Retire , move to france

(Helen Wright) #56

As an eternal optimist I’ll add my two cents worth but I’ve only been in Brittany just over 2 years…my arrival here was not at all thought out and a week before I came to see my house I had never even considered living in Brittany and had only ever driven through France on my way to Germany…

I signed to buy on that first visit knowing very little about France and spent the next 3 months in a whirlwind of uncertainty and excitement and wondering what on Earth I had just let my self in for…

Like Bill I think you’re a long time dead and like Bill I am in Brittany…the people here are lovely…

I bought my house for less than €17,000 in habitable condition…front garden and driveway and half an acre all told…from a French lady…the house was dark inaccessible areas piled up with furniture and my initial impression was that I would need to budget at the very least for a fitted kitchen and a new bathroom…turns out I needed neither…Yes I could have spent 1000s here already but I am quite happy with a second hand 6 seater country style kitchen table in my kitchen that provides ample space for preparing/office/main hub space for visits from my adult kids…and various free standing non matching items around the edge of my kitchen…I could have spent 1000s but glad I didn’t…likewise my bathroom…perfectly adequate…basic but high water pressure shower…only cost has been painting throughout…it’s surprising the stuff that you don’t actually need when you really think about it…

I have considered starting a business here but having been self employed all my life bar a couple of years in the “civil service” on the benefits section then for now at least I’m not prepared to set up as self employed here…I’m in the system as an “inactif” and my income is from my partner in uk…he’s older than me and sends me his state pension…I’m in your age group and my youngest son is the same age as your daughter but remains in uk…

I was fortunate only by pure good luck in that my taxe fonciere and taxe d’habitation are really low…I think this is definitely something to be cautious of…when I see what some people are paying annually then I count my lucky stars…!

I can do a weekly shop for €50…I’m vegetarian but my two border collies are raw fed…€75 is the most I spend for me and them…If my partner from uk comes to visit or my kids from uk then they always bring enough to cover their expenses including travel…

Like everyone I could think of a million things I could spend money on and a million what ifs…I’ve identified where I could make savings of €100 per week if push really came to shove…and at the end of the day if push really came to shove then I have My mom and my 3 kids in uk who would put me up for a bit until I got back on my feet again…

Although I’ve totally ruled out starting a business here I’ve not ruled out working part time here but I think My schoolgirl French isn’t quite adequate yet…I should probably mention that I have nothing in uk…not even a bank account and only my family…the plan was that my uk partner would be here too in 2 years…2 years later and with his elderly mom suffering Alzheimer’s we’re not there yet…My 23 year old son would love to live here…he hates the chaos of uk and is actively looking at transferring his Hgv skills to here once he’s bought a base in uk…

So many what ifs and so many variables but I do think that sometimes the universe gives you so many nudges that you just have to follow the path opening up before you and see where it leads…I wish you both bonne chance and hope my ramblings haven’t bored you to death…lol…! x :smile:

Edited to add: Income…! …just under €11,000 per annum…me plus two raw fed border collies permanently here and all bills paid …keeping one car on the road…identified potential savings of €100 per week if necessary…It’s doable…widen your search to areas where you don’t have to spend too much on a habitable property…refine your own definition of habitable…don’t buy too far away from services…(I’m purely by a guardian angel watching over me…3 km away from a supermarket a vet a hospital a doctor a local store a bricolage a tourist centre…a wonderful local garage…and a regional bank…and yet in a tiny hamlet for all intents and purposes in the middle of nowhere…)

(Timothy Cole) #57

Thanks for agreeing with me Barbara!!!

I’d just like to add that how much you spend is often more crucial than what you earn.

(Bill Morgan) #58

Brilliant, realistic post Helen, you could be talking about us two :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:

(Michael kellett) #59

Wow !! You are amazing , what profound words , nor boring in the slightest , thank you so much .

(Sally Tyler ) #60

We moved here in January and continue to be slightly shocked by the prices. High! Eg large box of Ariel wash powder is €23 or more. Food is more expensI’ve. French Govt has minimum amonuts you are to have if you apply for a carte de séjour which the Ambassador has recommended. I think it’s €550 per month. Check on the uk Govt living-in-france website. Good luck
Sally T

(stella wood) #61


Hi Sally… do you get the Publicité which the postman delivers each week. In that you will find what is on special-offer…and where…

Well worth reading through these various pamphlets… keeping an eye open for the normal household stuff, as well as meat, fish, groceries, clothes, tools, toiletries etc etc… huge savings can be made. :relaxed:

(Sue Robinson) #62

Hi Mick and Sue
We’ve just bought our french house and are waiting till my husband turns 55 in December for our pension pot. We’ll then (hopefully) sell our house in the spring and go over.
However it has taken us 3 years to get to this point. We have taken about 6 trips, some in the depths of winter and some in the summer, we nearly bought a complete wreck for an absolute bargain of a price but found out if would have cost 100k at least to put right. Take care because there are a lot of unfinished refurbishments out there. Also got sucked in by the Normandy DDay hype and nearly bought a house that on reflection was in the middle of nowhere and not we wanted in the end.
What I’m trying to say is that you go over with an idea and you will change your mind but you need to do the visits to work out what you want. Also the 3 years looking were great fun. We’d get home on a Friday evening, get the wine out and trawl through another batch of houses. Then we’d take long weekends viewing houses. We also made some great contacts, both French and English who have helped us sooooo much.
My advice - take your time, visit and look. We’ll being living in Normandy by the way.
Sue and Kev

(Michael kellett) #63

Sounds like us to a T , we’ve got three years to do our homework , things might not work , we know that , no one can predict what’s going to happen ie brexit , and a million and one etc’s. , but we will see .
We are going to the French property show in London in September , and early next year start the ball rolling , if things don’t work out then at least I might get my split camper and road trip round France :nerd_face:
On a serious note , we are literally just dipping our toes in the water at the moment , the advice on here has been amazing , we are under no illusions about things and we don’t wear rose tinted glasses but if there’s a will there’s a way

(stella wood) #64

The camper sounds ideal for testing various parts of France… it really is so varied…

(stella wood) #65

Rose-tinted glassess… :wink::thinking: not necessarily a bad thing to have…:relaxed:

I’ve been accused of wearing those, more than once on this Forum… simply because I have a very positive outlook on life and my glass is always half-full :yum::yum: and not everyone is of the same mind-set…

(Mark Robbins) #66

One of the most important thing to remember is never to trust an agent, no matter how honest and truthful they come across.

(Bill Morgan) #67

You must have had some neg’ exp’ Mark, any I’ve dealt with have been, just helpful. :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:

(stella wood) #68

There are good and not-so-good… in all professions and activities…

Not tried this with Estate Agents, but…it might be worth a try…

I often ask someone to promise, cross-their-heart etc … that whatever they say is the absolute truth. My, smiling disbelief and insistence on this… has all of us collapsing into laughter… and then, they go even further in their confirmation that “whatever” really will arrive/happen etc … :hugs::relaxed::relaxed:

(Barbara Deane) #69

I wear rose tinted glasses for special occasions and I am very positive but not to the extent that logic is not allowed a viewing.
Yes Tim it is easy to over spend and we do…but mainly on the cats!

(Chris Dunn) #70

Hi Michael.
Anything is doable, you just have to cut your cloth.
We came to France for a holiday, returned 3 months latter and brought a house for £34000.
Over the last 3 years spent about £16000, to various tradesman to rewire, sort out oil heating, gonna just be a holiday home.
We toyed with the idea of retiring here in the next 4 years,I’m 58, but to be honest Brexit, might put paid to that idea.
For us we shall try and live 6 months in each country, keep our uk house for healthcare issues and stay as long as we can in France enjoying the Dream.
I think that I can do all this on about £20k pension.
Time will prove me wrong!
Good luck!

(Glen Margaret Griffin) #71

Barbara Deane Change your insurance provided we don’t pay that for 3 cars.

(Teresa Shipley) #72

I assume Barbara Deane is including house insurance too.

(Glen Margaret Griffin) #73

You have to be a canny shopper and read the PUB. 3 bottles of Persil 120 washes for 13.50 euros. 72 loo rolls for 12.95. You just need storage space and if you are not working you have the time to find the bargains

(Mandy Davies) #74

I only ever buy household products when on special offer. Especially, toilet roll, kitchen roll, Ariel, softener, bin bags, dishwasher tablets. Same with toiletries like shower gel, toothpaste, hand soap, deodorant, shampoo etc. I will sometimes visit 3 or 4 different supermarkets per week to stock up.

Also, Casino is good for meat offers. If you go early evening or Saturday afternoon they often have meat marked down by 30% if it has a short date. Last week they had Label Rouge chickens, originally priced at 4.95€ per kilo marked down by 30%. Had the following day’s date but we jointed and froze them the same day. Often find steak hachee and sausages as well.

(Elisabeth Morgan) #75

Same for us Mandy, a big freezer was a priority for us, before dishwasher and tumble dryer !