Italy is a beautiful country that can offer you a fantastic quality of life at a relatively low cost. The food, culture and art of Italy are second to none and with a blossoming community of Expats from all over the world, you can quickly start to make new friends after relocating.
If you’re considering your retirement options there is a lot to take into account before you make a final decision. Moving abroad is a major event in anyone’s life and because you want to enjoy a carefree retirement it’s vital to make the right choice.
Before you decide to move to Italy you should ask yourself if you’ll be happy to be away from your friends and family back at home. Of course, friends and family will always be keen to come and visit but moving overseas can be daunting and if you aren’t ready to build a new life then it might not be the best option for you.
For many people, the thought of moving away from their home country in retirement might not be appealing at all. However, if you’re ready to relocate then you couldn’t find a better place to retire to than Italy.
Visit Italy Before Committing To Relocating For Your Retirement.
It’s always a good idea to visit Italy a few times before you take the leap and move there on a more permanent basis. One way to find out if you would like to live in Italy in your retirement is to spend a few months living in rented accommodation. This is the perfect way to test the waters and see if it really is the right option for you.
While you’re in Italy you can take the opportunity to start scouting around for properties. You can also visit a number of different places to get a feel for the region in person.
Visiting Italy before you move is a good chance to start meeting some of the Expat community and get some first-hand tips from people who have already made the move. During your visits to Italy, you’ll be able to gauge the cost of living and find out more about the properties that are currently on the market; therefore, it’s highly advisable.
Assessing The Cost Of Retirement In Italy.
If you want to make the most of your retirement in Italy then it’s vital to find a location that is not too expensive. Many of Italy’s major cities, such as Rome and Florence, can be very costly to live in. Not only are properties significantly more expensive in the cities but food, entertainment and travel are also more costly.
However, an excellent compromise for any retiree is to live just outside of a city in one of the smaller surrounding towns. This way you can still reach the city with ease while being able to take advantage of the lower cost of living.
A Practical Medical Consideration.
As well as assessing the cost of living, you should be practical and ensure that the place that you chose to relocate to in Italy has good medical facilities nearby. This means that if you have any ongoing medical requirements or face an unexpected situation in the future you’ll be able to access the medical treatment you need without having to travel too far.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you might want to find out whether there are specialists available to continue your treatment.
Other Additional Considerations.
There are a few other things that you have to consider as well:
Cost Of Moving.
Cost of moving to Italy can be significantly higher than say moving to Mexico which many Americans do. You have pack your things and then ship it to Italy. This will take a lot of time and will cost you. You have to decide whether it is cheaper to move to Italy and start all over again rather than move all your existing furniture and belongings across the Atlantic. Obviously, cost of moving is less of a factor if you are moving to Italy from the rest of Europe.
Understanding Your Tax Obligations Are Important.
Italy on occasions offers tax incentives to expat retirees. The rules and regulations around it are not always clear. Having a clear understanding of your tax obligations both in your home country and Italy are extremely important. Even within the United States, different states have different rules when it comes to taxing Social Security, Dividend and Pension Income on top of differences in property tax and sales tax etc.
Making New Friends.
In the vast majority of cases, when you move to Italy from other countries like the United States, you are moving away from friends and family. If you are moving to urban areas of Italy, you will be able to find new friends or acquaintances. But this is a very difficult proposition if you are moving to rural Italy, particularly if you do not speak Italian.
The climate in Italy is extremely pleasant, which is one of the reasons why it’s such a popular place among retirees from all over the world. The Southern provinces of Italy have a Mediterranean climate that is warm throughout the year. During the summer months, it can get very hot though while the winters remain mild.
Northern parts of Italy are much colder, especially in the mountainous provinces, and are therefore less popular with Expat retirees. Generally, most retirees opt for the Southern parts of the country to enjoy the Mediterranean climate.
Safety And Crime.
Although most of Italy has very low crime rates some of the cities do have issues with pickpockets and other minor street crimes. However, if you relocate to a smaller town outside of the main cities you’ll find that crime is almost non-existent. Italian communities are very close-knit and people tend to look out for their neighbors.
The same applies to Expat communities in Italy who are not only welcomed by the locals but also create their own close friendships and bonds. This means that if you’re ever in trouble you can always ask your neighbors or other Expats in the area for a helping hand. This gives you a greater degree of security and allows you to have peace of mind, even though you’re living abroad and a long way from home!
As well as checking that there are good medical facilities nearby you should do some research into what other amenities you’ll have access to if you move to Italy. You’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to culture and art but you should also make sure there are plenty of local restaurants, cafes and bars to frequent.
Having a good range of local amenities such as swimming pools, beaches and hiking trails will all make your retirement a lot more enjoyable. It’s easy to explore a location in Italy by using Google maps as well as reading reviews and even getting in touch with other Expats in the area to ask them about their own experiences of retiring there.
The Best Regions To Retire in Italy.
The following are the three best regions in Italy for retirement. A region in Italy is like a State in the United States.
Region Of Tuscany.
Tuscany is undoubtedly one of the most iconic regions in Italy and attracts many tourists, Expats and retirees. With spectacular scenery and great cities that are bursting with museums, galleries and other cultural attractions to explore, the quality of life is among the very best in Italy.
Florence, the region’s capital, is a wonderful location to retire to but it can be quite expensive to live there. However, there are many small towns and villages in the surrounding areas where you can live instead. This means that you can easily visit Florence for shopping and day trips without having to pay the higher rents in the city.
To give you an idea of the prices in Florence you can buy a lovely meal in a local restaurant for under 20 Euros per person. A coffee in a cafe will cost you around 2 Euros each. The average rent for a modest, 1 bedroom apartment in the center of town will cost around 800-1200 Euros per month. Property prices can range considerably although you can find apartments in the suburbs of the city for as little as 150,000 Euros.
Alternatively, if you choose to live in a nearby town you can find properties at much lower prices. You can easily find a nice 2 bedroom apartment in a small town outside of Florence for under 100,000 Euros. Living outside of Florence is a very popular option for Expat retirees and gives you the best of both worlds at a more affordable price.
The amazing combination of natural beauty and the cultural highlights of Tuscany make the region one of the best places to retire to in Italy.
Region Of Sicily.
The Mediterranean island of Sicily is a paradise for retirees. The relaxed, slow pace of life, stunning beaches and lovely warm weather make it a very appealing option for relocating Expat retirees. As well as the leisurely life on the island there are regular food and wine festivals to explore and plenty of museums and galleries to visit.
Sicily is one of the cheapest parts of Italy and has incredibly low property prices. There’s a large Expat community in Sicily that will welcome you into the fold and help you settle into your new life abroad. The island’s capital, Palermo, has a fantastic cultural heritage and unique local cuisine that is partly inspired by North African dishes.
You can find a great property in Palermo with prices starting at around 75,000 Euros. If you live outside of the city you can pick up some unbelievable bargains on a property, although it’s worth noting that the public transport on the island is not as developed as it is on the mainland.
This means that you’ll probably need your own car to get around. However, the roads can be quite narrow as they wind around the rugged coastlines. This makes it quite dangerous if you’re not a confident driver; and so, for most Expat retirees, living in Palermo is the best option in Sicily.
Region Of Puglia.
Puglia is one of Italy’s top destinations for retirees and boasts amazing white sandy beaches and stunning sea views. Despite its undeniable charms, Puglia is often overlooked by tourists and Expats although it’s a popular holiday spot for local Italians.
The food and wine of Puglia are fantastic and the slow pace of life is the ideal backdrop for a wonderful retirement abroad. There’s a small but friendly Expat community so you’ll be able to make new friends and start feeling at home abroad.
The region’s capital, Bari, is a lovely place to settle down and retire with extremely competitive property prices, a beautiful harbor and excellent restaurants, cafes, museums and galleries to explore. Properties in the city start from around 150,000 Euros although you can buy a traditional 2 bedroom house outside of the city for 50,000-100,000 Euros. Renting a 1 bedroom apartment in the suburbs of Bari will cost you between 400-750 Euros.
All this makes Bari, and the region of Puglia in general, the perfect choice for Expat retirees who are looking to create a dream life abroad.
Italy Is A Great Place To Retire.
Expats from all over the world move to Italy to enjoy the Dolce Vita. There is a wonderful, thriving community of Expat retirees so you’ll quickly begin to make new friends and with hundreds of top-quality galleries, museums and cultural attractions to explore, you’ll never be short of things to do!
Prices for property, groceries and daily expenses vary considerably throughout Italy which means you’ll have to think carefully about exactly where you want to base yourself for your retirement. Some of the most attractive regions for retirees include Tuscany, Sicily and Puglia where you can get the ideal combination of natural beauty, a relaxed pace of life and reasonable property prices.