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Essential elements of repatriation

By Raoul Ruiz Martinez [email protected]

Raoul Ruiz Martinez is a resident financial consultant for

Finesco Financial Services Ltd., Glasgow. Finesco Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

For many years the Algarve has been a top destination for the expatriate to relocate, be it for the opportunity to work or playing out one’s well earned retirement in the sun.

To make a credible and new foundation away from home requires a great deal of planning and research.  

The primary focus is normally on locating a suitable residence and expatriating one’s chattel. To sustain and protect this new lifestyle, one must also be aware of the importance of pension income and return on capital investments in order to sustain a new life in a new country.

First of all, will you be worse off financially if you were to move to Portugal? These days the price of food, fuel and other daily expenses are equally as costly but there are those thoughts that many of us avoid such as health issues and the consequences of death.  

For a married couple, does the surviving spouse have enough income to survive or even have a network of friends and family that can continue to provide them with the support and companionship that they have always been used to?

Of course there is the matter of tax and whether for the investments, pension or savings that you hold are tax-efficient.

As a financial adviser, it is one of my primary tasks to ensure these aspects are fully answered to the best of my ability as well as through other experienced, reliable and trusted professionals.

For the established and resident foreign national who reads the Algarve Resident newspaper, I would expect that you have all of these issues reviewed and addressed.  Therefore, it would be pointless to remind you of what you should already know about living and making the most of your life in Portugal, both financial and otherwise.  

As a result, the purpose of this and the subsequent articles is to address the issue of repatriation.

I will aim to outline the necessary aspects to consider in protecting and streamlining your position to your advantage should you decide to return to your home jurisdiction.

There comes a point for many expatriates who must face a return to their home countries, either by choice or by circumstance. What was once a remote possibility then becomes a real and present need, with a number of obligations in Portugal that should be tied up correctly before leaving.


Many reasons for repatriation are likely to be far less exciting than the ones that drove you to Portugal in the first place. Once again, the most common reasons that would apply to those who have to re-consider their position are:

• through ill-health and a need for alternative health care in other jurisdictions,

• investment losses or currency depreciation that has reduced your quality of life, or

• simply having the need to return home to be together with family and loved ones again.  

It can also be any combination of these factors that would then require you to focus on making such a deep-rooted change as smooth and successful as possible.

To conclude this opening article, the first bit of advice would be to gather as much information as you can here in Portugal and from the country you are moving to.

You should be able to access public information that can be made widely available through public offices, specialist advisory firms and internet resources, or even through direct referrals from those who have been in the same position as you concerning the choice of destination country.  

Again, don’t forget that if you have assets in Portugal, you are altering your status from resident to non-resident and these two categories have completely different fiscal meanings and outcomes.

You will then need to personalise this information through discussing your options subjectively with those you are sharing the journey with and also objectively with friends and advisers that can offer you a fresh viewpoint.  

In many cases, your discussions will uncover areas that you had not even considered or sometimes forced you to make pre-judgements that closed them off as veritable choices.

This article is intended to provide a general review of certain topics and its purpose is to inform but NOT to recommend or support any specific investments or course of action.

Raoul has a regular feature (Raoul’s Rant) on the Owen Gee Solid Gold Sunday morning show on KissFM Algarve. He can be contacted at the offices of euroFINESCOs.a.either by telephone on 289 561 333 or on email [email protected].