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How to Retire in Portugal: an inspirational story of the US entrepreneur John Bandak

Anastasia Mizrakhina
20 August 2021

For many people, retirement is a time of freedom. No more deadlines. No more hectic business schedules. No more overtime work. You know for sure that you deserve it. You want to enjoy your earned money. But what if it goes wrong? High healthcare costs and property taxes replace your happy retirement. This situation is not what you wanted and pursued. Relocation is a good solution to this problem. About 1 million people move every year following their retirement. An inspirational story of a successful American entrepreneur John Bandak shows how to benefit from moving to Portugal’s southern region Algarve for retirement.


John Bondak is truly a citizen of the world. He is a US citizen who also enjoys the privileges of European countries. Since 2000, John Bandak has been the owner of POBA Logistics. He was an accomplished businessman. With more than 2000 employees and 57 branch offices, he felt that he kept his head above water. This situation lasted for many years. However, political and economic instability in 2007 hit his business hard and forced him to think about new ways to develop the business and be ready for retirement. Thus, he decided to acquire citizenship in another country, and he chose Algarve.

John Bandak selected from the 10 best places to live in the world. While making his retirement plan, he wanted to make sure that he would never get back to work after retirement. “I was looking for something better,” John told Anatoliy Lyetayev, founder and CEO of Migronis. “I always thought outside the box, and moving abroad is pretty normal for me,” he continued.

John Bandak
John Bandak with founder of Migronis Anatoliy Lyetayev,

Algarve gave John Bandak precisely what he wanted. He managed to buy a few apartments in the region and then rented them. For now, a good deal brings him a 20% return on investments. The entrepreneur wants to take care of his family, and a good income makes it possible.

The goal is to get an apartment for each of my children when I retire. Thus, they would have a place to age successfully.
John Bandak

Bandak had to develop his strategy to make things work. Firstly, he managed to buy four apartments without a mortgage. That’s been advantageous, as Bandak got a big discount through this process. He also made apartment renovations at his expense.

Why is Portugal the best country to live in?

Помимо всех преимуществ португальского паспорта для путешествий и бизнеса, еще стоит отметить высокий уровень жизни и приятный климат в самой стране

Algarve is the choice of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. According to the ranking of Business Insider, Portugal is the best country for the comfortable life of retirees. By 2020, Vietnam, Malaysia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, France, and Panama were also in this list.

The markers of healthcare, costs of living, and other criteria were critical for this ranking. All these advantages are in Algarve, which is even sometimes called the Beverly Hills of Southern Portugal.

Portugal is the right place if you are looking for an easy life. Here you can find a convenient geographical location, delicious food, good-natured people, a time for rest, and right life priorities.
John Bandak

A safe country

John Bandak also believes that Portugal is a safe country. Even petty thievery here is a crime. However, as opposed to the USA, the entrepreneur has never come across this situation personally in Algarve.

“In the USA, I lived in a really nice and expensive neighborhood. I bought a big expensive house and once left the garage door open. As a result, somebody stole my bicycle,” John Bandak recalled. For now, a team-oriented management professional says that he never worries about leaving his house unlocked, even for a long time.

A low cost of living

Living in Portugal has many other advantages as well. They include a low cost of living, affordable property prices, and the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Lots of Portuguese speak English, and this is highly important since Portuguese is hard to learn. In addition to this, more than half of Algarve luxury property buyers are British.

Some drawbacks

Portugal, like any other place, also has its drawbacks. Among them are bureaucracy, Portuguese, and dangerous driving. In shops, museums, and on the street everyone can communicate in English. However, in government agencies, Portuguese is spoken. It also is important to note the difficulties with paying by card. Unfortunately, Visa or MasterCard are not accepted everywhere in Portugal.

Want a Portugal Golden Visa? Our Head Office is located in Lisbon! We have the best opportunities to oversee the process at each stage, settling all issues right in place.

The pros of living in Algarve

Португалия - Алгарве
Algarve is the best fit for retirement. This region has a favorable climate with almost 3,000 sun hours annually. It offers a quiet lifestyle where people can enjoy peaceful rest and still have easy and quick access to the restaurants and shops. At the same time, there are luxury hotels, casinos, and discos, which are available to everyone who wants to have a good time and amuse themselves a little. The busiest nightlife is in Vilamoura, Albufeira, Portimão, and other resort towns.

Delicious food

There are at least 5 Michelin Star restaurants here. Thus, you can always find good food and gourmet meals, which is especially important for foodies and people who like to discover something new and valuable for themselves. The most popular dish is bacalhau. Locals cook it in 360 different ways, and one of the most popular tourist attractions is to try all the options.

One of the best golf destinations

Гольф в Альгарве

Algarve is also a golfers’ paradise. Here you can find a variety of first-class championship courses, which have been designed by prestigious players being located in the protected areas. Here is also the Portuguese yachting branch with a significant number of marinas, berths, and yacht service centers. Algarve can boast of a sea zoo, several water parks, and diving clubs. This place hosts the annual largest sand sculpture festival worldwide.

Beautiful beaches

Another notable feature of the Algarve is a big number of virgin beaches. Basically, this area is an endless beach stretching from Monte Gordo to Lagos. The most famous beaches are Falésia and Dona Ana. There are at least 87 lovely beaches that got a prestigious Blue Flag award! However, Algarve is not only about beaches but also thermal springs. Such thermal springs are in Caldas de Monchique as an example.

Everything is within reach

Remarkably, you can drive from west to east across this area within two hours only. And the distance from south to north will take less than a half-hour. Thus, everything is within reach here.

Retiring in Portugal: a step-by-step guide

  1. If you are inclined to retire in Portugal, there are a few essential things to be aware of. Firstly, your pre-move to-do list should include getting a Portugal retirement visa.

Please note: there are two main options: the Portugal Golden Visa and a residency visa for retirement purposes. The difference is that the Portugal Golden Visa is good for non-EU applicants.

The Portugal Golden Visa has the following benefits: low taxes, a fair opportunity to obtain European Citizenship, return on investment, mortgage lending benefits, a constant rise in property prices, and much more. However, this step requires a direct transfer of at least €1,000,000, a purchase of real estate property at the starting price of €280,000, capital transfer valued at €250,000 to invest in the pieces of art or for the refurbishment of the national heritage, creation of 10 jobs within the country.

  1. Apply for a residence permit.
  2. Find the best place to live. It would be a good idea to make a few trips to Portugal before you settle out in this area.
  3. Arrange delivery of your belongings to Portugal
  4. Register for healthcare
  5. Apply for NIF— Número de Identificação Fiscal. This is important for those liable for tax and simply for opening a Portuguese bank account or buying property.

The process of relocation and obtaining new citizenship may take some time and effort. However, you can always apply for the help of our best professionals and get a free consultation and assistance.

The final summary

In fact, the case of John Bandak is not the only one. In recent years, there has been a growing tendency to seek for a different country to prepare for retirement. This trend might reach record levels shortly.

Many people can now see that retiring overseas is far more cost-effective. So, if you are interested in the most favorable conditions for your retirement, there is a reason to consider obtaining the Portugal Golden Visa. You can always apply for the help of our specialists and get a free consultation with only a few clicks.

Migronis is driven to focus on achievable results that meet the needs of all those concerned. Our highly qualified professionals will help you prepare documents, and you’ll be able to obtain the desired citizenship without any delay as fast as possible!

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