Brazil is the largest country in South America and offers broad opportunities for travel and a range of living opportunities you would expect from such a large and diverse country. There are the jungles of the Amazon rain forests, the high plains of the pampas around Brazilia, and of course the world famous beaches, plus much more. The range of landscapes is enormous. Brazilians are world-famous for their hospitality and friendliness, and welcome foreigners unhesitatingly. Rio de Janero is well known for its beaches, partying, nightlife, and the biggest party in the world, Carnival.
Brazil is fun, interesting, and warmly welcomes everyone. So you might expect it to be an expensive place to live. It is not. Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil are among the cheapest cities in the world to live in, according to a study by the British consultancy firm Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
It is often said in Brazil: “You either have a housekeeper or you are a housekeeper.” Even middle-class working families usually have a maid or housekeeper in Brazil.
You can retire in Brazil. There is a retirement visa available, but to qualify for it you must have proof of an income of at least $2000 per month (plus an additional amount for dependents). There is also an investment category, as well as other ways to become a permanent resident in Brazil.
Permanent residents of Brazil may apply for Brazilian passports and can also keep their current citizenships and passports too. It is perfectly legal and common to do so. There can be some benefit to holding a Brazilian passport. Sometimes citizens of the USA are targeted by terrorists when traveling overseas. Brazilians are not targeted.
Health care is a high priority for retirees. Health care in Brazil is very good. The poorer people depend entirely on the free national health care system. It is not necessary to be a citizen of Brazil to use the national health care system. Any person who is legally in the country is welcome to use the national health care system. The national health care system does a good job of providing all health care needs at no cost to the patients. National health care patients pay nothing at all for doctors’ fees, lab fees, hospitalization, surgery, and even prescription drugs are free.
Brazil’s national health care system is toughly equal to the caliber and operational style of the V.A. hospital system in the USA. There are some drawbacks to this system. You will not receive the very highest possible quality of health care in the national health care system. There is a trade-off. If you want completely free health care, including all your prescription drugs, Brazil’s national health care system is very good. Free health care is a good safety net. If you want the very highest possible quality of health care, then you must pay. The more affluent Brazilians favor two different private market providers for health care, much like Blue Cross & Blue Shield.
The first private market medical provider is UniMed , which is owned and operated by doctors. They have their own hospitals and clinics throughout Brazil, they use a referral type system whereas you have a primary doctor and he refers you when needed to a specialist for any special treatments. A plan for a family of three costs about R$600.00 per month (less than $300 USD). I would recommend UniMed if you demand the highest quality healthcare. Personally, I prefer the completely free national health care system, but to each their own.
The second private market medical provider is Banco Bradesco , which is a major financial institution in Brazil offering health insurance and directly employing a substantial and high caliber medical staff. The difference with this type of policy is they only have private clinics and have to buy the hospital stay coverage from someone like UniMed. Costs are also higher. A comprehensive health insurance policy for a family of three runs in neighborhood of R$1,000.00 ($500 USD) per month.
The bottom line is you can get more for your money in Brazil than almost anywhere else on earth. You can enjoy a higher standard of living for your money.