Comparisons have been made between the state of California and the European country of Portugal because of similarities in geography, weather, and culture. But there is another argument to be made that Portugal is a better version of California — especially for people looking for a comfortable place to retire.
Let’s start with the similarities: Both places are located on the western edge of their continent. Both have mountains, deserts, and beaches all within a couple of hours’ drive from one another. Both feature warmer, more temperate weather than the rest of the continent on which they are located. And both tend toward a progressive, more tolerant culture than many of their neighbors.
Portugal Is Better
Yet in many ways, Portugal has much more to offer people than California. For one thing, Portugal is a LOT less crowded. Even the biggest cities are comfortable. Even during peak travel times, Portugal’s biggest cities don’t have anything that approaches the traffic congestion of Los Angeles, San Francisco, or other of the state’s major cities. And Portuguese housing is abundant, affordable, and generally more luxurious than its Californian counterparts.
Then there’s the history and culture. While California enjoys a Spanish influence in its architecture and about 300 years of history, Portugal has ruins and castles that date back thousands of years. Portugal led the world in exploration and conquest for hundreds of years before California was ever discovered or settled by Europeans.
Richer Yet More Affordable
And while California has become so expensive that a comfortable life there is only realistic for the wealthiest residents, Portugal remains affordable and welcoming to everybody. Your retirement budget can go a lot further in Portugal while you enjoy proximity to Europe’s greatest treasures.
If retirement is in your not so distant future, consider Portugal over California. It has all the good things the Golden State has to offer without the higher cost, the crowds, or the traffic.