Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Wait, you aren’t old enough! (Cleverly disguised version of “How old are you?”) We are too young to retire – but are doing it anyway! Jim and I will both turn 60 in 2019.
  2. Are you Italian? No, neither Jim nor I have Italian blood.
  3. Why Italy? We fell in love with the people, the culture, the history, the art, the food, the wine, and the way of life.
  4. Are you going to buy a cool villa in the countryside? No, we are going to rent a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment in the city center of Lucca for at least a year. After that, we’ll stay in Lucca, move to the countryside, or figure out what is next. In the countryside, I’m afraid that we’d be inclined to stay home and not really integrate into the community. Also in Lucca, you really don’t need a car. Major forms of transportation are walking and biking.
  5. Are you going to buy a tiny car? Eventually, yes. First we need to get our driver’s license. Passing the written test will be tough and it is in Italian. For the first 6 months or a year (still trying to confirm!), we can rent a car whenever needed using our US driver’s license.
  6. Do you speak Italian? Parlo un’po italiano.  I started studying in 2017, using various means and methods. Jim started with a 2-week class in Lucca in 2018. It’s going to take a while to really learn the language.
  7. What about health insurance? The Italian health system is rated very highly but is very different than the US system. It is socialized medicine so is covered by our taxes. You can also buy private insurance, but there aren’t a lot of doctors that take it, because there isn’t a lot of people who spend the extra money for it.
  8. What is the cost of living in Italy? Lucca? Large cities (Rome, Milan, Florence) are similar to the DC area. Small Tuscan towns have lower costs of living. Other regions (Umbria, Marche, …) have even lower costs of living.
  9. What does Derek think? He’s happy for us and looking forward to visiting.
  10. What is Mickey (JoAn’s sister and housemate) going to do? Moving to Italy is our dream, not Mickey’s. She’s currently planning to return to Ohio to live with a dear friend. She expects to have long visits to Italy. I suspect that they will occur in the cold Ohio winter!
  11. Are you taking your dog? No, he’ll stay here with some prior housemates that love him!
  12. What will you do with your house in Virginia? Sell it and most of the contents. Sentimental items, wine that can age, and some other stuff will be stored in Florida.

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