Retirement in France

One of the most regular topics on SFN is whether the grass really is greener in France as compared to Britain. The range of contributors makes for a lively debate – those still in England dreaming about life in France, those in France desperate to get back to England and those die-hards for whom France is a kind of utopia.

Has anyone thought of asking the French for their opinion? BVA, a French company specialised in opinion polls and marketing, did just that and the findings are quite surprising.

The current situation is that over one million retirees are living abroad today; double the figure of ten years ago. Although Spain and Portugal are by far the most popular destinations because of the advantages of keeping in the EU, Morocco and Tunisia are the rising stars.

The two main reasons given for leaving France are the climate and the cost of living. Pensioners suddenly find, for example, that the cost of living is over 50 percent cheaper in places such as Morocco, Tunisia and Thailand.

In a second poll carried out by BVA, it was found that this trend is set to continue. It is the dream of some 21 percent of people to leave France and live in another country but this figure was as high as 28 percent amongst the under 35s and 32 percent for those living in South West France.

It really is worth finding out what the French think of their own country if you are really considering France as a haven for retirement.

Ironically Shirley the 'posh end' of town with the biggest houses are much less seedy and are named after castles so if you live on Sandringham, Windsor or Balmoral Road then you've definitely made it !

Not so posh Shirley cos' all the Dickens' roads & avenues are on a quite notrious post-war council estate !

Several bars & pubs are also named after Dickens charactersie Pegottys Bar, Copperfields & The Dickens tavern to name a few !

Dont' know Shirley but I know there is a snail named after his catchphrase called 'Ba Humbugi' weird but true !

"If I could work my will," said Scrooge indignantly, "Every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"

A cracking character, old Charlie knew how to write ! Some of Copperfield is set in (Great) Yarmouth and some parts are named after the characters ie Copperfield, Dickens & Micawber Avenues etc

Ah Ebenezer, all my best wishes to you too!

Jacob Marley

Ah Humbug !

Cheers Peter, just got five minutes in between packing provender bags, boxing up bottles etc etc

"Los!! Dummkopf!! Donner und Blitzen!!" Amazing what a varied vocabulary you could pick up :)

Roy of the Rovers !

Swallows and Amazons of course, but don't forget the likes of good old Biggles and that genre. Tales of derring do and outwitting the enemy, whoever that may be. Later I got into Dennis Wheatley in a big way, before I succumbed to the delights of black and white films, modern jazz and beat poetry.

Good luck at the outlaws, have a good xmas etc

yeah, it's all that grovelling...

Yeah but your chest is rather lower to the damp ground than most folks ;-)

Peter, as I'm from the North-West the Lake Windermere ones were the ones I reread the most. I was in Edinburgh a few years ago to spend a week sight-seeing and pub-crawling with the daughters who were living there at the time ; at the bottom of Canongate, in sight of Holyrood, there's a specialised bookshop selling all the old favourites in original editions ; you wouldn't believe the prices...I did score a Rupert and "Secret Water"... a few pints less that evening :)

PS, off to the in-laws tomorrow morning early - will be offline until Sunday - if we can get back, there is snow finally forecast for next weekend ! So a Merry Christmas to all here on this most jovial of sites :)

@ David

Obviously didn't work, at least one slipped through the net !

@ Ian

yep, the Ransome books were/are magical - I loved reading and although my heroes were Jennings & William my favourite books when younger were The Lost World by ACD & The Coot Club by Arthur Ransome. That particular book was set on the Norfolk Broads where we were living at the time. As I said, magical.

Shirley- personally I prefer the seafood here in France- even though I know much of it is imported from the UK- salmon, crabs, langoustines, araignees, tourteaux one could go on etc even empty shells of coquilles St Jacques (a relative sells tens of thousands from the UK to France each year

The good thing about Brittany is you mention the weather just to keep the riff-raff out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Secret Water" by Arthur Ransome, Shirley.... great books all of them...

I don't mind Brittany in small doses ie in the middle of summer for the three days it's not raining !

I had five years in Basse Normandie and that was purgatory - my chest still hasn't recovered from the damp air !