There are some places in the U.S. we'd casually considered for
relocation but as we're in our mid-60's, we were concerned about the
burden we'd put on younger family members who'd have to deal with the
fallout if we got into a situation where we couldn't manage by
ourselves. They were also just remote enough that the distance from
major medical facilities was a consideration, not that it would be in
Anyway, just something else to consider?
I think that's a huge factor for us, Kate.
We're maybe a couple years younger than y'all (63 & 64), but no doubt in the same boat re: the daunting prospect of being away from family, even in our own country, much less an ocean and a continent away if a sudden, life-threatening illness should strike.
And of course, the virus has heightened all our sensibilities towards that question--'who will take care of us'? Last thing we want to be is a burden to our children. Yet, I do believe we have some time. Judging by my wife's & my parents, they were vibrant, traveling & self-managing right into their early 80's, then slowed down over a few years, then were pretty much dependent until they passed in their early 90's. Not saying that's going to be us, but still, good genes do help.
That's why this thread (and others of the same ilk) are so great in that reading these stories is a clarifier as to the 'plan'. Because there's always the plan, right? How will one spend an affirming & worthwhile retirement? In our trips to Italy, my wife and I have increasingly tested the waters, trying to somewhat assimilate and get a sense of the neighborhood, whether it be in Sicily, Florence or Rome, discussing how our future-world senior Italian adventures would play into the mix.
But a week at a time isn't even an aperatif--it's barely a taste. You don't know until you know. Even forum regulars & trip vets Laurel and Chani have related their experiences about how making friends over there isn't all that easy. I believe one has to go in to an extended time trip to Italy with the sober reality that it might just be you & the wife, or solo if single, and totally be OK with that prospect from a social standpoint. Acquaintances are one thing--true friends are quite another.
I believe I've related a story or two of our friends, an older couple from our local area in Chicagoland that we met at a B&B in Salerno a few years back and became good chums, there and back here at home. Their deal was he was born in Rome, came to Chicago at 18 to work for the Bank of Italy, eventually met a girl who was a teacher, and they married, had two daughters. At about our age now, they retired and--at least to my way of thinking--have the best of both worlds. With dual citizenship kind of facilitating the process, they could easily escape harsh Chicago winters by being in Rome for just under 3 months a year (where it's temperate January through March, 40's-60 Fahrenheit), then back here for the duration annually.
On our last trip, we followed them all around Rome and their funky neighborhood, and up to Orvieto, which is like their second (I guess 3rd!) home. Just a truly, truly livable existence, fascinating to observe, totally different than some of our pals who at this point in their lives winter in Florida or Arizona. It was like a manual--this is how we did it. And that's how we'd like to do it, if our health and finances allow. Wish us luck!