Retirement: France or United Kingdom.....discuss!


(Phil Espley) #1

Being of a certain age, and with full retirement on the horizon for me and many others the $64,000 question [how outdated is that figure these days?] is, taking into consideration:-





Health: The inevitable increasing health issues in direct proportion to age reached


Family Ties and all their implications


Finances I: Pensions and other policies, go further in France or in the UK?


Finances II: The £ versus the Euro in the long run [impossible to predict?]


Travel Considerations: Back to the UK to visit family, against the rest of Europe on your doorstep!


Climate Considerations:
…a no-brainer?





This seems an impossible question to answer, but still a good subject to discuss as it will affect the vast majority of SFN members, sooner or later…



Phil Espley.


(Andrew Hearne) #2

Not a dilema for me as my other half’s French - I met her here and my kids were born here too so I’m here for good. But I’ll be in the same boat as Stuart as far as my pension’s concerned. To make sure there are no cock ups I pay voluntary contributions i the UK to get a ful state pension - however much, or little, that’ll be by the time I get there! - and I’ll have a small French pension too from both the regime général and the RSI just to complicate things further! I only go back once every couple of years to see family and each time we can’t wait to get home (France)!


(nigel fisher) #3

Having just spent three weeks travelling the length and breadth of southern England, visiting friends and family (from St. Ives in Cornwall to Chichester, Woking, Colchester, Chatham, Hailsham and Stansted) we can safely say what a wise decision it was too retire to France!!! Immediately upon our return we were greeted by our French neighbours as though we had been away for years, hugs all round,handshakes, smiling faces, thousands of questions (mainly about the weather!)and information about who had done what to our garden. It is always easy to look through ‘rose tinted spectacles’ during the early days of such retirement but having looked hard at the many aspects of life in the two countries over the last five years we can honestly say that although there are problems in living in England and France, the balance of favour is firmly with our beloved France.


(Linda Pailthorpe) #4

If you are entitled to a UK pension too you just let the Dept. of Pensions know you live in France and give them your details. We still have an English bank account and the pensions are paid in there which saves a lot of calculations for retired brains!


(Stuart Wilson) #5

Hello everyone.
My biggest dilemma is; Who is going to pay my pension? By the time I reach retirement age I will have worked half my life in France and half in the UK. There is little doubt in my mind we will stay in France, but I guess we don’t know what’s around the corner! By far, my biggest contributions will have been in France. I need to find out if there is some sort of agreement between France and the UK on this? I’m a bit like Sarah on this one, Will we be able to afford to retire?


(Linda Pailthorpe) #6

Taking everything into consideration for us it was an easy decision. We bought our house before we retired so were still running our business in the UK and coming to SW France whenever we could. Each time we came it was harder to return to UK. Consequently when the time came we were ready to move. That was two years ago and we have not regretted it at all. Two of our three girls live in UK and one in Spain so we are in the middle. It is easy to get to both places and we speak all the time on the phone. Health-wise I cannot fault the French system compared to the NHS having had bad experiences with both my parents and my husband’s mother. Our pensions go further here although during the recession everyone has suffered to some extent. Still for us this is the place to be for the life style, the peace and, of course, the weather (except today as it’s raining!)


(Sarah Hague) #7

Not sure I’ll retire in either. My dearly beloved (who’s French) would like to live elsewhere (Asia, South America, US), so who knows!

Come to think of it, I may not be able to afford to retire so the question’s moot. Or Floppy the Monster makes me a fortune and I can choose (nice thought).