If eating delicious food and drinking wine in the countryside sounds like an ideal way to retire, Italy may be the country for you. Many who share this dream with you believe that it is unobtainable due to an untouchable price tag. You may be happy to know that an overseas Italian retirement is more realistic than you think.
Here are a few reasons why you should be thinking about retiring in Italy.
Italy is one of the most diverse counties in the world. Every region has something different to offer. The locals are warm and welcoming, and they love to relax…and talk! They frequently celebrate and socialize with friends around a dinner table, whether it be at home or in a restaurant.
The traditional food of Italy is delicious and so is the wine. The country also offers some of the best skiing, hiking, scuba diving, sailing, golfing, and swimming in the world. The coastline is very attractive, and with 24 national parks, you never run out of natural beauty.
Cost of Living
The truth is that Italy can be expensive. Tourist destinations like Venice are pricier, but once you step outside of those areas, you would be able to live a comfortable life without spending a fortune.
Understandably, the cost of living mostly depends on your lifestyle. If you want to eat out every night, you will spend much more, no matter where you go.
The northern cities of Italy, such as Rome and Milan, are wealthier and have a higher standard of living. Retirees who are looking to save some money should look in the countryside or the south. These areas are much cheaper. You can always visit the bigger cities any time.
It is said that you can live comfortably with $200,000 in savings and a steady source of income, such as social security or a pension. This will afford you a nice home or apartment, fine dining, designer clothes, and vacations.
Understandably, many retirees worry about the quality of healthcare when deciding to expatriate overseas. If you need frequent medical attention or medications, you want to make sure you can receive them quickly and safely.
Italy’s healthcare system is of a high quality and is ranked a one of the best in the world. Legal residents of the country, including those from the United States and Canada, can apply for the national health plan.
Finding medical care in rural areas, especially in the south, can be difficult, so many expats carry private insurance, like many Italian locals.
Due to the country’s popularity, there is a large number of expats who have chosen an overseas retirement in Italy, especially in Tuscany, Marche, Puglia, and Rome.
Did we convince you?
Did these reasons convince you to check it out? Good! Now that I have your attention, here are a few things to know when you’re deciding to visit or retire in Italy.
Where to go
Like I said earlier, many areas of the country are better for overseas Italian retirement than others, if you are looking for an affordable lifestyle. Here are a few suggestions:
- Le Marche – Located in central Italy, Le Marche sits next to the Adriatic Sea. The mountainous region is filled with hill towns, farms, and seaside beaches. There is 100 miles of coastline, on which you can rent a home for about $1,500 a month. If you are looking to save even more, a countryside home can cost you only $600 a month.
- Abruzzo – This southern region is a mixture of the mountains and the Adriatic Coast. Also, one third of this territory is national parks. A home in a rural village can cost you between $38,000 and $100,000, depending on size and location. In larger cities, like the coastal city of Pescara or the medieval town of Castilenti, you will be looking at the $300,000 and higher range. You can live comfortably with a budget of roughly $1,600 a month, including home, utilities, entertainment, food, and wine.
- Tuscany – This highly popular region of Italy can be quite pricy if you don’t avoid the tourist hotspots. To save some money, you have to avoid places like Florence and settle into a smaller town like Pistoia. Here you can find a one-bedroom apartment for $700 a month. You can still enjoy Florence; it’s only an hour away by train or bus that would cost you about eight dollars.
- Puglia – This region is located in the heel of Italy’s boot and offers the lowest cost of living of anywhere in Italy. Simple homes can cost anywhere between $87,000 for a two-bedroom and $125,000 for a three-bedroom home. Not only will it be inexpensive to live here, you’d only be 50 miles from Greece. There is almost not rainfall, a mild winter, and long and hot summers. This will be perfect for trips to the sea.
There are a few different options for Italian visas, but there is one that makes the most sense for retirees.
The Visto per Residenza Selettiva o Dimora is the visa for foreigners who can afford to live in the country without having to work, looking mostly at retirees who draw from a pension – the visa doesn’t let you work while in the country. To be approved for this visa, you’ll have to prove annual income of every adult member of the family. You must also receive the visa before entering the country, so do your research now.
After five years, you can apply for the EC long term residency that won’t have to be renewed once it is acquired.