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How much money would you need to retire - US to Italy?

How much money would you need to retire - US to Italy?

Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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How much money would you need to retire - US to Italy?

Checking my poor calculations...assuming you're 50 years old, how much money do you think you would need to start out with to move anywhere in Italy from the US and live a modest but enjoyable life?

Assuming...

2 person household
room for occasional guests
1 car
some local travel
1 int'l trip per year
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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Very generally speaking, about twice as much as you need to live now in the USA...

That is, if you actually managed to maneuver through all the bureaucratic red tape you'd need to master in order to actually have the freedom to do that.
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:19 PM
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It might not have an answer to your specific question, but have a look at this Web site:

http://www.expatsinitaly.com/
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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Gosh, pugsly, you don't want much, do you? can we all come?

Here goes [and I'm ready to be flamed on all sides]:

housing -

to buy a 2 bedroomed property, at least 100,000E,

to rent probably 8000-10,000E per annum.

car - 5000E plus 1000E pa upkeep, tax, etc.

in the UK, it's difficult to exist on less than £10,000pa, so that's, say, 15,000E, plus another 5000E for travel.

so i make that 31,000E pa if you rent, 21,000E if you buy, plus another 5000E for a car every 4-5 years or so.

I'll let you work out the Es to U$ by yourself.


if you want to know how much capital you'd need to provide that level of income for life, assuming that you died on the day all the capital was used up, there are tables that help to work that out.

you need £250,000 to provide £15,000 pa [approx 20,000E] for a 50 year old man for life, £260,000 for a woman.

how does that sound?

have you got U$ 500,000?

regards, ann
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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Assuming that you could get the proper documentation to be a resident of Italy Pugsly it would depend..where would you want to live? Some little town or in one of the big cities. If one of the big cities say Rome, in the historical center or out in the suburbs? Would you want to eat at restaurants a lot or would you basically eat at home? Would you do a lot of local travelling which would include overnights at hotels and would you require hotels that most American's want or would you be content with say a two star hotel? Or are you talking about day trips.

I have read the average Italian family income is around 2,000 euro a month. That does not give them any money for luxuries to put it midly.

I believe you would have to have your own private medical insurance unlike the Italians that have the government run health insurance that they pay in with their income tax bill.

I would probably want at least 4,000euro per month and that would be living in a smaller town say in the Region of Veneto. Train travel versus auto travel (gasoline and autostrada tolls really gets expensive).

You might want to check out:

http://www.slowtrav.com/
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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While Italy is just about my favorite place in the world, retire to Costa Rica. $2,000-$2,500 per month puts you in the upper echelon.
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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ooh, medical insurance...that's probably a big number to think about.
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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St. Cirq:

Why would it cost double the cost of living in the US? Would that not depend on where the OP lives now?



Interesting questions..
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 03:27 PM
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Annhig: where can you buy a 2 BR property for 100,000 E., assuming it's a desirable location, and doesn't need to be renovated?
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 04:14 PM
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Things are cheaper as you go South (excluding the coasts!) - Our cost of living is MUCH, much lower than in the US (!!!) but...as said before, I do think it depends where in the US to compare and where in Italy! For instance....housing is much cheaper in Rome than NYC (but VERY high for Italy)....but eating out or driving a car can cost triple. (To give you an idea, my family of three can easily eat a nice restaurant meal for around 20 euros in our southern town...that same meal costs us around 80-100 euros in Rome!)

There are still towns in the southern regions (Campania, Basilicata, Puglia are the ones I know fairly well...but I'm sure Calabria fits the bill too!)where you can find something very livable for 100000euros...there are many places where the average monthly salary is about 500Euros to give you an idea.

now...as for costs compared to the US...I guess that depends where the dollar heads

I beleive you can get a visa to stay if you are retired and have the money to support yourself without TOO much trouble - but I'm not a full-time resident, so do some research on the expattalk site.

p.s. what is "desirable" differs from persosn to person! do you need to be in a major city? near a train line? hospital? have a single-family home or an apartment? list goes on - some things are very important to one person and mean nothing to another.
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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Well, I said I was speaking very generally, but my line of reasoning was that the OP was looking to replicate in Italy what is probably a modest and enjoyable life in the USA, ...and given the exchange rate and what it will cost just to get set up over there, I thought doubling the amount was a reasonable wild guess.

Having bought and owned property in Europe, one thing I've learned is that, though it's pretty inexpensive to live modestly, particularly in a rural area there, you always make up for those modest costs in uninformed purchases, unexpected extravagances, and things you just never dreamed you were going to encounter and need to pay for.
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 04:23 PM
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maybe we'll all get lucky before we retire and the dollar will go the other way and we'll only need half as much (one can dream anyway!)
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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Considerably more than most places in the US based on 2 simple factors:

Your income (presumably in US$) would be worth considerably less than in the US due to the falling $ versus the euro

Medicare doesn't cover you outside the US, nor would the Italian medical system - so you would have to buy private medical insurance (VERY expensive in europe - esp for seniors)

Also you would need to account for any differences in locale (that is, compare Rome prices to NYC - if you live in a small town, assume a similar small - but non-toruist town in Italy)
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 06:43 PM
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I would recommend that your net worth should have reached 10-20 times your annual income, to contemplate retirement even in your late 50's, let alone your early 50's.

<<I believe you would have to have your own private medical insurance unlike the Italians that have the government run health insurance that they pay in with their income tax bill.>>

A curious angle that no one has asked - - is there any possibility to "semi-retire" in Italy, by seeking or aspiring to obtain citizenship? - - and if so, how many years of working (part-time?) might result in the right to medical care provided by the state?

I am likewise curious, Pugsly - - unless this notion of retiring in Europe is strictly a rhetorical question - - would such a thought include a detailed discussion between you and your partner/spouse... do you plan to die in Italy? and does your partner/spouse (or you yourself) feel comfortable with living solo (or with a new partner) in Italy... after the death of the first one?

...and last of all, is this a possibility that only childless individuals/couples contemplate?

Curious minds want to know...

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 08:56 PM
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A few thoughts to keep in mind that may matter or not.

In Italy, under Italian law, real estate is passed onto any children of the marriage as well as to the spouse. Now if one is a US citizen versus an Italian citizen I do not know how this works but if one has a spouse and children it would be prudent to check into this if one is interested or concerned.

In Italy if you do not want to be kept alive by extreme means..good luck as you will be. Trust me, I know. My family just went through this with an Italian family member in Italy two years ago. The Church stills rules regarding health care.

I love Italy but I would strongly urge anyone that is planning on trying to become a legal resident of Italy to find out everything possible besides the over the top paper work regarding the proper documentation from the Italian government.

Also, check into what if any income tax will be owed to Italy besides our US income tax. A good accountant with this expertise is most important.

Social Security Payments will be made to US Citizens living abroad but MediCare will not cover you outside of the US and yes, the Italian government besides requiring proof of a certain amount of money in investments/savings and a monthly income will require you to have health insurance.
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 10:35 PM
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There are American expats living in Italy that are retired and living well on very little.

Check out the Italy expats website mentioned earlier and talk to them.

I also know one couple that bought and retired in Italy and are now selling and moving back. The falling dollar just hurts them too much.

A lot depends on where you pick, how well you prepare, and what happens with the dollar and euro on the future.
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 02:19 AM
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Hi Holly,

like casa said, you can still get bargains, if you don't want to live in tuscany or other popular areas.

I just googled and found properties which didn't need renovation in Puglia and umbria for less than 100,000E.

to find the cheaper places, you'd have to be there - i suspect they don't get on the net.

regards, ann
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 04:39 AM
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Thanks, St. Cirq!

I guess now is the time to start putting some of those extra dollars into euro accounts, to hedge against the further fall of the greenback!
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 05:00 AM
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Hi P,

Now is the time to start socking it away for retirement - wherever you plan to live.

Most people forget that they will be getting Social Security checks from age 62 onward.

I suggest that, before you have built your sand castle in the air, you rent an apt in Italy for 3 months in the Winter, and again in the Summer.

If you find that you like living like an Italian, the consider:

Determine how much you would need to retire on in the US.

Convert to Euro.

Add 20% to account for higher costs of housing, utilities and transportation.

Add medical insurance. Medicare won't cover you.

Unless you are going to live in a small backwater town with sparse public transportation and few amenities, housing is going to be very high.

My estimate is that it is much cheaper to keep the US as your permanent abode and visit Europe twice a year.

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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 05:43 AM
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Thanks all...actually Rex, I'm not thinking of dying anywhere!

My question is not really rhetorical although "retire" may not have been the right choice of words. I would still probably maintain a small condo in the US but am more thinking of moving my main home to Italy and spending more time there.
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