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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi people!!

I'm from Belgium and probably soon moving to Portugal, Azores. I'm gonna work as a self-employed.

Now I have to decide whether I install my official address in Belgium or in Azores. I can do that because I make a living online mainly.

One of the main reasons why I'm still in doubt is my retirement.

As a self-employed you don't have a high retirement in belgium, but I'm afraid it will be even lower in Portugal. The good thing in Belgium is that the government has a public tool with which you can more or less calcultate how much your retirement will be.

An example for me. I worked in BELGIUM from my 26 till 28 in private industry (earning 3500€/month gross). From 29 till 65 I'll be working as a self-employed, earning 1200€ / month taxable. With that kind of self-employed income I would have a retirement in Belgium of +- 950€.

Can somebody tell me how much retirement I would get with that kind of career in Portugal? Does the government have a public tool to calculate this, or where can I get that info?

Thanks guys!
 

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Seriously stay in Belgium, social security is very expensive in Portugal for the self employed, there are 2 rates you can pay 1 for an enhanced pension, but it won't be anywhere near the level your quoting for Belgium. You would of course be entitled to any Pension you've accrued in Belgium.

This is the site you want, but it is far from easy to use Segurana Social
and here Segurana Social
and here Segurana Social

a lot of the information is only available on the Portuguese pages, with limited information in English.
 

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I disagree with canoeman, the tax in Belgium is horrendous . A friend who escaped to the Phillipines , said as a self employed plumber in Belgium , he was paying 73% tax .
Plus add in all the other taxes in Belgium , property purchase tax of either 5 or 10 % subject to region. Death tax , at 37.5% on all assets . Belgium is nice , although rather flat (lowlands) but it is really worth investigating Portugal . Perhaps set up a limited company , to employ yourself , not neccesarily registered in Portugal .
There are a lot of benefits from living in the Azores , although transportation is not one of them . Property taxes are significantly lower , property can be cheaper ( not everyone needs to live in a mansion ) food is cheaper , the air is a lot cleaner . Which island were you thinking of moving to ?? You could always set up a private pension to supplement your state pension .
Don't be put off , investigate all possibilities.
 

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If I were you, I would look into setting up a company in Belgium that will invoice your clients or some other "work around".

If you are 29 years old I can imagine you will not stay in the Azores for very long. And may possibly move around a bit before you retire. Moving your pension around causes a big mess. Try to keep your pension in one place if at all possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thx for the answers so far guys!

@canoeman: I was talking with a portuguese friend the other day, and he said if I would work as a self-employed in portugal from now (28) till I'm 65, earning about 1200€/month gross, I would get a portuguese retirement of 300€ ... That sucks indeed. In Belgium I would still get 950€ (including my 3 years of service as an employee, I started working around 26).

@4rivers: your friend is a bit exagerating... Taxes in Belgium are ****ING high but not that high.

1. Buying property indeed costs you 5 to 10%. That's very bad and a reason people don't move around a lot within belgium. How much is that tax in Portugal.
2. 73% of income tax (including social taxes) seems very high. I would say the maximum rate including social is 65% but then u must be earning a lot, and u have to be stupid not to start a management company.

I'm thinking of moving to Terceira. My gf is from there and has a hard time finding a job anywhere (bio-engineer). In Terceira she might still get one because connections there are more important.

@mia: im considering that. Keeping my official address in belgium and work officially from belgium.
 

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If you set up a business structure it will be better for your taxes in Belgium, with all the expenses you can pass through, etc. and it will help you keep a steady pension thing going on. Jumping countries every few years creates a mess with your pension. Ask me how I know! :eek: :)

Personally I find property prices there to be outrageous for what you get and especially considering the local salaries. Not to mention the fact that people aren't particularly motivated to sell. Properties sit on the market for a long time and people ask way more than the property is worth.

Can your girlfriend really find a job as a bio-enginer on Terceira?

Has she looked in Switzerland? We have a lot of pharma companies here who are still doing well.
 

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As I said stay in Belguim.

Re "@mia: im considering that. Keeping my official address in belgium and work officially from belgium."
You should check out EU Residency Laws and whichever EU country you decide on, you can only be a Resident in one country at a time, so whether you work officially out of Belgium or not, you'd still have to file a tax return in your country of Residence, doesn't necessarily mean you'd pay more tax but the complication is your Social Security payment, which causes the real problem.
 

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As I said stay in Belguim.

Re "@mia: im considering that. Keeping my official address in belgium and work officially from belgium."
You should check out EU Residency Laws and whichever EU country you decide on, you can only be a Resident in one country at a time, so whether you work officially out of Belgium or not, you'd still have to file a tax return in your country of Residence, doesn't necessarily mean you'd pay more tax but the complication is your Social Security payment, which causes the real problem.
He could still have his company in Belgium who then pays him a low salary in PT. The company can hold most of the assets and pay a private pension, IIRC. It's been a while since I lived in Belgium. But my friend is working this structure, more or less. He's back in BE now. I could ask him how it worked when he was "freelancing" in CH.

Of course, my advice does assume the OP won't end up staying more than a couple years in the Azores.
 

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I'm thinking of moving to Terceira. My gf is from there and has a hard time finding a job anywhere (bio-engineer). In Terceira she might still get one because connections there are more important.


Yes , you are absolutely correct , on Terceira and in the islands generally , it's all about - who you know . It transends , everything. Closely followed by , - who you know , and how much will you pay .( do a favour for )
 
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