Someone recently asked me what it was like preparing for the move to Portugal. Today, looking back on my one-year anniversary arrival here, I would recommend one thing – bring an attitude of learning. The wealth in Portugal is not so accurately measured in banks or euros or conveniences, but rather in the hearts and fluidity of decency, of irresistible spirit of plain ole humanity that seems to live large in this population. The most beautiful architectural construct to discover in Portugal is the light in the eyes of the Portuguese people.
I will say that one of the factors that made my decision to move here even easier was that I would be eligible for Universal Healthcare. I made a video about my first visit to the doctor here and this time I documented my first visit to the dentist.
In addition to my first experience with a dentist in Portugal, I decided to describe the process I took to get to Portugal and how I applied for both private and public healthcare. There is a lengthy immigration process from the USA to Portugal and it must be done correctly, or you may be rejected or forced to apply once again. I applied for the D7 Visa as I was retired from work and wanted to eventually gain dual citizenship, USA and Portugal.
There are several ways to do this and, you can certainly do it yourself with help from various websites and Facebook groups. I chose to hire a consultant based in Lisbon to help me accomplish everything remotely. The cost for this service was around $650, but it gave me peace of mind that things were being done correctly, especially as it was at the height of the 2020 Covid shutdown.
I started my application process in April 2020 and was granted my D7 Visa in November 2020. I was elated at the thought of spending my retirement years in Portugal – and, with Universal Healthcare.
I used my private healthcare coverage, Allianz, which I obtained through my bank, BPI, to find my Dentist by engaging with their Customer Support hotline. They were able to find a reputable Dentist within 3 blocks of my apartment. After making the appointment, I showed up and was amazed at the office and the treatment I was given. As many people are nervous and or afraid of going to the dentist, I was made to feel completely at ease and comfortable for my 1st visit in over a year.
The good news is, I found my permanent dentist here in Portugal. The bad news is, I have more cavities than I wanted to hear about. But I know I’m in great hands and I highly recommend Dr. Frederico. And I highly recommend the Universal Healthcare here in Portugal!
From traveling this beautiful country to cutting through the bureaucratic red tape; follow me as I navigate and document my new life as a retiree living in Portugal!