Doing the reverse of you all


Might seem strange but for two years now I have been thinking about moving to the UK permanently. I am a graduated teacher from the University of Glasgow and I am currently teaching English in France. I am of course a French citizen. Do you recommend it or should I just forget about it? What do you really think? Thanks.


Peter, why not? If anyone knows how money 'talks' (persuades?) it would have to be him wouldn't it?

I blame Sepp Blatter !!!

John, I don't think that is the problem, as my reading of the Stock Market is that they are far more pragmatic in money matters than politicians. In fact the Greek situation offers some potential for private investors to grab bargains in what few valid businesses exist in Greece, but above all in Property.

I looked at the prices of Greek Properties yesterday and saw that they are at a high level. I haven't checked any charts showing a flow so can't be sure of my facts here, but it would seem that this sector at least is buoyant.

As there is no history indicating that the Greeks are even moderately in favour of paying taxes (and presumably gathering taxes) I think this sector will be of continuing interest, and ina couple of years time it will be HIGHLY interesting to see what names appear as owners who are based in the donor countries.

As I say, I am a cycnic.

Peter, lke you I am no expert and stand to be corrected, but my understanding is that so much pension money has been 'invested' in Greece, literally billions of euros, pounds etc., that if as seems likely the Greeks will do a runner and refuse to pay back anything, then those 'investment funds'would be permanently lost and have to be written off.

That would mean less in the overall pensions investment portfolios to pay interest on, and is assessed at creating a 10% shortfall. The question of course is the fact that Governments lend money to the IMF and EU as contributions and disbursement as 'aid' and not investment, which in turn also means a net loss to the Public Purse(s) - ie less money avaiable to the same number of recipients, meaning apparenty that a 10% reduction on payments all round will be necessary to 'balance the books'.

So both private and state pension funds will have a shortfall caused by the Greeks essentially stealing the money.

In truth it is the result of very bad lending procedures by these institutions, as it has been no secret that Greece has been a corrupt Nation at all levels for years and years. In other words a 'bad risk'. Cynical old me wonders why the loans were made on that basis, and where did the money end up? Backhanders anybody?

I suppose so John but surely if the Greek 'presence' in the EU is such a loss-maker (with the rest of us bailing it out etc) then wouldn't it's exit from the club actually increase the profitability for the rest of us ? Or is that being too logical ?

Are they suggesting that it would lead to a stock market ‘crash’ thus devaluing the pension fund investments?

True enough Norman.

I wonder if you or anyone reading this can explain something ? I admit to being a bit of an idiot when it comes to money matters and I was listening to someone on SKY News explaining that a Greek exit from Eurozone could well mean a DECREASE of about 10% the value of UK private pensions ! Why would such an exit devalue UK pensions ? I would have thought the opposite would have been more likely that is, an increase in value if anything ! I'm confused (as usual !)

I suppose being in the Civil Service anywhere is at least some sort of protection to receiving a State Pension so worth consideration, but speaking from bitter experience when both my wife's and my own pensions from Australia were simply wiped out by strokes of administrative pens (and even those in Australia are now 'means tested' and if you own your own home for example that is just about enough to deny you one these days) I would suggest to all and sundry that putting reliance on a potential state pension from any country should be treated with caution.

The world is turning in quite nasty directions, and even superranuation schemes are not totally safe. It can happen anywhere, note how 'ageing populations' are now almost invariably associated with the words 'problems of'.

Don't rely on anything or anyone other than yourself, because no-one is going to consider you better. Above all aim to own a property - almost ANY property, as few governments or banks really want your bricks and mortar - but your cash and cash entitlements are something else.

Being perfectly bilingual ie having 2 native languages is an asset but should be attached to other skills, JUST being bilingual isn't enough, unfortunately.

I have very little to say that is positive about the UK where I lived for 28 years having come from Ireland as an immigrant before arriving as an immigrant again in beautiful France, the experience left me sad as once the UK was a good place to be and bring up children.
Scotland is beautiful, wild in parts with savage weather sometimes and a lot of midges. It is full of friendly people…the upside would be if England leaves the EU then Scotland would have a referendum to leave the UK and they would stay with the union so your French pension being paid in Euros would not be a problem

PGCE in French and History. Taught three years in Britain then went back to France got married and took the CAPES in 2000 ...then voilà ;)

Assuming France remains in the Eurozone and I suppose assuming the UK remains out of it ?

Jean - Louis, I would like to make one practical point. Any pension you have earned in the French system will be payable in Euros. You would be at the mercy of exchange rates to receive this pension in the UK.

Spot on as regards your status here as a fonctionere as opposed to UK! I was quite high up in the tax civil service in UK, but with no status outside the job...mention to services when necessary here what I did and their respect is obvious, as here you have to have higher education and jump through more hoops initially to achieve the level I obtained...Same with the status of teachers in UK, now, sadly.

I'm with some later posters that you don't have to necessarily chuck the dream - just put in place safeguards. I'd rent out your place here, rent in eg, UK, and choose very carefully the area you'd move to (having a place in Scotland, and being Welsh, I'm biased in advocating swerving most of England, in general!) and if not uni level, swerve also the secondary education offerings. Or widen your field of vision to include the far east, but again with rental in mind, in case any move isn't for you.

All the very best for the future :-)

I'm sure most of us have regrets but we can only do as our instinct allows surely ?

Regarding your shipping analogue, following a few years in the Merchant Navy I can assure you there were times when I was praying for the ship to be in a nice safe harbour...

I hope you don’t come to regret your decision when you think of what might have been. In 1986 I gave up what was seen as ‘a job for life’ and accepted a three year contract to teach abroad. I have never returned ‘home’, but continued teaching in Europe until recently. I believe that my life has been enhanced by my experiences and have never regretted my decision. I still have friends who live and work where they did 40 years ago and most of them are comfortable, settled and happy. I look at their lives and am glad that I took a different route. Staying in a secure environment is all well and good but if there is a dream or an adventure within you will security be enough? As a teenager I had a poster which stated, A ship in harbour is safe… But that is not where a ship is meant to be. I believe that that statement influenced my life choices.

I understand you made a decision, but base any future thoughts on adding in some positives. The Scottish countryside is lovely, the people friendly, the children well-behaved and all ages and types of people will talk to you, most of that applies to cities too but there are bad areas. The weather is not so nice, generally wetter, generally colder, a lot less sunshine. There is space and freedom to roam. No doubt there are still parts of England blessed like this with better weather too but from my travels I'd say they are expensive places to live in. The values in the UK seem to be more and more of the "work hard and long, get paid lots of money" but that means no time for yourself except in a hurry along with everyone else. Which is possibly why so many English head to France, admittedly with a nest egg, or ties to the UK, or for the cheap property and a dream. The negatives of the UK = politicians, poor road repairs, bad signage, crowded traffic, rush hour (2 hours in the morning, 3 or 4 hours in the evening), high prices, poor pensions, some towns no longer "English" but with more recent immigrant cultures dominating, although most English are descended from immigrants in some way.

J-L as you can see, you don't have to dump your dreams, just adjust them. Good luck.

Well done in yr decision! Kids are better behaved in France than in the UK so for that I think you have made a good choice. I tried to teach in the UK but could not handle the kids (11-15) and got out in time and joined the Civil Service. It was an excellent decision for me. So, Good luck!