by Alex & Jan Green, February 2018
We live in Funchal Madeira, an archipelago of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean, 360 miles directly west of Morocco and 540 miles southwest of Lisbon known as ‘The Atlantic Garden’.
We live here on a non habitual residency status, this is a ten year deal between the UK Government and the Portuguese Government, where no tax will be payable on investments, bank accounts or pension from the UK. You have to a have residential Portuguese address and spend 183 days here, but I actually think the law has changed and now it is only that you have to have a Portuguese address as your worldwide address.
The process to register we found very simple and is quickly processed. We have registered with the Health department and get Government health or we can pay 55 Euro to see a private Doctor.
Prescriptions are subsidised by the UK and the clinic facilities we found excellent and at this moment in time we are still able to get UK health treatments.
Madeira appears to be undiscovered by the people of the UK, it has a very low crime rate, a very good standard of living, and is only three and a half hours from the UK. The property rates in our case are a third of the UK and Power and Water charges are a fraction of the cost.
Most locals in Funchal speak English, and while the island is very small most UK home comforts can be found. The most important aspect for UK residents it that is has 12 months of beautiful weather. Madeira is not a party island, it is ideally suited to retirees, where they can live safely, cheaply and in warm comfort all year round. There are a few sandy beaches, but mostly gravel, there are beautiful stunning walks (Lavadas) of all levels, numerous festivals all through the year, great cafes, stunning Christmas celebrations and a New Years firework display that was once in the Guinness World Records. Cruise liners regularly stop here in the Winter months.
We moved here in 2015, We purchased a detached three story home with sea views, and within walking distance to the centre of Funchal. Since moving here we have read very little about Madeira in the English Papers and what we have read just shows a photo of the Botanical Gardens, Madeira is so much more than that.