Hello, I’m Jo, Phil Scanlan’s partner.
Approximately 2 weeks ago we decided to look into an early retirement to the south of France. We’re in the initial stages of research on tax, superannuation, stocks, shares, Assurance Vie, Visas, learning the French language, index funds. . . the list goes on. A month ago I’d never even looked at my superannuation balance!
This is a very exciting time for us but it’s also daunting.
I am English and moved to Australia when I was 24. I took French for a couple of years at school but chose the German language as my GCSE subject instead. I lived in Germany for a year when I was in Uni and the easier option would be to retire there, as I’m already familiar with the language. . . but the south of France draws me in due to the temperate climate and housing affordability. (Phil and I have built 2 houses in Sydney and have a lot of experience with DIY, so we’re looking at a renovator).
We’re very much looking forward to quitting work and spending our time doing things we love.
One thing I keep reading of people who retire early to Europe is that they “wish they’d done it earlier”. We’re hoping to live this dream.
Right now our biggest conundrum is whether to pump “after tax” cash into superannuation or just to leave it in the offset account for the mortgage (or even invest it. . . gulp!). Does anyone have any experience with the rates charged by the French government with drawing down their super or taking it out as a lump sum? I’ve read that if you draw it down you’re taxed the normal banded rate, and that if you take it as a lump sum you’re taxed 6.75% (7.5% minus 10% of the 7.5%). . . but what about the social charges?
Thanks in advance. . . looking forward to reading more and contributing more