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Expat retirees have their eye on three EU countries when it comes to finding the perfect country to retire to, namely Spain, Portugal and France. Spain and Portugal are particularly popular with house prices falling in the last year. Spain has seen their house prices drop by 26% and Portugal’s by 6%. France’s, on the other hand, have risen by 3.8%

The fine attractions of France

France has a pace of life that suits everyone – whether you are looking for a laidback rustic village to retire in or fast-paced city life, where you can find the latest shopping, art and theatre. France has always been known for its famous sculptors and artists. There are an array of museums, galleries and activities for every art lover – from the largest collection of Monet paintings to the Musée National Picasso.

France also offers a fine array of great wine, fresh food and fine cuisine. No matter what city or village you’ve chosen to retire in, you’ll always find a delicious selection of food to enjoy.

The sublime attractions of Spain

Even though you’re retired and not having to work 9am – 5pm, you’ll find the pace of life in Spain very laidback. Businesses often don’t open until 10am and most people head on home for lunch and a relaxing siesta between 2 – 4 pm. Spain is a country with many rich cultural traditions – from the Semana Santa processions to colourful carnivals that take place virtually every month of the year.

Everyday living expenses, including housing is lower than many of Spain’s neighbours – allowing retiree expats to enjoy a high standard of living for less than you would in France and the UK. Currently Spain is more affordable than it’s been in decades and your monthly utilities can come in under USD$200 or less. In a city like Valencia, USD$2000 would cover all your expenses including your rent

Like France, Spanish cuisine is renowned for being both tasty and healthy – and you can find wonderful, affordable restaurants on virtually every corner.

The promise of Portugal

Portugal offers a relaxed lifestyle very similar to Spain and emphasises the importance of family life and friends. A religious nation, it offers a very authentic living experience where the people are sincere, friendly and welcoming. If you like living close to the water, then Portugal is the country for you – with many of its cities positioned close to the sea’s edge.

The food in Portugal is largely hearty country fare featuring grilled fish cooked over slow fires and delicious seafood stews. Don’t be surprised to have your fish served with its eyes intact.

The sunny coast of the Algarve in Portugal is currently home to more than 100 000 expat retirees – where retirees can enjoy the very best of Portuguese life – including open-air markets, fishing villages, some of Europe’s best sandy beaches and fine local wine.

Make the most of your retirement saving with FinGlobal

If you’re considering retiring abroad, you’ll want to ensure you have access to the financial wealth you have accumulated through the years. FinGlobal already has more than 60 000 clients in over 105 countries and their services cover all aspects of financial emigration including retirement annuity transfers, the opening and closing of bank accounts, foreign exchange services and a full suite of other financial services for South African emigrants.

For more information about how FinGlobal can help you unlock and make the most of your retirement savings abroad, contact us today.