Some help with costs please :-)

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Some help with costs please :-)


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Old 14th January 2018, 05:33 AM
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Cool Some help with costs please :-)

Hi All.
I'm a newbee to the site so please go easy!
Me and my wife have a plan to retire to Italy in the next couple of years, so are beginning the process of trying to figure out a couple of things.
1) Where should we call home? We would like a decent sized house (minimum 3 bedrooms) requiring not too much renovation, with a fairly sizable garden where we could have a few chickens and grow some veg. Not too far from the sea would be perfect.
2) How much disposable income would we need to live fairly modestly and be able to cover basic living costs, with maybe the odd restaurant meal now and again?

For a bit of background my mother was Italian (sadly now passed away), and came to the UK in the late 50's. Having an English father has meant that Italian wasn't spoken much at home. Fortunately I have managed to pick up a reasonable grasp of the language, and could get by providing the conversation doesn't get too technical.
My English wife lived in Italy for 6 years and is in love with the country. She is fluent and has a degree in languages and is a qualified primary school teacher. She is hoping to pick up some work translating/interpreting or teaching Italian to Ex pats or English to Italian children. Would anyone know where a good place would be to pick up this type of work, but ideally not in a city or big town?
Sorry for all the questions; any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Tony.

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Old 14th January 2018, 06:28 AM
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Basically the sort of home you'll want can be found almost any where. Touristy areas or areas popular with expats tend to be more expensive.

Think in terms of your interests,needs and wants. Weather? Further north or higher in altitude will be colder. Further south cheaper. None of this matters if you're goal is to visit Rome (fill in a city,site or whatever) easily. You'll need to check travel times and transit methods. If you're planning to fly back to the UK or have guest then make sure getting to the airport isn't a pain. If you've got a rural home it might be.

You don't mention budget. Budget might limit you to certain lesser expensive areas or if higher give you more freedom.

The second bit is a classic piece of string. "fairly modestly" My guess the average person believes they live modestly. That includes the people barely above poverty and those with million euro incomes.

What you need to do is make a budget up. Include everything. Food,utilities, etc.

Things to think about. The sort of home you're thinking about will have higher costs and other problems. A rural house will require a car. Insurance,fuel and maintenance every year. It might be in an broadband dark area. If access to the internet matters you'll need to check this first. It might rely on expensive propane. Or not have sewer access . You'd need to budget for septic tanks . Even food. You'll need to drive to the larger hypermarkets . There might be only one nearby. If you don't want to drive the small local stores can be expensive. You'd still likely need to drive.

You're also grown up Hate to mention this but the older we get the more access to medical care matters. A rural home won't be in walking distance to the pharmacy. Or worse the hospital. Think about that. I assume you both drive but imagine if only one of you drives and that person has a problem.

Rural homes are romantic and can be wonderful during the summer. But if a freak snowstorm or mudslide blocks the only road it'll stop being appealing. Just ask yourself why are so many of these houses for sale? Or just sitting empty.

If the idea is to work as a hobby fine. But if you'll need the income understand it'll be hard. Unemployment is high. Expats tend to be in more expensive areas. What you earn will be offset by the higher home prices. Families that can afford English language tutors are also more likely in the cities then some rural towns. Obviously cities are larger but incomes are also higher.

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Old 14th January 2018, 10:48 AM
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Superb reply from Nick! Only one I did not spot was income tax, this is high in Italy, last I looked was 23% start AND without the big UK 11,000+ allowance!

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Old 14th January 2018, 02:07 PM
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Thanks Geordieborn for your reply... the areas we are considering are Liguria (ease of travelling to and from UK in car) or Abruzzo... we just love this region. We want to be no more than 20 mins to the sea. We are hoping to spend around 150000 euros on a house and we want rural (ish) because we want to have chickens and cats and dogs etc. We will be keeping our house in the UK and renting it out. We expect to have around 800 euros per month income from the UK, we would have savings but would prefer to keep them in the bank! How much more do you think we would need to survive? I will be 55 in two years and my wife 50 so hoping we won't need much medical support just yet! I am an Italian national with Italian passport and codice fiscale and my wife will be also by the time we get there... do you think this will aid the purchasing side of things?
Thanks again for your advice - all advice is welcome!!!

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Old 14th January 2018, 02:09 PM
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Thank you NickZ for your super advice! (I though Geordieborn had written it!)

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Old 14th January 2018, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeordieBorn View Post
Superb reply from Nick! Only one I did not spot was income tax, this is high in Italy, last I looked was 23% start AND without the big UK 11,000+ allowance!
Wow that is hefty! Is there any tax allowance?
What about council tax... is there an equivalent? I'm imagining that there is usual costs like water, gas, electricity, insurance, phone, broadband, tv channels and car costs... is there anything else that we don't have in the uk?

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Old 14th January 2018, 03:09 PM
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I would not want you to think it is mad idea or not the dream move it seems to be. It’s more I would not want to see you or anyone lose a lot of money if it did not work out. In fact I wish we had done the very same at your age or even earlier.
I would add to this, but you need to look at the full tax rates first….
Tax (%) Tax Base (EUR)
23% 0 - 15,000
27% 15,001-28,000
38% 28,001-55,00
41% 55,001-75,000
43% 75,001 and over

There is no allowance amount and it's likely you will be liable for tax on any UK rent.
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Old 14th January 2018, 05:51 PM
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Thank you GeordieBorn for the information on tax. I must admit I didn't realize the personal taxation rate was so steep!
My aim is not to work in Italy but live off rental income from the property in the Uk (approximately £200 per month once the mortgage repayments have been taken out), my private pension which I can draw at 55 (although I won't get any where near the 'full term' rate), and hopefully some earnings from my wife as described above. I'm hoping to occupy myself with renovation work, home improvements and developing the land. The hope is that we have as few bureaucratic dealings as possible, as I'm aware bureaucracy in Italy can be a nightmare, and eventually be as self-sufficient as possible (without going to extremes like knitting my own clothes). I'm a qualified electrician and decent DIYer so hope to install solar panels, irrigation system, rain water collection etc.
Does anyone live this kind of life, and have any more idea of living costs? I want to make sure we have enough 'back up' in the bank to cover any lean spots, and hopefully enjoy a quieter life without the stress of life in the UK.
Thanks for reading, and all advice is appreciated as always.

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Old 14th January 2018, 09:29 PM
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Ha! Well the tax has still not put you of then? We were looking at almost the very same and ended up doing very little of it. Then again we did not have your skills. From what I've read of your posts you still need to ask many more questions. A good start here, but a long way to go. Like Nick said, it depends on your life style, but indications are yours is the type that does not need too much. We (well I) budgeted to the nth degree and was well out, but thatís because we actually live cheaper here than we expected. Still, there are many things here very different, so donít take anything for granted, and I mean anything. You know about the tax now (I hope you clocked about the rent), you may wish to think about car insurance (expensive here) and have a look at the process of buying one, gas, unless itís town gas is expensive, there are areas here that have serious water shortages at times . Okay just examples and the car buying is not something you do too often, but it is a flavour and there are lots more. Just a last word for now, when we were looking to buy someone told us most buying only last 5-7 years and go back. Sorry to say this, but from the people we have got to know over the years we have been here, that seems to be near the mark, hence my earlier warning(s).

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Old 15th January 2018, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonymax290161 View Post
Wow that is hefty! Is there any tax allowance?
What about council tax... is there an equivalent? I'm imagining that there is usual costs like water, gas, electricity, insurance, phone, broadband, tv channels and car costs... is there anything else that we don't have in the uk?

There is a tax allowance. It's called the "no tax area". From memory it starts at about 6K. At 75 I think it climbs to 8K. Per person so double for couple. That's the easy bit. The hard bit is there is a complex formula that lowers this area based on your income. IIRC once your income hits about 30K a year you'll have lost the whole 6K.

There is a garbage tax. It's based on number of residents and house size. It'll also vary based on the town. Figure a couple hundred Ä per year.

My point about health care wasn't about today but in twenty years if you're still here you might not want to be in the country.

With a budget of Ä150k if you avoid Chiantishire you might be able to buy two homes. Certainly shouldn't have any trouble finding a place to buy. BUT that should send you a couple of messages. Why are there so many for sale? Why do they take so long to sell? Don't buy with the idea of reselling. Buy with the intention to keep forever.

800 a month if the house is paid for and you have savings to deal with unplanned emergencies should easily handle a modest lifestyle. No taking the Aston to the casino but you could manage.

Being Italian won't hurt but it won't help you buy. It will make it easier to get residence and your health card but that's about it.

What will you do with the animals when you drive back to the UK?

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