For a growing number of 401k participants approaching the end of their careers, the dream is to retire outside of the country. Some expats are flocking to cost-friendly places with alluring climates like Mexico and Costa Rica, while others are choosing low tax burden locales like Belize and Nicaragua where money stretches further.
But according to International Living, retirees should consider Italy.
“Whether you’re looking to retire to Europe, relocate or simply plan an extended adventure, Italy should be a front-runner on the list of possibilities,” says Jennifer Stevens, International Living’s executive editor. “When you step off the beaten track, Italy is far more affordable than people assume. It’s possible to live a very comfortable life on a modest budget.”
Tuscany, Umbria and Puglia, for example, offer all the Italian charm without a lavish price tag or overwhelming influx of sightseers.
Tourists overlook much of the Tuscan region’s picture-perfect rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves, choosing instead to explore its capital, Florence. Meanwhile, situated 50 miles south is the city of Arezzo, also rich with history, culture, food and wine—with the added bonus of affordable real estate. Homes sell for around $230,000 and less, and apartments are available to rent for $440 to $640 a month.
Nestled between Rome and Florence, the region of Umbria is as beautiful as Tuscany, albeit without the coastline. But those willing to forego quick access to the sand and sea are rewarded with an even more affordable cost of living. Retirees can live comfortably for around $1,560 a month in a hilltop town like Todi. In addition to breathtaking views and in-town entertainment options like music festivals, dance and film, a day trip to Rome is only 70 miles away.
For those seeking eternal sunshine and bottomless wine, Puglia is calling. Property is available for anywhere between $360 and $1,600 per month in this region, which also happens to produce almost a third of all Italian “vino.” The seaside port of Otranto boasts gorgeous beaches with picturesque blue water, plus a castle, cathedral and museum that date back several centuries.