While Italy has long been one of the most popular destinations for Americans and Europeans to relocate to, the demographics of the Expat community have traditionally been dominated by older professionals and retirees.
When you first visit Italy and get to know the Expat community you’ll immediately notice that the vast majority are older people; often people who have already retired. There have been many historical reasons for this trend that has persisted for decades; and although Italy is a highly desirable destination, younger Expats often chose other countries, such as Bali or Dubai to make their new home.
Why is Italy a Great Location for Retiring Expats?
As a retiree the things you will be looking for in a new country are bound to be very different to the requirements of a younger Expat. Once you have retired your priorities will change and your focus will be more on enjoying the finer things in life at an affordable cost.
The standard of living in Italy is extremely high and despite this the cost of living remains relatively low – certainly compared to most other parts of Europe and America.
This is one of the reasons why retirees are such a common feature of the Expat community in Italy. Another major benefit for older people who are retiring in Italy is the great healthcare services. According to the World Health Organization, Italy consistently ranks in the top ten health services on the planet and when it’s compared to the health system in America, which ranks around 35th, it can act as a major incentive for retirees.
The cost of healthcare in Italy is also significantly lower than in the United States which can be particularly important in the decision making process of Expats who may have chronic or ongoing health conditions that need regular treatment.
Another major incentive for older Expats who are looking to move to Italy is the low cost of both buying and renting property as well as the dizzying array of world class cuisine and wines! It’s very possible to live an excellent day to day life at a low cost which is usually something that retirees are taking into consideration during their decision making process.
What About Younger Expats – Is Italy a Good Choice?
For many younger Expats Italy does not look to be such a good choice as it does for their older compatriots. One of thing that puts off younger Expats from relocating to Italy is the poor performance of the economy and the exceptionally high rates of unemployment, especially among the young.
In Italy, as many as 30% of people under 35 are unemployed and not engaged in further education either. This is a very difficult situation for young Italians and as a result large numbers of them are leaving the country in search of job opportunities in other parts of the EU, and further afield.
The world experienced a pandemic in 2020 that caused economic problems for a lot of countries however the impact in Italy has also been dramatic. Many industries, such as tourism and hospitality have seen huge hits on their profits and the shut downs of many businesses. This has only exasperated the plight of young Italians; many of whom used to work in tourism and hospitality, if only on a part time basis.
Remote Work Has Changed the Economic Outlook for Younger Expats.
Over the last few decades the rise of the internet and the incredible advances in communications technology has helped to create a whole new set of opportunities for people who are ready to adapt to the changing circumstances.
Many young American Expats have started to work remotely. This allows them to live anywhere that has a reliable internet connection and a good quality of life at an affordable price. Among the most popular destinations for Expats who work remotely, also known as ‘Digital Nomads’, include Bali, Dubai and Costa Rica; but what about Italy, does it represent opportunities for entrepreneurial young Expats?
Working Remotely in Italy as a Young Expat.
Since 2020, one of the fastest growing industries in Italy has been the e-commerce sector. A majority of people who work in the e-commerce sector are younger people and as a result of the remote work possibilities now available, American Expats can take advantage of this and create a successful new life in Italy. Obviously you do not have to work for an Italian company. You can be in Italy and work for an American company remotely, which is what I do.
When you consider that Italy has very low costs of living, particularly in the rural regions, then you can easily see that it is a very promising destination for people who are working remotely. The costs of renting a property are much lower than in other parts of Europe and the excellent food that the country is so famous for can be purchased at markets, supermarkets or even in restaurants for surprisingly reasonable prices!
Top Remote Work Jobs for Young Expats in Italy.
There are many different ways that you can earn a great living by working remotely, no matter where you are, including, of course, the wonderful country of Italy. Internet connections in Italy are very reliable and usually cost in the region of $30 per month for a package that includes plenty of data and a good broadband service.
Once you have an internet connection setup you can work remotely in a whole range of jobs.
As one of Italy’s fastest growing industries e-commerce has become a great option for people who work remotely. There are many different ways that you can run an online e-commerce business that includes selling fashion items, jewelry, electronics or photography equipment.
To set up an e-commerce business you’ll need a website where you can display your wares. Then you will need to generate some traffic by advertising, creating an SEO friendly blog or building up a presence on social media.
Once you have started to generate organic sales you can sit back and let the business run itself – although you will want to continue to develop it over time. It’s quite hard work to set up a successful e-commerce business but one of its major advantages is that you can operate it from anywhere on the planet!
There’s an ever growing demand for online teachers and so if you have knowledge or skills that people want to learn about then you can start to teach online. One of the most popular subjects for Americans to teach online is English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).
As a TEFL teacher you’ll be teaching people English as a second language and if you work online then you can base yourself anywhere. As demand for online teaching has increased many platforms have grown up to help connect teachers to students, and although they take a fee for their services you can still earn a good $20-50 per hour.
Alternatively, you can teach any other subject to your students including photography, videography, music, art, computer sciences or any other expertise that you have.
If you have great organizational skills, excellent communication and interpersonal abilities and a ‘can do’ attitude, then you might want to consider working as a virtual assistant. Working remotely, you can actually work for multiple companies at once and generate a very good salary, no matter where you are.
As a virtual assistant, you can help out companies by handling their customer services, managing their orders or doing any other business related office tasks. You can work with a great deal of flexibility and once you have a few good references from past positions you will find that your skills are in high demand as more and more businesses function primarily online.
Property Values and Online Opportunities are Opening Up Possibilities for Young Expats.
Italy is a great place to invest money in property and due to the low cost of living a young Expat can live a good life while working full, or even part, time. The e-commerce sector of the Italian economy is growing fast and so Expats with online expertise can secure excellent lifestyles in the country at the moment.
The higher percentage of older Expats is a trend that looks likely to stay in place however as remote work has become more profitable this is changing, albeit it quite slowly, as more younger Expats are making their homes in Italy.
Younger Expats Don’t Always Move to Italy – But Times Are Changing.
In past years there has been a growing trend of young American and Western Expats moving to countries like Bali or Costa Rica. These countries are very fashionable and in the case of Bali, very cheap to live in as well.
Most Expats in Italy are still members of the older generations who already have a secure financial situation and aren’t looking to progress in their careers. They primarily move to Italy for the quality of life, the slow pace of life and the superb food and wine! This is a fairly well established fact however, as communication technologies have improved there are more younger Expats who are taking advantage of remote working opportunities and choosing Italy as their new home.
This is an encouraging trend for Italy which has seen a major flight of its own young people who struggle to find work and develop their careers in their native country. As a foreign remote worker you can make a good life in Italy and although you’ll have to face paying a fairly high rate of income tax the low cost of living more than makes up for this cost.