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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 29th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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Ira: How can you declare that housing and tranport costs are 20% higher in Europe?

It depends on where you live in the US and where you are planning to live in Europe. I live in midtown Manhattan. Are my costs going to be greater in a small European city? In Rome?? In a fabulous house in Puglia??

MOST people in the US get social security checks at age 62???? I had no idea...
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 06:17 AM
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Interesting question, but there's one part that we seem to be dancing around -- dollar v. euro.

Everyone seems to assume that the dollar will continue to fall -- and maybe it will -- but there's no way anyone can make a prediction about that. What would bother me more than anything about making the move is the sheer volatility of exchange rates. I mean, what if the dollar got stronger and you made the move based on that, and then it got weaker again? It's not the prospect of a falling dollar that would bother me; it's the uncertaintity.
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Ira, those "from 62 oneward SS checks are optional, not automatic and come with certain penalties attached which i think should be noted.
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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annhig (Pugsly hope you don't mind me hijacking your thread a bit) - when you said you could live in England for 10,000 pounds a year - what assumptions are you making, i.e., location, rent/own, car, etc.? We've been thinking of spending 6 mos. England/6 mos. Canada but were budgetting far more. Maybe we could stay in England longer if it's cheaper! Thanks.
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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annhig

not just outside Tuscany - many of tghe areas outside the Pienza/Florence/Chianti areas but in Tuscany are very affordable - The area around Lucca is still full of 2 bed properties around 100,000 euros.

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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 10:13 AM
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I think Ira was in academia and thus has a different view of when people retire. I know a lot of academics and govt workers who retire relatively young, but most folks don't. As for the age 62, I think it might be correct to say most people are entitled to take some level of SS benefits at age 62, not that most people in the US do. I don't know the exact current figures, but I do some consulting to Medicare and the SS Admin., and I think about half of those eligible to take benefits at 62, and a large proportion are taking them before age 65. A lot more than used to.

I don't know Italy costs at all, but am curious where you can rent an apt. that allows room for guests, is an avg. comfort level, where you can keep a car -- and costs only 8-10,000 euros per year. That is really cheap rent compared to major cities in the US. Are apt. rental costs that cheap in Italy? Maybe they are, I don't know -- I think vacation rental apts are a lot cheaper than in Paris, for example.
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 10:35 AM
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ira
 
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Hi ek,

>Ira: How can you declare that housing and tranport costs are 20% higher in Europe?

It depends on where you live in the US and where you are planning to live in Europe.<

Please note that I am comparing like to like.

>MOST people in the US get social security checks at age 62???? I had no idea..<

I don't know if most people do, but they should. If you wait until you are old enough to get full benefits, it will take over 14 years to break even.

Hi Dukey,

See above. If you elect to receive payments at age 62, you will receive actuarially reduced income, which if you live to the average age will give you the same income as if you began to receive benefits at full retirement age.

Hi C,
Everyone can start SS at age 62. See www.ssa.gov.
Also see above.







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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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I am still not sure what you mean, Ira.

Like to like? So the cost of living in a small town in Oklahoma would be 20% less than living in a small town in Basilicata? Or, more realistically, I would have to figure 20% more beyond the exchange rate to live in Rome rather than in New York??

Your 20% seems like an arbitrary figure to me....
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 11:19 AM
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More nonsense...What is the minimum needed to get by? Two people or a family of five? Health? The same style I now live in the USA? Italy is a huge country and the living options are many. Try a year visit...
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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wow. what an odd thread to get e veryone all fired up ;-)

don't know where you all live..but my PROPERTY TAXES for TWO years alone here at my US home equal the amount I PAID for my vacation home in Italy...now...they are not the same size, nor standard...but...there's no WAY my housing costs are more there than here - can't really generalize at all about location either...middle of nowhere in Italy can still be only 3 hours from ROME...middle of nowhere in the US?? wow...could be hundreds of miles to the nearest airport (!) distances are much less in Europe. ok...I certainly could find a very nice, two bedroom apartment in Venice for around 600k (trust me - I've looked ;-) ) do you really think I could find that in NYC? I would be pushed to find a 400sq foot studio (!) -have not personally looked at apartments in Milan or rome - but I seriously douobt they come close to NYC prices. As for "middle-of-nowhere" properties...well...I don't think there is ANYWHERE in the US where you can find something for the price of something in Basilicata (and other regions too - that one was just mentioned)If someone knows somewhere, please clue me in ! (and, like I said, Basilicata is still very near to four major airports - Naples, Bari, Rome, Pescara - depending on where in Basilicat you live) ha! feel like I shouldn't even wirte this becasaue we've always planned to retire in Basilicata and maybe I'm giving away our little secret ;-)
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 01:00 PM
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Casa: Thank you for this clarification. It is good to hear from someone with actual knowledge of living in both countries.

By the way, there was an interesting article in the New York Times recently about a single woman from California who purchased a house in her ancestral hometown in Campania..not sure if you can read this, but here it is. (Not about the topic above but interesting about living in a small Italian village); seven years ago the house cost her 18,000 Euro:



http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/ga...mp;oref=slogin








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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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That article is about my friend and neighbor!!

(not in our "real" lives-her Grandmother's home she purchased is a few doors down from my home in Calitri)

Do keep in mind though that that price was for her to buy from her relative...and it was a few years ago...and her home was not renovated (she's completing some restoration projects on her own right now) - so actual costs are a BIT more than that ;-)
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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Hi ek,

Do you have any data to show that I am incorrect if I suggest. "Add 20% to account for higher costs of housing, utilities and transportation"?

>...a very nice, two bedroom apartment in Venice for around 600k ....<

That's outside my wage grade.

I find that interesting, because it is much much cheaper than what I have seen advertised in Paris, Rome and Naples.

I guess a lot depends on location.

Hi CDC,

Melfi, a small town in Basilicata, is about 2:15 hr out of NAP. Madison, Ga is not quite that far from ATL (depending on traffic).

Please give me a price on a
110 sq m, 2 bdrm, 1 ba house, with separate garage, on a 0.2 hectare lot w/ city water and sewage, central heat and AC, in ready-to-move-in condition.

Also, what are the costs for gas, electricity, water and sewage service, and trash collection?

In addition, what are the property taxes?

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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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And don't forget the annual tax you have to pay for your television Ira!!

And if you open up an account with a bank in Italy you will be paying hefty fees..they even charge you to close the account, lol.

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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 02:20 PM
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No, Ira, I do not have any data and it would appear that you do not have any either. But I do have friends in Italy, and read a fair amount about this sort of subject and it would appear that the cost of living for some of us would not be anything close to 20 % higher, after figuring in the price of euro vs dollar, should we decide to decamp for Italy someday.

I am not certain where you got that figure but in my opinion, there is no magic number. As I said above, it depends on where you live now. I would like to hear how you derived the 20%. Perhaps based on your own situation...
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Our plan is to retire early (we would be in our late 40's) to Europe. Our financial advisor and my husband and I figured that we will need just under $2 M to do this. This figure, of course, is current - that could change over the next ten years. Our living expenses and needs may be simpler than many others.

Our dream is attainable. We have had this plan since we were 30 and have been working towards it over the past 7 years. Whenever we are in Europe we seek advice on living expenses, taxes, etc. My husband is also a CA so has a wealth of knowledge about this subject.

Do not be afraid to DREAM BIG!
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 02:38 PM
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hahahaha!! I wish I knew seriously...I LOVE Melfi (have you been there?? it's not really very touristed) and have tried to find a price for something...there is a realtor in town, but not online and I didn't have a chance to pop in last time I was there (photos but no prices in the windows! I HATE that!)

I do know prices for that area though...at the moment, you can easily find a small, 100sq meter (about) home for about 100euros - for 150-200euros you should be able to find a larger home on some land - they would be in good condition at those prices - you can check prices for all of Italy (in English) on http://www.tecnocasa.com - which is a big real estate chain...they do not have listings in Melfi though I've looked.

as for a garage...they are not that common in the area...I would think you would have to add one yourself.

land...well...not expensive - lots of farm land - the single fmaily country homes tend to be cheaper than "in-town" locations.

Central heat is fairly standard now in new construction. In a historic property, it runs about 15k to install (gas heat with radiators in each room) Lots of homes in the area do not have heat - they are heated by open fires or wood-burning stoves and portable heater.

I have never met anyone in that area with AC...I think they would have a heart attack and tell you you would catch your death, etc. - Italians have an odd fear of AC and AIR in general ;-) But I would assume you could install if you wanted to (don't know the cost)...

as for city water...depends on your location...counry properties are on well..and city properies are on city water (my water bills are very low - under $20 anyway)

Sewer...they do not use them in Italy...things are on septic...even city properties...don't ask ;-) becauase I know nothing about it...long discussion on the expat board though if you want to know the plumbing details. Obviously, a rural property would have it's own septic. (I do not pay for my in-town connection.)

Property tax and "trash tax" (there is not trash collection as we know it in Italy - you pay a tax to your town and the trash is collected from dumpsters located around the area...and you put your trash in - I think there may be actual pick-up in larger cities though - still under the "trash tax&quotare very minimal compared to what we're used to - they work out to about 150 euro annualy...but that does change depending on the size of the property,land, and deductions, of course. (I know some permanent residents pay zero after deductions for full-time residency)

My electricity is not TOO bad...but I conserve...electricity IS MUCH more than in the US (I want to say at least double?? but you can check at www.enel.com if you really want to know) and one tends to adjust comspumtion accordingly.

I am a European citizen (as well as American), so I do not know the health care insurance costs - high probably ;-(

Happy to answer anything else if I can

p.s. I have not looked in Naples...but there's no WAY it is MORE expensive than Venice...Rome is probably more - that's where the jobs are ;-)

will need to check into Atlanta now as a retirement option if it's on par with Melfi cost-wise!
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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I do not have a TV in Italy...I ,like to get away from it so don't know the cost of that tax.

My bank charges 50euro annually to have a checking account with an ATM card - totally a rip-off when you're used to free checking!!!
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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I am also curious as to the price of private health insurance. I pay close to $1200 per month here in the US...would I pay more than that in Italy?
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 03:40 PM
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Okay, follow-up question to Pugsly - - and as a corollary to travel2live2...

When someone says that they plan to "retire to xxxxx"...

Wouldn't that typically mean relocate to xxxxx to live there until the end of one's life?

Perhaps, if you have (adult) children, it means to move to xxxxx until your health is failing and your children relocate you "back home" to some closer setting until the end of your life.

Ther may be fairly different notions about what it means to "retire to xxxxx" among individuals/couples who have... or do not have...

a) still living parent(s)
b) siblings and their families with whom you have close... or semi-close ties...
c) adult children (and their families - - and in some cases, even the extended families of your adult children)...

Does anyone really think about "retiring to Europe" if they have one or more of these?

It's one thing to "winter" someplace... or "summer" someplace... or spend any number of months per year in one or more "alternate" locations...

...but to "retire to Europe" sounds like a permanent relocation to life's end, to me...

I'd be surprised if 0.01% of American retirees do that... maybe not even 0.1% of those who visit this Internet forum and have a lifelong passion for travel in... and the culture of, Europe (or any other foreign continent).
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