Living, Working, And Buying Property In Abruzzo, Italy

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“Kathleen, my question is for Lee Harrison.

“I’ve been researching international retirement for almost three years, first deciding on Cuenca, Ecuador, until falling in love with Italy. I am 62, anxious and eligible to retire with a pension along with Social Security. I will be on a limited budget and have concluded Abruzzo and regions south like Basilacata are fantastic places to buy. I hope to buy a farmhouse with land, fruit trees, and grow vegetables, etc.

“Abruzzo has many properties starting under 10k euros that require moderate renovation because of the 2007 earthquake. I want to do most of the renovations myself and would make an excellent helper to a local contractor, example plumber or electrician. Am I being realistic to think a contractor would either employ me or allow me work with him? I worked for the Bechtel Corporation from 1980 into 1992, five different nuclear power plants, mechanical engineering, and pipe design group, and I heard you worked for Bechtel as well. I’d love to hear from you and someday meet you.

“Abruzzo has it all. It’s close to almost all European countries, mountains/sea, history, culture, great food, and great people. I’ve been learning to speak Italian and am looking into dual citizenship which I am eligible for.”

–Rich M., United States

Lee Harrison responds:

You definitely seem to have a passion for Italy. I’d rule out your other options and focus on making Italy work.

It’s not easy to find a place with a contractor in either of the ways you describe… but not impossible. It’s the type of thing that can be done only once you’re on the ground and people get to know you. Anyone who shows up with an open mind and without an urgent need to work right away can generally find a niche.

Keep up with the language study. It’s important and the only way to be accepted.

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Live and Invest Overseas is the world's savviest source for top opportunities to live better, retire in style, invest for profit, do business, and own real estate overseas. Established in 2008, the Live and Invest Overseas' editors and correspondents have more experience researching and reporting on top opportunities for living well, investing for profit, doing business, and owning real estate around the world than anyone else you'll find.