With its ancient cities, gorgeous landscapes and fantastic Mediterranean seasides, Italy has always been a dream destination for Americans entering their golden years. Despite Italy’s recent economic troubles and rising costs of living in Europe, it remains an attractive choice for American retirees. With the right strategies for lifestyle and location, an Italian retirement is within your reach, even if you don’t have millions to live on.
Why Retire in Italy?
People from all over the world flock to Italy for vacations and employment opportunities, and retirees are no exception to this long-term trend. But today’s retirees might be worried that their retirement dollars won’t go as far in Italy as they used to. Others might wonder whether retirement in Italy still offers the same quality of life to expat retirees as it did in years past. So, what are the benefits of heading to Italy to enjoy your retirement in the 21st century?
Benefits of Retiring to Italy
Amazing Regional Diversity
Italy’s regions have something to offer for every lifestyle and every need. Is there a certain recreation that you’ve always wanted to pursue in your retirement? From the mountains to the seashore, Italy has a region that will make it possible. Do you have health concerns that require you to live in a certain climate? Somewhere in Italy, there will be a place where the weather and conditions are right for you. Even more, in Italy, you’ll never run out of things to do or new places to see. No retiree needs to worry about being bored in Italy!
Costs of Living
While there are areas in Italy that can be very expensive, by and large the country can provide retirees with genuine opportunities to live comfortably on a budget. While a millionaire’s lifestyle in Italy will cost just as much as elsewhere in the developed world, if you’re prepared to simplify, Italy can put a much lower price tag on your retirement. In some of the country’s less well-known rural districts, expat retirees report that their expenses drop by as much as 80 percent compared to life in major cities in the United States. If you’re willing to live like a local, Italy can bring an affordable retirement in beautiful surroundings at a fraction of the cost of other locations.
Health and Quality of Life
Good news for retirees: Italy is in second place for quality of health services according to the World Health Organization. Health insurance and health services in general are also often considerably less expensive than in the United States. Expat retirees who qualify can register with the Italian National Health service and will receive this high-quality care on the same terms as Italians.
Other Reasons to Retire in Italy
Food, culture, history, friendly and welcoming people and a large community of English-speaking expats: The list of reasons to choose Italy goes on. Italy is a developed country with a sophisticated, modern infrastructure, high levels of public safety and low crime, adding to its attractions as a retirement destination.
Requirements for Italian Retirement
Despite all of the good reasons to choose Italy, there are a number of basic requirements for a successful retirement in that country that all potential expats will have to meet.
First, you will need an appropriate visa. Retirees in Italy generally choose the elective residency visa. However, this visa has some specific qualifications. First, you must apply at the Italian consulate for your jurisdiction in the United States before arriving in Italy. The Italian authorities will require a proof of finances, proof of a place of residence in Italy (such as a lease or proof that you own property in Italy) and evidence that you have medical insurance.
Second, you will have to arrange for any monthly benefits you receive to be sent overseas. Depending on your individual retirements account, pensions and government benefits, retirement in Italy may allow for some convenient arrangements for managing your finances, thanks to the close relations between Italy and the United States. The Social Security Administration, for example, permits checks to be sent directly to accounts in Italian financial institutions.
For Americans with Italian ancestry, there is also the possibility of dual citizenship, which will smooth entry procedures and give you access to many benefits reserved for Italian citizens. Consult with your local consulate about your eligibility. In addition, if a member of your family is a citizen of an European Economic Area country, you may also be eligible for an expedited visa under family reunification rules.
Where to Retire in Italy?
Prices can be steep in Milan, Rome and other major destinations in Italy. However, lesser-known and up-and-coming regions of the country offer significant cost advantages to retirees. The Italian south and its rural regions offer both picturesque scenery, a forgiving climate and cost-of-living advantages. Here, we’ll highlight two such affordable, attractive areas for retiring in Italy.
Retiring in Abruzzo Italy means some of the most gorgeous scenery and affordable housing costs in this gem in the Italian agricultural heartland. The inland regions are famed for their vineyards and feature beautiful small villages with very affordable properties. Abruzzo’s coastal areas, on the other hand, are more lively with several popular resort towns. Pescara and Chieti are particularly well-known towns for expats considering retirement in Abruzzo Italy.
A retirement in Italy’s Le Marche means gorgeous landscapes out of Renaissance paintings, historic towns and affordable property prices. Terrain ranges from rugged mountains to Adriatic beaches. Expats reports that a comfortable retiree’s lifestyle in Le Marche is possible at around $20,000 per year. Rimini is one of the better-known towns. Overall, Le Marche is emerging as one of the top locations for budget-conscious Americans trying to retire to Italy.