Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, and it has a diverse culture and history to match. It’s famous for its stunning beaches, its cultured influences of Europe, Africa, and Asia, and for its affordability for retirees. Those who seek to retire abroad in Brazil can do so under the pension visa and will find a life of beachfront relaxation, adventure, and excitement waiting for them.
To qualify for Brazil’s retirement visa, you and/or your spouse must be at least 60 years of age. This number is subject to change, so please double-check with your local Brazilian embassy or consulate.
You will be required to show proof of a monthly income of at least $2,000 USD. This can be in the form of a pension, annuity, or any type of consistent, reliable form of income. Additionally, you can have two dependents covered under your retirement visa as long as you can show an income of $1,000 extra per dependent. The retirement visa is issued for nine years and can be renewed easily at the nearest office of Federal Police. Benefits of holding such a visa include:
- A national ID card, which allows you to open a national bank account
- Access to public services, including universal free healthcare
- The legal right to work, without need of a work visa
- The ability to leave and re-enter Brazil as you wish
Retirees in Brazil are also offered a host of benefits outside of what this visa offers. For example, anyone 60 and over can ride buses and the metro and use forms of public transportation free of charge. They can also receive discounts of up to 50 percent on things to do throughout the country, including movie tickets and entrance fees for entertainment venues. There are even preferential lines in many stores and banks for seniors. Brazil can be a very friendly place for retirees in general, which adds to the list of many reasons why expats choose to head this way.
When applying for this visa type, please note that the documentary proof of your pension and a bank declaration authorizing the monthly transfer of said pension into a Brazilian bank account will be required. You’ll also be required to submit your valid passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), and proof that you have no criminal record issued within the last 90 days.
Those with serious health conditions may be denied, even if they meet the pension requirements, simply because Brazil has had issues in the past of people coming in simply to take advantage of the free health care system.
Cost of Living
Prices in Brazil are somewhat higher than what can be found in other cities in either Central or South America, but they are still more affordable than what you’re probably used to in either North America or Europe. The Brazilian Real exchanges BRL 1 to $0.30 USD. This exchange rate is favorable to those who will be receiving pensions in U.S. dollars.
As in any country, it is more expensive to live in the larger cities of Brazil than it is to live in the more rural outskirts. Cities like Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Joao Pessoa are a tad more expensive than their rural neighbors, but in exchange for little bit of extra cost you have access to more services and activities. Joao Pessoa is the most popular city in Brazil for expats to go and live abroad in, and prices are as follows:
- Three-bedroom apartment within the city center: $420 USD/monthly.
- One-bedroom apartment within the city center: $166 USD/monthly.
- Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city center: $327 USD/monthly.
- One-bedroom apartment outside of the city center: $125 USD/monthly.
Alternatively, if you choose to live Sao Paulo, the prices are between $600 and $1,000 USD for a one to three bedroom apartment in the city center. As you can see, they vary dramatically between cities.
It isn’t too much of a hassle to live without a vehicle in the Brazilian cities, since public transportation is so reliable, especially if you are over the age of 60 and can use trains and buses free of charge. This would eliminate the need for what could be a great expense and drastically lower your cost of living. If you choose to live overseas in Joao Pessoa where prices are so much more affordable than in the other cities, you can stretch your pension even further. It all comes down to your own personal preferences.