UK PENSION REFORMS ALLOW OVER 55’S TO REALISE THE ITALIAN RETIREMENT DREAM

  • Over 6 million UK adults plan to retire abroad, with 10% choosing Italy as their preferred destination (Hargreaves Lansdown)
  • 20% of 55-75 year old UK adults are considering taking cash out of their pensions under new regulations (ABTA)
  • Le Marche ranked in top places in the world to retire in 2014 (American Association of Retired Person)

With new legislation changes having recently become effective, UK citizens over the age of 55 are now be able to spend, save or invest their pension as they deem appropriate. These latest regulations offer people the freedom and flexibility to decide for themselves the best option for their retirement. In light of this, a recent survey, from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), discovered that 20% of UK adults are already considering taking a cash lump sum out of their pensions, with over 35% of these people wishing to spend it on travel.

Today, the dream of retiring overseas is becoming increasingly popular with over 6 million UK adults now planning to move abroad when they reach national retirement age. Recent figures published by Hargreaves Lansdown show that 10% of those wishing to enjoy their retirement abroad would select Italy as their destination of choice, and with a rich blend of historical architecture, luscious landscapes, sun-kissed beaches and glistening mountain tops, the idyllic notion of retiring to Italy can now become a possibility.

In 2014, the American Association of Retired Person (AARP) surveyed their vast membership of over 39 million, and discovered that Italy’s Le Marche region had been voted one of the top five places in the world to retire. Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, Founder of Appassionata, a fractional ownership company in Le Marche understands this growing aspiration to retire here, having relocated from the UK herself some seven years ago,

Le-Marche-hilltop-town-1400

“The rolling hills of vineyards, olive groves and sunflowers was certainly one of the deciding factors for our move to the countryside of Le Marche. With each passing season there is a new vista of colour and light. The Italian countryside truly is a special place, especially for people nearing retirement who are looking for a sense of community and belonging within a new environment. Here, beautiful surroundings combine with a traditional feel that means it really is like stepping back in time, where strangers say good morning and neighbours are always willing to help.”

However, even with the recent changes to pension legislation, many people in the UK reaching retirement age will not be able to fully purchase a property overseas, finding the dream still financially out of their reach. An alternative to the more traditional approach to whole property ownership is fractional ownership, allowing buyers to enjoy the best of retirement both home and away at a reduced cost. With fractional ownership you own a share of a property, which has professional and continuing local management, in exchange for exclusive occupancy for a number of weeks throughout the year.

As leaders in the Italian fractional ownership market, Dawn from Appassionata explains more about the advantages of this option for many retirees,

“Fractional ownership is an appealing possibility to people who are now accessing their pension pots and looking to make an investment in a luxury overseas property. For many their lump sum is not large enough to buy a luxurious property outright so buying a 1/10th fraction makes perfect sense, providing all the benefits of full ownership without the full cost as all running expenses are divided equally among co-owners. We have definitely seen an increase in enquires since the new legislation became effective, with a number of owners keen to access their pension pots to buy a share in our beautiful Petritoli property.”

Appassionata’s most recent restoration project to offer fractional ownership is Casa Tre Archi, a townhouse set in the centre of the enchanting medieval Le Marche town of Petritoli. The unique property has three bedrooms and, unusually for an urban Italian property of this nature, enjoys outdoor space on three levels, plenty of space to accommodate all the family. This includes a small rear garden off the kitchen, a terrace off one of the bedrooms and a spectacular roof terrace with views of Petritoli and the surrounding countryside, perfect for soaking up the Italian sunshine. The house benefits from three bathrooms: one en suite off the master bedroom, one upstairs family bathroom and one small bathroom off the living area on the ground floor.

Tre Archi enjoys sea views, beamed ceilings with traditional, terracotta tiled floors and easy access to nearby parking. The townhouse provides the best of town living, perfect for retirees who want to meander from their home to a choice of shops, restaurants and cafes, combined with miles of sandy beaches just a short drive away. The security and maintenance of the property are administered by Appassionata’s management company and on arrival owners will find Casa Tre Archi beautifully prepared, with all essential groceries ready for convenience. Prices start from £70,000 and are for a 1/10th share, which will entitle the owners to five weeks’ exclusive use of the property per year.

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