What are the pros and cons of retiring in Italy? Read our guide to find out.
People usually have different valid reasons for relocating from taking on new job opportunities to exploring other avenues of life with some looking to change their usual routine or prepare for retirement. Most foreigners have considered moving to Italy since it’s the most sort after tourist destination.
Retire in Italy (The Pros and Cons)
Italy has a lot to offer but also has some disadvantages just like every other country. Here are a few tips to put into consideration before relocating to Italy.
Pros of Retiring in Italy
Italy has a lot going on that’s why it’s the most popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Here are some of the reasons that will make you consider moving to this beautiful country:
High Quality and Affordable Healthcare
The national health insurance system is high quality and relatively cheap. It’s one of the best healthcare systems worldwide as ranked by WHO. The insurance covers most medical expenses saving you the trouble of having to dig deeper into your pocket for quality services. Generally, the healthcare in the country is efficient save for the overcrowding and wait times especially in public hospitals.
Most Italians usually structure their days around food. Besides, Italian natives like talking about food all the time. There’s the pastries, gelato, pasta, pizza, and espresso just to mention a few. If you don’t reside in Italy and love their food in your home country, then you should really visit for mouth watering delicacies prepared by one of their own. It’s not a wonder that most restaurants around the world sell Italian food since it’s classic comfort and delicious.
Additionally, Italy has embraced the culture where they only use high-quality and fresh ingredients enhancing the taste even further. Those who are looking to relocate to Italy should brace themselves to tuck in.
It’s Easier to Get Italy’s Citizenship Than in Other Countries
You need to have residency requirements in most countries to become eligible for citizenship and Italy isn’t an exception. The standard is usually ten years before you can acquire Italian citizenship but the process can take about four years if you have Italian heritage. However, you don’t need the residency requirements if your grandparents or parents are Italian.
Exciting and Varied Nightlife
Most Italians love staying out late. The cities in Italy pride in exquisite dining scenes and thriving clubs. It’s also home to a charming custom known as the stroll or Passagiata. This is when Italians dress up to see or be seen and eat gelato while taking long strolls on the most significant drag. You can grab some drinks or espresso when you are done as you watch others stroll, chat with friends and family while at it.
Buying Property is Straightforward
Technically, you can only buy property in Italy if you have a residence permit that’s valid. However, there are exceptions which means that those from reciprocity countries can get property without a permit including Americans. It’s great news since most people in Italy own homes and this is a good thing if you want to assimilate with local culture.
In Italy, public schools are free and kids can start reading and writing at three years. Italian schools offer well-rounded education for children of all ages including history and arts which are quite important. The universities on the other hand are relatively expensive especially for non-residents but guarantees your money’s worth.
Living Cost is Relatively Affordable
Italy is known to be an expensive country but the residents will tell you that the monthly cost isn’t exorbitant as such. The average expenses per year for one person exclusive of rent is about $10, 000 or less even in bigger cities like Milan and Rome. Besides, apartments cost less than $10, 000 monthly in these cities. Most industries offer salaries that cover Italy’s average living costs which means people live comfortably.
It’s Easy to Open a Bank Account
Opening a bank account in Italy is quite easy provide you have valid documentation including identity and address proof. Plus, you don’t need to be a resident. Unfortunately, foreigners cannot open an Italian bank account online.
Cons of Retiring in Italy
There’s no perfect place in the world, not even Italy as it also comes with disadvantages that you’ll need to put into consideration before relocating. Here are a few pointers:
Ensure you are going to stay for long if you are planning on settling in Italy. Generally, long-term leases on apartments are up to about three years with some for four years. When renting an apartment, ensure you choose the right one otherwise you’ll get stuck there since breaking a lease contract can be expensive.
The Rate of Unemployment is Quite High
The rate of unemployment in Italy is quite high especially when you compare it to living in other parts of Europe. It will take you a while to find a job in Italy based on the research done in August 2017.
Graffiti is quite common in major cities so is overcrowding and tourists all over which equals grime. Seeing through this dirt leaves less to be desired even with the beautiful architecture in historic neighborhoods.
Different parts of Italy have different weather since the country is fairly large. The Northern part is mountainous with wet and cold winters while the south is mild during the winter season but gets dry and hot in summer. The weather is not consistent throughout the year regardless of where you stay.
There are very few English speakers in the villages but a number of Italians in the cities are conversant with the language. Locals only use Italian to communicate since national pride tends to run deep. But you can use the opportunity to learn the language, right?
It’s Quite Hard for Entrepreneurs to Get Work Visas
You will need to get a self-employment visa if you want to run a business in Italy especially if you are not from other parts of EU. However, the qualification requirements are not fixed and these visas are usually granted on case-to-case basis. This therefore means that you’ll need to put in some effort and time to complete the entire process.
Borderless Multi-Currency Accounts
Using a bank account or money transfer services when sending money to and from Italy means you will pay about 5% mark up on the exchange rates. However, Wise allows you to send money using the same exchange rate on Google or mid-market rate. You only need to pay the transfer fees which is usually spelled out before transaction with no markups and hidden charges.
Additionally, Wise offers the borderless multi-currency accounts allowing users to manage, receive and send money across the world in different currencies. Borderless multi-currency account holders can also access consumer debit cards which makes money in their accounts more accessible anywhere in the world.
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There are a lot of things to consider before moving to this beautiful country. But there are some drawbacks as well that makes it imperfect for other people. The first step when choosing a retirement home is being conversant with the pros and cons of the country, in this case Italy. Safe travels and good luck in picking the right place to live in.