Moving to Madeira to retire

edited December 1969 in General
My wife born in Madeira and holds Portuguese passport and I will retire within 2 years to Madeira.I have British nationality.She will get UK pension at 60 years old (18 months time) I get mine in 7.Neither of us will get UK state health cover when we retire as we are now non resident. What are our options for healthcare when we live in Madeira. Can we get any state help or is it all provided by private healthcove. My wife is 59 and I am 57. Please help with as much advice as possible. She dosent work and followed me to Holland where I work and pay contributions into the Dutch system which is insurance based. I am looking for help and impartial advice. I have read many articles but advice seem conflicting.Some say the state system is open to us free or at little cost and some say everything is private. Please help.Thank you in advance. Jim


  • I cannot really help you with personal experience a we are in the lucky position of having a private medical insurance which is world-wide. I can only tell you that anything medical such as a visit to a Dr. is expensive (55 EUR). If you have a UK Pension then you will get certain things reimbursed but please make sure before you leave (this is not based on residency to my knowledge). My husband is Belgian and the Belgians can claim also if they receive a pension. I presume it would be he same for Holland. My only advice is ask before you come because it is too late to organise when here and obviously with your time available it is better to start now. Hope this helps a little.
  • When you have applied for "residencia" you will be able to register at your local health centre. When this done visits to the doctor, nurse and hospital are free of charge unless you need to see a specialist when you have to pay the 55 euro's. If for any reason you do have a problem registering at the local health centre you will need to go first to the main one in Funchal (near to the Windsor Hotel) where you will be given a form to take to you local one.
  • Thank you.
  • Thank you.both replies ar very helpful.I have been told that many expats have private insurance as well, at the moment I am on a business trip and will investigate this avenue as well but initial investigation seems that they are all very expensive.however,I am very grateful for both replies.
    Thank you
  • I am thinking to move to Madeira with my wife and 8 year old daughter as we are fed up with the lifestyle and weather in the UK . I speak some Spanish but have no knowledge of Portugese which I am sure will not be an advantage. Neverthless, our idea is to rent a 2-3 bed apartment for at least the 1st year in the main city and how much would this cost for something nice in a good location . We would have funds at our disposal in excess of 200,000 euro so this will certainly leave us financially stable to start our new life but I would also want to invest some of this in a business probably related to the tourism industry like a cafe, bar , shop etc ... I assume these can be leased and what is the normal cost for something that would provide us with a decent living ? I am just looking for ideas at this time and any replies would be greatly appreciated . thanks , Sean
  • hi .
    get in contact with real estate agent Nobrega realty in funchal you can see his website send a email.
    Im from madeira living in northumbria uk and have contact him. he is very good.
    Mr. nobrega leaved in southafrica and returm to madeira and is one of best.
    I rent a apartment in funchal 2 bedroom but only for shortlets.
    I been here for 21 years, i recomend go to madeira first for holidays and try to find the local and you find is paradise.
    Dont take notice from anyone try youself.
    I have a teenager daugther born in uk, but i be moving back soon she finish the education.
    good luck
  • To be honest there are so many cafes, bars in Funchal you are unlikely to be able to make a living, also with no knowledge of Portugese, life in business will be very difficult. You should also be aware that you cannot just turn up and start a business, you have to apply for a licence and pay a 'bond' to the government, which can take time and lots of cash. Your daughter will need to be able to intigrate into Portugese schooling,choice is governed by catchment area as in UK. Apartments in the city centre are very expensive and it may be worth looking to the outside of the city. The bus service is very good into the city. Cafes can cost roughly upwards of €1500 per month and that is just the rent, you also have light,heat,insurance etc and Madeira is suffering, like many other COuntries, from the recession, with many businesses closing down. Although you have disposible cash, this will not last long if you fail to get a business which suits you. I don't want to 'rain on your parade' Madeira is a fabulous place to live, but to start a business with no knowledge of the language is going to be very difficult. Why not contact Joy Menezes at the British Consulate, who has lots of information which will be useful to you.

    Honorary British Consul: Joy Menezes
    Rua da Alfandega, 10, 3C
    9000-059 Funchal

    Tel: +351 291 212 860
    Fax: +351 291 212 869
    I would also recommend taking a holiday here for a few weeks as to uproot your family only to find it is not what you expected, can be very traumatic.
  • Hello,

    If you need to contact a removal company for your move to Madeira or Azores, try this one
    They have good rates and a very good service from UK and also from Europe and USA.
    Customs clearance and container transport to and from Madeira and Azores
    Contacts below:

    César Curado
    Transportes Senhora da Agonia,Lda
    tel: 00 351 965653025
    National & International Removals
    Serviço Completo de Mudanças
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