Why Algarve Senior Living

Even though between 10% and 33% of Northern Europeans, many Americans living in the Northern US states, and Canadians, aspire to retire to warmer climates, the options (or lack of them) are often a stumbling block in making the move (or indeed taking the first step).


Senior Living Villages Ltd aims to become the premier and most flexible solution for seniors looking to move to a place in the Southern European sun. Algarve Senior Living is our brand for Portugal. We hope that our site will explain why our solution is so unique. More than that, we hope that the information we put here (and which we will periodically update), will help you to remain well informed about the choices you have when moving or retiring abroad. At Algarve Senior Living our objective is to try to accompany you on the journey.


Below is a snapshot of key Algarve Senior Living differentiators, but we recommend you also read the Q&A section below. Of the two sensible options for seniors, a serviced or independent rental-based solution or the purchase of an independent property, which has historically been the most favoured route for emigrating retirees, Algarve Senior Living offers both.

Factor \ Type of Accommodation Independent Villa or Apartment Purchase Winter Stays at Hotels Senior Village With Purchase Serviced or independent rental
Capital Outlay Very High Medium Very High BEST: Low
Monthly Cost with Mortgage BEST: Medium N/A Very High Medium-High
Monthly Cost Without Mortgage BEST: Low High Medium Low-Medium
Services & Facilities None Some Many BEST: Full or some
Purchase or Rental Options JOINT BEST: Purchase or Rent-to-Buy Rental Purchase JOINT BEST: Purchase or Rental
Flexibility (up/downsize) Low Medium Low BEST: High
Ownership Choice Total None Total Flexible - either rental or total
Tax Efficiency High (NHR) Medium High (NHR) BEST: Very High (rental with NHR)
Community and Social Contact Low Medium High High (once established)
Interchangeability Between Locations Zero Low Zero BEST: High

Algarve Senior Living Q&A

Most people who inherit houses sell them anyway.
They don’t match their life options nor their plans at the time. Many are so far away from the property that they sell them at low values, destroying years of effort from the person who paid for it. Worse, often those who saved to leave assets for their heirs sacrificed the quality of their own retirement to do so.

This doesn’t mean that purchasing a property is not a good solution: it often is. But to make it a great solution, it must take into account the fact that your requirements as seniors change over time.

Statistics show that with increased life expectancy there is a 50% probability, in a 65-year old couple one will survive until the age of 90. Your needs at 65 are likely to be very different to those at 90.

In our opinion, opting for a flexible solution is key. If you have asked yourself any of the following questions, then you should talk to Algarve Senior Living.

The debate: rent, buy or rent-to-buy?

With Algarve Senior Living, we allow you to do any of the above. Better still, we allow you to adapt depending on your reaction to the country, we give you the flexibility to change your mind before making a final decision and to start with a rental and progress to a purchase later if you are unsure.


Is overseas retirement for me? Can I try it out before I decide?

Algarve Senior Living is probably the only company which allows you to try out the lifestyle in the region while also benefiting from the opportunity of independently analysing your long-term options, be they rental or purchase. We encourage all future residents and long-term guests to try out our solution before taking a final decision.

I don’t know anyone where I want to retire. How can I find a place to meet people with similar interests?

This is a common challenge for most emigrants. Although very friendly and hospitable, true local friendships will take time to develop. Expatriate communities in most countries, including Portugal, offer a quicker route to making friends than with Portuguese people, especially if language is a factor. At Algarve Senior Living we recognise that creating communities is a big challenge, and takes time. For this reason, we have organised a number of opportunities for guests and residents to integrate into activities with local clubs or members. As long as you are open to stepping out of your property, we will help you integrate faster.

I’ve spent my life paying off my mortgage. Is my only retirement option to buy another property, spend my retirement pot or take out another mortgage?

Absolutely not. Many people have understood the benefits of renting, and the flexibility it provides. Many nations such as Germany are quite accustomed to renting their entire lives.

I keep getting told there are great real estate deals out there and that there has never been a better time to buy. Can I go out, experience the lifestyle and make sure that what people are telling me is true?

You heard right. 2015 has seen the first increase in property values and real estate transactions in Portugal for about 7 years. Tourism in 2015 beat all records and 2016 will be better. For English customers the Pound has been at consistently high levels against the Euro, even though the Britexit referendum is casting some doubt for UK buyers. For American customers the same can be said of the Dollar. Well-located and priced properties are selling in weeks or months where previously it took more than a year. This seems to indicate that we have not seen such a good buyer’s market for a long time. Even then, it does not hurt to confirm this, and so spend the time you need to make sure whatever decision you take is correct.

I’m not quite ready to move overseas full-time as I still have some work back home and need to help my daughter/son look after their children, and have an elderly parent I need to support. Can I spend parts of the year somewhere, especially in those cold and wet winter months, and return every year?

Yes, and more and more people are doing it. What’s more, it is often cheaper to do this in a country like Portugal, where the cost of living is lower. Algarve Senior Living’s inclusive model means that you know what your costs will be, because service charges, internet and cable TV, as well as use of on-site facilities, are usually included, and other costs such as utilities and cleaning, can be accurately estimated.

Will you store some of my things while I am away?

Yes, in some circumstances and depending on the location you have chosen. Contact us in advance to discuss this in more detail.

I need flexibility. I’m still doing some consulting work, and need an office. But I think that in three years I won’t need that space and my children and grandchildren will want to stay in their own place when they visit. Can you give me that flexibility to move into a smaller home when I need to?

Yes, if you rent you move when you like, subject to (typically) one month’s notice. In one of the selected locations, the river view site, the building is built such that a one-bedroomed apartment can be extended into a two-bedroomed apartment with two suites, for the period of time you require, whether for work or to receive family and friends.

Does a rental solution mean I don’t have to sell everything I own in my own country?

You do not have to sell everything. In fact, a rental solution often allows you to keep a foot in each place.

Can I downsize at home to a small property, rent in Portugal and use the difference to fund my retirement and lifestyle?

Perfect solution for many, and even more so for those who apply and obtain Non Habitual Resident status, allowing you to receive your pension tax-free for 10 years.

I'm active and independent, but at my age it would be nice to know that some medical support was not far away. Can I find somewhere with unobtrusive medical support and response, from qualified personnel who preferably speak English?

Yes, Algarve Senior Living’s network of preferred partners includes qualified English-speaking medical professionals. We have access to a licensed and qualified team of domiciliary care specialists. We have also partnered with a modern care facility which accepts independent, semi-dependent and dependent residents, subject to an initial assessment.

I may be staying out a long time (even full-time). Can I share my medical history with a qualified doctor and pharmacist in my new home so that a medical professional is up to speed with my medical history? If I need to return to my home country, can any new information move back with me?

Yes, we use a third-party system which allows your medical history, once loaded onto the system, to move with you. Any local information can also be added and return with you, being available to your local GP back home.

I heard about a new law that allows me to retire to Portugal and receive my pension tax-free. Can I rent a property to qualify, or do I have to buy a home?

You can rent or buy. Both qualify. However, the type of rental contract is specific and the property owner must be open to registering his contract formally with the relevant authorities. At Algarve Senior Living, our long-term contracts are fully compliant with the Non Habitual Resident program. These documents have been vetted by several lawyers and have been used in NHR application processes.

Can I change my mind and buy a home later, if I rent first?

Yes, of course. And many people know they will purchase, but simply want to make sure they get the area, type of property, location, etc. correct before doing so.

I have varied interests, but finding clubs and common interest groups in a place where I don’t speak the language, might be difficult. I’m also shy. Is there any way that some of this hard work up front can be done for me, so I can go and meet people straight away?

Yes, if you stay with us we will be happy to recommend ways of accelerating your integration into social clubs and associations which are of interest.

I like to participate in the occasional tourist activity, such as taking a guided tour or visiting historical buildings, or sailing a boat up a river, but I also like my privacy. Can I choose how often I get involved in group activities and when I keep to myself?

Yes, Algarve Senior Living encourage sits visitors and guests to live a ‘real’ life. We have very few remaining group activities as all our clients are so different and independent that they simply choose what and when to do. We point them in the right direction and they take it from there.

I like dining out, but feel it might be a bit expensive. Do you have reasonable dining out options, and the possibility of cooking at home as well? Can I decide how much I do, and when?

You decide. Most of our locations and properties (with the possible exception of our try before you decide locations which are a little more simple in terms of kitchens) have fully equipped kitchens to allow you to cook at home. In some cases on-site restaurants offer an easy alternative, and we will point out good value local options. Over time you will discover some yourself, and we hope you will also share some of your discoveries with us!

Will someone help me with my shopping, especially if I don’t know all the names of the items in the local language, and even help me compare prices to understand where I’m getting the best quality and value for money?

Yes, we will point out your shopping options, if you have special dietary needs such as organic or gluten-free, we will let you know where you can find or order. We can do shopping for you for a nominal fee.

I’m worried that this will be too expensive for me, as my pension is not as large as what I thought it would be. Will you have a range of options without losing the overall quality and the range of services?

Yes, we always recommend starting with one of the selected Algarve Senior Living locations because these are where our team can offer most support. Thereafter, we understand that you may wish to opt for an independent option, which you can analyse during your initial stay.

- Even though I understand the benefits and flexibility of renting, will there be an opportunity to purchase a home if I decide it’s what I want?

Yes, we have many purchase options available. On some sites you can rent and then buy, in some other instances we even find you a property to buy which allows to staying the winter and rent your property in the summer.

In the future, will there be options to move, permanently or temporarily, between different locations, and perhaps even move to a location with greater care facilities?

Yes, if you adopt rental as your preferred option, then this is perfectly feasible. In fact, we have several clients who already do this, because only a short notice period is typically required, moving into and between locations is easy.