Swedes Moving to Portugal

It’s always fascinating to see where people flock to for fun and relaxation. Swedish baby boomers and retirees are heading to Spain, where at the moment there are almost 100,000 permanent residents from Sweden. But beyond Spain, Swedes are setting their sights somewhere else surprising – and that’s Portugal.

The number of Swedes in Portugal has nearly tripled from 2011 to 2014 and there are now about 3500 residents from Sweden. Certainly, the desire to be in Portugal is partly due to the tax-free policy on retirement income for foreigners. During their economic recession, the Portugese government introduced this policy. It allows expat retirees who live in Portugal to collect their pensions without having to pay taxes for as long as five years – and then they can stay or move back to their home country.

The Swedish government is not thrilled with this plan, however. As Minister Magdalena Andersson said,

“I had a serious talk with my Portugese colleague about this issue yesterday evening. I described the anger towards this system among Swedes. It’s about Swedes taking out their retirement, often quite larges sums, completely tax-free [when living in Portugal].”

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