Recently, the Live and Invest Overseas e-letter has been talking about France in the run-up to their upcoming conference about living and investing there. France is not one of the countries we’ve been considering as a retirement destination because of the expense. But with headlines like, “Your Second Home In France (Could Cost As Little As 45,000 Euro),” is it worth reconsidering, I wonder?
Correspondent Lucy Culpepper writes with enthusiasm about the Languedoc and Bearn regions of the country and touts a one-bedroom apartment for 28,000 Euro, a stone townhouse needing renovation for $42,700, a two-bedroom village house furnished for $70,419. . . she makes it sound very enticing.
Kathleen Peddicord writes glowingly about the joys of Parisian life, which she and her family enjoyed for several years before moving to Panama.
“We lived in Paris for four years, with two children, and I’m here to tell you that we were able to control our costs within a very reasonable budget.”
Unfortunately, she doesn’t define that “very reasonable budget.” According to an email, it’s possible to “live in France on US $1,300 a month.”
Would that it were true! Year after year, France is voted the country with the best quality of life and best health care. Our daughter has just returned from a 2-1/2 month trip to France and she definitely fell in love with Paris. Our son speaks French fluently, has fond memories of a visit and speaks of going there to live. The thought of living in France is tremendously appealing on many levels.
I just have a hard time believing that it’s affordable on a Social Security income.
I’d love to hear from any expats in France who can provide some real-world experience!
photo by Peter Curbishley on flickr
You can share your French experience — good, bad or ugly — by clicking the Comment link below.
fly in the web
I have lived in rural France for some twenty years and never cease to be exasperated at the con tricks perpetrated upon those thinking of moving there.
Thjat’s why I started blogging – friends kept asking me why I wasn’t singing from the same hymn sheet as the ‘living the dream’ magazines and a blog seemed easier than a round robin letter.
You need real money to live in France….but what you get out of it depends on what you’re looking for.
Thanks for the comment. When you mention the “real money” you need to live in France, can you share a budget range for living in the countryside as you do?
fly in the web
To some extent, it depends on your basic income…how much income tax and thus the iniquitous CSG which goes to paying off government deficits…whether you qualify by age or lack of income for exoneration from taxe d’habitation, whether you heat by electricity -bills soaring – or by gas – price for filling the tank soaring likewise….
House and car insurance is expensive. Remember your top up health insurance even if you can qualify for the national health coverage. Existing health problems can cost you a lot there.
Works done to the house are expensive too.
I cannot see how, with running a car as you need to in the country, even with grouping your trips and doing all the economy tips you know, you can escape with much less than 2,500 U.S. dollars. At that level, life is not exactly a round of pleasure.
If you want to eat out often, do holidays, etc., then budget more.
You wouldn’t believe it but I’ve wasted all day digging for some articles about this. You’re a lifesaver, it was an excellent read and has helped me out to no end. Cheers!
I’m a single Mum with 2 children and earning about 1200€ a month. I’m scraping by with the help of various allocation which go up and down with my fluctuating teaching salary.
Life is no bed of roses but you do get help here and not sure I’d get the same in the UK There is health insurance for very low incomes – the best is going to the Asste Sociale who gets you all the help. And income can be supplemented with teaching jobs. Like anywhere if you’re on a low income you adjust your living with it.
House prices are much more exopensive now and I’m not sure its possible to find the dream home for next to nothing like before. France is expensive but you get help!
Thanks for passing along that information. A couple of questions for you — whereabouts in France do you live, and to get the assistance you mention, do you have to be a legal, permanent resident?