Relocation to New Zealand in great sadness

Hi Everyone. I’ve popped this in the general discussion as I wanted to let everyone know the sad news that despite all my efforts the stars are not interested in being aligned. I will be leaving France in September. My boyfriend and I will try to make the most of what time remains to us. I’m beyond devastated but have to face realities. If you want to understand please visit my latest blogpost.

Also, I checked out the relocations category SFN but couldn’t find much in there. Does anyone know of reasonable and responsible international movers with good reutations for service moving from France to New Zealand? I need quotes asap.

Many thanks to all for the years of discussions and advice.

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Frances, I am so sorry that things have turned ot this way for you.
We still do not know whether all British pensioners will continue to have their health care paid for by the UK or not.
This will be the crunch for many of us.
We listen to the financial analysts saying that inflation is now 2.7% and people will be hit. How about when your income falls by 15%due to the idiots who voted for Brexit?
I hope that you will enjoy being back in New Zealand, it can’t all be bad.

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Sorry it didn’t work out how you thought it would Frances, and getting your nationality sorted too! New Zealand can’t be that bad, I’d rather go there than back to UK any time.


New Zealand is beautiful. We stayed in Auckland for a few months and found the country and its people friendly, warm and welcoming. Just think you could be having to return to the United Kingdom, like many expats. Good luck for the future. Why doesn’t (JC is it?) commit to you?

HI Maureen, well he’s suddenly realised how much he would miss me and is suggesting marriage but it doesn’t really give me any more security if something happens to him. In that case his inheritors would descend and I’d be out the door. Marriage would have meant I couldn’t be ejected from France when I wasn’t EU. Now I’m French I have the right to stay without marriage.

Dear Frances,

I own and manage an international moving company in France and would be happy to discuss your needs with you. Even if you don’t move with us I would be willing to share my 26 years of experience with you to point you in the right direction. Please feel free to send an email to

Bye for now,

I am very sorry to read you have decided to leave France and return home. I know it can be very hard settling into French life as I lived in France for fifteen years. I wish you well in NZ.

Hi Frances.

Can he not amend his will to include you as one of his dependents? I know
that France has some pretty weird rules regarding succession etc but as his
wife you should have some rights. Still, good luck for the outcome of this
very sad tale. xx

Hi Maureen

Yes he could have amended his will or PACS’d but the govt would have taken a good 60% of my part says his notaire. There was always the problem of me not being able to stay in the property. It is too big and unmanageable for most people, including his descendents so it would have been sold and I would have been homeless with not enough retirement so… we are devasted but trying to adjust to losing each other. Perhaps one day I can look back and see that it was the start of better things. I sure hope so because this is incredibly painful.


Frances Harrison
+33 6 71 44 94 32 (mobile) (Facebook Follow My Heart)
Twitter: parisnewbie
Green Communications

Oh Frances.

Please have a happy life wherever you are.

With much love.


Hi Frances,

I genuinely do not understand:

  1. Won’t you will qualify at the age of 62 for a full french “solidarity” pension of up to 900€ a month, even without ever having contributed? As a citizen or even as a legal resident with 5 or more years surely you will have the same financial protection/rights as any French person who has stayed at home to care for their families and never paid in?

1a) It was my belief that this is also true for citizens/permanent legal residents
who have a foreign pension that is less than the “solidarity pension” that Macron has pledged to raise to 900€ per month? These pensioners should be able to qualify for a top-up pension, n’est-ce pas?

  1. If your partner doesn’t want to sell his property for a smaller, more financially-manageable place then could you both not consider buying an investment apt or house, in both of your names, that you could retire to after he dies but that ALL of your two sets of children will later inherit?

You’ve already done much better than most of us older expats by getting French citizenship, a French passport and a French partner but your concerns for your future are understandable if the social safety net, for some reason, isn’t there for you as it is for French women and men of retirement age.

you should speak with another Notaire/lawyer about your rights if you should decide against leaving France.

These are true questions - I am not 100% sure about the pension, solidarity-payment rights of older people who have arrived in France without having worked here.

When I die the French government will take 45% of my assets that are not in an Assurance Vie and since most of us older expats have sone assets the French government is likely to profit more from us, averaged out as a group, than it will cost it in a few measly solidarity payments so it’s not as if we’re a drag on the system, quite the reverse.

Can anyone out there confirm this that Frances needn’t be left high-dry in her old age?


Hi Janice

That pension seems a bit on the high side. I thought it was closer to 600€ which I will not get before 67 years of age. If Macron raises it to 900€ I might get by. I couldn’t spend my last years in an appartment, I need a house with a little garden for my sanity. NZ superann is not usually transportable to France because it is based on a universal system, not contributions so you have to be resident in NZ to get it.

AFAIK you can claim Aspa if you’re eligible, which Frances would seem to be, when you reach the age of 65.
Aspa is repayable posthumously by your heirs if you leave an estate worth over 39 000€.

Also in response to a previous post, Frances - if you were PACS’d you would not pay 60% of anything you eventually inherit from your partner. PACS’d partners are treated the same as married partners where succession tax is concerned, ie not liable. But it doesn’t solve the issue that his children would still be his reserved heirs so at best you would end up owning the property jointly with them.

I found your blog very very moving. So sad for you just now, but hope it all works out for you in the end.

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Thanks Janice, that’s interesting. I don’t have the right to reture until the age of 67 because I haven’t been in France the minimum number of trimestriels.

You can retire when you like, you won’t get a retirement pension until whatever age though (minor but significant distinction :wink:). Good luck!

This has been a very interesting thread… so much emotion… so much goodwill… and so much helpful information exchanged.

I feel that each of us has to make our own decisions in Life…and, so long as it is well-thought through, we should take our courage in both hands and get on with it… whatever “it” may be…

Positive thinking is essential…there will be light at the end of the tunnel, but only if we are willing to strike the match. :wink: