How much does it take to live?

Long time since I vistted these pages, but now I am looking for some advice.
With rent paid, I am advised that people here in France can live on €832,00 per month. That apparently is the assessment made by the Government .
As I am just finding myself in the position of being an aged (79) gent on my own, I would be interested to hear if this is a realistic figure, and where can a decent home be bought for around €70000 cash. I would want 2-beds and 60-70m2. Again how realistic (or unrealistic) is this?

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It’s not a case of what you can manage to live off, there is a minimum income linked to getting a CdS. There are plenty of places where you could buy a comfortable house for €70,000 bit there is a lot more to quality of life than having a cheap property.

Hello David. Its more of establishing a budget more than obtaining money. Could you suggest areas in the Aquitaine wort looking at? It is a region I like. Currently I am in the Limousin.


I suggest you simply use Google (or whatever search engine) and trawl through the Immobilier sites…

Houses have never sold quickly, as a rule, so there is always lots to look at.

Thus you will get a guide of prices and what you can get for your money… as well as checking out the various areas of France…

As David says, the cost of the home is immaterial… it will depend on what is going-on in the area… and what services are available in a given locality…

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I think it also depends on whether you want to “live” or “survive”. I might be able to survive on the government figure, but I don’t think it would be much of a (happy) life - no beer money :beer::beer:

This may help Norman, over a hundred properties in Aquitaine at your price on this site. And by the way welcome back.

I think it really depends on your aspirations and expectations. Of course you could live on 200+ euros a week - but would you be happy doing so? That would be a simple lifestyle, with few luxuries.

I suggest you sit down with your bank statements and cheque book covering the last year and work out how much you have spent on different things. Travel, food, entertainment, utilities, presents, charitable donations, house maintenance, and so. Then you can reflect on how much of what you spent you could do without - or perhaps be pleasantly surprised and find you already live within that budget.

Generally we’ve found life in France is not hugely different in cost than life in UK. Some things are more expensive, others less, but it works out even overall partly because we adjust what we do to avoid paying over the odds for things.

And if you are contemplating buying a house, think hard about running costs. A better insulated home, in good condition, can make a big difference.


Thank you Jane. I al coming out of amuch bigger house with the associated expenses, but in reality I am looking for half that size and in reality little knowledge of running costs as to my shame I suppose, I left that to my wife who was infinitely more practical and organised than me! At my age and a lifetime of travelling my demands/needs are far less than ever before. I have my vast collection of films and books and music to keep me occupied, and at least one cat for company - and possibly more as I do look after some strays currently.
Belatedly a look for a simpler but still comfortable life is what I am looking for now.

Thank you Dan, and how very kind to be remembered! It has been a bit of trial and tribulation over the past few years, and I am hoping to be able to put that behind me now - far too old to keep fighting!

I will take a good look at the site.

Thanks again!

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I would be very tempted to steer towards the more modern houses - less character but warmer and less work.

(If I only took my own advice as we are about to buy a 3rd old house!)

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I am hoping that the very last house that I may need to move to will be a modern bugalow type. :slight_smile:

I visited the newly built bungalow of my Thai Chi teacher (85 years young and still teaching) before he moved to the north.
It was light, airy, spacious and so practical that I was almost visualising putting all my belongings in place :wink:

Personally I believe that you can put your own charm and character into a home :slight_smile:

Absolutely, Ann… we moved many times (when I was a child)

then, my OH and I repeated the tradition… and no matter where we were, we always made it “ours”.

I recall my daughter aged 9… saying in our 3rd home… Oh goody, you’ve put up the Tapley shelving… now it feels like home… (talk about an old head on young shoulders… :thinking:)


There is a Uk website that helps you work out how much money you need to live comfortably - which will give you an idea as you can see whether these figures match what you spend now. There’s not a massive difference between France and the UK if you have your housing paid for, and buy somewhere economical to run.

This gives the following nreakdown for a pensioner

For a decent standard of living, you need a pension of:

giving a net income of
£272.45 per week

So that your income, after tax and benefits adjustments, is enough to cover what the public think is needed for a minimum decent standard of living.

Show outgoings/income breakdown

Weekly outgoings
Water rates
Council Tax
Household Insurances
Gas, electricity, etc
Other housing costs
Household goods
Household services
Personal goods and services
Travel costs and motoring
Social and cultural activities
Weekly income
Your Pension Income
Your Income Tax
After Tax Income
Pension Credit
Housing Benefit
Council Tax Support
Winter Fuel Payment
These calculations assume the household is eligible for benefits and tax credits, depending on its income. View detailed results and calculator in Excel.

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Hi Jane, that is interesting, and a bit more than I would ave thought but I see rent is inclued and the enetrtainment is also higher than I would anticipate, so broadly speaking it would seem close enough aliowing for variableson motoring for example and food. Thanks again for the interesting comparison,


There is a very long thread somewhere… about just this sort of thing… what does it cost to live/survive… and everyone has different ideas and acceptable levels…

If you can locate it… you might find it useful… it is in one of the Brexit discussions… I think from Summer 2018

sorry for the typos but waiting for cataract operations in January and the eyes are not right at the moment!

Absolutely Stella. I am not a great or adventurous shopper (or cook! And a definite wine cask man these days. I have about 7-8 basic meals - excluding salads in the Summer. I confess to buying the Lidl 400g cans of things when I am very lazy. Cooking for one is a bit boring isn’t it?

At the moment the sudden loneliness is the hardest bit to handle. I have very good neighbours but none are what I would call close friends. V. small village is why I am looking to go somewhere more animated, but still have to consider budgets! Who doesn’t?

How does 9,154 give an income of 272.45 per week?

@vero. No idea, not my calculation. It says net, but I thought that amount was below tax threshold. Maybe the website explains.