5 reasons why you should choose retirement in France

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Retire in France

Wondering where to spend your retirement years? Why not consider a retirement in France? For retirees, France offers an excellent quality of life as well as all the modern comforts you enjoy at home.

While France does not have a special incentive visa for retirees, the retirement process in France is fairly straightforward. You apply for a long-term visa at the French consulate closest to your home country, after which you get a visitor stay card. To prove that you have the financial means to retire in France, you will need to provide statements from your pension plan or your bank. Make sure your health plan covers you in France, or get a suitable plan that would cover you in France.

Before moving permanently, we recommend a three-month trial in France to find your home port and make contacts with other retirees. Because Paris is the most expensive place to live in France, you might want to consider retiring to the French countryside or other bustling cities, where real estate, rents, and the cost of living. are cheaper.

How to retire in France

Generally, it is not difficult for North Americans to obtain long-term residency and retire in France, but you should check your particular situation before making any plans. Many documents will be required and the current requirements are as follows:

  • A passport, signed and valid for three months after the last day of stay
  • An application form, signed and completed legibly
  • A passport-size photo glued / stapled to the form
  • A current passport
  • Proof of means of income
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • Proof of accommodation in France
  • Proof of legal status in North America (copy of green card, etc.)
  • Letter promising not to work in France
  • Marriage certificate, if applicable
  • Processing fee
  • An electronic ticket or a reservation file indicating the date of departure to France
  • A long-term residence form, which must be completed, dated, signed and notarized

Please check with your nearest French Consulate for complete instructions.

The climate in France

France has a predominantly temperate climate, although there are many regional variations. Average winter temperatures range from 32 ° F to 46 ° F and average summer temperatures range from 61 ° F to 75 ° F.

For more warmth and sun, watch Midday, the term that the French themselves use for the deep south of the country. Provence and Languedoc are characterized by mild winters and very hot summers.

Along with the northern and central regions, Paris has cool and fairly rainy winters, although the summers here are generally warm. Winters are much colder in the eastern regions of Alsace-Lorraine and in the mountainous regions of the Alps, the Pyrenees and the Massif Central.

Be aware that the French use the Celsius (° C) temperature scale, so don’t expect to see temperatures given in Fahrenheit once there.

5 reasons why you should retire in France

By Stewart Richmond

There are many reasons why you should consider moving to France: The beaches of Normandy, the beautiful cityscape of Paris, the seaside resorts of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean … but France is more than a pretty place or live…

Dordogne
France is also, undeniably, a nice corner of life

France is also, undeniably, a nice place to live.

As HECorrespondent in the South of France, I have lived here for a few years now and have discovered that it is also a very convenient place to retire… Here are my top five reasons:

1. Low cost of living

While many items are similar in price to items in North America, many are much, much cheaper. France has a thousand different cheeses and they start at $ 1.15 for a house brand Camembert or Brie. You can try a different cheese every day of the year without breaking the bank.

Wine, beer, and spirits are ridiculously cheap. You’ll find a red or a white among hundreds in the local supermarket to suit your individual palate for around $ 3.50. You can get a supermarket baguette for 40 cents or a homemade baguette from the bakery for $ 1.15. French supermarkets are not allowed to throw away food, so there are always plenty of great deals.

2. Cheap real estate

Of course, if you want to live in the 6th arrondissement in central Paris or in a Mediterranean seaside resort, it’s going to be expensive. But there are hundreds of properties in beautiful country towns and villages with all the work done at very affordable prices. You can get a tiny townhouse for as little as $ 34,400, or less if you want to fix a project. For $ 92,000 you can get a great house with a garden. Imagine selling your home from home, buying a wonderful home in France for less than $ 100,000 and ultimately living like royalty.

3. Easy and inexpensive travel and connectivity

France has a brilliant rail system and there are terrific discounts for people over 60. Its largest international airport, Charles de Gaulle, has a TGV (very fast train) station under the terminal, so you get off the train, go up the escalator and you are in the airport terminal.

It is also well placed for easy travel to the UK and the rest of Europe. There is free movement between France and Spain, so take a drive. Ditto for Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. There are also many regional airports that offer connecting flights all over the world. My wife recently took a round trip flight from Limoges (Limousin) to London Stansted for less than $ 30. The roads are good and, while the tolls on major highways can be expensive, the roads are well maintained.

France also has excellent broadband and continuous fiber deployment with a choice of excellent mobile phone providers. Free WiFi is available in most places, especially the most popular tourist areas.

4. Health care

The healthcare system in France is the best in the world (WHO ranking). A visit to the doctor costs around $ 30 and after three months of residency you can get 70% back. The hospitals are great and the fees for the specialists are set by the government. Prescription drugs cost less than half the price you pay in the United States. If you develop a long-term illness such as cancer, diabetes, liver or kidney failure, the drugs are free.

5. You can drink water straight from the tap

One of the first questions in everything International life the event is: “Can you drink the water?” France has a remarkable configuration to ensure that water is drinkable straight from the tap. Every town, town, village and hamlet is connected. You will never have to buy bottled water again.

Premium: France has a polite, friendly population with a good sense of humor. The French are welcoming and if you learn a few words and phrases they will go out of their way to help you.

We recently moved after spending three years in a magnificent mansion in Bellac, a small town in Limousin. We now live in Aude, part of Languedoc-Roussillon where you can find a house close to Mediterranean beaches, historic towns to explore, a short drive from the ski slopes and a short run to Spain for some tapas . I have seen some great village homes for less than $ 105,000.

Decide on your own criteria and you might have more than the five I’ve listed, but before you make a decision on where to live the dream abroad, check out France.

Common FAQs on retirement in France

Can an American retire in France?

Yes, an American can retire in France. For visits over 90 days, you will need to request a temporary stay visa (a residence visa). You cannot apply during your vacation in France, you must apply for this residence visa at your nearest French consulate in the United States

How much do you need to retire in France?

It depends on your own lifestyle and where you settle down, but living well is very affordable in all parts of France. Two people can manage an apartment while still living well in France for between $ 2,100 and $ 2,500 per month.

Is France a good place to retire?

France is a great place to retire. France finished in the top 10 of our 2020 Global Annual Retirement Index. Reasons France is such a great place to retire include a low cost of living and the excellent healthcare on offer.


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