Finnish pensioners seek Algarve tax haven

Finnish newspaper Helsinki Times has featured a report on the increasing number of Finnish pensioners who are moving to Portugal – the Algarve in particular – thanks to the “10-year tax exemption on pension incomes”.

Raimo Luokomaa, the chairman of the Finnish Society in Algarve, told the newspaper that he was surprised by the number of people who have been attending the society’s monthly meetings.

“One-third of them are people I don’t know,” he said, estimating that members have increased by more than 200 over the past year.

“I’ve received tens if not hundreds of phone calls not only from Finland but also from Finns living in Morocco, Turkey and Spain. We’ve also had to provide services to holidaymakers who are considering retiring here for tax reasons,” Luokomaa added.

The executive director of the Finnish Society in Algarve, Maija Katila, said, in fact, that “so many people have contacted the society by email to enquire about moving to and living in Portugal that it has been unable to reply to the enquiries in time.

“We weren’t prepared for such a sudden flood of e-mails. The enquiries began to increase last autumn and still continue,” she revealed.

As the newspaper points out, Portugal has always attracted foreign retirees due to its “sunshine, long beaches and low cost of living”. But recently, the tax benefits for pensioners under Portugal’s non-habitual residency programme have worked as a ‘magnet’ for Finns looking for a new start.

Algarve makes British newspaper’s ‘top five family destinations’
Meanwhile, British online newspaper MKWeb has considered the Algarve one of the “top five family destinations” of 2015.

In a list of destinations “that you could jet off to with your family without stretching your wallet or purse too much,” the Milton Keys news portal features the Algarve as the second best destination.

The online paper highlights the region’s “beautiful beaches and weather” as well as its food which it says is “to die for”.

Also on the list are Tenerife (Spain), the Walt Disney resort in Orlando (USA), Cyprus and New York (USA).

By MICHAEL BRUXO [email protected]