Retirement living standards in france

Sadly, Jane, most people do because they don’t know or don’t care how the animals are raised. All that matters is price. I’d rather eat less of it and know it’s not lived in abject misery for its short life.
Izzy x


If the “straw on the floor” was bedding, that may be why they were prevented from eating it… or do calves eat soiled bedding straw in the UK?


It’s the British obsession with cheap food, isn’t it? I can tell if a courgette is past it, but it’s much more difficult with a chicken thigh. And yes, farmed Scottish salmon …

Eating less meat makes the times that we splash out on a bio chicken, or a piece of beef, even more special.


We do, but only bio.

Slight drift, but I read recently that goats produce enough milk for the kids and for us, and go on doing it for 10 months.

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Swede is cattle food in France! Such a waste :slight_smile:

What on earth do you mean?

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Don’t leave out the Norwegians, much lower standards than Scotland if thats possible. The most toxic food and they label it “responsibily sourced” when they mean irresponsibly farmed!!

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Thanks for flagging this. Naively assumed taxation and charges wouldn’t be drastically different from the basic research I had done. Having done a quick read if I was on private healthcare, which I would be until I could apply to join the health system, wouldnt I be exempt social charges or am I missing something -

Similarly, if as an early retiree, if you are obliged or choose to take out private health insurance, you should should be able to obtain exemption from the charge.

Article L136-1 of the social security code states that in order to be liable for the social charges on pension income the individual must be both resident in France and in the French social security system:

'1° Les personnes physiques qui sont à la fois considérées comme domiciliées en France pour l’établissement de l’impôt sur le revenu et à la charge, à quelque titre que ce soit, d’un régime obligatoire français d’assurance maladie ’

The private policy must be more than just a ‘top-up’ policy; it must be for all your health cover.

I think you are right, as I have encountered people (under UK state pension age) who have chosen to continue with private healthcare rather than joining the French State system as it is financially better for them because of the social charges.

Very individual decision as depends on the type and amount of income you receive.

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And again thanks for flagging this. My income would be from pensions and until other pensions kick in I would be living off tax free lump sums taken in the UK before I relocate. So does that mean I am on the 8-9% rate and as my actual pension income would be under 17k euros as a couple, I would be liable at the 0% rate. I would need to pay when other pensions kick in but them would not be liable when achieving state pension age. This is complicated lol, I will definitley seek professional advice! None of it is a deal breaker, it just affects how much my wife will get to spend on a house!

You can usually tell by the packaging and the price.
No Red Label or Bio means that it has been intensively farmed.
The supermarkets seem more concerned that they are not fed GM than they are with the welfare of the animals which provide their meat.

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Definitely get advice but also bear in mind, there are frequent changes to the rates and conditions for social charges, sometimes fairly radical. It seems to be an area that the government reassesses and readjusts on a regular basis. Whether they keep tweaking it to try and find a fair way of distributing the burden or whether they regard it as a kind of buffer zone that they use to balance out other parts of the economy I do not know, but there seem to be changes every year.
You would also need to check your sources of income, whether France classes them as pension income or investment income as this can also make a difference. France does not always have the exact equivalents of UK financial and investment products.

Hi, wages are not higher in France, in fact they are lower. However, being a much more supporting country in terms of social aid, as an independent trades person you have to pay more to the government than in the uk for your employees. So you pay a salary plus 46 % of the salary in charges. This is why it costs more!


Just a thought if you take any tax free lump sums in the UK, take them in calendar years before you are resident in France.

A tax free lump sum is taxable in France if taken when you are subject to French tax. ISA contributions and gains are also fully taxable in France despite the ISA being in the UK.

Putting aside the financial aspect a major consideration is what you’re actually going to do to fill your day at 55/56. If you have a time consuming hobby or interest then great but there is very little to do in rural France for much of the year so think carefully about where you’re going to live.


Good point Tim! On a similar vein do also think carefully about your social life….great to have a lovely house in a quiet rural hamlet for quality of life. However if you want to meet French people with shared interests, and endless discussions the price of milk is not one of them, then look for somewhere that is not a dying village. So children, a school, lots of active local associations all suggest a mixed generation place with people from a variety of backgrounds. (The other option of course is to choose a British bubble)


Tim you’re doing that thing I’ve just been talking about with John (Strudball) - “there is very little to do in rural France” - generalising a local experience to all of France. This is absolutely not true of our area. I know Bretons are more sociable than some other regions (Brittany has the highest number of bars per capita in France) but we have lots of social activities - groups, associations, cinemas, arts events, etc - you can find live music nearly every night - in addition of course to normal rural and coastal pursuits (in Brittany it’s hard to get more than an hour away from a beach). If only I had time after the gardening!

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Wherever one chooses to settle… if you do have a hobby… or a dream … joining a club/association is a marvellous way of gaining the language and making friends… and discovering France (often the bits not found by tourists )…

True enough… you might have to travel for club meetings/whatever… but the benefits make it worthwhile (in my experience)… we’ve even been known to dash to Paris for a meeting with likeminded nutters… :rofl: (fabulous crowd)… but there are loads of things going on locally as well… one just needs to do some delving to discover them.

Sadly, (around here) many Brits are loathe/frightened to venture out unless English is the language… and that means a lot of interesting opportunities are missed…

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It depends on your interests, of course. If you’re looking for a good social life then look at what’s on around the location you’re considering. In Brittany the arts scene - especially music and crafts - is particularly vibrant, and I’m aware that some of this is because it’s ‘Celtic’ more than French. But nearly every village has its own community association - many of them running their own bars etc.


I think the advice offered many times on this forum (and elsewhere)… that folk Rent before Buying… still holds good, if one can do this.

Of course, not everyone can and thus they have to take a dive into the unknown/barely-known… but with Google Earth and all the Internet information on places, regions, departments etc etc… I think one could come up with a reasonable choice.

checking the Mairie Website is another good idea…
and the Tourist Office site as well…