Living in France

  onokeck 15:30 16 Dec 2006

Okay, I know this is a strange thread for this forum, but I know what a broad spectrum this forum covers so hopefully I can get some sensible and helpful advice, I'm trying to determine what would be a comfortable monthly income after taxes for a retired couple with no mortgage, no debts, etc. to live in a 3 BR villa in a rural French village (namely the area of Nerac in Gironde). Perhaps someone knows someone living in France who might be able to offer some "ball park" figures in Euro currency. I am 72 and my wife is 66 and quite frankly we are fed up to the back teeth with the way England is heading. We have spent a lot of holidays in this area and like what we see, but of course living in an area and visiting a few weeks each year is quite a different thing. If anyone has any contacts or maybe suggestions they wouold be welcome. Thanks. Casey

  rodriguez 16:05 16 Dec 2006

I don't know a lot about the currency, except that 1 Euro is about 67p but someone on here will probably know a bit more. You'll have to prepare for some things before moving over. For a start, a lot of people in rural French villages won't speak much English so you'd need to know a bit of French.

I can help with the electrical side of things though. Firstly, you'll need to change the plugs on all of your UK electrical equipment if you take it over there. French power outlets are round with 2 pins and a stub for earthing (you may know this already if you've been on holiday there), but they use the same voltage so you should be ok with just changing the plugs. The one thing that might not work over there is your TV and video. French TV signals are in SECAM and we use PAL-I, so you might get a picture but it will probably be black & white with no sound. Stereo and other equipment though should be fine. If you want to get TV from the UK, you can with a satellite dish as the Sky Digital signal covers most of Europe and the signal in France is pretty strong. click here for more information. You can also recieve the regular BBC and ITV channels free anyway if you don't want to pay for a subscription.

  Kate B 16:32 16 Dec 2006

France isn't particularly cheap for day to day living expenses. Property is less expensive than some parts of the UK - if you're coming from London you'll have a nice fat surplus if you sell your London home, but I wouldn't count on it being a whole lot cheaper actually to live there.

I love France and speak French - and incidentally, it's important to learn the language if you're going to live outside Paris - but I find much daily stuff in France utterly exasperating: shops shut on Monday afternoons, difficult to get meals outside fairly clearly defined mealtimes, that kind of thing. I'm sure there are expat forums - it would be worth seeking them out.

  rodriguez 16:45 16 Dec 2006

Kate's just reminded me about the shops shutting up - when I was staying in a town called St Aygulf (which isn't far from Nice) a lot of places shut in the afternoon for a couple of hours. Also the public transport system was a bit weird as you never knew when a bus would turn up. Sometimes they would be half an hour to an hour later than the time on the timetable. Anyway, click here for a forum for expats in France.

  driving man 17:38 16 Dec 2006

#Please try click here. youll have to register to use the forums (just like PCA) otherwise the site is free and has a lot of information from those who have either moved or purchased property there.
Try SW of poitiers for good value. Not too far from Atlantic coast and just far away not to be "English"
Exchange rate is favourable now but be prepared to talk French in country areas.

PS if you dont like it remem that property back in UK will appear dear.
Would suggest you integrate and find a little job.
Also investigate pension and tax implications.

  mymate 18:15 16 Dec 2006

If i was you,i would rent out my house here,then use the cash to rent in France for a year. too see if you really like it.

I know a lot of people that have got out of this country,sold up every thing,and cant afford to come back,because of the rising property prices.

  tony58 19:07 16 Dec 2006

"quite frankly we are fed up to the back teeth with the way England is heading". heading where?by all means go but not start running the country down,

  Sapins 19:33 16 Dec 2006

mymate has given you the best advice, you could rent in different areas as well.

The differences are what makes France attractive, you will have time to take a long lunch while the shops are shut, by the way don't the shops shut on Wednesdays in the UK? The people are welcoming, and it is obviously better if you learn the language so you can integrate better, but I know lots of people who can hardly speak any French at all, depends what you want.

If you are going to rent you could keep the English plugs and use adapters. The French are very much up with technology, electricity and plumbing are unrecognisable from say, 10 years ago.

It's difficult to give figures on how much income you will need, but, outgoings. e.g. rates, income tax, Electricity and water, are certainly very much cheaper and they keep appointments. Telephone and Internet are as good as anywhere else and broadband is available over most of the country.

If you can live ok on your income in the UK you will manage much better here.

One last thing, use French artisans if you need work doing, I know there are *some* English workers but you will be better off with French ones, get an estimate (devis), they will keep to it, turn up on time, work non-stop usually from 7-30am to at least 6pm, mostly later than that. The local Town hall will give you the names and you get a 10 year guarantee with the work.

Good luck, I think you will enjoy yourselves, so go for it.



Oh, nearly forgot, if you are not aware, Smile when you meet, keeps the French Sweet.

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