When we talk about funding retirement, we often focus on saving. But your post-career spending is also critical. The less you need to live on in retirement, the less you need to save before you can say “adios” to the office.
One way to reduce your retirement spending is to move somewhere cheaper; a place with a lower cost of living. For most of us that will mean moving from a high-cost hometown to somewhere like Florida or North Carolina. But for the more adventurous, the options are endless and amazing.
Options like Trivigno, a small village in southern Italy’s Potenza province.
Valerie and Bryan Schneider recently moved to Trivigno, and they love everything about it, from the friendly, easy-going atmosphere to the gorgeous scenery to, yes, the incredibly low cost of living.
The couple paid $32,000 for their house in Trivigno. What it lacks in space, it makes up for in atmosphere. Their “new” home is a 300-year-old casa located on the edge of the village. They have one bedroom, an open floor plan, and a balcony that looks out over jagged mountains and deep green fields.
Because they paid cash for the house, they have no mortgage. Food is cheap, too. Pasta is 60 cents a package. Espresso is a buck (no, you’re right, it’s not from Starbucks). A full bag of produce can be had for about $5.
But Valerie reports they seldom have to buy fruits and vegetables as the neighbors are always sharing from their prodigious gardens. Figs, pears, beans and tomatoes are among the bounty they’ve received. The Schneiders “pay” for these favors by helping out as they can — providing English translations and helping with the grape harvest, for example.
The couple says that arrangement is reflective of the village’s friendly, welcoming, communal spirit. The Schneiders instantly felt at home in the town and have a connection to its residents unlike any they’ve felt before.
The region’s villages and small cities, including Melfi, are full of beautiful buildings and centuries of history. The Schneiders visit them regularly. Trivigno’s location in the arch of the Italian peninsula boot places it near three beautiful seacoasts. And, of course, a home in Italy makes a great base to explore all of Europe.
Living in a small village overseas certainly isn’t for everyone. It puts you far away from friends and family, requires you to adapt to a new culture and leaves you without many of the modern conveniences that we’ve come to consider necessities. But if you are looking to write a truly new chapter in your life post-career, places like Trivigno should be on your radar.
After all, what do you have to lose? If you don’t like it, you can always come home and move to Florida. The Italian food won’t be as good, but the people are friendly and they’ve got cable TV.