How much does it take to live?


(stella wood) #102

Aha… no wonder the various Maires were worried… sounds like this might have happened in the past… :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:


(Linda Jackson) #103

Hi Norman, we are in the same boat so to speak! Non-one really knows except for yourself what you can live on - I am constantly being told on what I should expect to live on. Our life style has and always will be based on economic living and we have been very happy living this way for many many years. Everyones’s means on what they spend their money on in life various so very much. We do not buy the latest gadgets nor eat out in restuarants - this is by choice not budget. We do not impulse buy. I don’t care what others do, you and I both know what we can live on and how we can manage on what we have, we also rescue cats and will continue to do so when we live in France. I hope you will son find you forever home in France and live happily ever after. Wishing you lots of luck for the future Norman.


(Ann Coe) #104

Totally agree Linda, my French ‘partner’ was shocked when I showed him my tax returns.“You can’t live on that” !

Well I do, and have done for many years, I was raised to believe that ‘you cut your cloth according to your means’ and never to buy goods on credit…

In this must have society, latest ‘phones, gadgets or whatever, I am appaled how people use credit for’ n’importe quoi’ !


(Véronique Langlands) #105

I think that if UK citizens are not en règle after Brexit they will be treated just like other non EU people (I realise this causes outrage, incomprehension and fury in the average British breast) and if they don’t comply with all the red tape necessary then they will be chucked out.
It makes no difference to us whether someone is Azeri or British or Chadian, they will be sent away if Ts are not crossed and Is dotted.

I also think things are going to get stricter, @Helen, please be en règle, for your own peace of mind.


(Helen Wright) #106

Well no…those types of figures would involve serous help from my mom or selling my home…

I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t set out to not get my Carte Vitale…it took many visits to CPAM…calls to utility companies for my last 3 months statements…visiting my bank to ask for statements…I was also asked for my taxe fonciere statement…taxe d’habitation statement and my impots sur le revenu statement…none of which I had as none of them were due until the autumn of 2017…I did tell her that but nevertheless visited the relevant departments to ask if they could give me a copy of what was due to be sent out in autumn…but obviously they couldn’t…

Eventually everything I had been able to give her was duly sent off to the processing centre…I was informed it could take at least 6 months before they sent me my Carte Vitale…so I marked the 6 month date on my calander and waited…waited 7 months actually …I was really excited when the letter arrived in my post box…fully expecting it to be my Carte Vitale…but it wasn’t…it was just asking for more information…so I put it on the back burner and there it’s sat gathering dust for 18 months…I don’t even know if that application is now lapsed and I will have to start again…???

So yep I seem to have put quite a lot of effort and hours and driving into not getting my Carte Vitale…x :slight_smile:

I had accepted a quote for my top up insurance since before I even left uk…

In the mean time I admit I have got a little jittery over how brexit will effect my partner in uk…will it affect the amount of time that he can spend here…


(stella wood) #107

Grief… you have been through the mill and back again by the sound of things… even so… thank your lucky stars that you have stayed healthy with no accidents/incidents.

re your partner in UK… presumably/perhaps … things will revert to how they were before EU … but, I’m blowed if I can remember what it was like… the only thing that sticks in my memory is the limit on cash we could take on holiday abroad… and that wasn’t anything to do with EU… :rofl:


(Peter Goble) #108

Paul, my wife and each I have a Carte Vitale. I am 80 and she is 75 so we are ‘covered’ by the S1 supplied by DWP.

But we still have to pay upfront charges for health care. This month I’ve paid 25 euro in cash just to renew a regular prescription, 25 euro to drop my pants and show her my shingles rash, and 35 euros cash for 5 days antiviral tablets and five small tubes of ointment. That’s 85 euros I had to find from a very tight monthly budget. Of course, I shall get a substantial amount back, perhaps 50 euros, but I shall still be out of pocket.

We pay 67 euro a month for a top-up mutuelle in case either of us has an accident and needs in-patient hospital treatment. Without it we should expect to pay up to 1000 euros upfront to get a bed, S1 or no S1.

The idea that S1 cover is some kind of magic health umbrella and that medical treatment is free is utter nonsense, and everyone should take it into account when deciding how to pay their way in France.

I’m not complaining, I wouldn’t be anywhere else.


(Ann Coe) #109

Since day one in France many, many years ago we followed all the regulations in place at the time. After all it was our choice to come here.
I already posted on another thread all the ‘demarches’ we had to go through, including visits to the French Embassy in London ( we lived 600 kms away) and documents in triplicate for the customs.
Times changed, Britain’ joined the club’ and things were made much easier.
We have seen, again over many years, that there were a certain type of British who ‘knew it all’, who made no effort to learn the language, who thought that they could ‘create their little corner of Britain’.
They arrived believing that they knew it all, they ‘cheated’ by not declaring their income, by driving their UK registered cars, and worse they thought that they were ‘saving rural France’.
Well it’s now that ‘the chickens come home to roost’.
Thankfully, for the moment, in my region they are not too numerous, I have come across them, they have even knocked on my door demanding help, not politely but in a manner of ‘well we are all British in a foreign country’, you speak French so what can you do to help?
I avoid these people like the plague. I am here, I will do all I can to help those who genuinly have made some effort yet have stumbled, as we all do, along the way.

For Helen, I do understand that she wants to just get on quietly with her life, she has never asked or expected what so many demand.
She is, and I can also understand, a very indipendant person. I admire her, she avoids doctors, (as do I, because there is a wealth of alternative treatment) . I abhor the fact that many doctors prescribe drugs for ‘minor problems’ when they could be avoided, she is not a drain on the system, she takes responsibility for herself…
However, to be ‘in the system’ after Brexit I do think that sadly Helen may have to rethink about what she needs to do.


(Paul Flinders) #110

No, I didn’t think that it would be - except that I had no idea whether (because ultimately the NHS would be billed) you would need a top-up mutuelle or not. I’ll stick your figure of 67 euros a month in the list.


(Peter Goble) #111

Maybe worth bookmarking Fabien Pelissier SFN’s resident insurance guru who helped us to get the right mutuelle at the best price at the right time, Paul. :point_right::watch::+1::rofl:


(Peter Goble) #112

Postscript to my last post, Paul: I thought that emergency hospital admission would not involve up-front payment, and I hypothesised a fractured hip following a fall at home, when I consulted Fabien.

He told me that such an eventuality would require me to present my credit card at the emergency department to ensure a bed, and to indemnify the medical and anxillary services I might need for a five-day stay and essential services. This might amount to a bill for multiples of 1,000 euros.

A basic mutuelle would obviate any such payment at the time, or subsequently. Until Fabien explained the situation carefully, I was in blissful ignorance.

This was dispelled when my wife was boarded for “urgent” bilateral cataract surgery in September, and we had to book a bed. In the event we cancelled the surgery, which we believe was unnecessary and part of an ophthalmology-optometry scam set up by a local private monopoly outsourced by the statutory health service, but I could hopelessly wrong about this, as I hereby state for the record. :thinking::roll_eyes::zipper_mouth_face:


(Paul Flinders) #113

Updating the list with Peter’s figures for his mutuelle brings the total estimated to 816€ per month - given the number of things we haven’t added in (some on purpose as I wanted to concentrate on the essentials) I think (well, I knew anyway) that Marie was in the ballpark with 1100-1200€ per month for a couple, and that is still not exactly living the high life.

I hope that helps Norman (and anyone else who stumbles on the thread).

I wonder if it is worth creating a new thread - just with the summary, as a resource for anyone wondering about this in future.


(stella wood) #114

Paul… the government already gives a minimum figure of what it considers folk need to live on…depending on age and circumstances… that is a minimum… and IMO anyone coming to France should try and ensure they will have more than that amount.

Everyone is different in their expectations … and how they choose to spend whatever they have… but it is not easy getting financial aid as an immigrant, when the ***t hits the fan…


(Paul Flinders) #115

Yes but this isn’t really to do with the government minimums - those figures (if I have understood correctly) are the levels at which French nationals become eligible for income support. Given that the point is to be able to live without state aid you have to demonstrate that you would not fall into requiring state support should you wish to live in France.

As you say you really need to have more than that if you want to move to France and enjoy life - no-one wants to live on the poverty line.

However I thought, having taken the trouble to come up with and discuss some real-world estimates of the expenses one will have to meet in daily life in France it might be more use at the top of a thread for use as a resource rather than stuck in the middle.

N’est-ce pas?


(Peter Goble) #116

Helen, the world would lose its will to spin, to breathe, and to support life and living creation if it were not for wise and generous souls like you.

I know you will never lose faith or give up your nurturing, grateful and sacrificial mission. And your dog will always walk at your side, here and in the eternal ever-present and elusive elsewhere.

Some of us lack your faith and your stamina, we blow hot and cold, unpredictable and inconsistent. So keep faith with your vocation and its fruits. When you jitter, we shall be here with you in solidarity. All will be well, all will be well. And all manner of things will be well.


(stella wood) #117

The cost of living in France topic gets thrashed, regularly… and what becomes obvious… as the thread continues… is the variation in what folk actually spend on the same items…

Take Health Care… Mutuelles are wonderful… but costs vary according to age and what sort of cover a person wants…

Peter is happy with 67 € a month… but that should not be used as a guide-figure… the variations are simply too great.

The figures that the government quote are on the link below… income necessary for an Immigrant from within EU asking for a CdS…

and I would suggest that they are used as a guide of absolute minimum income, for anyone intending/planning to come to France.


(norman clark) #119

Not sure I am doing this properly but trying (hopefully to respond in a broad sense to all who have answered. I am a° astonished at the numbers, and this certainly seems to be a subject near to everyone’s heart!

i suppose looking at the majority of replies that I should have mentioned I took French Nationality some 18 months ago, which does of course make a difference; For the moment at least I have Dual Nationality simply because there is no requirement to divest myself of the British one. Also I receive a small part-pension from there, as I do from Belgium (but a once a year miniscule amount). I do not receive any benefits from France at this time.
The figure of €832 is published on ASAP as someone else has mentioned, and as far as I can tell only applies to French Nationals, but i rush to say I am not sure about this. The figure is clear, but what is not so clear is what goes into it, most notably whther this includes rent. If it does then no way could anyone live on the remaining figure. I am meeting again to clarify some things. One thing I have learned from my years of living here is that despite sometimes driving me mad the French Bureaucracy is to my mind eceptionally benign. I have found that rare in my former travels, where most were combative against an applicant - and I include the UK in that category. I do not blame indiividual civil servants for this, as they have to work to the rules of their country, but France has always to me been nothing but helpful on every occasion I have had to use them.

When I compare the anti-French (anti-EU) rhetoric in both the UK and the USA it raises my gorge, and am always surprised at how moderate French responses are! As we have seen over the past week or so, sadly the French go in more for self-flagellation. Probably ‘cause and effect’ is understood less here than in many other places?
I am of an age to remember the 1966 Riots and also the £25 max holiday monetary allowance by Wilson’s Government in the mid 60’s as well, so by comparison current affairs a less stressful.

To the subject in hand and briefly. Yes the house and regional comparisons are always front of mind. Yes, the figure from what I have read here and by establishing some figures is frighteningly tight, but I remind myself that I have never paid very little into the French system over the years as was alo the case in the UK.

However 20 years of payments into Australia was something else and to see pensions simply wiped out at the stroke of a pen though some spurious ‘no protocol’ garbage was something else again. People who really believe their pensions are rock-solid safe should think again. Probably OK once you have got one, but arriving at the ‘getting one’ point might be different under Brexit, if it happens. Ian Duncan-Smith amongst others does not believe in expats getting Pensions for one. Never trust ‘populist’ governments!
It seems to me that a couple on Asap rates (about €1400 from memory) with no rent or mortgage to pay could probably live a decent if modest life in a warmer part of France. From what I understand at this moment is that ASAP rates do not apply if you have any savings at all ( this needs confirming), and I feel deeply uncomfortable about not having a bit of a backstop for emergencies.
As can be seen from these postings it is very much a’live’ topic, as it should be. So thanks again for the contributions, it has helped me in many different ways.


(Jane Jones) #120

Peter, responding to your comment way back about upfront payments… haven’t most of your medical suppliers transferred to “tiers payant”? These days the pharmacy, doctor, lab tests, and so on all operate that way so no need to pay anything upfront. The only time now that I’m asked is for my specialist where I have to give her a cheque for her surcharge and claim that back, and the nurses when they visit the house as they don’t yet have portable machinery.

OH had a minor op in a private clinic recently, and all he had to pay on the day were the surcharges. The rest was dealt with automaticallly.


(Jane Jones) #121

Helene, Have you been following the windrush stories? Often the problem stemmed from the lack of a piece of official paper… Do seriously think about going to your local CPAM to ask again.


(Peter Goble) #122

Hello Jane, and no, it doesn’t work like that here in la Manche. If I visit our médecin traitant I have to pay her 25 euro in cash over the desk after she’s swiped my CV. Within about 4 days I get 16 euro refund from CPAM into my bank account, though recently the refund was 14 euro and no explanation for the variation.

At the pharmacie I hand over my ordonnance and CV, collect my medication “Vous voulez un sac ?” and pay the bill. The very nice pharmacie assistant rolled her eyes in sympathy and smiled. Last time it was 35 euro and a few centimes. I hope I get a refund within a few days, but heaven knows how much of a refund it will be.

As far as I know this system operates partout, and it has been that way since I subscribed to Amélie in 2015. I shall be interested to learn of others’ experiences.