat the living room of our apartment and from May through October, we cool the apartment using fans and the old-fashioned method of opening our windows during the night rather than using the included A/C in the living and bedrooms. Sewer and garbage is included in our rent.

TRANSPORTATION – €170/$200

We bought a 2012, 4-door Skoda our first winter here for €7500/$8830 which has a manual transmission. Following a tip from a friend, we found a mechanic who charges us local prices rather than the higher prices we’d been paying at a far more conveniently placed auto shop. Gas in Portugal is outrageous no matter how you look at it. We pay roughly €1.50/$1.77 per liter or a heart-stopping €6/$7.06 per gallon. A set of four new tires and an alignment cost us €279/$329 which is included in our monthly average. Also included in this average is our monthly car insurance at €28/$33 and the road tax (similar to license place fees) which is €13/$15.

 

 

MEALS OUT – €138/$162

Meeting friends for a late lunch is one of our favorite things to do here in Lagos and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the area to while away an afternoon. An average meal for the two of us costs €25-40/$30-47 including a drink and small tip. For wine drinkers it can be a real bargain because sometimes a bottle of water costs more than a glass of wine!

 

 

CLOTHING – €99/$117

HEALTH INSURANCE – €92/$108 for both of us

We carry a Portuguese private insurance for which we pay an additional copay per doctor or dentist visit. As residents, we also qualify for the public healthcare, the Portuguese Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS) which charges a very small copay. We did not include our medical costs or prescriptions as figures can vary greatly from person to person.

LANGUAGE LESSONS/GYM – €107/$126

ONLINE PURCHASES – €113/$133

This includes Netflix, movie rentals and book purchases from Amazon for our E-readers

MISCELLANEOUS – €102/$121

This includes all sorts of incidentals like haircuts and random purchases that don’t fit into any other category.

THE GRAND TOTAL – €2361/$2780

For us, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” in Lagos, Portugal doesn’t get much better.  We have everything we need at our fingertips but, more importantly, we have (just about!) everything we want. And …WE’RE LIVING IN  FREAKING EUROPE!  Obviously, our priorities and expenses are going to be different from another couple’s spending but there’s no reason to exaggerate about how affordable the Algarve Region of Portugal is. (And articles saying that a couple can live here comfortably for €1300/month only set people up for failure.) There are always going to be less expensive places to live around the world but, for a country brimming over with history, culture, stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, a mild climate, great food, good medical care and friendly people – we figure we probably don’t need to find a better place for us than right where we are!

By Anita Oliver and Richard Nash

Note:  We’re going to take some time away from writing for the next few weeks, so this will be our last post for 2017. Wishing you all a very happy holiday season and we’ll catch up with you sometime in January.

 

96 comments

  • Gennady Kravenkov

    Excellent blog and very informative honest post! We’re planning to follow your pass in the nearest future and all we read here is very useful for tailoring our plans. Do you happen to know, if it would be a big problem to find a rental place in Portugal that allows to bring a small dog?

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  • Not sure how I missed this post from you two, but am glad I went back to your blog to see what new posts were up. This is a very helpful and informative post… Recently a friend of ours visited us in Sri Lanka and she currently lives in Portugal and was eschewing the joys of life there. Of course as you know, we loved our time there and it was a serious contender for us as a place to live.

    While we love living in Sri Lanka, for now, we know it is not our permanent home. Ultimately as we get older I would like to be closer to where my kids are living (in the U.S.) and Portugal came up again as a potential for years to come. Also the fact that Ben has a French passport might be of value, but for now, it is certainly helpful to have your incredibly impressive detailed list of expenses. I am full of admiration that you guys wrote this post, because we are pretty useless at keeping track. We have a rough idea of what we spend, and a rough idea of what each country has cost us, but this.. this is the bomb!! hahaha

    Happy new year to both you. Hope it brings many a new glorious adventure.

    Peta

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  • This is great stuff! I love seeing people moving to Portugal and talking realistically about the good and the bad of living here.

    E como é que vão essas lições de português?

    – Verne

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hey Guys. There are posts and articles designed to sell magazines, and there are informative pieces that provide real-life, detailed information to help potential expats make decisions. This excellent post obviously falls in the helpful, accurate information category, and from reading the comments, if it isn’t already, it will get to be THE post on the subject. We’ve been expats a few times and know from experience that this type of information is gold. Well done and thanks. BTW, we understand a bit of time off from the blog, so have a great holiday and all the best for 2018. ~James & Terri

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    • Thanks James and Terri. We would have been all-over a post like this ourselves when we were looking for information on Portugal! Perhaps bloggers are more reticent to talk realistically about finances and, of course, there are always going to be people who can live far more cheaply than us. It’s not a contest, however and our goal isn’t to live so much frugally as comfortably while enjoying a good standard of living. It’s especially heartening to get feedback from many of our readers like you who are or have lived as expats and have experience regarding real-life costs in a foreign country. Portugal is in the spotlight now as a holiday mecca and an expat haven and it’s been fun for us to share some of the things we’ve learned with people who are interested in living here. As for the blog, looks like our hiatus might be just a week or two longer as we got sideswiped with the flu after Christmas. I should have known that saying we hadn’t been sick since we moved here was tempting fate. 🙂 Anyway, we’re back on the road to recovery now. Here’s wishing you both a happy and a healthy 2018!

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  • Lagos seems like a great place to live at, Anita and Richard. Excellent break down of expenses and a great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Wow, this is just such a great post…..I have read it several times, soaking in all the info. Another subject you cover that I am facing as well is the car purchase. I was thinking of buying a inexpensive, used car (in or around Lagos) and wondered if you recommend a good, honest dealer? Also, anything you would have done differently?

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    • Thanks so much Drew. Having been in your shoes at one time, it’s not hard to anticipate exactly what questions other people might be wondering about and COL is a huge question. We bought our used car through the Renault dealer in Lagos after checking out several places including the city of nearby Portimao which has several dealers selling new and used cars. However, some friends of ours had a really good experience with this link: http://www.algarve-auto-assist.com so I feel comfortable recommending this gentleman to you as well as some good friends of ours who just arrived from Canada. He vetted their car for them, checked out the history and helped them with the licensing and inspection.
      As for what we wish we’d done differently … ah yes. There’s always something, right? The biggest thing we wish we’d done is to get our Portuguese driver’s licenses right after we received our first one-year visa. You have about a 3-month grace period after you get that visa where you can turn in your US driver’s license (hint bring a duplicate if you want to use it rather than the Portuguese one, which is valid, when driving in the US) and exchange it for a Portuguese one. We balked at turning in our US licenses and are now trying to figure out what to do versus taking driving lessons or challenging the exam which is written in Portuguese…. I guess you could say … lesson learned!

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  • Anita / Richard,

    I was wondering if you know if Lagos has a minimum cost for water connection? I bought a small garage in Lagos and was debating on hooking up the water/power. I was concerned there was a monthly minimum cost for service for water/power regardless of usage. Any idea?

    Thanks,

    Drew

    Liked by 2 people

  • Great stuff, as usual Anita & Richard. You’re right about the pie in the sky COL projections given to potential expats; it’s never as cheap and/or convenient etc. as stated in the manuals and at those seminars. There’s usually some kind of slant, either real estate or otherwise that isn’t stated. Happy holidays to you, and we’ll read more from you in 2018!

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    • You would know exactly what we’re talking about when we refer to the COL projections for popular expat places since you lived in Boquete, Panama and are newly re-located to Medellin. During our travels and temporary try-outs at living locally in many of the places touted as expat havens, we found the savings to be wildly inflated and many of the destinations were less than appealing when considering them as future homes. I’m sure you’ve run into many an expat who’s bought a home expecting to live the retirement dream and found out, once the honeymoon period ended, that the reality fell short of their expectations. Luckily, we’ve found a good fit in Portugal for us and it sounds like you’re enjoying Medellin, too. Here’s to a 2018 with more expat experiences and tales for all of us to share. Happy Holidays, Mariah and By!

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  • Hello Anita/Dick. Me,Terie and Freddy are doing fine here in Corpus Christi. We are planning on down-sizing to a smaller
    home in our subdivision. This will help cut our costs and get us more prepared for retirement. I’m still working at Spohn.
    Hoping to make some changes soon. We miss you both and we’re glad to hear that you are living the dream. Have a happy holiday season and New Year. May our paths cross soon. Fred.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So great to hear from you Fred! Thinking about this particular post reminds me of all the talks we had at work during my last year as a wage slave and especially our questions about what certain locations might cost to live in. There’s really no comparison to the cost-of-living figures from International Living, is there? 🙂 So glad to hear that you’re moving ahead with your own retirement plans now because … the retirement years really are GOLDEN! Happy Holidays to you and Terie and (surprise) I’ve sent you a long email too!

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  • That’s really helpful information and I will likely direct people to it if they ask me about cost of living int he Algarve. I hate it when I see misleading info about how cheap it is to live in Portugal (yes, it can be in rural Portugal but not in popular places). I also refused to contribute to an article that wanted to make out that finding work here was easy or that becoming a writer was a quick solution to earning enough to live on here.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You make some great points, Julie. We too, have seen many articles that talk about working online (which works for some) or supporting yourself by blogging and, while it might have been true several years ago, it’s mostly a pipe dream now. I’m not sure what the unemployment rate in Portugal is now but until recently, there weren’t a lot of jobs around and the average paycheck is quite a bit lower than what a North American or citizen from the UK would expect. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the visa the majority of Americans and Canadians opt for is a retirement visa which excludes working in Portugal. Sadly, the frightening fact is that there’s a huge population of baby boomers looking at retiring with a staggering amount of personal debt, no savings and desperately seeking the cheap destinations that these articles tout.
      We appreciate your sharing our blog with people considering a move to the Algarve. For us, it’s proven to be a great choice and we’re always happy to share our (opinions 🙂) and experiences.

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  • Great post and interesting to compare to ours here in Croatia.

    First off, you have a great looking apartment! Very nice. And 800 Euros makes sense. We pay 600 Euros here in Split for a 100 sq m apartment in Bacvice. So more expensive in Portugal, but your place more modern looking.
    I find your utilities though quite expensive, especially electricity. We pay about $130 US (on average)/month on utilities.

    I would say everything else basically the same as what we pay here, including restaurants. A lot of it depends on taste, ie. what you eat at the restaurant, how much wine you drink, if you take a coffee etc etc…but it’s in the same ballpark.

    Back to what you say about expat sites: you’re so right! I know everything depends on a person’s lifestyle. We’ve met people who basically life in a corrugated metal shack in Thailand and boast about how cheap it is. But just as that’s not representative of what most people pay in Thailand, it’s hard to compare different Expat lifestyles in Europe. Also, eating pasta every night and then bragging about the low cost of what you spend on food is no really helpful is it? I think it’s good to paint a realistic picture of what most people will pay for a regular, healthy lifestyle.

    But what I take away from your post is that Portugal is not as cheap as everyone makes it out to be. How does that compare to your previous life in the US? Your costs above are basically what we would pay in Montreal (although we didn’t have a car and health care was included in our high tax rates)

    Frank (bbqboy)

    Liked by 2 people

    • One of the things we used to say (over and over) is that you can live for cheap in the US but … Do you want to? It’s all a matter of what your lifestyle is. And yes, our point is that, while the Algarve Region of Portugal is not the dirt cheap, expat haven touted in various online magazines, it is a good value for the money. The magazines though, would be more accurate if they pointed out that Portugal (probably like Croatia) has areas (more rural and located away from the beaches with less choice climates) where the living really is inexpensive. Like other places, it’s a balance between deciding what’s important for you. Our lifestyle in the US was shamefully wasteful and cost a lot more with a waterfront home on an barrier island (a gulp on the home insurance policy in hurricane prone Texas) 2 cars and a truck (all paid for but still the licensing and maintenance fees add up) a boat, a lengthy commute to work, and of course, the big bugaboo, health insurance. Maybe the only thing that’s comparable would be our grocery costs. Our big takeaway was, once we realized that we were truly unhappy with the American Dream and opted for a simpler lifestyle, our lives were (unbelievable for brainwashed consumers like us) much richer. A little late to learn the ‘Money doesn’t buy everything’ lesson but… better late than never. Happy Holidays to you and Lissette and more importantly, here’s wishing you a happy 2018 with great destinations ahead and new experiences!

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  • This is an incredibly helpful post. My husband and I talk generally about doing something like this in the future. I show him pretty pictures and he likes to know the cold, hard, financial facts. You’ve clearly done your homework and found a lovely place. Happy holidays Anita and Richard! Cheers, Caroline

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re so glad you found this post helpful, Caroline. One of the things we wanted to find out during our years of full-time travel was the ‘how much does it cost?’ question in various places we thought might work for us. We wanted to walk the line between, “It’s too good to be true” and the saying, “If you have to ask the cost, you can’t afford it.” And, while the Algarve Region isn’t as cheap as some blogs and online magazines claim, it’s a great value in a beautiful European country and even better if you have a clear idea of what your costs might be.

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  • Great post about the true cost of living. Prices in the Algarve always rise in summer when a bit more money can be siphoned from the tourists. Still, prices are quite good compared to our cost of living in Australia, although our earnings are also higher.
    Have a lovely Christmas and New Year.

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    • We’re quite pleased with our cost-of-living in the Algarve Region and feel that, even though it’s such a popular destination, it’s still a great value for the money. Obviously, there are cheaper places to live in Portugal but we love living year-round in a place that others dream about for vacations. For us, the cost savings are biggest in the areas of health care, a mortgage payment versus rent, and home and property insurance. Living on a barrier island off the coast of Texas, our home insurance (hurricane, wind and flood) was especially high. Happy Holidays to you also!

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  • I can’t believe you have been there for 2 years already? How time flies when you are having fun. Sounds like you found the perfect place to live, a place that ticks most of your boxes. After visiting Lagos last year I can fully understand why. ..It is a beautiful place. The costs are also not bad at all, certainly a lot less than here in the UK. Very interesting post. Happy Christmas to you both and lots of health and exciting adventures in 2018 🙂

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    • The past two years have really flown by. And yes! We are enjoying our lives here. As you know Gilda, the Algarve attracts a great many people from the UK, partly because of the weather and also because the costs are less. Our lifestyle is considerably different from when we lived in the US but we’ve found Portugal is an amazing value for the money and the quality of life is wonderful. We fell in love with the Algarve on our first visit here and really haven’t done as much exploring of the country as we’d like (soon) but we often take time to notice and appreciate our beautiful surroundings. How lucky we are. Happy Holidays to you, too and here’s to your recent retirement as well as many travel adventures in 2018!

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  • What a clear and important post! Not that we’re thinking of living in Lagos, but those articles can be so misleading. We will possibly be visiting in the fall of ’18. Things are in the works. Wishing you both a happy holiday season.
    Alison

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    • Thanks Alison and I’m so glad to hear that you are busy plotting and planning your next round of travels. We’d love to see you in 2018! Fall in the Algarve area is especially nice when (most) of the tourists leave, the weather is lovely with long, sunny days and the sea is still warm. In short, it’s as kick-back and relax-perfect as you could want and a great break between city sight-seeing. Happy Holidays to you and Don and wishing you a New Year where your healing journey continues right along with your travels!

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  • Once again this is a timely post Anita, one Terry is going to be very interested to read. He loves to create financial spreadsheets (should have been a financial planner I think) and can tell you how much we have spent in any category back several years. He was just saying this morning that perhaps we should not have changed our travel plans for 2018, especially with what is going on currently in this country. Unfortunately we are too far into our new plans, with many bookings made, so we will have to look at Portugal in 2019. He and I are both very interested in spending enough time there to get a good sense of what it would be like to live there. Have a wonderful holiday season. We will catch up with you in 2018.

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    • There must be something about spreadsheets that’s addicting! It’s interesting though, to go back over the numbers and look at our spending, especially what I call “dribbles” with a few euros here and there that quickly add up. Sometimes we even get a good surprise and it definitely helps with planning ahead. It would have been wonderful to see you two in our part of the world in 2018 but Patagonia sounds like a fascinating runner up. We’ll keep in touch with you and eventually our paths will cross. Merry Christmas to both of you and here’s to a 2018 that finds people coming together with solutions towards making our world better.

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      • Terry really liked your numbers. They were better than he would have expected. So you never know, we may be checking out Portugal if the climate of this country continues to spiral downward. If tRump fires Mueller or Paul Ryan does indeed mess with our entitlements on his way out the door, I don’t think I can bear any more. Merry Christmas to both of you. I echo your wish for 2018.

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        • Oh LuAnn, I know how you feel. We watch 45’s base and the officials he’s selected who support the administration’s embrace of authoritarianism and I have a sick knot in my stomach most days and a low level of anxiety almost all the time. I’ve never been a fan of reality shows but it does feel like each night is another cliffhanger where we wait in dread for what’s next.. It’s been a long year and all I can hope for (along with you and the majority of those in the US) is that the next year brings some semblance of sanity back to our country. (Please be kind to us 2018!)

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  • It was very interesting to read a honest and detailed account of your costs. I’ve often wondered at some of those “exaggerated” claims.

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    • Our question is, “Why exaggerate?” (We’ve gotten pretty good about asking, “What are they selling?”) It does a real disservice to readers who find out that the reality is far different from their expectations. We traveled to a lot of places featured in some of these online magazines and blogs that talked about the low cost of living and ignored other factors that we found to be real problems for us such as climate, infrastructure, safety, etc. when considering them as a place to live long term. Another thing to consider too, is that when places are hyped and people move to those places, the cost of living can also increase as the rental/housing market gets tighter. Portugal is in the spotlight now and it appears that this is happening in the Algarve.

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  • Those articles are truly misleading, unless of course one wants to live in a hovel or a tent on the beach. Our rent in Porto – for a furnished studio flat – is a bargain at 600 euros per month, plus utilities. But, a package of radishes will cost about 1 euro per radish. Go figure! 🙂

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    • Your comment about the hovel or tent is exactly right, Patti. We used to say you could live a lot cheaper in the US but then the question was, “Do you really want to?” However, we consistently found during our travels that many online magazines and blogs consistently lowballed what it cost to live in many places and glossed over things that were real problems for us. Finding a place to live that’s right for you is such an individual decision that really the only way to make the right choice is to do a trial run. You ended up with a great apartment (I loved the photos) and a good value as well. It’s all about ‘the fit!’

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  • Thanks for the informative post guys. We agree entirely that IL quotes can be quite misleading and tend to be on the far low end. There are definitely opportunities to further reduce costs, but many of those come down to personal choice. We haven’t been here for a full year yet, however our costs are in the same ballpark as yours. Generally we expect to be in the 2200 euro range (for a couple) but we’ll see how our heating costs are this winter. As with yours these costs include a vehicle and associated expenses as well as private medical insurance. We keep a spreadsheet as well and there are some individual differences in some categories but pretty much the same overall. And yes there are cheaper places to live but it seems like it would be hard to beat what you get for your money here in terms of weather, culture, food, natural beauty, security and services. Cheers, Tim & Anne

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    • You have a great point about there being cheaper places to live BUT…. ! There are many other things to consider when selecting a foreign country that’s a good fit as you mentioned and we found that our years of traveling and living in several foreign countries really helped us decide what was important to us. Sure there are always corners to cut but like you said, it becomes a personal choice as well as a quality of life issue. We were totally enchanted with Portugal during our first visit here in 2015 and our time living here full time has only reinforced that decision. We’re so glad that you two decided it was the right place for you too!

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  • Hi! Great article. People need to know the true cost of living in a place. Sadly, the articles published in magazines are usually not very accurate and can set people up for failure. I think your monthly expenses for two people is quite reasonable for the lifestyle you live. Have a fantastic holiday and “see” you in the new year. Merry Christmas!

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    • Thanks, Nancie. There are so many variables that go into figuring out a realistic cost of living (for instance we know we could bring our food costs down by not buying so many imported foods) but we’re hoping that our experience gives a more realistic view of living here. Portugal is so awesome that there’s no reason to exaggerate anything!
      Wishing you happy holidays.It must be wonderful to be snugly tucked away with Indie into your brand new home!

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  • Happy Holidays to both of you. This is a great post. Many articles about cost of living in various countries do set people up for failure. It’s so important to find the right balance of cost, feeling safe and happy and having some discretionary spending available. I’m so glad you found your happy place as we did. Retirement is wonderful if you can find your place in the world. Enjoy!!
    Suzi

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    • Thanks Suzi. I’m sure you’ve read your share of articles about how cheap it is to live in fill-in-the-blank-with-Panama too, because it’s been a darling of the online magazines pushing living abroad for years and really does set people up for failure. The really sad thing is so many people who are living on limited budgets take the articles at face value without doing boots-on-the-ground investigation or more research to discover what the real costs are. And, besides costs, finding your happy place can involve many other factors to finding a place that’s the best fit. Wishing you Happy Holidays in beautiful Panama! P.S. We’re meeting Clyde and Terri Coles who will be in Lagos this weekend. So funny about the ‘six degrees of separation!’

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  • Thank you! Your article was quite informative. We too live in Lagos and live above the expat blog figures published. That being said, we are living within our budget and costs for us are lower than what we were paying in the US. We are very blessed and fortunate to be here and able to have this wonderful adventure.

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    • Our first response when we read your comment was “Aha, more Americans hiding out in Lagos! 🙂 We’ll have to meet for a cup of coffee sometime! We’re so glad that you enjoyed our post and are feeling the same way we do about living in Lagos: extremely fortunate! Like you, our cost of living in the US is lower for many reasons (renting vs. owning, a simpler lifestyle, etc.) and for those who want to pare their costs down further there are ways. However, one of the joys of living is to be able to not watch the pennies so we wanted to show what an ‘average’ couple spends. As you said, not the promised “cheap” paradise that some online mags extol but we too, feel amazingly fortunate to be here!

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  • I chuckled as l read this. That IL is totally misleading for sure. I remember reading them before we left the U.S and them saying you could live in Malta for like 700 euro. I had to do my own digging and was one of the reasons l started the blog so others might get a good idea of true costs. I think l saw the same article about the costs in your area and in Paris that was so off base, I had to comment. Remember we mentioned that we found your area a little bit more expensive than Seville. Your numbers confirm that and comparing it to the cost of living post for Valencia, we are still a bit under. Haha! We might just stay in Spain for a bit longer, if only for the seafood. Anyone planning to move needs to do their due diligence and not count on these online figures from IL especially. Perhaps those numbers are meant for students, in which case, they would be true as they share rooms. Happy Holidays to you guys! Have fun and stay safe.

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    • I remember our conversations/rants Kemi, about the online publications that rhapsodize about low-cost paradises to people who might be tempted into living abroad by the prices or other outstanding qualities they push. (And sadly, during our travels we met a few who’d purchased property or were living on social security from check-to check and hated where they lived but were stuck.) Our joke, when we were traveling was, “Yeah, you could live in (fill-in-the-blank) for $700 but would you want to? And, as you know, there’s a huge difference between living like a tourist or a short term visit versus settling in and putting down roots. We didn’t find that many places where we could visualize ourselves living there long term. I do remember you saying that the food costs here in Lagos were slightly higher than in Seville and, after our visit to your new home in Valencia, I can see why Spain might continue to tempt you to renew your lease for a year or … ? The way we see it, we get the best of both worlds: a Portuguese lifestyle with its food and culture and all of Spain’s culture and cuisine for a change of pace. Happy Holidays and hugs to you and Fede and your four-legged, furry family!

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  • Hi Anita and Dick!
    Thank you so much for your down to earth, spot on article. We, my husband and I, are recently retired and expats from the US. We did extensive research on the best place to relocate and build our new lives in paradise. Now not being new to travel abroad we really tried to include realistic expectations. But as in your article we kept reading about the “low cost of living” in the Algarve region of Portugal (among other places, but Portugal became our goal). We were so shocked and dismayed by what we actually found that we had to seriously rethink our whole plan especially during “high season”. In other words, we couldn’t afford to live in the Algarve on our reasonable but limited budget. We didn’t give up so easily though, but we did look further north. We have found a small town along the coast north of Lisbon that’s affordable and meets our needs although much cooler and more humid than the Algarve. The point is, of course, don’t believe everything you read no matter how reputable the claims.
    Thanks again Anita and Dick!

    Liked by 3 people

    • We’ve learned a lot of lessons ourselves Bonnie, simply by being “boots on the ground.” It’s probably typical for most expats to find their expenses higher at the beginning than anticipated due to the steep learning curve and navigating between tourist and local prices and businesses. We spent an exorbitant amount on a (mostly) unnecessary attorney, an overpriced apartment, and higher car insurance and mechanic costs, just to name a few mistakes. And even well-seasoned travelers can be blind-sided by unanticipated and hidden expenses like Portugal’s expensive toll roads and gasoline prices. But yes, touting low prices in the Algarve without mentioning that whatever reasonable year-around rentals are difficult to find and online articles outright lying about “typical”restaurant prices and lowballing utilities does no favors to anyone and can be a real source of “shock and dismay.” I’m so glad that you and Edd stuck to your Portugal plan, found a coastal village that has what you need/want and have landed on your feet. We miss you.🙁 Looking forward to seeing your version of the Portugal dream but until then, Happy Holidays to both of you!

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    • Gennady Kravenkov

      Hi Bonnie, would be possible to tell us where you ended up along the coast north of Lisbon exactly? We also considering this part of the country and any input based on a personal experience would be very valuable for us?

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  • It’s always interesting to see what it costs to live in beautiful places in the world. Thanks for the informative post. We also track our spending and find it a helpful tool in planning our future spending but also a discipline when we do (rarely) overspend. Many people are fearful of tracking because they’d rather be in the dark but it frees us up to spend more as we are most likely to underspend…

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    • So glad you enjoyed this post. I couldn’t help but think of you Beth, tracking your expenses and spreadsheeting away! When we first started doing it at the very beginning of our travels, we found it a useful way to be mindful of our spending and compare costs between countries. It’s still a very useful tool when costs creep up to figure out what’s driving them. And sadly, I don’t think that UNDER spending’s ever been our problem! 😁

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  • wow great explanation of all the costs, have a wonderful Christmas and new year tk and pk

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    • Thanks, Tom and Pam. We always found it fascinating to see what it cost for an “average” middle-class couple to live in a foreign country and I’m glad you found our info interesting. Happy Holidays to you and your family from both of us and enjoy your venison meals, cozy home, beautiful views and Montana’s snow. We’re looking forward to Pam’s visit next Spring!

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  • Fascinating stuff. Great to know the breakdown of how much it costs to live in such a wonderful place. We’d love to be able to spend a few months there but may have to do it by housesitting.

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    • Like most countries, there are less expensive areas as well as a low season when travel and living in Portugal costs less. Like you, we did several stints of housesitting when we were travelling full time which helped cut down on our expenses while staying in more expensive areas like Costa Rica, Curacao and even the US. We still belong to the Housecarers website where I check out ads (and daydream) about Australia and other European countries. There aren’t many listings (yet) for Portugal but I recently ran into a comment on the American Expat website mentioning a demand for housesitters in the Cascais and Lisbon area over Christmas. Portugal is a rising star and I imagine that housesitting listings will become much more common in the future for all the hopeful housesitters who want to visit!

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  • Thanks Anita and Richard for your detailed post. I wasn’t surprised that the cost of living was higher than articles, like International Living, state. It makes me so angry because they are setting people up for failure before they even arrive! Grrr! What happened in Corn Island that burst your tropical island living bubble? And aren’t you grateful for the experiences you had before settling down? It makes Lagos even more special.
    Happy holidays to you both! By the way, I am envious of your lovely apartment…a dishwasher? Unheard of here!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Traveling for a few years and getting a sense of what it was like to live in several countries was a real learning experience for us, Debbie. We were sure that we’d end up living in Mexico or Central America somewhere and yet … here we are in Portugal! (And with a dishwasher, too!)
      As for our Big Corn Island experience – We booked a place on the beach for a month in December of 2013. The first week was lovely with lots of swimming and snorkeling and then it started raining – for days! The roof leaked so we had cooking pots everywhere to catch the water and the mud that surrounded the place made it a mess to go anywhere. The ferry came with fresh food once a week and the day before its arrival the pickings were slim. We met one couple in all our time there who were visiting for just a few days and other than that it was pretty isolated. Slow internet and not much to do and on and on. On the other hand – we read a lot of good books and it was lobster season (lobster tails were 4 for $8).There’s always a silver lining! 🙂

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  • Anita, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this post. I am SO envious of what you are doing. Yes, you are living in FREAKING EUROPE! (probably my favourite line). All the documentation of your expenses really shows all the work you have done to live in Portugal. Congratulations. I’ve got to figure out how I can live in France. All the information, while for Portugal, was VERY helpful! Happy holidays to you too and see you on the “other side”, in 2018!

    Liked by 2 people

    • So glad you liked this post,Jan. And we have to say, our life here in “freaking” Portugal has exceeded our hopes greatly. 🙂 What we were hoping to show with this post, besides dispelling the “how cheap it is” exaggerations, was to show that some places, while not rock bottom priced, are certainly affordable. We also wanted to bring up (hidden) costs that might be not be anticipated. Like the visa process and all the questions that come up with a move to a foreign country, we were hoping that there were some similarities in the cost of living in other countries, too. I’m thinking that your next trip to France might be as much to answer some questions for yourself as well as having fun! Happy Holidays to you also and yes – 2018 is our year to meet!

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  • Great details for those considering the Algarve vs. other options for overseas retirement. I might add (and I’m sure you will agree) that generally one’s expenses run a bit higher when you first arrive in a foreign land. After a few months, as you learn the ropes, where to shop, that you got “gringo’d” on your initial rent, etc. I’ve always found that you can usually trim the COL down by a good 10-20% after you settle in awhile.

    I also agree that often folks (esp. folks like IL who after all, have a decidedly vested interest in getting as many as possible to take their courses, retirement tours, etc. in the various foreign locations they tout) tend to low-ball the realistic costs of living in [insert most any popular expat target here]. And yes, yes, of course it’s going to vary (often considerably) depending on the lifestyle your choose, as well as your spending priorities.

    That said, a line from one of the comments here stands out for me:

    “there is a difference between existing and living.”

    Though I’m sure the commentor meant well, I dare say that “existing” vs. “living” is a rather subjectively stark way to define the wide variations in folks’ lifestyle/budgets. I live quite comfortably and supremely happily here in Cuenca, Ecuador on a small percentage of your Algarve budget, but I’d hardly call my lifestyle merely “existing”. It’s really a matter of each our unique priorities as to what we (as you say) “can and cannot” live without.

    For example: Me? Alcohol here in Ecuador can add up swiftly for many of the expats here. But I rarely opt for more than a glass of wine with dinner or a beer with a $6 “almuerzo”. Whereas… for me the big priority is air tickets/traveling near and far (which you didn’t include in your budget). So while I could technically afford a more luxurious abode and enjoy $15-$20 lunches several times per week – each of us has a finite amount (be it large or small) – and thus for me, I’m quite happy to live in a most comfortable/modern 1 BR fully furnished apartment (within a few blocks of the Cuenca town center/the beautiful Rio Tomebamba) – all utilities and excellent wife included for… a mere $250 per month (yes, you read that correctly).

    While some might call my lifestyle merely “existing”, I dare say that traveling from my “home” base here in Ecuador to more than 10 countries (incl. Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Greece and Turkey – complete with ballooning above the fairytale landscape at Cappadocia – along with several weeks in Cuba, Machu Picchu in Peru – incl. a $200 lunch at the 5th best restaurant in all the World in Lima – plus a whiz to Mexico to witness the annual Monarch butterfly migration – all these in just the past 12 months alone (i.e. the Galapagos and Easter Island in Chile were a bit earlier). And I’ve already bought my air ticket for Japan come April.

    [takes-a-breath to continue] 😉

    In short, I’d argue that my life is arguably a good bit more than mere “existing”. Rather, I simply choose to live within my budget by prioritizing my spending towards international travel rather than $20 lunches, etc.

    In short-short. As you say, it’s really a matter of YMMV, yes?

    P.S. All that said – your digs, Anita – are absolutely DIVINE! 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    • We’ve used the expression, “We got gringoed” many times while traveling in Mexico, Central and South America and I agree that when you’re unfamiliar with an area, it can cost you some/a lot of money. We’ve written about our first apartment near the marina in Lagos which, while it might have been okay for a month or so, was absolutely depressing when we thought about staying there long term. And it was only €50 less than our “divine digs” that we’re in now. We also paid way too much for an attorney to help us through the visa process (an expensive hand holding!) and slowly but surely we’re finding better deals on car insurance, an auto mechanic, etc. Hopefully, by sharing mistakes, it makes it easier for other expats and we often learn as much as we share. (Plus, I love reading about other ‘fails’ as often times the stories are interesting and it’s nice to know there are other people like us bumbling along!)
      One of the things we used to say when we’d see a story in IL or another magazine about how cheap it was to live in (fill-in-the-blank) was, “You can live for cheap in the US, too but … DO YOU WANT TO?” It’s all a matter of priorities and moving around your resources (time and money) to meet them. Your apartment sounds wonderful and perfectly located for all of the celebrations, cafes and restaurants, shopping, etc. that make up life in Cuenca. And what a bargain! I know though, that you’ve moved once, twice? and assume that this is also a matter of finding places through your contacts that suit your needs as well as learning the ropes. And no matter what your rent costs, I’d never think of describing your lifestyle as existing! (Big Grin and a bit of envy!) Money spent doesn’t necessarily equal a rich experience. (Although I’ve never had a $200 lunch in one of the world’s best restaurants like you, so there are times when it does! 🙂)
      We decided not to include some costs in our budget here because they’re not really related to living in Lagos. Examples would be: maintaining our car back in the US which lives at Richard’s sister’s house, paying the monthly Medicare insurance, or our foreign travel. Medical expenses also vary greatly: Richard has used his insurance a lot while I’ve been ridiculously healthy. A true YMMV, Dyanne!

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      • Yes, my present place is actually the 3rd in 4 years (the first 2 in my initial year). It’s common among expats here (and everywhere?) to move a few times in the early years before finding their “perfect” spot. Each move for me, was both better and cheaper! 😉

        And yes too – that 17-course, $200 once-in-a-lifetime lunch at Central in Lima, was worth every penny. But… I must say, I’ve likewise had some of the most deliciously memorable eats – at tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurants (for what amounted to ~3 bucks) in many corners of the globe.

        Liked by 1 person

        • We’re planning a move ourselves in about 3 months so that will make 3 moves in about two-and-a-half years. Our first apartment was a dump (to use Bette Davis’s line) in a great location. Our current apartment is beautiful but in an area surrounded by tourists and our 3rd move will be to a much larger house that we’ll co-share with good friends. While not any cheaper (in fact about €100 more per month) we should save in other areas like utilities, sharing a phone/internet plan, transportation, etc. And being in an established residential area versus a tourist area will be much nicer. I think this next place will be, as you say, our perfect spot!

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  • Thank you for this great… and realistic, information! I’m interested in your typical transportation choices. Do you drive your car very much, or do you mostly walk or take public transportation? Is your city pretty walkable and so you only use your car when you need to go further (and how often is that?). Do you have bicycles, or is it not bike-friendly?

    My husband and I have been talking more and more about living abroad (with what is happening at home) and many of your considerations would be ours too.

    Have a great holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can certainly understand the appeal of living abroad, especially now. In fact, we keep waiting for the news to run a story on fleeing boomers!
      To answer your questions – Parts of Lagos are on the level (most of the historic area in fact) and very walkable but, like many Portuguese towns and cities, Lagos is built on hills. We live on the outskirts of town and walking around is a matter of climbing hills – both ways! 🙂 It makes for a good walk but not practical as far as shopping. In fact, we’d recommend a car for anyone who’s interested in living in the Algarve area because much of it is rural with secluded beaches and small villages. In addition to the taxis which are fairly reasonable, there’s a city bus system, good public transportation between cities (in fact we always take the bus to Lisbon when we’re catching a flight) and a local train runs along the coast. However, a car can take you to places you’d miss using public transportation as well as areas that are difficult to reach by bike.
      Happy Holidays to you too, Janis!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Very helpful information – thanks so much for keeping track and writing it all down!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know you’ll appreciate this and laugh, Susanna – Richard has this info all on spreadsheets! This is just the kind of information we were looking for back in 2011 when we started researching how to begin our own expat journey. Your blog was one of a handful offering accurate info as well as helpful advice about how you prepared and then made the move to Panama. And how fun to meet you there when we were traveling through the country. Happy Holidays to you and Mark!

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  • We are very happy that you found a nice place that you enjoy and is affordable for you. We hope you enjoy your Holliday. We are looking forward to reading more on your journeys next year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Hugh. Like you, we’ve found a wonderful place that ticks off all the items on our wishlist and is affordable, too. We have a few more road trips planned for the end of the year and 2018 promises some fun journeys and destinations as well. These are the golden years, aren’t they? Happy Holidays to you and Elizabeth in El Salvador!

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  • Great post! Very informative. Do you find prices have gone up since you first arrived? Also the question about the rail system and cost? How are airfare prices within Europe from Lagos? Do you find the internet and electricity to be reliable?

    Thanks for the post! Enjoy your holidays!
    Cheers,
    John and Susan

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    • Thanks John and Susan – Happy Holidays to you, too! So glad you found our post informative. Your question about the costs increasing is a good one as we really noticed a price jump in the local restaurants this summer during high season. Two of the grocery stores in town recently underwent extensive renovation (they look like they’re tying to change shopping from a chore into an “experience) and, yes, we’ve noticed an increase in their prices as well. Housing prices are way up, year-around rentals are difficult to find and, as the Algarve becomes even more popular, the trend will probably continue. Traveling by train in Portugal is about the same as by bus but generally, international travel by train is much more expensive than the budget airlines. (Just not as much fun!) And I can tell you’re from Central America. 🙂 Electricity and internet are very reliable!

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  • Merry Christmas from Iowa, enjoy the season, I agree, some of those websites down play the expense, there is a difference between existing and living.

    I’ve been following your travels since Panama, enjoying every country, and along the way interducing people to your site and learned yesterday that one couple will be meeting with you soon.

    Curious about the rail system, have you taken any long rail trips across one or two countries?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy Holidays to you, Hugo and thanks for being one of our early readers! We started the blog in 2013 when we were living in Antigua, Guatemala, with the idea that it would be a way to keep in touch with family and friends living in the US but an unanticipated benefit has been all the people we’ve met online and in person through it. Because Portugal has become so popular in the last few years, several readers and many friends-of-friends have contacted us and we’ve enjoyed meeting them for coffee or lunch when they’re passing through Lagos. Some even come back to stay!
      Your question about the rail system touches on one of our big bucket list dreams – riding the train across Europe – someday. Recently (we have yet to write about this) we took the high speed train from Seville to Valencia which was a fun way to see some of the country. Interestingly, travel by rail is generally (much) more expensive than by air since there are several budget airlines with very competitive prices. However, to paraphrase an old song, a lot of travel is as much about the journey as the destination!

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  • Thanks for your post Anita. Having a realistic idea of what it costs to live in a place is vital to making an informed decision. Can you message me about your health insurance? The quote I got through AFPOP was much higher. Terri

    P.S. I did get a burger at a bar in Alvor for 2.50 euros but that place didn’t have a view. At the beach I paid double the price.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow…even at the beach that is a bargain compared to here in Boquete.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s interesting that you should say that living here is a bargain, John and Susan, as we were (wondering if it was just us?) blown away by how expensive some of the real estate was in Boquete when we were there in 2014. That was also what we found in Granada, Nicaragua and Antigua, Guatemala. No doubt, the influx of expats moving to havens like Boquete and Granada are responsible for the great leap in overpriced property and rentals which boomerangs and makes it difficult for both the locals and future expats. Comparing costs in different places around the world is not as boring as it seems!

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        • That reminds us when we where on our boat in Nicaragua there was ocean front property for sale for $60,000 a hectare in 2003! Building a 3/2 US style home was running around $75,000. Not bad we thought. Nicaragua is a beautiful country. Not even close to being discovered. Problem is the infrastructure system is from the 1950’s and in need of major improvement. Water, Electricity, and internet are very unreliable.
          You’re absolutely right about Boquete. We are going on 3 years living here and the construction projects are ever ongoing. The second largest mall in Panama is being built in David, 20 minutes from our house. The entire Pan-American highway has been redone. There is plans of a 4th bridge over the canal, a bullet train from PC to Costa Rica border. Tucuman the major airport for the Americas is under construction for a second huge terminal and will go from 350 flights a day to 700! Construction of the second light rail system is almost complete in Panama City with a third line in the final planning stages. Even little Boquete has changed a lot.
          Rental homes are a lot harder to find and the average rental is approaching $1200. There are some good deals on homes to buy here under $250,000 though. At that price point, those are the ones that sell quickly. There are way too many homes here priced over $300,000 and they are not selling because of it. Seems many folks that came here years ago and built their McMansions are moving back to the states because of age, health or missing their kids. We have to say that it is not a bargain living here but still, way cheaper then what we were paying in Long Beach Ca.
          You have inspired us to do a cost of living blog on Boquete. Coming soon!

          Cheers!

          Liked by 1 person

          • We spent almost six months in Nicaragua, mostly in Granada, but, like Panama, it was going through infrastructure growing pains. It sounds like Panama is still growing by leaps and bounds but OMG, the prices really are high for the Boquete area. (I think even higher than when we were there.) I guess if you’re comparing rental and housing prices between Southern California and Panama that’s one thing, but the comparison between Corpus Christi, TX and Panama would be altogether different. I think a cost-of-living blog with an honest explanation about the inflation in Boquete and maybe a couple of other expat havens around the country would be a great idea and much appreciated by your blog readers. I’ll bet you would start a lively discussion!

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    • Hey Terri, you found a “value priced meal” then! 🙂 The summer before last (2016) we met some friends in nearby Mexilhoeira Grande and enjoyed burgers that were €3 each but we haven’t seen prices like that again. I’m guessing smaller villages and out-of-the-way places are probably cheaper but it’s definitely an exception rather than the rule which is what we objected to in the article we read. Also, something we noticed this year because this was our first full summer in Lagos, was that the restaurant and even grocery prices went up (in some cases dramatically) during the high season.
      We joined AFPOP this fall and checked out the health insurance they were offering. You’re right, it’s MUCH more expensive and our guess is, it’s because it’s a comprehensive British based insurance like BUPA or IMG which we carried while we were traveling full-time. The rates go up steeply according to age or pre-existing conditions (don’t we all have those by retirement age?) and a physical is required. Our insurance through our Portuguese bank, Millennium, is bare-bones (you get what you pay for 🙂) but it’s doing a good job of meeting our needs. When you’re visiting Foz do Arelho in a couple of weeks during your holiday, you might want to stop by a branch of the bank (I think they’re all over the country) and check it out. Happy Holidays and safe travels!

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  • Happy Holidays Anita and Richard, thanks for sharing this information. Your posts have been our “go to source” as we’ve planned our move to Portugal. Many, many thanks! We’re glad to finally be here in Porto and hope that our paths cross at some point so we can share “o copo”.

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    • We’re so glad that our posts have been helpful with your move to Portugal and (a big Woo Hoo!) that you’ve arrived in Porto. We have to confess (to our utter shame as travelers) that we have yet to make it to Porto so that’s a big goal for 2018. At some point, as you settle into your life as residents, we’d love to hear about what you’re finding the cost of living to be in your area. We’ll look forward to o copo, either in your part of Portugal or ours!

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  • Thank you so much for your final 2017 comment. I love hearing about your adventures and live vicariously through your stories. I am so happy for both of you enjoying your place in the sun. Best wishes for a wonderful New Year in the best of health. I am not traveling this winter but taking a week in Manhattan in a boutique hotel, similar to Xalteva in Granada, which beats day trips. Remember “Breakast at Tiffanys” with Audrey Hepburn?Tiffany has opened the top floor on Fifth Avenue for a cafe, calling it the name of the movie. So, I’ll be channeling Holly Golightly this Christmas.
    Keep well with love,
    Maida

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  • Thanks for sharing the “reality” of your living expenses. I’ve seen those articles and wondered how true they could be. Any way you slice it, Porto looks like heaven on earth! Enjoy the holidays and Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Suzanne! The glowing articles about how you can live in (fill in the blank) for cheap can be good in making people think (like us) about other ways and places to live. I remember thinking, “Wow, we could do this!” when I started reading about expats and travelers who had completely changed their lifestyles and moved abroad or started traveling full-time. But the truth is, there isn’t a lot of accurate info available on day-to-day costs for future expats so it’s easy for the cost-savings to get exaggerated. And sadly, there are some (maybe desperate or gullible?) people who take the cost-of-living quotes at face value and take the leap without a net.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I liked all the info on expenses. We are planning to live in Europe in 2019. Planning a ‘scope trip’ for 2-3 months in 2018. Portugal is on our short list. THANKS!! I am in the process of starting my ‘online’ businesses to give me mobility as my partner already has that. See you in Portugal.

        Liked by 1 person

        • We’re so glad you found this info useful and we couldn’t agree more with your plan to take a trip in 2018 to scope out Portugal (and the other countries on your short list) to get an idea of what your costs will be. The planning stage of the next great leap to a new life is an exciting time. 🙂 Please give us a shout-out when you’re in Portugal and maybe we can meet for a cup of coffee!

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