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Are you a retired expat in Italy or thinking of retiring to Italy?

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 29th July 2014

If your answer is “yes”, Then this information is important to revisit or think about

Expat guide to Money Management

Part 1: Your money and the cost of living

Maybe you have already relocated to Italy, or are seriously considering doing so. There are many factors which come into play. And nothing is more striking than how the change in the cost of living may impact upon you.

Add to this, changes in other areas – for example climate, salary and social life – all of these will have an impact on a successful stay/move – but the most vital one is to make sure you have control over your living expenses.

Adjusting to how much things cost relative to what you are used to is a key part of expat life and forewarned is forearmed!. The World Bank conducted an exhaustive survey and in its report highlighted the fact that food, housing, energy and healthcare costs continue to account for as much as 89% of annual spending, regardless of your location. It’s therefore vital that your day-to-day financial planning takes this into account, regardless of whether you’re employed, self-employed, looking for work in your new location or even retired or retiring.

I have experienced this myself since moving to Italy, especially insofar as the delicious Italian cuisine is concerned. Fortunately my wife has tracked down a tailor to make my trousers larger, but now I have the added expense of having to employ a personal trainer, something I never thought about in my prior planning on moving to Italy!!

Calculate what you’ll need in advance

If you are planning a move, then you need to know how much money you will need in order to have an equivalent lifestyle to the one you currently have. Also, you will need to gauge comparisons in the housing market as to property prices and/or rentals depending on your “mode of habitat”.

A personal tip: You can do this on the internet by looking at housing agencies and rental companies but you will find, 99 times out of a 100, accommodation at much lower prices if you just come to Italy for that purpose. Our quest via the web was frustrating as most agents have virtually the same properties on their books. But by coming to Italy ourselves (Lucca) we visited a few smaller operations and came away with exactly what we wanted at a rental 30% less than we found on the internet.

And do not forget other “miscellaneous” expenses such as buying a car, removal costs and very high motor car insurance premiums which need to be paid up front – only 6 or 12 months in advance – no monthly payments – and that premiums will reduce yearly as your stay in Italy lengthens.

Consider medical insurance

Healthcare is “non-negotiable” even if you qualify for the Italian state medical protection. As was pointed out in the information regarding finding accommodation on the web, rates quoted are generally quite expensive, but by speaking to a “local” agent/broker (usually with the aid of a translator) much lower rates can be obtained. This also happened in our case.

Think of the small additions

Other additional living costs may include employing a driver or domestic staff where relevant, and joining certain clubs to participate in expat social or business life. And then there is the cost of maintaining assets based in your native country. If your house is let out, for example, management fees will need to be paid to a letting agent.

Book a financial review

Consult a wealth consultant/adviser who can talk you through the opportunities available as an expat and find out why you should book a financial planning review

Article by Spectrum IFA

The Spectrum IFA Group is committed to providing a professional financial advice to the expat community in Europe. The Spectrum IFA Group operates in a number of jurisdictions with 12 offices in France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal with over 50 advisers.

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