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I moved to Portugal: 3 things you should consider

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I moved to Portugal: 3 things you should consider

Julius Reidel (24) covers financial topics on Instagram under the name “Youth.Financials”. Chris Lunay

Lisbon is increasingly becoming a trendy place for digital nomads from Germany.

Finfluencer Julius Reidel moved to the Portuguese capital because of a better climate and cheaper living costs.

But not everything in the coastal city is cheap: the 24-year-old, for example, pays 1,500 euros for a 60 square meter apartment, as he tells Business Insider.

Beautiful beaches, picturesque old buildings and, above all, affordable living: For these reasons, Lisbon is becoming the new trend destination for digital nomads. More and more self-employed people are moving to the Portuguese capital – or at least dreaming of living in the coastal city. This is particularly advantageous for German citizens because, as EU citizens, they can live and work there without a visa.

But what is life like as a self-employed person abroad? The 24-year-old finfluencer Julius Reidel, who addresses financial topics on Instagram under the name “Youth.Financials”, has achieved this. In an interview with Business Insider, Reidel explains how he financially realized his emigration – and which costs surprised him the most.

Julius Reidel began investing in spring 2019 after starting a dual study program in Munich. After graduating in 2023, he considered leaving Germany.

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Why did he even want to exchange Munich for Lisbon? Reidel says he has become more and more dissatisfied. “The high taxes and expensive health insurance in Germany, together with the climate that did not meet my needs, were the main reasons for me.”

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He sees in Portugal “not only financial benefits, but also an improved quality of life.” The country allows him to “enjoy a more pleasant climate and a more optimistic way of life.”

However, Portugal was not his first choice. “I looked at other countries like Cyprus and Malta,” he says. “But I wanted a mix of a good climate, better cost of living and better financial conditions to continue being self-employed.”

During his preparation, he asked about the experiences of other expatriates in Portugal, which helped him make his decision. “I worked as a social media manager for a while and my boss moved to Portugal,” he says. “He taught me a lot about how to simplify my journey abroad.”

In order to finance the move, Reidel sold a significant part of his investment portfolio. “I looked at where the safest source of income was without having to accept too many losses in my portfolio value,” he explains. “That’s why I sold my ETFs.” In total, he set aside 15,000 to 20,000 euros for emigration.

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Julius Reidel describes life in Portugal as partly expensive and partly cheap compared to Germany. “I have to say that the contacts I already had in the country helped me a lot,” he says. For example, he was able to quickly find a real estate agent and a tax advisor. Above all, this made his search for an apartment easier. “She organized eight apartment viewings for me until she found my current apartment,” he says.

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According to Reidel, the most expensive aspect of his life is rent. “My apartment, 60 square meters in size, costs around 1,500 euros per month cold,” he says.

This is what Reidel’s apartment in Lisbon looks like. Julius Reidel

Apart from the rent, the cost of living in Portugal is “very fair” for Reidel. “For example, yesterday I had breakfast in the cafe. There was water, pastel de nata, espresso and freshly squeezed orange juice. That only cost 5.20 euros.”

Eating out is also so cheap because restaurants and bars offer many special offers. “For example, there is a snack bar near me that sells tacos at happy hour for one euro each.” However, there are also many restaurants that are significantly more expensive – and even comparable to the prices in Munich.

Transport like Uber is surprisingly cheap for him. “I usually pay maybe four to seven euros for 15, 20 or 30 minutes of travel time in an Uber,” he says. “In Munich that would be the price for a five-minute journey.”

In his opinion, the costs for services in particular are significantly lower than in Germany. “The tax advice that cost me around 3,000 euros in six months in Germany costs me 100 euros a month here,” he says. “I also thought my real estate agent was going to cost me a fortune, but she only asked for €500.”

One of the biggest challenges was the tax and bureaucratic aspects. “In Portugal the tax system is much simpler. Here you can deduct almost everything from your taxes.” He advises others who want to move abroad to get help at home. “A good tax advisor and a good real estate agent are worth their weight in gold. You have saved me so many headaches. They are also cheaper here than in Germany.”

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For people considering emigration, he has the following financial tips based on his own experiences:

Financial preparation: “Moving abroad involves costs that are often underestimated. So start putting money aside early or make sure you can withdraw liquid assets from investments without major losses.”

Comprehensive research and professional advice: “Inform yourself thoroughly and don’t be afraid to invest in professional advice. Lawyers or consultants who specialize in emigration can be a good investment.”

Early involvement of local experts: “Seek support from local real estate and tax advisors early on. Registration and tax registration in the new country can be complex, and experts can make the process easier and faster.”

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