Italy appeals as retirement destination

The temperate Mediterranean climate, with its accompanying healthy diet and laid back lifestyle, has long held a great attraction for expat retirees from many nations.

With healthcare systems being available to Europeans no matter which country they originate from in the majority of cases, there is even more reason for people to look for a ‘place in the sun’ for their retirement around the already popular holiday destinations.

Italy is rapidly catching up with Spain when it comes to popularity as a retirement destination. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recently ranked Italy as one of the top destinations for US nationals thinking of retiring abroad.

The AARP suggested Le Marche, with a stunning coastline and beauty of the Apennine Mountains, as the best Italian region to consider in the country. In the centre of five more Italian regions, the area brings together much of the appeal of the country, as it is famed for its countryside, seafood and climate.

In the last year in which rankings were published, The World Health Organisation in its World Health Report 2000 ranked Italy as second in the world for healthcare, beaten only by France. Another trusted source of information, the American Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook, placed Italy tenth in the world for life expectancy, with an average age of 81.86 years (based on 2012 figures).

One approach that is being targeted at retirees is ‘fractional ownership’. This is effectively a share in a larger property, giving advantages such as swimming pools, all weather tennis courts, landscaped gardens and more.

The lifestyle in Italy is attractive to older people, with a society built around a respect for elders and an acknowledgement of the part they have to play in society.

For those looking to send money abroad to Italy, it is worth noting that using a specialist currency exchange firm can save you money by accessing better exchange rates than those offered by banks.

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