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.