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Is the Azores the next place for retirement?

When it comes to retirement planning there are some things that should be taken into consideration before changing countries. 


When moving abroad to enjoy retirement it is important to know the cost of living, if it is an area with high or low crime, the climate, real estate, health insurance, if the population speaks English even food. And all these reasons combined make the Azores the new retirement hotspot.

About midway between Boston and mainland Portugal sits the Azores, a collection of nine islands scattered over several hundreds of nautical miles. The closest point to Europe from the United States, the Azores is an autonomous region of Portugal, and just four hours by plane from Boston.

The Azores has three groups: São Miguel and Santa Maria make up the Eastern Group. Terceira, Pico, Faial, São Jorge and Graciosa make up the Central Group. And Flores and Corvo form the Western Group. So, it makes sense to see 2-3 islands in a week, as the Azores are have some large islands, such as Pico, São Miguel and Terceira. Each is different, and offers unique food, views and culture.

In 2010, Forbes magazine named this Archipelago as a Unique Traveling Destination and in 2011, BBC Travel named it one of five most secret islands of the World. Now imagine living in a secret island without having to pay millions like the celebrities do. It seems impossible but it isn’t. A house in Flores can costs less than $100,000.00 and it is not a one-bedroom house and less than $150,000.00 in Faial.

There is a large Azorean community who come to the United States and Canada and there is also a NATO Base in Terceira so speaking English is not an issue for the population.

The Azores’ year-round mild climate gives the islands a fresh, springlike quality. No matter what the weather is back home, it’s always between 57 and 71 degrees F in the Azores. So climate, check!

The laidback lifestyle will give you time to rest, decide between hiking, sailing or surfing and even grow your own food. Lose track of time while eating cheese and drinking wine, have pineapples for breakfast everyday and long lunches with the best beef you’ve ever had.

All this without the prices of France or the crowds of the Caribbean, not even during Summer. And picking one island to live is not s synonym of being stuck there, you can move around, visit all 9 islands and even go to the mainland.

The first thing to do before making a decision is visit the island or islands, explore them and understand which one fits your needs and your retirement ideals best. Azores Airlines has flights leaving Boston, Providence and Oakland. It is almost certain than among 9 islands at least one will fulfill all your check boxes.


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Linda Dias

Husband from there. Been there for visit. Planning a return visit. Beautiful.

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