Texas Woman Moves To Italy Because It’s Cheaper To Retire There

Barbara Barto, a former office manager from Fort Worth, Texas, had always dreamed of living abroad, but it wasn’t until she lost her job 10 years ago that she considered taking the leap. She explained that she was at a crossroads in her life back in 2020. Her mother had died, her divorce was being finalized, and her job search had been fruitless. Barto was ready for retirement, but worried about the rising cost of living in the U.S. That’s when she recalled the brief time she had spent in Italy in the 1980s. After attending a few live-streams hosted by A Home In Italy, a company that helps foreigners buy property in the country, she realized it was a more cost-effective option than staying in Texas. Retirees need roughly $60,000 a year to live comfortably in Texas, which is slightly less than the national average of $68,000. Barto traveled to Italy to search for apartments in April 2021, and after viewing 6 houses, she chose one located outside of Palombaro, a village in the Abruzzo region of Italy. Sitting on 2½ acres of land with 200 olive trees, the 3-bedroom home cost just $123,000. She applied for an Italian Elective Residency Visa, and in October 2022 packed up and moved to her new home. The 62-year-old admits that learning Italian hasn’t been easy, but she’s able to communicate using Google Translate. She has also had to adjust to cultural differences, including most businesses being shut down in the middle of the afternoon and not having access to fast food. After a year abroad, Barto has met a number of expats, including single women like herself, and she hopes to remain in Italy permanently.