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PORTUGAL IS ONE OF THE TOP TEN COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD TO RETIRE

International Living having been seeking out the best retirement destinations for the past 35 years, and this year found that Portugal is worthy of the long-standing view that it is one of the best places in the world to retire. In compiling its rankings, International Living looks at climate, cost of living, retiree discounts, infrastructure, accessibility of health care to compile their Annual Global Retirement Index and say they look precisely at best opportunities worldwide for retirement living.

Editors at International Living compile, rank, and rate a series of criteria including cost of living, infrastructure, healthcare, fitting in, real estate, special benefits and climate for an assessment based on real-world data gathered on the ground. In singling out Portugal, International Living explains that as “one of the smallest countries in Europe, Portugal is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. Many fall in love with this little country due to its near flawless weather, an abundance of golf and water sports, and superb fresh food.” Placed just behind Spain in the rankings at number ten, researchers explain the relatively low cost of living here is also a big draw for those who choose to live in Portugal, compared with other European nations, goods and services are still bargains. It adds that “the locals are warm and welcoming to foreigners, making a living here very enjoyable.”

The report on Portugal continues by arguing that “if your dream European retreat includes golden sand beaches, almond groves, picturesque castles, and little frontier towns on wooded hilltops then Portugal is the place for you. Slumbering abbeys, pilgrim shrines, and ancient castle towns are dotted inland while traditional fishing towns of narrow alleys and old houses stand proudly on the coast.”

It also makes reference to relatively affordable property, highlighting the value for money deals currently available along the Silver Coast or the Alentejo. Researchers also found that living in Portugal is relatively affordable compared to its European counterparts, making reference to the below average joint cost of utilities, the price of coffee or a dish of the day. The International Living Retirement Index is topped by Panama, followed by Ecuador, Mexico and Costa Rica.

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WHAT IS THE PORTUGUESE NON-HABITUAL TAX RESIDENCE REGIME?

The non-habitual tax resident regime is a more favourable tax status, applicable to foreigners who became residents for tax purposes in Portugal.

Among the tax advantages associated with this regime is the possibility of a more favourable tax rate of income from work (20%) and exemption, under certain conditions, from paying in Portugal taxes related of income from abroad (e.g. pensions). In the latter case, however, most of the income from capital gains and some capital income are excluded from the exemption.

These advantages are granted for a period of 10 years, non-renewable, and benefit only citizens who have professions considered by the law as having added value, such as the professions associated with cultural activities, engineering, medicine, new technologies and management.

In order to benefit from this regime, it is necessary to reside in Portugal 183 days a year, to have a tax residence here and to register as such until March 31 of the following year.

This regime was crea…

I FOUND THAT THE PROPERTY I PURCHASED HAS DEFECTS, WHAT CAN I DO NOW?

Every consumer purchase is covered by a mandatory legal guarantee. As long as you are a consumer, no seller can claim otherwise.

Legally, the property must not suffer from any defect which has a negative impact on its value or which renders its regular use impossible. If these warranties are breached, the consumer can choose between repair, replacement, refund or a price reduction. However, the buyer must notify the seller of defects within one year of their discovery.

If the property is newly built, the purchaser will also benefit from a five-year warranty period. According to Art. 1225 of the Civil Code, the seller is liable for damages in respect of certain defects during five years, if he has also constructed, repaired or modified the building.

THE ART OF MAKING CONCESSIONS

A negotiation is a little drama, and each concession is a sacrifice made for the sake of the own negotiation. When was the last time you went to a street market? It is an excellent place to learn how to negotiate. See how the towels seller cries about the possibility of his own personal bankruptcy whenever he makes you a little discount. Have you small children? If so, you have already realised that you have little chances of winning any negotiation process. I usually do not. Children are better negotiators than anyone else. They don't hesitate to use whatever it takes to make us give up our position. A tantrum in the supermarket is a legitimate weapon. How can we be as much effective as children?

Try to devalue the concessions of your interlocutor and value yours as much as you can. This way it is possible that the other party will eventually make more concessions than those initially intended.  Don´t mention or make any comment on it, as if the other party´s concessions were so…

BANK VALUATION OF HOUSES CONTINUES TO RISE

The price of the square meter in the country was valued at 1,141 euros, the highest value since May 2011.

The banking valuation of houses has increased for seven consecutive months. The price at which banks evaluate households when granting housing loans doesn't stop rising. The trend of this indicator accompanies the upward trend in house prices in Portugal.

According to the official data, the average value of the bank evaluation of the homes in October was 1,141 euros per square meter. This figure corresponds to an increase of six euros compared to the value registered in the previous month and is also the highest level since May 2011.

WHAT ACTS OF DUE DILIGENCE ARE GENERALLY CONDUCTED WHEN BUYING A PROPERTY?

Due diligence is the act of an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract. When buying a property there are minimum checks that you must do.

Real estate registry
The registry has a record of property ownership, with a complete description of each property on a material, economic and fiscal level, being able any citizen to require information regarding an enrolled building in the Registry. Thus, to analyze the “history” of the property, it is necessary to require the emission, of a document certificate of the full record of the title and dealings regarding the property.

For that purpose the registration record number or the property's full address is required. Mainly the register is consulted to check whether:
- the property is registered in the name of the person or company claiming to be the owner;
- there are any liens;
- any seizure as been registered.

The land registry is where you can obtain copies of land registry certificates.

Tax office 
It is also c…