Retirement and old age options for Americans in France

I have done a lot of research on France which I am seriously considering for my retirement years. I have some questions I can't really find answers to.

Small villages are attractive, but what happens when you begin to have mobility impairments? What about stairs? What about services for elderly seniors?

Are certain areas of France better than others in this regard?

Do they have something like assisted living apartments in France? How much do they cost, without being in the French medical system? Is home care readily available?


Cindy, since your question was posed in 2012, you may have moved to France and found a place to live. Where to live dépends on a lot of personal préférences like do you like winter, hot weather, etc. The summers even here in Le Centre where I live can get into the 90°Fs but in the South it can get hotter and for longer periods. Most French houses don't have AC so the heat can be oppressive. I live in a small village of 450 people half with older people and half are Young families. It's squeezed between two towns of reasonable size with very good shopping and Orléans is only a 10-15 minute drive to centre ville. We have good train connections to everywhere. Paris is only one hour away by train. We have the best health care facilities with the Regional hospital and two brand new hospital complexes in the South and north of Orléans. We landed in the Orléans by an accidental choice but are very happy we did and we are in what I call a Sweet Spot in terms of tranquility, convenience and availability of services. One thing to consider if you are getting up in age is the availability of emergency services like ambulances and hospitals with emergency department in case of a heart attack.

Houses with stairs may become a problem in the future but where we are there are few one level houses to be found. Maybe in other areas they are more prévalent.

I have no knowledge of assisted living places but there are some Maison de le Retraites around but I think these are for older people who need full time care, more than assisted living. We would call them nursing homes in the US. The costs vary depending on the facility and the care provided.

Cindy, yes all these ladies are local the 103 year old lives with her niece who is 93 , they have lived together now for 20 years, they have also other family members in town.

Thank you. This must a healthy place to live with so many over 100.

Do you know if these ladies have lived in the area for their entire lives, and maybe even their familiies before them?

Cindy we are in Charente-Maritime, it is in the southwest of France, we have many ladies in our small village that are 100 and 103 years old they live at home, they have a service that comes and check on them, bring them lunch and evening meals and do a cleaning service as well, the service is arranged by the mayor's office and the family of the ladies can have additional hours done for a fee these elderly ladies love being at home, we had one in our street, she passed away in her 104th year and at the time of her birthday all the neighbors decorated the street with colorful little flags and flowers at her door entrance and many cards, and the rest of the year her door was always open and neighbors would make a short stop to visit her say hello and chat for a bit, she was like the grandmother of all.

Yes, there is also assisted living home they vary in price, and comfort.

My husband and I are living in France for a while now ... but he recently was let go from his CDI position, and we are trying to decide where to continue our life in France. We have a 10 year card ... good for a couple more years . Any recommendations? I am also wondering what financial requirements will be required once our 10 yr. card is finished, if not renewed, runs out? is 2000 E a month the magic number?


Do you notice many elderly people in the village? Do they live alone?

Cindy, My British wife and I have a house in the South of France. As you know an American can only spend 90 days out of six months in France without a VISA. I recently retired and wanted to spend the bulk of my time in France so I went to my home in Texas and applied for a France Long Stay VISA. This cost 90 euros and was pretty painless (lots for documentation required Medical Insurance good in France and paying the first $30K, income in excess of 2000 euros per month, & etc.).

We live in a small village and are the only active English speaking family. Our neighbors on both sides are French (only 3 houses on the little road) and have welcomed us with both arms (but do not expect them to speak English). The entire Village considers them selves our family and continue to make sure we know that.

I can help you better understand getting a Carte de Sejour (Residence Card) and etc. but know nothing about being elderly and needy.