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Portugal Vs. The USA: Where Should You Live?

On our YouTube channel, we’ve covered countless topics around financial independence and early retirement. Amon and I spent eight years on the path to financial independence, and once we achieved our overall goal, we were able to quit our government jobs and retire at just 39 years old.

But it was the next part of our journey that piqued a lot of interest - because we chose to leave the United States and retire in Portugal with our children. Many people want to know why we chose Portugal.

So today, I’m going to answer that question as thoroughly as possible! So you can understand: 1) how life in Portugal compares to life in the U.S. and 2) why we left the United States in the first place.


How safe is Portugal? I get this question all the time.

Let me start by saying that Portugal is an incredibly safe country! It’s so safe in fact, that the World Population Review ranked it as the third safest country in the world. Compare that to America, which was placed at a jaw-dropping 128 . . . does that answer the question?

Here’s another stat to clear things up: As of 2018 Portugal had an average of 0.8 people killed per 100,000. The U.S had an average of 5 per 100,000. That is more than 5 times the murder rate in the US compared to Portugal!

Our sense of safety in Portugal can be summed up in 3 words: Peace of mind. We feel secure traveling anywhere in this country, compared to the US where there were definitely places that we just didn’t feel safe in, or would never visit for safety reasons.


When it comes to healthcare, there’s no competition.

To be blunt - Portugal has a higher average life expectancy than the States: 83 years old, compared to 79. This is just one indication of the quality of healthcare in this country.

And if that’s not enough, consider this: Portugal’s healthcare system is also ranked the 12th best by the World Health Organization compared to the US, which ranks at 37. If that isn’t enough, it’s also considerably cheaper here than it is back home. We only pay $125 per month for private health care for a family of four, compared to our lives in the U.S where we were looking at $25,000 a year for near-equivalent healthcare!

Cost Of Living

This is a difficult one because costs of living can vary hugely across the United States, so I can only really speak from our experience living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Back then, our expenses in the Bay Area were astronomical. Here in Portugal, we spend roughly $2,000 a month for our family of four - and that includes private healthcare and the cost of sending our girls to private schooling here in Portugal.

You can indeed spend less money in the U.S living in cheaper places, but that same logic applies to Portugal. There are many places here where you can spend less than we do. For us, th